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Bowen Marsh and Jaime Lannister


The Coonster

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Both  men were put into a bad situation by an unstable leader.  They had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster.  They had their moments of heroism.

Aerys was about to unleash hellfire on Kingslanding to take down the looters and the sackers along with the innocent citizens of the city.  Jon's erratic decisions had already caused enough damage to the Night's Watch.  Bowen was forced into action to prevent Jon from causing further harm to the Night's Watch and to the world of the living.

Jaime Lannister is not a hero.  He is not even close to hero most of the time.  But we can all agree that his decision was the correct one on that day.  Bowen Marsh had been a loyal man to the Night's Watch.  I would even say a really good and dutiful man.  Jon was unable to let go of his feelings for the Starks and was willing to throw the world away in order to help one little sister.  He was about to lead an army of wildlings against the Warden of the North in order to rescue his sister.  A clear violation of the purpose of the Night's Watch and would have resulted in catastrophe.  Bowen Marsh did what any loyal man of the watch should and would do.  Remove Jon Snow from power.  Jon was already on a power trip at that time.  

Jaime's deed was revealed to Brienne and he became a different man in her eyes.  A tragic person rather than an outright villain.  Bowen Marsh should be recognized for his courageous deed in removing a very dangerous and desgtructive Lord Commander Snow.  I think Bowen will go down as an unsung hero.  

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43 minutes ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Jaime could have stopped the pyromancers without killing his king.  I agree on Bowen though.  Bowen had no other way to stop Jon Snow from causing more problems and endangering Westeros.  I hope he survives.  

If Jaime is any indication, it’s clear that no good deed goes unpunished. Also, the idea of “good” is highly subjective.

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If BM had killed Jon to prevent him from becoming a deserter and leading a Freefolk host against The North, I would agree with you, but his actions seem like they've been planned carefully, and Jon has just announced he was deserting and marching on WF, so he's motives seem to be something different, probably all of the things he wined about to Jon throughout Dance, and Jon was in the right with those things.

Having a hooker as a steward? TNW is supposed to represent a clean slate and equal opportunity for all.

Giving TNF to Stannis? He didn't just give it, he negotiated, and TNW wasn't using it.

Letting the Freefolk cross and giving them The Gift? They're needed for the fight against the Others and TNW isn't using most of TG.

Tolerating Melissandre? What's he gonna do? kick her out?

Not sealing the gates? I can agree with this, tho it's hardly enough of a reason to murder someone.

Wights in the ice cells? Seems like a smart, tho dangerous and creepy, plan.

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2 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Both  men were put into a bad situation by an unstable leader

You are comparing Aerys to Jon!?! Now I know how this OP and thread is going. Stark hater (probably blind Dany fan too) calling to other haters. 

But still I'll continue... 

2 hours ago, The Coonster said:

They had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster.  They had their moments of heroism.

Jaime saved millions from Mad Aerys's wildfire plot. Heroism accepted. Bowen saved his own ass. Feared Iron Throne's wrath. For helping Stannis. Cowardice not equal to heroism. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Aerys was about to unleash hellfire on Kingslanding to take down the looters and the sackers along with the innocent citizens of the city.  Jon's erratic decisions had already caused enough damage to the Night's Watch. 

Emboldened text is a fact. The rest isn't. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Bowen was forced into action to prevent Jon from causing further harm to the Night's Watch and to the world of the living

All you haters say the same thing. But can never explain how.

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Jaime Lannister is not a hero.  He is not even close to hero most of the time.  But we can all agree that his decision was the correct one on that day.

Only part of OP worth agreeing. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Bowen Marsh had been a loyal man to the Night's Watch.

Averagely. Not like the legendary status of Qhorin or others. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

I would even say a really good and dutiful man. 

Of course you would! 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Jon was unable to let go of his feelings for the Starks and was willing to throw the world away in order to help one little sister. 

