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Alex13

Besides joining the Night's Watch, what other alternatives did Jon Snow have?

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On 9/16/2020 at 3:46 PM, Alex13 said:

Could Jon have married another noble bastard, a merchant's daughter or just a peasant?

Jon could have married a noble. Walder Rivers married a lady from House Charlton.

As the son/brother of the Lord of the North Jon could have had a very good match from the North. Plenty of Houses would welcome him as an addition to their Household or their daughter living with him at Winterfell. This is the kind of alliance Houses were in favor of.

On 9/16/2020 at 3:46 PM, Alex13 said:

 

And could Ned have legitimized him and given him a keep and lands, such as Tumbledown Tower or Queenscrown, and the funds to re-establish/repair them? And if he was legitimized, could he have married a noble's daughter? 

He could marry a nobles daughter regardless. You will notice one of the prime storylines not yet resolved is Littlefinger's betrothal of his bastard daughter to Harry Hardyng.

Ned could not legitimize him. Nor is there any need for him to do so, he has five living heirs as it is.

Ned and/or Robb could have given Jon his own holdfast.

On 9/16/2020 at 3:46 PM, Alex13 said:

And how come Ned didn't foster and/or squire him with a lord, either outside of the North or with a lord from the North?

We don't know, but it may be to do with Lynanna's promise. Can't exactly guarantee his safety as a child if he lives at another Household.

On 9/16/2020 at 3:46 PM, Alex13 said:

 

I imagine that Ned was aware of the tension between Catelyn and Jon, and that that could have been solved if Jon would have fostered and squired, especially if he would have done that in a kingdom south of the Neck and "converted" to the Faith of the Seven and become a knight. I believe that could have lessened some of Catelyn's fears of Jon stealing her children's birth rights, due to him being a knight and following the seven, which the lords of the North, would not have liked. 

True.  But Ned was a Lord, it was not his job to placate his wife.

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These questions ignore the characters who would be making these choices. You would need to change the characters to get a different outcome.

For Ned: He didn't make plans for any of his kids (Robb was automatically heir - no decision required there). Ned was fostered, Lyanna had a match made she didn't approve of and that fantastically blew up, Brandon was flambed in the South, Benjen ended up at the NW for an issue we've yet to learn, and whatever Ned's plans for himself were, those were tossed for duty. He lost about all of his family and ended up being Lord which he never wanted and never reconciled himself to because of exactly the sort of planning these questions pose. Makes sense for Ned who ran away and tried to hide in the North for the rest of his days to also avoid the issue of his kids' futures until Robert literally landed on his doorstep and forced him. The other choices also undermine Ned's need to hide Jon damaging several characters and also a huge part of the plot.

Jon: Jon chose the NW himself and Ned agreed. He then debated all of the possibilities to him outside of the NW and still turned back to the NW. Jon was deeply affected by the bastard stigma of Westeros and very much wanted to prove that stigma wrong to others and himself and he chose to do by joining the NW. You'd have to change how the bastard stigma affected Jon (huge part of his character btw) for him to make a different choice because the other choices don't allow for that in the same way.

Edited by Lollygag

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Jon is only 14 at the start of the story.  Ned probably figured he had time to sort things out.  Hell, he hadn't even made plans for Robb, and he was Ned's heir.  Then his assignment as Hand blew everything up, with Catelyn unwilling to let Jon stay at Winterfell, and Ned unwilling to take him to KL.  That put him in a bit of limbo.

Jon was already interested in joining the Nights Watch by then anyway.  As was pointed out above, his bastard status has affected him greatly, and he probably figured he could do well in the NW.  And he has.  As Lord Commander he is one of the most powerful men in the North, and a force to be reckoned with in general, as shown by Cersei's plotting against him.

As for alternatives, going to White Harbor would probably have been best.  It is a decent sized city, and being literate, he could probably find something useful to do.

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10 hours ago, Nevets said:

Jon is only 14 at the start of the story.  Ned probably figured he had time to sort things out.  Hell, he hadn't even made plans for Robb, and he was Ned's heir.  Then his assignment as Hand blew everything up, with Catelyn unwilling to let Jon stay at Winterfell, and Ned unwilling to take him to KL.  That put him in a bit of limbo.

