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Jon's Coming Battle with Ramsay


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A few weeks ago, I read some very interesting and well thought out observations by user @chrisdaw on Jon's symbolic relationship with Ramsay, and these made me think that Ramsay could be considered Jon's Shadow. For those who are not aware, the Shadow in psychology is the repressed side of the Self, all of the ugly parts of yourself you reject and don't (want to) acknowledge.

As chrisdaw pointed out, Ramsay seemingly embodies everything Jon strives not to be, being a treacherous, murdering, thieving bastard who has actually usurped the rights of his trueborn sibling if Roose's story about Domeric is anything to go by, conforming to all the negative traits ascribed to bastards, etc. But on the inside Jon shows some similarities to Ramsay. Jon does desire Winterfell, his thoughts speak of how much he wants it. But though he doesn't acknowledge this in his waking moments, on a perhaps unconscious/subconscious level he wants Winterfell as Ramsay seeks the Dreadfort, as indicated by the dream where he kills Robb.

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The world dissolved into a red mist. Jon stabbed and slashed and cut. He hacked down Donal Noye and gutted Deaf Dick Follard. Qhorin Halfhand stumbled to his knees, trying in vain to staunch the flow of blood from his neck. "I am the Lord of Winterfell," Jon screamed. It was Robb before him now, his hair wet with melting snow. Longclaw took his head off. Then a gnarled hand seized Jon roughly by the shoulder. He whirled …

Deep down he would like to do exactly as Ramsay does, kill Robb so he can get Winterfell, as Ramsay has killed Domeric to get the Dreadfort. And in his dream, he does not fight with his usual style, but is hacking and slashing wildly and brutally...Just like the way Ramsay fights.

Also of note is that during the dream Jon is armoured in 'black ice', a hint that he is acting as his Shadow wishes.

The way in which Jon and Ramsay react to their bastardry is also important. Ramsay denies being a bastard, killing a man who calls him 'Lord Snow' and styling himself as the trueborn heir to the Dreadfort. Ramsay reacts externally and violently to suggestions of his bastardry. In comparison, Jon on the outside seems more unaffected by being called and treated as a bastard, but on the inside, it is something that affects him, he may feel insecure about it.

What will this relationship mean for Ramsay and Jon's likely confrontation? Going by some of the psychology things, Jon will have to acknowledge these repressed immoral desires in some way, so that he can integrate his Shadow in order to not be so controlled by it any longer. So, I would suspect that his physical fight with Ramsay would be accompanied by or lead to some sort of realisation, whereupon Jon will no longer feel insecure about his bastard status. Chrisdaw suggests that Jon would realise that he was nothing like Ramsay when he confronts him, so he wouldn't fear taking command anymore and would become a better leader. To quote chrisdaw:

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Jon will be hesitant/scared to take the North even though he should because he will be the best person in the best position to lead it, because it will be like embracing those disloyal desires and people will say he's a bastard grasping for what he's always jealously coveted and not entitled to.

When he confronts Ramsay it will become apparent that Ramsay is all those things and he's nothing like Ramsay, and that this refusal to embrace leadership is basically a childish (kill the child let the man be born stuff) hang up that he just has to get past for everyone's sake, what outsider's think be damned. I expect when he kills Ramsay it'll be like killing that childish portion of himself in a no looking back now sort of situation.

Another possibility is that Jon's insecurities over being a bastard disappear when he discovers he is no longer a bastard, if it is revealed to him that R+L=J and they were married. Similarly I think this would ease his hesitance to take charge, although it could also result in him having a new Shadow that he needs to overcome. However, depending on the timings Jon may fight Ramsay before the reveal, in which case I would think it would be close after that he learns of his true parentage. If defeating Ramsay means that Jon successfully integrates his shadow, then after the fight Jon should see significant growth as a person and perhaps as a character as well.

Following the Integration theme I think Jon's next meaningful encounter could possibly be with Arya. After the shadow, the next step is the Collective Unconscious, which I think Arya fits quite well. She is of many faces, like the Archetypes that are in the Collective Unconscious. The Collective Unconscious can also be represented by the Anima/Animus, the female aspect of the male personality/vice versa, as appearance wise Arya is notably similar to Jon.

There is, of course, the possibility that Jon's integration of the Shadow fails. Instead of him integrating the Shadow, the Shadow could integrate him. If so Jon could take a turn for the worse...