How?! He was the only NW man leaving. The rest who were ready to follow were Wildlings. He wasn't deserting. Deserters don't return. And that was Jon's intention. To finish Bolton and return. If he wanted the North he would have accepted Stannis's offer.

And he didn't just go to rescue the girl he thought was his sis. Remember the Pink Letter? Read it again. Ramsay challenged to exterminate the watch.

If it has been Tywin the LC of NW marching to answer Ramsay's threat and to save, say Cersei you guys would call it leadership

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

A clear violation of the purpose of the Night's Watch and would have resulted in catastrophe

Blah blah blah blah blah blah 

How? 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Bowen Marsh did what any loyal man of the watch should and would do.  Remove Jon Snow from power.  Jon was already on a power trip at that time.  

Loyal? The coward was saving his own miserable ass. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Jaime's deed was revealed to Brienne and he became a different man in her eyes. 

Through, not to. Part of character arc. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

A tragic person rather than an outright villain. 

Get on with it. 

3 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Bowen Marsh should be recognized for his courageous deed in removing a very dangerous and desgtructive Lord Commander Snow.  I think Bowen will go down as an unsung hero.  

The emboldened, italicized, slanted text was done so to express my incredulity at your choice of words. 

Should be recognized? Pulitzer, all Nobels, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and whatnot will not be enough recognition for you guys and gals who hate Starks (and probably worship Dany and Targs) 

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9 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

You are comparing Aerys to Jon!?! Now I know how this OP and thread is going. Stark hater (probably blind Dany fan too) calling to other haters. 

But still I'll continue... 

Jaime saved millions from Mad Aerys's wildfire plot. Heroism accepted. Bowen saved his own ass. Feared Iron Throne's wrath. For helping Stannis. Cowardice not equal to heroism. 

Emboldened text is a fact. The rest isn't. 

All you haters say the same thing. But can never explain how.

Only part of OP worth agreeing. 

Averagely. Not like the legendary status of Qhorin or others. 

Of course you would! 

How?! He was the only NW man leaving. The rest who were ready to follow were Wildlings. He wasn't deserting. Deserters don't return. And that was Jon's intention. To finish Bolton and return. If he wanted the North he would have accepted Stannis's offer.

And he didn't just go to rescue the girl he thought was his sis. Remember the Pink Letter? Read it again. Ramsay challenged to exterminate the watch.

If it has been Tywin the LC of NW marching to answer Ramsay's threat and to save, say Cersei you guys would call it leadership

Blah blah blah blah blah blah 

How? 

Loyal? The coward was saving his own miserable ass. 

Through, not to. Part of character arc. 

Get on with it. 

The emboldened, italicized, slanted text was done so to express my incredulity at your choice of words. 

Should be recognized? Pulitzer, all Nobels, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and whatnot will not be enough recognition for you guys and gals who hate Starks (and probably worship Dany and Targs) 

I don't wanna defend Bowen Marsh, because I like Jon sooo much.

But Jon was about to violate his vows and starve the NW. The Pink Letter is still no excuse for leaving. That's why noone followed him.

The guy was literally crying while he stabbed Jon.

To be honest, the situation is greyer than anything could be.

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6 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Both  men were put into a bad situation by an unstable leader.  They had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster.  They had their moments of heroism.

Aerys was about to unleash hellfire on Kingslanding to take down the looters and the sackers along with the innocent citizens of the city.  Jon's erratic decisions had already caused enough damage to the Night's Watch.  Bowen was forced into action to prevent Jon from causing further harm to the Night's Watch and to the world of the living.

Jaime Lannister is not a hero.  He is not even close to hero most of the time.  But we can all agree that his decision was the correct one on that day.  Bowen Marsh had been a loyal man to the Night's Watch.  I would even say a really good and dutiful man.  Jon was unable to let go of his feelings for the Starks and was willing to throw the world away in order to help one little sister.  He was about to lead an army of wildlings against the Warden of the North in order to rescue his sister.  A clear violation of the purpose of the Night's Watch and would have resulted in catastrophe.  Bowen Marsh did what any loyal man of the watch should and would do.  Remove Jon Snow from power.  Jon was already on a power trip at that time.  