Jon was already interested in joining the Nights Watch by then anyway.  As was pointed out above, his bastard status has affected him greatly, and he probably figured he could do well in the NW.  And he has.  As Lord Commander he is one of the most powerful men in the North, and a force to be reckoned with in general, as shown by Cersei's plotting against him.

As for alternatives, going to White Harbor would probably have been best.  It is a decent sized city, and being literate, he could probably find something useful to do.

Additionally, Ned considers the Night's Watch a totally valid place for Jon to go.  His own brother chose the NW after all.  Jon would likely see great fame and success there under normal circumstances.  They made him Lord Commander after all, and that was unusual circumstances.  If Jon had gone through a regular career there, he'd have likely still made LC in the end.

That's a good point too about how Ned hadn't really bothered to do anything with regard to his kid's future.  

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1 hour ago, argonak said:

Additionally, Ned considers the Night's Watch a totally valid place for Jon to go.  His own brother chose the NW after all.  Jon would likely see great fame and success there under normal circumstances.  They made him Lord Commander after all, and that was unusual circumstances.  If Jon had gone through a regular career there, he'd have likely still made LC in the end.

That's a good point too about how Ned hadn't really bothered to do anything with regard to his kid's future.  

And Benjen chose the Night's Watch at a very precarious time in House Stark's history; in the months after Robert's Rebellion, the Starks were down to just Ned, Catelyn, Benjen, and the infant Robb and Jon. To this day I don't understand why Ned would allow him to join, since a couple events or two, say Ned getting killed in Robert's Rebellion or the Greyjoy Rebellion, then a bad bout of disease, and the Starks would be out of existence like Thanos snapping his fingers.

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

And Benjen chose the Night's Watch at a very precarious time in House Stark's history; in the months after Robert's Rebellion, the Starks were down to just Ned, Catelyn, Benjen, and the infant Robb and Jon. To this day I don't understand why Ned would allow him to join, since a couple events or two, say Ned getting killed in Robert's Rebellion or the Greyjoy Rebellion, then a bad bout of disease, and the Starks would be out of existence like Thanos snapping his fingers.

Not terrible logic, but Benjen was a 3rd son and youngest child.  He wasn't fostered anywhere that we know of.  Rickard wasn't like Ned.   Rickard had very clear ideas about the political marriages his children would make.  Brandon and Lyanna betrothed to a High Lady and High Lord, Ned was fostered with a Warden of the East, for crying out loud.   I propose that Benjen was always destined for the Watch because these people sacrifice their children to the service as a matter of honor, perhaps as part of a pact even.  Remember Waymar Royce?  His only crime was in being the 3rd son.  They aren't all bums up there.  Some still consider it their duty to supply the watch with their sons.    

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On 9/16/2020 at 5:43 PM, CamiloRP said:

He would no longer be a Snow, but that doesn't mean he would be a Stark, he would likely get his own name. Ghostark? Whitestark? I assume something stupid like that.

Idk, Bloodraven and Bittersteel kept their bastard names even after being legitted.

Blackfyres took theirs from a sword.

House Longwaters just added the Long to Waters.

Seems more likely Jon wouldn't have any Stark in it though, might be read as presumptuous. Also avoiding anything black due to Blackfyre-connotations.

Something stupid with snow in it instead of stark; House Ghostsnow has a nice stupid ring to it :D 

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OP

Suicide would also have been a good option for Jon. He would have probably achieved more in a box than he has so far. Certainly done less damage.

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The boy is not particularly bright and he has a temper.  His best place is with Robb.  With Bran getting crippled, Robb would need an assistant.  Jon may not be commander material but he can fill the shoes of a Jorey and a Tommard.  In addition to Fat Tommard, Winterfell will have a loyal armsman called Long Jon.  It's not because he's endowed in the middle.  

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3 hours ago, Sigella said:

Something stupid with snow in it instead of stark; House Ghostsnow has a nice stupid ring to it :D 

Well there were the Graystarks and Karstarks. Jon's branch will obviously be House Snowstark. :P

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1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

OP

Suicide would also have been a good option for Jon. He would have probably achieved more in a box than he has so far. Certainly done less damage.

I think that Jon was more useful alive, then if he would have taken is own life.

