Jump to content

Was Jon wrong to kill Janos Slynt?


Odej
 Share

Recommended Posts

Reading some posts about Jon Snow's attitudes as Lord Commander I realized that many people don't agree with Jon killing Janos Slynt and that made me curious. I always thought Jon's attitude was correct. Janos disrespected and disobeyed him publicly, letting his behavior go unpunished would make Jon weak in front of his subordinates. In an environment like the Wall, how to respect a leader whom an underling can curse and disobey him without serious consequences? Especially considering how many men who serve on the Wall were thieves, rapists and murderers.

 What do you guys think of Jon's decision?

Edited by Odej
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jon had every right to punish Janos. I doubt any other military leaders in Westeros (including Slynt as Commander of the Gold Cloaks) would have acted very differently after all the man had done to challenge his commander's authority, and it was Jon's duty to assert this authority in the interest of the whole organization. Slynt was not a green boy playing a stupid prank. As a seasoned soldier, he knew from experience what was expected in a military organization, and he knew very well what he was doing when he disobeyed. Furthermore, this was not just any military organization, this was the Night's Watch, where Slynt had been sent as punishment. In Westeros, the Wall is your last chance to avoid capital (or some other horrible) punishment, and as Benjen said: "On the Wall, a man gets only what he earns." Your crimes are forgotten when you take the black, but you also need to accept your position as a black brother on the Wall. If you don't accept it, you choose the other kind of punishment. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a bit like Robb beheading Rickard Karstark. If a rightful order is disobeyed and goes unpunished (as sort of happened when Catelyn freed Jaime, although she's essentially on house arrest right after) people no longer have any reason to heed your authority. Granted, in this case Jon perhaps could have thrown Janos Slynt in an ice cell instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Janos disobeyed an express order from the Lord Commander of the NW that put him in no significant danger (rebuild and garrison a castle). A chilly, hard job to be sure, but such is life at the Wall. Dispute Jon's sanity, or what he did afterwards, but he was the LCotNW and Castle Black is his. 

Also, like @Julia H. said above, do you think that if someone did the same to Janos in the Gold Cloaks that that person would've kept his head? Hell, no. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To top it all off, Jon gave Slynt A SECOND CHANCE. He refused his lawful order, not once, but twice. That was stupid beyond belief on Slynt's part. At that point, Jon had to either have his head off or prepare for a larger mutiny. If Jon had simply struck his head off the first time, he might have been said to be wrong. But it was the second, and more public, refusal by Janos that cost him his head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Odej said:

Reading some posts about Jon Snow's attitudes as Lord Commander I realized that many people don't agree with Jon killing Janos Slynt and that made me curious. I always thought Jon's attitude was correct. Janos disrespected and disobeyed him publicly, letting his behavior go unpunished would make Jon weak in front of his subordinates. In an environment like the Wall, how to respect a leader whom an underling can curse and disobey him without serious consequences? Especially considering how many men who serve on the Wall were thieves, rapists and murderers.

 What do you guys think of Jon's decision?

No.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Granted, in this case Jon perhaps could have thrown Janos Slynt in an ice cell instead.

If Jon had punished Slynt but let him live, the man would have been resentful as well as disloyal. He'd have become an even bigger problem for Jon, and possibly a danger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Odej said:

Reading some posts about Jon Snow's attitudes as Lord Commander I realized that many people don't agree with Jon killing Janos Slynt and that made me curious.

Jon has certainly made some rash decisions as LC. But beheading Slynt wasn't one of them. It was the only right option, a no brainer really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a better alternative?

Jon actually weighs his options for a reader to see.

"As you will." Jon nodded to Iron Emmett. "Please take Lord Janos to the Wall—"

—and confine him to an ice cell, he might have said. A day or ten cramped up inside the ice would leave him shivering and feverish and begging for release, Jon did not doubt. And the moment he is out, he and Thorne will begin to plot again.

—and tie him to his horse, he might have said. If Slynt did not wish to go to Greyguard as its commander, he could go as its cook. It will only be a matter of time until he deserts, then. And how many others will he take with him?

"—and hang him," Jon finished.

I don't think this line of reasoning really conforms to the ideal of justice... it should be blind, and people should not be punished for what they might do in the future. The primary function of the NW, however, is not to act as a court of law, or as a penal colony... it is a military organisation, and its raison d'être is not to mete out justice, but to protect the realms of men. If it were otherwise, then how could anyone be forgiven for their crimes even if they wished to take the black?

Jon thinks Slynt would undermine this mission, at the time in which the Watch is already understrength and recently suffered heavy casualties at the hands of a supernatural enemy not seen in several millenia. If Slynt's behavior truly warrants a death penalty, then I think there's a reason to choose execution over some other form of punishment.

Edited by Ivan Tsarevich
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...