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Bowen Marsh and Jaime Lannister


The Coonster

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Jaime was saving his own skin. I doubt if he cared about the people of Kingslanding.  Bowen is not like that.  Bowen was willing to sacrifice himself to stop a man who he believed is about to destroy the Nights Watch and attack the people they served.  

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9 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Jaime was saving his own skin. I doubt if he cared about the people of Kingslanding.  Bowen is not like that.

Yes, when one is one the brink of fainting one often constructs elaborate lies that otherwise make perfect sense explaining everything

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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.

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.  

Jaime is still a villain.  He won Brienne over but that means nothing.  He can have a good side and still be predominantly bad.  Hitler loved dogs but that does not wash out his negative qualities.  Bowen is not a villain.  He was a man of honor and duty.  Put yourself in his place.  Your leader just admitted to basically pardoning Mance Rayder for his crimes and sending him on a mission to get his sister from Ramsay Bolton.  Jon further announces his plan to lead wildlings to battle against the warden of the north and his son.  You would have killed Jon too.  Bowen is a good man.  Jaime is tragic by choice. 

EDIT: Brief hero moment is a yes.  These guys are not the heroic types by their nature.  Jaime is a self-fulfillment man who cared nothing about rights and wrongs.  Bowen is a conservative man who kept to his duties.  They just stepped up to the plate at the right moment.  I guess it is the moment and the decision which make heroes.  Poor Bowen will make Arya's list and Jaime may not live through LSH's brand of justice. 

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Stoneheart will get Jaime.  Jon is a Stoneheart in the making.  He will come back and try to murder Bowen and the other men who removed him from power.   The men really need to bury his body on the other side of the wall. 

10 hours ago, Van Gogh said:

Jaime is still a villain.  He won Brienne over but that means nothing.  He can have a good side and still be predominantly bad.  Hitler loved dogs but that does not wash out his negative qualities.  Bowen is not a villain.  He was a man of honor and duty.  Put yourself in his place.  Your leader just admitted to basically pardoning Mance Rayder for his crimes and sending him on a mission to get his sister from Ramsay Bolton.  Jon further announces his plan to lead wildlings to battle against the warden of the north and his son.  You would have killed Jon too.  Bowen is a good man.  Jaime is tragic by choice. 

EDIT: Brief hero moment is a yes.  These guys are not the heroic types by their nature.  Jaime is a self-fulfillment man who cared nothing about rights and wrongs.  Bowen is a conservative man who kept to his duties.  They just stepped up to the plate at the right moment.  I guess it is the moment and the decision which make heroes.  Poor Bowen will make Arya's list and Jaime may not live through LSH's brand of justice. 

 

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On 10/4/2020 at 3:27 PM, Springwatch said:

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.

He mentions the Watch in the sentence right before it. It's not as if he (the LC) and the NW aren't inextricably linked anyway. Moreover, there are at least two demands Ramsay makes that Jon couldn't fulfill if he wanted (FArya, Reek back). 

So his take, correctly arrived at, is that it's better to take the fight to Ramsay than let Ramsay come to him. Easier to ambush him on the road or pick away at his men than try to fight at CB where there are no fortifications to the south and were almost overrun by 200 Thenns, let alone hundreds or thousands of actual troops.

The veracity of the Pink Letter can most definitely be called into question, but a basic or comprehensive reading of it should leave one with the conclusion that the NW is in jeopardy if Jon can't match Ramsay's demands and there's no question of Jon being unable to do so.

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On 10/5/2020 at 12:11 AM, Allardyce said:

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. 

Good question.  The answer is no.  Not even Samwell could have talked Jon out of his plan to ride out and attack the Boltons.  Aemon would be saddened but he would support Bowen Marsh.  Samwell too would have no choice but to go along with the other men. 

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3 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Samwell too would have no choice but to go along with the other men. 

Other men?! You mean NW? Jon was only going to take the wildlings. Bias clouds your vision. Maester Aemon would have told Jon to do the right thing. So would have Sam. 