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3 hours ago, Sigella said:

Something stupid with snow in it instead of stark; House Ghostsnow has a nice stupid ring to it :D 

Maybe he would name his house, House Ghost or House Ghoststark :)

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1 hour ago, Quoth the raven, said:

The boy is not particularly bright and he has a temper.  His best place is with Robb.  With Bran getting crippled, Robb would need an assistant.  Jon may not be commander material but he can fill the shoes of a Jorey and a Tommard.  In addition to Fat Tommard, Winterfell will have a loyal armsman called Long Jon.  It's not because he's endowed in the middle.  

Jon consistently shows he is bright. He comes up with solutions like marrying Alys to Sigorn, making a deal with the wildlings to let them through the Wall, borrowing money from Tycho when he shows up at the Wall. Negotiates well with Stannis. He is quietly flexible in his thinking. Certainly miles ahead of Ned as far as brains go. 

Ned clearly wanted him to be Rob's right hand man, like a brother, maybe act as his Castellan, but Catelyn wasn't having it. The North doesn't practise Knighthood, otherwise he could have been sent off to be squired at a Northern house. He could have been married to someone from a Northern house, just not a Noble House. Ned wasn't going to ask Robert to legitimise him, it would raise all sorts of questions and put him in the public eye. He could have made a new minor title for him I don't think bastardly precludes that, not sure. But basically he wanted to keep him in the north and away from gossip that might figure out his true identity.

By the way, I have never believed that no-one would speculate that he was Lyanna's child. Provenance of babies is the type of thing women have gossiped about for centuries. And the question would naturally arise about what Lyanna died from. Two streams of speculation to put together.

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Castellan said:

Jon consistently shows he is bright. He comes up with solutions like marrying Alys to Sigorn, making a deal with the wildlings to let them through the Wall, borrowing money from Tycho when he shows up at the Wall. Negotiates well with Stannis. He is quietly flexible in his thinking. Certainly miles ahead of Ned as far as brains go. 

Ned clearly wanted him to be Rob's right hand man, like a brother, maybe act as his Castellan, but Catelyn wasn't having it. The North doesn't practise Knighthood, otherwise he could have been sent off to be squired at a Northern house. He could have been married to someone from a Northern house, just not a Noble House. Ned wasn't going to ask Robert to legitimise him, it would raise all sorts of questions and put him in the public eye. He could have made a new minor title for him I don't think bastardly precludes that, not sure. But basically he wanted to keep him in the north and away from gossip that might figure out his true identity.

By the way, I have never believed that no-one would speculate that he was Lyanna's child. Provenance of babies is the type of thing women have gossiped about for centuries. And the question would naturally arise about what Lyanna died from. Two streams of speculation to put together.

 

 

 

 

 

I think that’s how George tries to frame it. But if your only competition are the dregs of the Kingdoms jails this isn’t saying much. Personally none of these actions are really impressive and amount to anything beyond common sense. Plus Jon has not met many of the these Northern Lords for years, so him advising Stannis about the likelihood of them joining him is just speculation on his part. The difference being that George validates his assumptions. Again, I think George did this to tell the reader Jon is a smart military/political dude. Even though it’s not very intelligent inferences that he makes considering he’s had a lifetime of training and connections. Stannis could probably get that advice from any Northern Tavern. 

Its very suspicious that they didn’t clock the parentage. Either every single Northerner is an idiot or it’s contrived to make the story work.

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22 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 

I think that’s how George tries to frame it. But if your only competition are the dregs of the Kingdoms jails this isn’t saying much. Personally none of these actions are really impressive and amount to anything beyond common sense. Plus Jon has not met many of the these Northern Lords for years, so him advising Stannis about the likelihood of them joining him is just speculation on his part. The difference being that George validates his assumptions. Again, I think George did this to tell the reader Jon is a smart military/political dude. Even though it’s not very intelligent inferences that he makes considering he’s had a lifetime of training and connections. Stannis could probably get that advice from any Northern Tavern. 

Its very suspicious that they didn’t clock the parentage. Either every single Northerner is an idiot or it’s contrived to make the story work.

Yeah, because every Lord we've seen negotiate with Stannis has done so successfully, oh wait... aren't any who tried either now his lackeys or dead? Please tell me of others that refused him to his face and not only lived but got him to do what they told him to do, while leaving his family and sole heir in their care. 

