Jump to content

Heresy 242 Jon Stark


Recommended Posts

“Oh you think he’s dead do you?” was  of course GRRM’s response to a news reporter, shocked by Jon Snow’s apparent demise in ADwD, and since then of course we’ve pretty well discussed this one to death [so to speak]. I promised some fresh discussion of this for Heresy 243 of course and then lo and behold we find that there’s a proposed “sequel” in coloured lights.

That of course will be spinning off the late and unlamented mummers’ version rather than the unfinished books, but GRRM has admitted his imprimatur, so in discussing this we’re free to explore once again whether Jon Snow is or was dead in the book.

This needs to begin by looking closely at where we actually are. There is a crisis on the Wall which appears to culminate in a mutiny and sees the Lord Commander of the Watch [Jon] literally stabbed in the back by some of his men. This occurred in the middle of ADwD, but there was lots of other stuff going on and we know nothing of the aftermath.

So lets go back to first principles.

The stabbing, as described, appears fatal. It need not be insofar as we don’t really know how much armour he may be wearing, knives may miss vital organs by the narrowest margins and so son, but being realistic about it, its serious and probably deadly serious.

“Oh you think he’s dead, do you” can in fact be interpreted variously. At its simplest, he’s not dead. He’s only injured. If so there’s still a problem of course. Mance was badly injured by a shadowcat and his life despaired of. He was saved by a Woods Witch and the rest is history. This might serve as a precedent, but it takes time and takes Jon out of the story for months, yet events up north are moving quickly. There isn’t the time.

The other way of interpreting it brings in the magic. Jon Snow the man [or boy] is dead, but with the aid of some magic pixie dust he can be brought back to life and remain as a character, but as what…

Well in considering that, it needs some serious thought as to the purpose of Jon Snow

Once upon a time there was a very strident theory that he’s really the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, that he’s the true heir to the Iron Throne, that he’s actually Azor Ahai and that he’s going to save the world with Dragons and a magic sword.

In reality the world seems much more complicated and defining the real point of Jon Snow, the character in the book, will to a very large degree, establish HOW he’s coming back  

Myself, I’m looking to Ice and the old powers…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Mance was badly injured by a shadowcat and his life despaired of. He was saved by a Woods Witch and the rest is history. This might serve as a precedent

There is more precedent than just Mance for Jon being alive rather than dead:

Quote

Bran badly injured from a fall, saved with the help of direwolves and the The Eyed-Crow. (magic)

Dany, burned on Drogo's funeral pyre, lived through it by magic.  What sort of magic?  I'm not sure.

Tyrion, very badly injured during battle of Blackwater.  Nursed back to health.

Davos, should have drowned during battle of Blackwater, didn't.

Sandor, could be dead, or could be nursed back to health by the Elder Brother.  (GRRM is such a tease!)
 

We were left with a cliff-hanger and currently don't know if Jon is alive or dead.  He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold … Horse and Rory, who ran behind him, could have stopped the fourth knife.  All he felt was cold, well, the snow was described as falling heavily and the wind coming from the South which was piling it up against the Wall.  He felt the cold as he fell face first into the snow.

What I see is Jon is in for a recovery like the one for Bran, but with different helpers, if you will.  I don't see Jon as Azor Ahai, or him saving the world.  I think he is on the edge of something, and it's in the core of the NW vows.

Quote

 I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.

The shield that guards the realms of men, and Jon is trying to bring in the Free Folk under that shield.  Treating the Free Folk as men is a radical as it can get, and that's why Jon was stabbed.

Jon currently has many helpers at the Wall right now

Quote

Bran, watching through Mormont's raven

Rory and Horse with Jon when he left the Shieldhall and ran behind Jon to see who was screaming

Ghost, his direwolf

Val, a Woods Witch. 

Tormund, friend of wargs and Speaker to Gods

Borroq, a powerful warg, who called Jon brother

Mellisandre?  

Will Jon warg into Ghost and start a second life?  He may warg into Ghost, but as warg he is untrained.  The prologue of Dance starts with Varamyr being sent by his father to Haggon to be trained as warg.  Even Bran needed to be trained as warg, which started with Jojen and is continued with BR.  So at this point in time, I don't think Jon has that ability (2nd life) and that Borroq will be the one to train Jon to warg, which he can't do if Jon is dead.

What Jon needs to do as I see it, is to protect the realms of men, by learning the what the North and the NW has forgotten.  He needs to have his third eye opened and learn his purpose, like Bran.  And like Bran, he needs to go through the (near) death and rebirth cycle.  How that plays out remain to be seen.