The demands of the Pink letter 9don't debate who wrote it now) cannot be fulfilled by any NW member (incl Jon, especially him). What would u have him do? Give Shireen and Meli and Selyse to Ramsay the Good for slaughter? Give Reek(Theon) and fArya(Jeyne poole) when he doesn't even have them? And Ramsay threatened to march on Castle Black and cut Jon's heart out. That is equal to threatening the Watch itself. And no BS that only Jon was mentioned. He was the LC. If Ned threatened to kill Tywin (when both were alive and war was just brewing) what would the Lannister guards do? Tywin has sworn vows to abide by the King's peace. But he won't be breaking them by defending himself. And striking first is also defence. And Lannister men would have gone with him. Ramsay was first breaking the laws of the Realm by threatening the watch. No BS that Jon broke nuetrality rules. He sheltered Stannis as he was the only King who did his duty when it called. Stannis would have taken all their supplies by force if Jon hadn't shared. And more castles manned added to the NW's power.

To others, Mance wasn't pardoned. Only used as an expendable asset (the CIA does it everytime, no one is comlaining) in retrieving an innocent girl from a monster. Dog on a leash (the ruby) that didn't escape and did his master's bidding. So the master was right in putting faith. Good judgement in fact. As someone said earlier elsewhere, calling Jon trying to save the girl he thought was his sister from a monster as wrong is like the KG turning a blind eye to Aerys's wife-rapes in the name of duty. Nothing bad happened from Jon's actions. The Wall din't collapse. The world didn't end. The Others didn't breach. No Armaggedon, no apocalypse or Ragnarok.

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Jamie's problem isn't the killing of Aerys. With all the details its a reasonable if it not ideal solution to the fact that Aerys intended to turn King's Landing into a poor man's Valyria. THe problem is that Jamie then promptly forgot about the rest of the oath he swore. He just sat on the throne not caring what happened next only going after the other alchemists later. He forgot he had oaths to protect Elia, Aegon and Rhaenys who he could have saved for a short while if he tried. The Mountain and Lorch climbed the walls of Maegor's Holdfast they would have at best been lightly armoured. If Jamie had been there doing his duty they might have lived long enough that he could no longer be blamed for their deaths if they occured. Even Jamie can't defend his actions when faced with Rhaegar's shade in his dreams.

Bowen Marsh on the other hand. Well while he can make an argument that Jon has broken his vows and as such does need to die. You could also make the argument that he hasn't. Ramsay has apparently by all accounts made direct threats against the Night's Watch a breach of its independence. Now while Jon has very much pushed the envelope on that by working with Stannis. That is in the context of cooperation against first the wildlings and later the others once they show up. Jon also has ideas how to help the watch deal with the long list of problems it has to deal with to fight the others. He's brought in some of the wildlings to reinforce the watch and weaken the others and is trying to get more to work with him. He's acquired the lines of credit he'll need to purchase food to sustain the watch on a deal which may be difficult to sustain long term right now is the best option for the Watch. Marsh and his friends. There clueless as to how to move forward. The sheer scale of the difficulties of the watch are such that most would balk at what needed to be done to try and gather the forces needed to fight the others. Jon is trying. Not always successfully but he's trying. By trying to kill him Bowen Marsh is possibly ensuring the Watch will be destroyed either by the now angry Wildings who have them badly outnumbered or the others when they arrive. With little left to try and save the Watch.

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The Pink Letter, for anyone who wants another look:

Quote

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.

Your false king's friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.

I want my bride back. I want the false king's queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want this wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard's heart and eat it.

Ramsay Bolton,
Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.

 

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23 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

He mentions the Watch in the sentence right before it. It's not as if he (the LC) and the NW aren't inextricably linked anyway.

Not this lord commander. Jon has broken with the traditions of the Watch in gigantic and unprecedented ways. As the stewards see it, Jon's quarrel with Ramsay is a personal, family matter - it can be detached from the Watch, because Jon himself is no longer serving the Watch, but himself.

23 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Moreover, there are at least two demands Ramsay makes that Jon couldn't fulfill if he wanted (FArya, Reek back). 