The mountain clans, he said how to approach them in order to make success likely because he knew them, he never guaranteed anything. And he was right. And The other notrthern lords didn't even note that they were missing from Robs army, and their people don't mingle with the commoners in the rest of the north so please explain where it is indicated in the text that anyone else would have thought of Jons approach. An approach that cited a previous strategy used by a Targaryen that Stannis was apposed to.

You admitted in the past to only skim reading Jons chapters, and it shows. There is a lot of strategy in them that is easily missed without a careful read. And even then it's missed by many. Your opinion is very biased as a result. And his competition isn't criminals a dregs, it's Stannis, Aemon, Sam, and Jeor. As well as all the LC of the past who failed to realize that the vows are to protect all realms of men not just the Seven Kingdoms. If you don't think that properly interpreting something that has been misunderstood for millennia by educated men shows intelligence then you are ignoring facts. If you don't think that seeing the value in all men, not just soldiers and knowing how to sway a man like Aemon is a sign of intelligence then you must not define intelligence that same as the dictionary. He clearly used intellect to get a Maester to agree with him.  Show me any other character doing this. He learns about other people and cultures and uses this to negotiate with people that no one else has been able to negotiate with. Yeah, that really shows a lack of leadership and intellect. (heavy sarcasm)

 

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1 hour ago, Azarial said:

Yeah, because every Lord we've seen negotiate with Stannis has done so successfully, oh wait... aren't any who tried either now his lackeys or dead? Please tell me of others that refused him to his face and not only lived but got him to do what they told him to do, while leaving his family and sole heir in their care. 

The mountain clans, he said how to approach them in order to make success likely because he knew them, he never guaranteed anything. And he was right. And The other notrthern lords didn't even note that they were missing from Robs army, and their people don't mingle with the commoners in the rest of the north so please explain where it is indicated in the text that anyone else would have thought of Jons approach. An approach that cited a previous strategy used by a Targaryen that Stannis was apposed to.

You admitted in the past to only skim reading Jons chapters, and it shows. There is a lot of strategy in them that is easily missed without a careful read. And even then it's missed by many. Your opinion is very biased as a result. And his competition isn't criminals a dregs, it's Stannis, Aemon, Sam, and Jeor. As well as all the LC of the past who failed to realize that the vows are to protect all realms of men not just the Seven Kingdoms. If you don't think that properly interpreting something that has been misunderstood for millennia by educated men shows intelligence then you are ignoring facts. If you don't think that seeing the value in all men, not just soldiers and knowing how to sway a man like Aemon is a sign of intelligence then you must not define intelligence that same as the dictionary. He clearly used intellect to get a Maester to agree with him.  Show me any other character doing this. He learns about other people and cultures and uses this to negotiate with people that no one else has been able to negotiate with. Yeah, that really shows a lack of leadership and intellect. (heavy sarcasm)

 

 

Not the same situation. Jon is a potential asset to Stannis as Lord Commander and a potential heir to Winterfell. Stannis is humouring him in a way he would not for Davos. So he’s not just going to kill Jon in negotiations with an ally.

That’s not a smart suggestion to get the clans. Anyone in a tavern could tell him that. These guys are always up for a fight, go to their mead halls and they’ll join you if you listen to their stories. That’s it. No names. No personalities. No politics. Just a monolithic generalisation about some people over the hill. 

I suspect George hadn’t written them into the story when Robs army went south beyond an offhand line if that. Very convenient to invent another hidden source of man power after the red wedding for the “little guy” North. Can’t have them slide into irrelevance because their whole armies dead.

I got the gist. Considering you think he’s so obviously smart it shouldn’t take a thorough read to get that impression. I certainly felt George was trying to depict these things as evidence of his intelligence. He’s schooling Stannis in strategy; of course that’s the point he’s making. But then, George is simply making everyone an idiot to make Jon look smart. 

Is this a Disney film? It does not take a genius to realise that’s what the vows mean. I didn’t read that and think “dam this mans a genius!”. Value in all men? This is getting very Disney here. These are simple moral lessons, they aren’t the work of a genius and a scholar.

Well actually no. George has characters like Tormund inexplicably like Jon for no reason. So they ignore the fact he betrayed him, got thousands of them killed and now we’re best buddies because you understand stuff about our culture. No. The Wildlings should not have trusted Jon and it’s not a point in his favour that George has him pull that off because it makes no sense.