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2 minutes ago, sifth said:

I don't think it's going to happen. Roose and and Ramsey are Stannis to destroy. Jon will be too busy fighting for his life.

Well obviously it's all contingent on Ramsay and Jon fighting, I was just speculating on what I feel could be the result from a psychological point. I am inclined to think that Jon and Ramsay will fight because I don't think Stannis will last much longer and I feel it would be more satisfying for Jon to beat Ramsay. He has a more personal stake in that.

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1 hour ago, Craving Peaches said:

Well obviously it's all contingent on Ramsay and Jon fighting, I was just speculating on what I feel could be the result from a psychological point. I am inclined to think that Jon and Ramsay will fight because I don't think Stannis will last much longer and I feel it would be more satisfying for Jon to beat Ramsay. He has a more personal stake in that.

Yea, but it wouldn't fit GRRM's style. A villain is hardly ever killed in this series, by the person who is suppose to beat them. In fact, the villains are killed by other villains, more often than not.

Littlefinger kills Joffrey

The Mountain kills Vargo Hoat

Roose kills Amory Lorch

Varys kills Kevan and Pycelle

 

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Just now, sifth said:

Yea, but it wouldn't fight GRRM's style. A villain is hardly ever killed in this series, by the person who is suppose to beat them. In fact, the villains are killed by other villains, more often than not.

Littlefinger kills Joffrey

The Mountain kills Vargo Hoat

Roose kills Amory Lorch

Varys kills Kevan and Pycelle

I don't think that necessarily means that Jon can't kill Ramsay. Just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it won't happen. I think it would make more sense than anyone else killing him because there is nice symbolism and the conflict has been brewing for a while. If it's about subverting tropes, the trope has already been subverted. And I don't think the tropes are subverted just for the sake of it, though I could be wrong. I don't see why Jon can't fight Ramsay. It could even cause him to turn to villainy, in which case you would have another instance of a villain killing a villain again.

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I think it likely that Ramsay crowns himself king in the north only for Jon to usurp him.

But there's plenty of parallels with the bastards as is, except Ramsay's are always fucked up. Like Jon's a skinchanger and can relive in his wolf, this is very Bolton like. Bolton's themselves are kinda like shadows, thriving in the concept of a scary north while we just think of kind Eddards face

On a personal level they also steal wives and abruptly leave them to die. It was an accident for Jon and he feels terrible about how it all went down where as I doubt Ramsay thinks about it at all. But both pushed Snow into the game. (Unless you count Domeric, but that's just a story, probably not true). Then there's Arya. And his love for her. I mean, love? Its not even the real Arya. Definitely interesting parallels with the two.

But what's a Reek to a Jon?

 

Also how do you think Jon's and Aryas interaction will go down? What'll be the result of their meet up?

14 minutes ago, sifth said:

Yea, but it wouldn't fight GRRM's style. A villain is hardly ever killed in this series, by the person who is suppose to beat them

Why's Jon supposed to kill him? They don't even know each other. It should be Jeyne or Theon. I think Arya would be cool, but I agree it's probably Jon

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Just now, Hugorfonics said:

But what's a Reek to a Jon?

In the vein of the symbolism I would say that Ramsay made Theon repress his own identity, stripped him of his Self, in order to turn him into Reek. Theon's self becomes the repressed part due to Ramsay's actions, which would mean Theon is Reek's shadow. If I were to speculate further, and this is nothing certain, I would think that Ramsay was attempting to enforce the 'Reek' Archetype onto Theon and supplant his Self in order to recreate his lost first Reek. Reek is almost a complete inversion of Theon, meek and timid where he was confident, deferential where Theon was not, having white hair while Theon had dark hair. This is very speculation based but if Jon goes down the dark path it could be that he attempts a similar process but with trying to enforce Arya onto someone else instead, though this is really unlikely.

6 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

Also how do you think Jon's and Aryas interaction will go down? What'll be the result of their meet up?

I will think about this more because it is a very good question but for now I would say that, from my understanding, the Collective Unconscious may contain something like ancestral memories. Going by the symbolism again, Jon and Arya's meeting could be followed by (but not necessarily be the cause of) Jon learning his true heritage if he hasn't already at that point. 