Yes.  But Ramsay's letter  ('Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard's heart and eat it.')  actually allows three scenarios:

  1. Watch has all the people in the letter and hands them over = no trouble
  2. Watch defies Ramsay, with or without the people = war, death of Jon
  3. Watch does not have all the people = trouble of some kind for the Watch. This does not mean war! It means most likely a hostile search of Castle Black, with the risk of Jon being arrested. The stewards are not warlike men - they'd appreciate this option.
23 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

So his take, correctly arrived at, is that it's better to take the fight to Ramsay than let Ramsay come to him. Easier to ambush him on the road or pick away at his men than try to fight at CB where there are no fortifications to the south and were almost overrun by 200 Thenns, let alone hundreds or thousands of actual troops.

There is a third, wait-and-see option. Because like I said, the threat is probably empty. Ramsay is Lord of Winterfell, but all the armies there belong to someone else. The Lords of the North don't want to attack the Wall, and they don't want to march in arctic conditions. Roose doesn't want to attack the Wall, doesn't want an internal rebellion, doesn't support Ramsay's hot-headedness.

So, ok, plan for a worst case scenario, but balanced with the probability of it happening: obviously attacking Winterfell is an insane response, and so is freezing to death on the King's Road trying to ambush an army that may never come.

Apart from that, I agree. Assuming that Jon's side stay as close as possible to the supplies at the Wall, and Ramsay's side does most of the death march in the snow. And rangers and ravens are used to send advance news - they move a lot faster than armies.

Problem is, Jon doesn't say anything like this - he says: "The Night's Watch will make for Hardhome. I ride to Winterfell alone, unless..." Jon paused. "... is there any man here who will come stand with me?"

23 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

The veracity of the Pink Letter can most definitely be called into question, but a basic or comprehensive reading of it should leave one with the conclusion that the NW is in jeopardy if Jon can't match Ramsay's demands and there's no question of Jon being unable to do so.

No one benefits from damaging the NW.

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4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Not this lord commander. Jon has broken with the traditions of the Watch in gigantic and unprecedented ways. As the stewards see it, Jon's quarrel with Ramsay is a personal, family matter - it can be detached from the Watch, because Jon himself is no longer serving the Watch, but himself.

The Stewards would be idiots to trust Ramsay in anything.

4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Yes.  But Ramsay's letter  ('Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard's heart and eat it.')  actually allows three scenarios:

  1. Watch has all the people in the letter and hands them over = no trouble
  2. Watch defies Ramsay, with or without the people = war, death of Jon
  3. Watch does not have all the people = trouble of some kind for the Watch. This does not mean war! It means most likely a hostile search of Castle Black, with the risk of Jon being arrested. The stewards are not warlike men - they'd appreciate this option.

Lol the Watch know exactly what Ramsay Bolton has been doing and Jon knows what kind of man Ramsay is.  An angry bastard who's already been flaying people alive in the family tradition is not going to "hostilely search" CB. He's going to massacre everyone, put it to the torch, and leave it for a burnt out husk.

4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

There is a third, wait-and-see option. Because like I said, the threat is probably empty. Ramsay is Lord of Winterfell, but all the armies there belong to someone else. The Lords of the North don't want to attack the Wall, and they don't want to march in arctic conditions. Roose doesn't want to attack the Wall, doesn't want an internal rebellion, doesn't support Ramsay's hot-headedness.

Ramsay got the dreadfort garrison to attack Stark loyalists in the middle of a civil war. I'm sure they'd have no qualms marching on the wall to retrieve his wife. The Freys are there too.

4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

So, ok, plan for a worst case scenario, but balanced with the probability of it happening: obviously attacking Winterfell is an insane response, and so is freezing to death on the King's Road trying to ambush an army that may never come.

Attacking WF is a complete non-starter for me but who knows where the books lead. There are plenty of empty holdfasts and villages that can be used as bases for raiding and ambushing Ramsay. And again, these are wildlings who are used to far harsher winters than the north. 

4 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Apart from that, I agree. Assuming that Jon's side stay as close as possible to the supplies at the Wall, and Ramsay's side does most of the death march in the snow. And rangers and ravens are used to send advance news - they move a lot faster than armies.

Problem is, Jon doesn't say anything like this - he says: "The Night's Watch will make for Hardhome. I ride to Winterfell alone, unless..." Jon paused. "... is there any man here who will come stand with me?"

No one benefits from damaging the NW.