He hasn’t conquered any cities. He hasn’t won any battles. He actually failed to make peace between the Wildlings and Nights Watch; now currently lying face first in his own excriment. Was that also part of the 4D chess in this mans brilliant mind? I just expect an impressive character to do impressive things. 

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Jon could go overseas and find work.  A young man can learn to sail in Braavos.  Making and selling cheese should be profitable until the invention of refrigeration.  Ned can give him enough gold to start a business.  Buy cows and learn to make cheese in Pentos. 

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11 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Well there were the Graystarks and Karstarks. Jon's branch will obviously be House Snowstark. :P

Yeah... But they didn’t originate from bastards iirc.

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12 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

He hasn’t conquered any cities. He hasn’t won any battles. He actually failed to make peace between the Wildlings and Nights Watch; now currently lying face first in his own excriment. Was that also part of the 4D chess in this mans brilliant mind? I just expect an impressive character to do impressive things. 

See, you have a bias, and this is it. You like characters that conquer, and literally fight to get their way. Nothing wrong with that, but GRRM is anti war, he's never made that a secret. He's also never made it a secret that he is aware that people would be attracted to flashier characters and he's using that to bait people into cheering on the violent characters, only to deconstruct the violent hero trope. Jon's not that, none of us have ever said otherwise. Those of us who like Jon look for different things in a character than flash. 

As for the rest. You skimmed. It shows. Your reply misses some really obvious details and misconstrues others. The clans were mentioned before Rob ever went south. This isn't some new unknown force to make things easy for Jon. Jon did give him specific info, guides, etc. It wasn't generic. It's just that we are told that they talked, and weren't shown every boring detail. But we are shown enough to know that what you said is false.

And if something is ingrained in a culture it's not easy to see that it's wrong. You are saying it's obvious as an outsider who read how the vows were wrong. But if you were raised believing they meant a certain thing, and no one in your world ever believed different, and didn't read them in a book where we as readers question everything, it's not obvious.  And convincing other people that believe the opposite isn't easy. Just look at the different sides of the what makes a good leader/or character debates on these forums to see the truth of that. Do you honestly think that Dany and Jon fans will ever agree? Is is reasonable to expect that? No. So why is it reasonable to expect GRRM to write characters that are able to do this far less time than the Jon Dany debate has been going on. Jon only had a few months.  

There were some people that had very ingrained racism against the Wildlings and some of the Wildlings had very ingrained racism against members of the Seven Kingdoms, the watch in particular. If a leader can talk and make racism magically go away why is there still racism in OUR world? This argument is absurd. Ingrained hatred doesn't just go away because some leader said so. It takes a lot of time and effort to overcome. It's not exciting or flashy work. And violence makes hatred worse not better. Just look at the backlash to violent protests, or governments using force to try and stop a movement in our world, this fact is more clear now than it has been in years. So if he was doing well, he'd not interest you because he would be talking, convincing, making people get to know one another and depend on each other to slowly build trust. That doesn't mean his not smart. That means he's not flashy and exciting. And they didn't dumb down Stannis. They had him out of his element, and he asked for advice and Jon gave him advice that directly contradicted the advice from the Karstarks, and all the knights and Lords with him. Because they called for the Flashy course of action, and Jon called for face to face diplomacy and they mocked him to his face saying he was a coward for saying they shouldn't attack the Dreadfort, pride and winning battles are everything in their world, very few value diplomacy. And face to face meetings, that you say are obvious are not something commonly done in their world because of travel times. Something clearly established in book one.

As to you saying a skim read should be enough if he's smart, you are wrong. If he's smart a skim read is your doom. GRRM shows you his lessons, and shows the info he's given, then has Jon think about related examples in chapters prior to a decision needing to be made. Jon's chapters never connect the dots. You are expected to keep up with what Jon is doing, based solely on the lessons and facts despite them being chapters apart. You skim, you come to the wrong conclusion as you have just demonstrated. His chapters are all about the details. 