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47 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I don't think that necessarily means that Jon can't kill Ramsay. Just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it won't happen. I think it would make more sense than anyone else killing him because there is nice symbolism and the conflict has been brewing for a while. If it's about subverting tropes, the trope has already been subverted. And I don't think the tropes are subverted just for the sake of it, though I could be wrong. I don't see why Jon can't fight Ramsay. It could even cause him to turn to villainy, in which case you would have another instance of a villain killing a villain again.

I mean we have Dany’s victory over the slavers in Astapor. Though she only spares the slavers under the age of 12; so it could be a villain set up. So I guess that one could go either way.

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19 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

In the vein of the symbolism I would say that Ramsay made Theon repress his own identity, stripped him of his Self, in order to turn him into Reek. Theon's self becomes the repressed part due to Ramsay's actions, which would mean Theon is Reek's shadow. If I were to speculate further, and this is nothing certain, I would think that Ramsay was attempting to enforce the 'Reek' Archetype onto Theon and supplant his Self in order to recreate his lost first Reek. Reek is almost a complete inversion of Theon, meek and timid where he was confident, deferential where Theon was not, having white hair while Theon had dark hair.

Word, definitely. Man laughed at jokes he made in his own head now doesn't smile, got with lots of girls now gets embarrassed in their pres, etc

22 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

This is very speculation based but if Jon goes down the dark path it could be that he attempts a similar process but with trying to enforce Arya onto someone else instead, though this is really unlikely.

I think it'd be cool if Jon had his own Reek but I don't think it'll be Arya or Jeyne as theyre their own symbolism. 

Maybe it'll be Theon or Ramsay, one of the former Reeks? Jon and Theons interactions would be interesting.

25 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I will think about this more because it is a very good question but for now I would say that, from my understanding, the Collective Unconscious may contain something like ancestral memories. Going by the symbolism again, Jon and Arya's meeting could be followed by (but not necessarily be the cause of) Jon learning his true heritage if he hasn't already at that point. 

Damn that's a scary answer. Lol. I'm kinda scared that Aryas nissa nissa for either her mother but more likely her halfbrother. Ancestral memories may be azor ahai like

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Just now, Hugorfonics said:

Ancestral memories may be azor ahai like

To be more specific, according to Jung who came up with the concept, the Collective Unconscious contains instincts and the Archetypes, from my understanding it is inherited recognition of sorts of specific things like the Mother, the Father, the Trickster etc. So Jon meeting Arya could be important to him recognising Azor Ahai, Nissa Nissa and what role he has to play.

I am probably not doing a very good job of explaining the Collective Unconscious, so you might want to look it up to get a better idea. 

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20 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

 I am inclined to think that Jon and Ramsay will fight because I don't think Stannis will last much longer and I feel it would be more satisfying for Jon to beat Ramsay. He has a more personal stake in that.

 

Stannis will last long enough to get re-united with Shireen and for the Others to put him into a hopeless enough  situation that he'd sacrifice her. He is set to win the Battle of Ice and take Winterfell by subtrefuge.

Beyond that, Ramsey isn't a particularly interesting villain in the books, despite his cruelty, Roose is superior to him in every way. I kinda expect either Nymeria's pack to move north and do for him, or for Bran to somehow remotely skinchange his dogs ditto. Though maybe Roose will finally decide to get rid of him too, as with "Arya" gone, he is just a liability. Frankly, even with her around he was already harming Roose's situation more than helping it.

What I don't expect is some great rivalry like in the show or gathering of yet another army  by Jon or yet another battle, etc.  I think that attack on Jon is in part supposed to narratively stop him from running off to chase after Ramsey.

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22 hours ago, Maia said:

Stannis will last long enough to get re-united with Shireen and for the Others to put him into a hopeless enough  situation that he'd sacrifice her. He is set to win the Battle of Ice and take Winterfell by subtrefuge.

I just feel like it would be more compelling if Jon were to fight Ramsay rather than Stannis. To Stannis, Ramsay is just another opponent, just another obstacle on the path to the throne. Meanwhile, the conflict for Jon  is personal, and I like the symbolism of Jon defeating Ramsay.

22 hours ago, Maia said:

Beyond that, Ramsey isn't a particularly interesting villain in the books, despite his cruelty, Roose is superior to him in every way.

I agree that Roose is more interesting overall, but I find the contrast between Jon and Ramsay very interesting which is why I think he should fight him rather than Stannis.