No one benefits from damaging the NW but that doesn't mean that Ramsay wouldn't. He's derided and chastised by his father for *not* thinking things through several times in ADWD.

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From the perspective of literary analysis, some of our best clues about Bowen Marsh come from incidents during his brief tenure as acting Lord Commander.

He led a mission to the Bridge of Skulls to combat the Weeper, leader of a nasty wildling splinter group who would blind members of the Night's Watch before killing them. Bowen's group defeats the Weeper although the wildling manages to survive. The Night's Watch forces suffer heavy casualties in the skirmish and Bowen is "healed" at the Shadow Tower and brought back to Castle Black by Denys Mallister.

The Weeper apparently derives his name from his watery eyes. I read this as "watery ice," and assume we are getting a hint about the weeping ( = melting) Wall. So Bowen Marsh "defeats" the Wall?

Blindness in the Night's Watch is associated with Maester Aemon. Many blind or one-eyed characters in ASOIAF seem to have a special ability to "see" things that others miss - perhaps similar to the "third eye" magic that is best demonstrated by Bran's interaction with the Three-eyed Crow. Is Bowen Marsh trying to prevent people from gaining the magical sight that accompanies blinding?

Or is his conflict with the Weeper a symbolic clash with Maester Aemon? I'm leaning toward this reading, to be honest. When Marsh heads off to the Bridge of Skulls, he appoints Ser Wynton Stout as castellan at Castle Black. The wiki says that Stout joined the Night's Watch eighty years earlier, and that his mental capacity has diminished. Marsh's rationale for selecting Stout is that he is the last knight left at Castle Black as the others accompanied the late Jeor Mormont on the Great Ranging. So Stout and Maester Aemon must have been of roughly the same generation, if not the same age. Maester Aemon was in charge of ravens. Ser Wynton falls into a "know nothing" category because of his age-induced loss of faculties. But I'm open to more information and/or differing interpretation. House Stout are bannermen of House Dustin of Barrowtown. There is a lot of imagery of barrows and tombs and crypts associated with House Dustin.

I can't say that I've put a lot of thought into it, but I get an inkling from the Weeper's last "kills" that they might symbolically represent Jon Snow. The blinded and killed men are Garth Greyfeather, Black Jack Bulwer, and Hairy Hal. More analysis is needed, but the deeper meanings of feather, grey, black and "hair / heir" could all be aspects of Jon Snow's Stark and Targ heredity. (I admit, I associate the "Garth" aspect with Garth Greenhands and that has not been strongly associated directly with Jon Snow, although it could be linked to his buddy, Gren, in my attempts to sort out the ASOIAF symbolism.)

I have long suspected that Mallisters are lords of the Underworld. The Shadow Tower may be a sort of Valhalla for the Night's Watch, where dead guys go after dying in battle. (E.g., Qhorin Halfhand seems like a dead guy to me, who returned to lead Jon Snow to the Milkwater and through the secret waterfall trail. No living man could have crossed those barriers, I'm thinking.) So Bowen Marsh being "healed" at the Shadow Tower and delivered back to Castle Black by Denys Mallister causes me to suspect that Marsh "died" and was reborn.

If this is correct, Marsh's attack on Jon Snow may be a way of "saving" Jon to ensure that he will be reborn at the Wall. For the watch. If Marsh died in battle, trying to defeat the Weeper, he knows that death is not the end of life but is a necessary path to rebirth.

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2 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

The Stewards would be idiots to trust Ramsay in anything.

Yeah, but the issue is they have lost faith in Jon.

2 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Lol the Watch know exactly what Ramsay Bolton has been doing and Jon knows what kind of man Ramsay is.  An angry bastard who's already been flaying people alive in the family tradition is not going to "hostilely search" CB. He's going to massacre everyone, put it to the torch, and leave it for a burnt out husk.

Ramay really let rip in that letter, didn't hold back in sharing his feelings. So - he really, really hates Jon. He's neutral about the NW.

2 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Ramsay got the dreadfort garrison to attack Stark loyalists in the middle of a civil war. I'm sure they'd have no qualms marching on the wall to retrieve his wife. The Freys are there too.

The Dreadfort garrison belong to Roose. The Freys always look out for themselves. Any scheme to attack the Wall has got to pass the sanity test, and it really doesn't.