Tormund didn't trust him after what happened. How could anyone who even read half of what was on the page think this? Jon had to show trust first, and risk losing something of value in order to just get him to negotiate. Your beliefs on this are so skewed by your dislike of Jon that I don't even know where to begin. If GRRM's anti war beliefs are Disney, then sure the conclusions Jon draws are Disney. If being a person that thinks all lives matter is bad thing in your mind because it's boring and Disney, then I'm glad we don't enjoy the same character. Because might win out, and violence and blood right solve everything, doesn't interest me in a story any more than diplomacy and compassion interest you in a story. Doesn't mean Jon's dumb. Just means he doesn't interest you. We are never told what many of the characters explicit thoughts are. And GRRM sets all of them up so that a skim read will lead to people drawing the wrong conclusions. We've all done it. But following a red herring trail doesn't make you right. The obvious is never right in these books. You skim, you miss the point. That goes for all characters and all fans. That is GRRM's style. I read every character chapters independently, including ones I dislike like Cat, in order to try and remove my bias and see what was really going on. Maybe you could try it, you might be surprised by what you missed previously. For me it was Sansa, I had made all the mistakes you make with Jon with Sansa. She'll never be my favorite, but at least now I understand her and why people like her. 

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3 hours ago, Azarial said:

See, you have a bias, and this is it. You like characters that conquer, and literally fight to get their way. Nothing wrong with that, but GRRM is anti war, he's never made that a secret. He's also never made it a secret that he is aware that people would be attracted to flashier characters and he's using that to bait people into cheering on the violent characters, only to deconstruct the violent hero trope. Jon's not that, none of us have ever said otherwise. Those of us who like Jon look for different things in a character than flash. 

As for the rest. You skimmed. It shows. Your reply misses some really obvious details and misconstrues others. The clans were mentioned before Rob ever went south. This isn't some new unknown force to make things easy for Jon. Jon did give him specific info, guides, etc. It wasn't generic. It's just that we are told that they talked, and weren't shown every boring detail. But we are shown enough to know that what you said is false.

And if something is ingrained in a culture it's not easy to see that it's wrong. You are saying it's obvious as an outsider who read how the vows were wrong. But if you were raised believing they meant a certain thing, and no one in your world ever believed different, and didn't read them in a book where we as readers question everything, it's not obvious.  And convincing other people that believe the opposite isn't easy. Just look at the different sides of the what makes a good leader/or character debates on these forums to see the truth of that. Do you honestly think that Dany and Jon fans will ever agree? Is is reasonable to expect that? No. So why is it reasonable to expect GRRM to write characters that are able to do this far less time than the Jon Dany debate has been going on. Jon only had a few months.  

There were some people that had very ingrained racism against the Wildlings and some of the Wildlings had very ingrained racism against members of the Seven Kingdoms, the watch in particular. If a leader can talk and make racism magically go away why is there still racism in OUR world? This argument is absurd. Ingrained hatred doesn't just go away because some leader said so. It takes a lot of time and effort to overcome. It's not exciting or flashy work. And violence makes hatred worse not better. Just look at the backlash to violent protests, or governments using force to try and stop a movement in our world, this fact is more clear now than it has been in years. So if he was doing well, he'd not interest you because he would be talking, convincing, making people get to know one another and depend on each other to slowly build trust. That doesn't mean his not smart. That means he's not flashy and exciting. And they didn't dumb down Stannis. They had him out of his element, and he asked for advice and Jon gave him advice that directly contradicted the advice from the Karstarks, and all the knights and Lords with him. Because they called for the Flashy course of action, and Jon called for face to face diplomacy and they mocked him to his face saying he was a coward for saying they shouldn't attack the Dreadfort, pride and winning battles are everything in their world, very few value diplomacy. And face to face meetings, that you say are obvious are not something commonly done in their world because of travel times. Something clearly established in book one.

As to you saying a skim read should be enough if he's smart, you are wrong. If he's smart a skim read is your doom. GRRM shows you his lessons, and shows the info he's given, then has Jon think about related examples in chapters prior to a decision needing to be made. Jon's chapters never connect the dots. You are expected to keep up with what Jon is doing, based solely on the lessons and facts despite them being chapters apart. You skim, you come to the wrong conclusion as you have just demonstrated. His chapters are all about the details. 