Last word, I really don't have an opinion on whether RLJ is true or not, but if it is, I just don't think it will matter.  So, those are my thoughts.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have the very famous discussions by GRRM about how Gandalf coming back from the dead as if nothing happened.  From this, we can assume that anyone coming back from the dead in GRRM's books will have consequences and be changed in some way.  "If Gandalf could die, anybody could die".  BTW - I think this works in LOTR.  Gandalf is not a human protected only by plot-armor.  He an immortal from outside the world sent here with a specific job, his death is glimpse under the covers that highlights the possible deaths and long odds of the other characters going against Sauron.  GRRM doesn't write characters like that - everyone, CotF, dragons, wizards - everyone is mortal and basically human.

I know it is taboo to mention the shows, but GRRM talked a lot about Lady Stoneheart's role in the books as a result of her being cut.  "One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”  I can't find the exact quote, but believe he said something about her death process and return foreshadowing Jon's.

While I agree that Jon only being injured and returning by naturally means such as rest and chicken soup is literally possible based on what is written, this would be the most extremely anticlimactic resolution to a decade long cliffhanger in the history of fiction.  We have to assume Jon is dead, whether temporarily or permanently.

Not sure if there is any probability of it happening, but I still like the idea of an evil undead Jon leading the Others.   

The irony of Melisandre learning she masterminded the murder of Azor Ahai is too good to pass up.  This leads to a very interesting place if more is reveled about the prophecy and Jon being the only hope of saving the world, and that hope being lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

...While I agree that Jon only being injured and returning by naturally means such as rest and chicken soup is literally possible based on what is written, this would be the most extremely anticlimactic resolution to a decade long cliffhanger in the history of fiction.  We have to assume Jon is dead, whether temporarily or permanently.

Not sure if there is any probability of it happening, but I still like the idea of an evil undead Jon leading the Others.   

The irony of Melisandre learning she masterminded the murder of Azor Ahai is too good to pass up.  This leads to a very interesting place if more is revealed about the prophecy and Jon being the only hope of saving the world, and that hope being lost.

This, I think, is a pretty fundamental issue

As you say the chicken soup option is physically possible but not dramatically possible

Jon Snow is an important character in a pretty massive work of fiction. That means that his stabbing is important and that there is a literary reason for what happened, why and what happens next.

Why has GRRM chosen to have him assassinated at this point in the story and what does he intend to do with it?

Its not an end, but an opening, and to what ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally feel strong about Jon being dead and that 'the chicken soup option' wasn't an option, meaning hid death (after the assasination) is/was inevitable.

However, I do think  he will be ressurected. But at the same time, as someone pointed pointed out, George will probably not let him get away so easily. He will be different, yet similar. His own death will leave a toll on his personality and will traumatize him heavily.

I think we will lose him as a POV, to sorta not understand what's going on with him, but I don't imagine him taking a turn to the dark side. If he stops being a POV, I imagine we won't really get to know what's really in his mind for a very long time, and his story will move forward from Mel's POV (otherwise I don't see much reason for Mel being established as a POV. She revealed some interesting stuff about magic in general, but nothing more. Nothing really essential)

Altough he hadn't been trained in the art of skinchanging, it is pretty clear he'll be in Ghost for the time his body is dead. It is kind of strange thou, since you can't skinchange anymore once you leave your body for good. Which raises the question of how will he return. Well I don't know, but I guess somebody must live in his body once it is ressurected. As for Ghost, I also never had an answer on wether Jon taking over him would mean his death, but the same rules may apply for him as well. Once his body is free and alive, his consciousness can return.

I once brought up Coldhands as an example to better understand Jon's situation. I imagine Coldhands was a skinchanger, but he died. He may or may not have been resurrected by White Walker magic, but that later was forced out of his body, with the help of the COTF? Either way, I think he is the product of a skinchanger being resurrected and returning to his own body. But of course, ressurection as a possibility had been established a long ago, and even tho I think Jon's will be slightly different than anyone else's, the connections are there.

And if Jon is some sort of Azor Ahai or promised hero, Brynden and the COTF will definitely have a word about his death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Jon is still alive, and even if he is dead, I would bet money it's not permanent.  He has too much story left, including the payoff of his mysterious parentage.

If he's only injured, I expect he will be out for some time; probably not months, definitely weeks though.  This could have an effect in many areas: the fight against the Others; the integration of the wildlings into the North; and the alliance with Stannis.  Jon has been the driving force behind all of these. 

With him gone, preparations against the Others will be put on the back burner; there will probably be conflicts and fighting between the NW and the wildlings; and who knows what happens with Stannis's people.  And that's if his supporters carry the day.