2 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Attacking WF is a complete non-starter for me but who knows where the books lead. There are plenty of empty holdfasts and villages that can be used as bases for raiding and ambushing Ramsay. And again, these are wildlings who are used to far harsher winters than the north. 

The wildings would be good at raiding and ambushing, but could they stop an army? Stannis showed they can't win an open battle against a regular army, and obviously they'd be hopeless at attacking Winterfell - they haven't even got experience of castles.

If Jon had been talking like this, he might have kept the confidence of this brothers. He didn't even try.

2 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

No one benefits from damaging the NW but that doesn't mean that Ramsay wouldn't. He's derided and chastised by his father for *not* thinking things through several times in ADWD.

He might, but he's not on his own. (Can't believe there's been no father-son kinslaying in the Bolton family yet.)

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You can bandy back and forth forever over RULES and even OATHS, and some people will get very angry and post things being angry; and black-and-white.

GRRM probably never realised, never wanted his fandom, especially lately (since 2010) arrived fans to be so black-and-white, polarised. I'd think, GRRM, as an old hippie, would want everybody to see colours, get along, "peace, love, y'know the drill".

But the modern world is so POLARIZED (Totally unnecessarily, to my mind). No matter what is the thing, gardening, knitting, ASOIAF, it becomes a "purity spiral".  If you're not "pure" enough, you get "cancelled", in the name of free speech. Which is totally against free speech. Go figure...

We live in interesting times (that's a Chinese curse) with our "plague", GRRM is writing about it. It's not for nothing JonCon has greyscale.

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Jon's apology team conveniently forgot the reason why the Pink Letter was written in the first place.  Jon sent Mance to bring his sister to him.  Jon had no right to do that.  Jon was completely wrong to even contemplate such foolishness.  He is a lord commander of the watch and should never interfere.  He should have prayed for Arya and left it at that.  Arya is not worth the instability it would create at the wall.  

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21 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Good question.  The answer is no.  Not even Samwell could have talked Jon out of his plan to ride out and attack the Boltons.  Aemon would be saddened but he would support Bowen Marsh.  Samwell too would have no choice but to go along with the other men. 

Samwell would be crying a river while he joined Bowen Marsh in taking Jon out of power.  He was a friend of Jon but he knows the importance of keeping things stable at the wall.  Jon's feelings for Arya is irrelevant compared to their duties. 

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5 hours ago, Pontius Pilate said:

Jon's apology team conveniently forgot the reason why the Pink Letter was written in the first place. Jon sent Mance to bring his sister to him.  Jon had no right to do that.  Jon was completely wrong to even contemplate such foolishness.  He is a lord commander of the watch and should never interfere.  He should have prayed for Arya and left it at that.  Arya is not worth the instability it would create at the wall.  

It is you who have conveniently forgot the maxim "read before you comment/write"

I anticipated some BS like this and have already pre-replied (if there's a term like that)

23 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

To others, Mance wasn't pardoned. Only used as an expendable asset (the CIA does it everytime, no one is comlaining) in retrieving an innocent girl from a monster. Dog on a leash (the ruby) that didn't escape and did his master's bidding. So the master was right in putting faith. Good judgement in fact. As someone said earlier elsewhere, calling Jon trying to save the girl he thought was his sister from a monster as wrong is like the KG turning a blind eye to Aerys's wife-rapes in the name of duty. Nothing bad happened from Jon's actions. The Wall din't collapse. The world didn't end. The Others didn't breach. No Armaggedon, no apocalypse or Ragnarok.

Read before you come to a conclusion that someone forgot something

5 hours ago, Pontius Pilate said:

Samwell would be crying a river while he joined Bowen Marsh in taking Jon out of power. 

Wishful haters fiction

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@Pontius PilateI don't think Sam has the guts to stop Jon physically.  He would plead with Jon to stop the foolishness and remind him of his duties.  Aemon would do the same.  Their pleas will fall on deaf ears.  Bowen Marsh read Jon right.  The only way to prevent him from doing the unthinkable is to assassinate him.  Talking and reasoning with Jon would not work.  Jon was not in the proper state of mind to listen to reason. 

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