Jaime's deed was revealed to Brienne and he became a different man in her eyes.  A tragic person rather than an outright villain.  Bowen Marsh should be recognized for his courageous deed in removing a very dangerous and desgtructive Lord Commander Snow.  I think Bowen will go down as an unsung hero.  

This is a good comparison between Jaime and Bowen.  Bowen is the better man but the parallels are there.  I will even say Jon's plan would have been more dangerous.  Aerys would have killed a city.  Jon's decisions at the Wall would have put the whole of humanity in danger.  Jon had an important job.  Arguably more important than the king's because he was in command of the defense against the White Walkers.  Jon blew that to get his sister away from the Boltons.  That's just bad prioritizing on Jon's part.  

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3 hours ago, HerblYY said:

I don't wanna defend Bowen Marsh, because I like Jon sooo much.

But Jon was about to violate his vows and starve the NW. The Pink Letter is still no excuse for leaving. That's why noone followed him.

The guy was literally crying while he stabbed Jon.

To be honest, the situation is greyer than anything could be.

Thank you for looking at Bowen Marsh with some fairness and admitting Jon was the one who was wrong.  

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4 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

Remember the Pink Letter? Read it again. Ramsay challenged to exterminate the watch.

Ramsay threatened Jon personally (obey or get your heart eaten). Not the Watch.

It was an empty threat anyway. Northerners love the Wall; it keeps them safe; they're not going to march against it (at least, Ramsay's allies won't, and the Dreadfort men strongly don't want to).

Besides, marching armies between Winterfell and the Wall risks the weather destroying them. Roose would never give approval to such a rash plan.

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11 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Jaime Lannister is not a hero.  He is not even close to hero most of the time.  But we can all agree that his decision was the correct one on that day.

I don't think it's that easy, really.

  • Is it right to kill few to save many? I guess that depends from viewpoint. A pacifist might say no. A person with Kantian views (I don't know what I'm talking about here) might say no. Davos disagreed in the books, in the case of Edric Storm. I'd say yes, my natural inclination reinforced with the fact that unlike the innocent Edric, Aerys is clearly the malefactor here.
  • Is it right to break one's sworn oaths to save the city of half a million from burning? I guess. Someone might differ.
  • Is killing Rossart and Aerys the quickest, most effective and sure way to do it? Again, I guess. 
  • Is it actually necessary? I'm not certain. Jaime could perhaps just, say, overpower Rossart, tie him up and lock him somewhere. That would however take time and risk his possible escape with all it's problems. And arriving to the throne room later means that Aerys could possibly escape Westerling and Crakehall through the king's door, the private exit behind the Iron Throne which Jaime enters from. Killing Aerys, in hindsight, hardly was. 
  • Does Jaime know that killing Aerys is actually unnecessary? No, I think. @Lord Varys has made a point here that Aerys, not knowing that Rossart is dead, would have no reason to send another messenger, and I would say the statement has merit. However, I am of the opinion that trusting the situation to last would be an unacceptable risk. In one way or another, Aerys has to be neutralized. And while Jaime has just heard this straight from Aerys' mouth, we cannot know for sure whether he even realizes it. I'd say yes, but one could perhaps split hairs to make a differing case. 
  • How credible can the argument for the quick action be, when Jaime proceeds to immediately drop the ball afterwards? By dropping the ball I mean that Jaime does not continue to dismantle the rest of the wildfire plan. He has just been gifted a group of westermen who defer to him, and instead of immediately communicating with Tywin (to seize or if necessary kill all the pyromancers on sight, occupy and guard all the wildfire stashes which Jaime knows of, definitely not start any fires) and going to help with all that himself, he instead waits to see who comes to claim the kingdom and only tells anyone 15 years later. To answer the question: Well. That's up to the observer, I guess. It (dropping the ball) shows a stunning lack of thought, and can perhaps lend credence for the argument that Jaime never had any justifiable drive in the first place. Now I'm of the opinion that such an argument would be mistaken (see the quote below) but one should allow for the counterargument.