22 hours ago, Maia said:

What I don't expect is some great rivalry like in the show or gathering of yet another army  by Jon or yet another battle, etc.  I think that attack on Jon is in part supposed to narratively stop him from running off to chase after Ramsey.

If Jon when recovered chooses to go after Ramsay, I don't think he'd need to gather a new army as most of the people going to support him the first time round would still be there...unless something rather drastic happens while Jon is not there. But given how outnumbered the conspirators would be I'm not sure how likely this is. But you could be right. I always thought the main purpose of the attack was so that Jon would learn the hard way that people don't all share his view and also to trigger some sort of change in Jon's character.

I think a scenario where Stannis wins but Ramsay escapes and then Jon has to fight him later could be a possible compromise.

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On 9/8/2022 at 1:23 AM, Craving Peaches said:

Jon would realise that he was nothing like Ramsay when he confronts him, so he wouldn't fear taking command anymore and would become a better leader.

I think Jon's problem with command is the responsibility. Not Ramsay. Some want to lead, but don't care for the responsibility of their errors. Jon is different.

I believe Stannis will get rid of Roose (rather Ramsay will do it for him). But Ramsay will escape and could still be a nuisance long in ADOS.

I don't think Jon will kill him. It should be Theon. Or maybe Aria with her fake's face. Sometimes villains are killed by the one they hurt the more. Like Tywin and Tyrion. Most villains are yet to die. One could say Ramsay is the monster he is because Roose didn't care for him.

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On 9/11/2022 at 8:09 PM, BalerionTheCat said:

I think Jon's problem with command is the responsibility. Not Ramsay.

I think Ramsay embodies (some of) the fears which make Jon hesitant to take command. Fears such as being an overreaching, grasping bastard who is unfit to lead because of it, who is untrustworthy and will fail everyone and so on. So when Jon overcomes Ramsay, he will overcome these fears and grow into a true leader. It's not that Jon fears Ramsay, more that Ramsay is a reflection of Jon's hidden fears about himself and what he might be, which are holding him back. When he outgrows these fears he will not be so hesitant in accepting the responsibility of command.

On 9/11/2022 at 8:09 PM, BalerionTheCat said:

One could say Ramsay is the monster he is because Roose didn't care for him.

I think Ramsay's mother was probably the worst influence on him. I always got the sense that she was the one who hammered into him that he was a true Bolton, the Dreadfort was his etc. I think she was most likely involved in (and possibly the mastermind behind) the Domeric poisoning plot.

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18 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I think Ramsay's mother was probably the worst influence on him. I always got the sense that she was the one who hammered into him that he was a true Bolton, the Dreadfort was his etc. I think she was most likely involved in (and possibly the mastermind behind) the Domeric poisoning plot.

Well, Roose raped her and killed her husband. You could expect she wanted revenge. He blames her and Reek. But someway, it's still Roose's neglect.

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On 9/17/2022 at 6:34 PM, BalerionTheCat said:

But someway, it's still Roose's neglect.

Obviously if Roose bothered to raise Ramsay things probably would have been better, at the very least I would expect Ramsay to have been more discreet and disciplined with his killings. Could Ramsay end up killing Roose?

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On 9/22/2022 at 10:31 PM, Craving Peaches said:

Could Ramsay end up killing Roose?

I think so. Even in the best case scenario. Roose is not Ned. He would not teach the same values. In no way he seems to disapprove Ramsay murderous attitude. Even against himself or his children to come.
 

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Issues of bastardry will be far in the back of Jon's minds.  He will be raised as a wight by the white walkers.  He will keep his free will because his consciousness will be in Ghost or some other animal nearby.  I just hope it's not Craster's son whose body Jon steals.  The poor little fellow is too young to resist a skinchanger.  

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7 hours ago, Rondo said:

He will be raised as a wight by the white walkers

How will this happen when they can't raise people south of the wall?

7 hours ago, Rondo said:

He will keep his free will

If Jon keeps his free will why on earth would he serve the wight walkers?

7 hours ago, Rondo said:

consciousness will be in Ghost or some other animal nearby.  I just hope it's not Craster's son whose body Jon steals.

If Jon dies, his mind will likely reside in Ghost. Jon doesn't share a bond with any other animal like his one with Ghost and he barely knows anything about his skinchanging abilities. And if Jon suddenly developed enough expertise to decide where to go, why would he pick Craster's son? Jon isn't cruel, and on a practical level why would he chose to inhabit the body of a baby?

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