Tormund didn't trust him after what happened. How could anyone who even read half of what was on the page think this? Jon had to show trust first, and risk losing something of value in order to just get him to negotiate. Your beliefs on this are so skewed by your dislike of Jon that I don't even know where to begin. If GRRM's anti war beliefs are Disney, then sure the conclusions Jon draws are Disney. If being a person that thinks all lives matter is bad thing in your mind because it's boring and Disney, then I'm glad we don't enjoy the same character. Because might win out, and violence and blood right solve everything, doesn't interest me in a story any more than diplomacy and compassion interest you in a story. Doesn't mean Jon's dumb. Just means he doesn't interest you. We are never told what many of the characters explicit thoughts are. And GRRM sets all of them up so that a skim read will lead to people drawing the wrong conclusions. We've all done it. But following a red herring trail doesn't make you right. The obvious is never right in these books. You skim, you miss the point. That goes for all characters and all fans. That is GRRM's style. I read every character chapters independently, including ones I dislike like Cat, in order to try and remove my bias and see what was really going on. Maybe you could try it, you might be surprised by what you missed previously. For me it was Sansa, I had made all the mistakes you make with Jon with Sansa. She'll never be my favorite, but at least now I understand her and why people like her. 

 

Of course this is George’s intent. He wants to advocate that a quiet spoken technocrat without human emotion and compassion would make the perfect ruler. So by his reasoning Joseph Stalin was a perfect ruler because he was a quiet spoken back office man. That’s what Bran is. Some cold blooded reptile who George thinks would be good because he has cast aside his own ego and embraced knowledge. Whereas Dany is thrown under the bus as representing the ultimate fate of passion as self destructive. I am fully aware that’s his intent; which is why I disagree with it.

You can’t take the authors assertions at face value because he can control his examples.  Of course, people loving each other is bad because it means twincest would happen! That means love must be the death of duty! It’s absurd. 

So when the author tells me that Jon is being so so smart because he makes suggestions at the same level as a Dungeons and Dragons player I don’t buy it. Stannis could easily get this information from any number of sources. I think the author felt he had to show Jon achieve something in his own right precisely for the purpose of impressing the reader. I mean hell Benjen literally tells Jon on remarks to the Kings Arrival that “wow you’re so smart Jon!”. George is not a subtle man.

The dude bringing everyone together to face the greater threat has been done many many times. Again, your typical D&D party would be trying to negotiate with the Wildlings. You can’t give the character praise and credit for this. George contrived a ridiculous situation to make this idiot look good.

The Nights Watch and Northerners are barely racist towards the Wildlings. It’s tame. A false conflict that George is going to hand wave to make it easy for Jon to unite both cultures. In fact George has to produce some Andals to play the racist fools to make Jon look good and avoid insinuating the Northerners could be bad. My point is that you are giving him credit where credit is not due. Is he a bad man for playing diplomat and wanting to make peace. No. But it’s not worth praise and not worth my time because it’s so contrived and generic it offends me. 

Well actually Jon is using might makes right here. He could not compel the diplomatic option without demanding everyone respect his authority as Lord Commander. In fact he kind of chops a mans head off. Totally had nothing to do with his Dad of course. So he is using violence and it’s threat to get what he wants. I mean it’s 4D chess move to cut a mans head off who back talks to you.

You don’t think it’s pretentious to make yourself out to be the stoic man of dignity? To me that’s just as insincere and a demand for attention as throwing on all the glam and being a braggart. It’s an act. It’s a way of selling yourself. Oh, he must be intelligent because he’s introverted and soulfully reflecting on life. So deep and brooding. To me, if you make the effort that shows that you care what other people think; that’s the virtuous behaviour. 

George is also talking about a non issue. The technocrats and bureaucrats run every country on this planet. If you’ve ever seen the TV show Yes Minister then you’d know what I mean. Doesn’t matter who the front man is. It’s absurd to complain that as a society we aren’t putting smart people into positions of power or placing value in them. 

I d rather have somebody with fire in their heart and compassion for their fellow humans than a robot who wouldn’t think twice about killing you if it served its calculations. If power has to exist in the world then what matters is how it’s wielded and power isn’t going anywhere.

Also his reasoning invariably leads to status quo Burkean conservatism. War is bad so whoever is the incumbent ruler must be in the right and the person at fault is the trouble maker trying to overthrow the natural order.

 

 

 

Edited by Tyrion1991

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