Here's the quote. ASoS, Jaime V. It in my opinion clearly shows that Jaime thought the situation dire.

Quote

"It fell to me to hold the Red Keep, but I knew we were lost. I sent to Aerys asking his leave to make terms. My man came back with a royal command. 'Bring me your father's head, if you are no traitor.' Aerys would have no yielding. Lord Rossart was with him, my messenger said. I knew what that meant.

"When I came on Rossart, he was dressed as a common man-at-arms, hurrying to a postern gate. I slew him first. Then I slew Aerys, before he could find someone else to carry his message to the pyromancers. Days later, I hunted down the others and slew them as well. Belis offered me gold, and Garigus wept for mercy. Well, a sword's more merciful than fire, but I don't think Garigus much appreciated the kindness I showed him."

In conclusion, I still think that when we take in account the information which Jaime had to work with, killing Rossart and Aerys is the safest choice. So yeah, I agree that his decision was the correct one. Whether he used an excessive amount of force and whether his true reasons to act as he did were actually justifiable is up to the debate, however. 

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Man, the lengths people on here will go to in order to prove that the Starks are unholy ice demons who are the secret villians of the story is quite remarkable. I mean, comparing Jon Snow to the Mad King is the longest of stretches. Though, when it comes to criticizing the Starks, I find people do need to stretch things beyond credulity. Same with Dany, really.

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Power corrupted Jon Snow's judgment.  He was willing to risk the safety of Westeros and everybody on that continent for his sister.  Bowen Marsh had to stop him.  Jon was beyond listening to reason and likely to execute anyone who tried to stop him from getting his sister.  A court martial or anything like that would not have been allowed by the wildlings. Assassination was the only way to end Jon's command.  Sad.  Sad for the gutsy crannogman who will be killed by the wildlings. 

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2 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

Man, the lengths people on here will go to in order to prove that the Starks are unholy ice demons who are the secret villians of the story is quite remarkable. I mean, comparing Jon Snow to the Mad King is the longest of stretches. Though, when it comes to criticizing the Starks, I find people do need to stretch things beyond credulity. Same with Dany, really.

@Nathan Stark

There's nothing wrong with disagreement.  As a matter of fact, the story and the characters were written to generate disagreement because they are grey.  The fandom come from different places and cultures.  The diversity is there in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, life experiences, personality traits, etc.  Just like the real world because the fandom come from the real world.  Disagreement in the real world is inevitable.  Where things go south is when fans start taking disagreements beyond the reasonable.  I have been here since 2012 and have seen all kinds of silly and immature stunts from some of the fandom.  Emphasis on some.  There are among the fans people who try to intimidate those who disagree with them on the forum.  I have seen it always backfire.  Always.  Good thing too.  Some of these fans scheme and even try to get the others who disagree with them off the forums.  Again, they always fail.  Those few who do those silly things are, for their sake, hopefully middle schoolers.  Because it is truly sad if they are adults.  (Purposefully misspelling names do not detract from that character, folks).  There are strong people on both sides.  You already know the sides.   For example, Daenerys Targaryen is my top character, the one who I root for.  Another fan may prefer one of the Starks or Jon Snow.  There will be disagreements. 

13 hours ago, The Coonster said:

Both  men were put into a bad situation by an unstable leader.  They had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster.  They had their moments of heroism.

Aerys was about to unleash hellfire on Kingslanding to take down the looters and the sackers along with the innocent citizens of the city.  Jon's erratic decisions had already caused enough damage to the Night's Watch.  Bowen was forced into action to prevent Jon from causing further harm to the Night's Watch and to the world of the living.