There's also FArya, on her way to the Wall.  With Jon unconscious, she will likely be sent on to Braavos with the rest of her party.  Jon will still be unaware of his sister's true fate.

It would also simplify things for POV purposes.  Jon is currently the only major character in the North, so will probably need to cover most events there, especially after the Others invade, which could be at any moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Nevets said:

...It would also simplify things for POV purposes.  Jon is currently the only major character in the North, so will probably need to cover most events there, especially after the Others invade, which could be at any moment.

Strictly speaking this isn't true. There's also Bran, and there's potential there for interaction in the opening of Jon's third eye. I'd be wary of the Others invasion. It hasn't happened so far and I'd be inclined to wonder whether it will - in the conventional sense of an army or armies rolling south. While there's obviously going to be a conflict I'm inclined to see it as a more existential struggle in which the Starks and in particular Jon may have a a role to play far more fundamental than wielding a magic sword - and not necessarily against the Others

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also have the question of who brought Beric back and why.  Could it have been either Bloodraven or Bran?  We have the obvious clue that the old powers are involved, as someone tripped on a wierwood root.

Bloodraven is a Targaryen, so I think he brought Beric back with fire.  Bran is a Stark, so I think he will bring Jon back with ice.

Was there a passage cautioning Bran not to try to bring someone back from the dead?  I remember this, but can't find it.

As to the chicken soup option being physically possible but not dramatically possible, I believe this would have worked including 1 more Jon chapter Dance to resolve the cliffhanger before the end of the book.  Putting the same chapter at the start of Winds does not work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

We also have the question of who brought Beric back and why.  Could it have been either Bloodraven or Bran?  We have the obvious clue that the old powers are involved, as someone tripped on a wierwood root.

Bloodraven is a Targaryen, so I think he brought Beric back with fire.  Bran is a Stark, so I think he will bring Jon back with ice.

 

Bloodraven's father was Targaryen, but his mother, who brought him up, was a Blackwood

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

We also have the question of who brought Beric back and why.  Could it have been either Bloodraven or Bran?  ............................................

Was there a passage cautioning Bran not to try to bring someone back from the dead?  I remember this, but can't find it.

I would say not Bran, as he was still at WF and may still had been comatose at that time.  Beric and others had been tasked by Ned to find and kill Gregor Clegane, so Beric's revival happened early in the story.

As for Bran being told about not raising from the dead, Beric or Thoros, did tell Arya not everyone, like beheaded Ned who she was asking about, could be raised from the dead.

As for Bloodraven....:dunno:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, alienarea said:

GRRM has set expectations that Jon will be brought back from the dead by having Beric and Lady Stoneheart cheat death.

To subvert his own trope Jon should stay dead.

I'd hardly say they cheated death - Stoneheart especially.  There doesn't seem to be any of Catelyn left, beyond possibly what she was thinking in her final hours.  Beric is also changed dramatically, although you could probably say he is the same person, just sick and disoriented.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Bloodraven's father was Targaryen, but his mother, who brought him up, was a Blackwood

Does that matter?  If we go by maternal lines, his mother's father was a Blackwood, and his mother's mother was from a different house.  Targaryen blood is interesting since fire clearly played a role in the resurrection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, LongRider said:

I would say not Bran, as he was still at WF and may still had been comatose at that time.  Beric and others had been tasked by Ned to find and kill Gregor Clegane, so Beric's revival happened early in the story.

As for Bran being told about not raising from the dead, Beric or Thoros, did tell Arya not everyone, like beheaded Ned who she was asking about, could be raised from the dead.

As for Bloodraven....:dunno:

If Bran can change the past, we may see a Bran-POV in Winds raising Beric.  We saw a little of this with the dream with Jon seeing Bran as a wierwood.  It is possible that happened at the same time, or even that it wasn't real for Bran and Jon saw visions of the future - but the most likely explanation seems to be Bran after Dance sending Jon a message.

We also have BR's confusion at being referred to as the 3EC.  In Bran's dreams, the crow knows he's a crow, asking for corn several times.  The explanation that makes sense is that Bran himself is the crow - going so far as to intentionally cause his younger self to fall setting his events into motion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Brad Stark said:

Does that matter?  If we go by maternal lines, his mother's father was a Blackwood, and his mother's mother was from a different house.  Targaryen blood is interesting since fire clearly played a role in the resurrection.

I think it does. He himself says that she named him Brynder/Brandon [Bryn/Bran] at her breast andhe was brought up among the crows at Blackwood Hall

Welcome back to Heresy by the way :commie:

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...