Jaime Lannister is not a hero.  He is not even close to hero most of the time.  But we can all agree that his decision was the correct one on that day.  Bowen Marsh had been a loyal man to the Night's Watch.  I would even say a really good and dutiful man.  Jon was unable to let go of his feelings for the Starks and was willing to throw the world away in order to help one little sister.  He was about to lead an army of wildlings against the Warden of the North in order to rescue his sister.  A clear violation of the purpose of the Night's Watch and would have resulted in catastrophe.  Bowen Marsh did what any loyal man of the watch should and would do.  Remove Jon Snow from power.  Jon was already on a power trip at that time.  

Jaime's deed was revealed to Brienne and he became a different man in her eyes.  A tragic person rather than an outright villain.  Bowen Marsh should be recognized for his courageous deed in removing a very dangerous and desgtructive Lord Commander Snow.  I think Bowen will go down as an unsung hero.  

It's about time somebody brought this up.  Good topic for discussion. 

:cheers:

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10 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

You are comparing Aerys to Jon!?! Now I know how this OP and thread is going. Stark hater (probably blind Dany fan too) calling to other haters. 

I have my doubts as to how many other haters are actually out there.

There's a subset of this group of posters who all exhibit startling similarities.

  • Double space between sentences.
  • Use a rather choppy and awkward sentence structure that doesn't sound like natural speech.
  • Tend to show up, bomb a lot of threads and then disappear for long periods. The bombs are usually brief comments rather replies engaging in discussion.
  • All use the same set of talking points expressed in the same way even if they're new posters.
  • Those talking points are questionable if not outright incorrect.
  • When challenged with the correct info from the books, they never reply or defend their viewpoint.
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I do wonder if things would have ended differently if Samwell and Aemon were still at the wall.  They might be able to stop Jon from sending Mance on such an illegal mission.  Sending Mance to steal Arya away was an in-direct attack on House Bolton. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 8:51 AM, The Coonster said:

Both  men were put into a bad situation by an unstable leader.  They had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster.  They had their moments of heroism.

Very nice parallel.

I like the way you phrased the heroism question in this first paragraph. GRRM doesn't have clear, 100% heroic characters, as others have pointed out (although I'm wondering whether Davos might shine brighter than most), but some characters have heroic instincts or moments of heroism.

Jaime is flawed, but he is on a redemption arc. I hope he will continue to be washed clean by Brienne's good influence.

I have not seen a good analysis of Bowen Marsh's status as a bannerman of House Reed. We don't see many crannogmen in the story, and I think it's significant that Marsh is associated with House Reed that is so loyal to the Starks. Your Jaime/Aerys comparison is excellent but I think we also need to reexamine what Howland Reed did at the Tower of Joy. Because of the way GRRM uses rebirth and death (and something undefined and magical that happens between death and rebirth), I suspect that Marsh may be trying to send Jon to a rebirth. His key role in Jon's death may be similar to something we haven't been told about Howland Reed at the Tower of Joy. How did he "save" Ned in the face of long odds?

Another Jaime / Bowen or Aerys / Jon parallel:

If the wordplay hunch is correct, I think "pyromancer" is a play on "pyro" and "romance." People who are in love with fire. We know that Aerys was sexually aroused by fire. In Jon's circle, we see Melisandre in love with fire and promoting that love among others - to the point of forcefully converting some people. Yet readers are aware that Melisandre cannot be killed - Cresson and Davos have both tried and failed. (In addition to a "Bowen as crannogman" analysis, maybe we need a "Melisandre as Pyromancer" analysis.)

So both Jaime and Bowen Marsh believe their king slaying moves are stopping the spread of fire-love.

We should also look at the stabbers who help Bowen Marsh kill Jon. There will be more clues hidden in their names and backstories.

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On 10/4/2020 at 9:51 AM, The Coonster said:

A tragic person rather than an outright villain.  Bowen Marsh should be recognized for his courageous deed in removing a very dangerous and desgtructive Lord Commander Snow.  I think Bowen will go down as an unsung hero. 

Or the other way around, if Jon and Dany and another "dragon head" are going to lead the forces of the living (fire) against the WW (ice) which is likely to happen, then how would a person who murdered Jon be seen?

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