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Jon Snow is likely to go insane


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On 5/7/2023 at 10:45 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

"gods don't mate with beast"  according to George Martin.

According to George Martin?  You mean according to Viserys Targaryen... whose ludicrous words were written by George Martin?  The viewpoints of George's characters are not his own.

Targaryens aren't gods.  Some of them think they are, but they are narcissistic deplorables with delusions of grandeur.  Do you really think that ASOIAF is racial supremist propaganda?  Shame on me for reading it if that was the case, but fortunately, it is not.

Calling themselves gods is deplorable enough, referring to the commonfolk as "beasts" adds to their deplorability.  And I'm not talking about all Targaryens... just the ones spouting this non-sense.

On 5/7/2023 at 10:45 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

This creates a dilemma for those who believe R + L = J because it means Jon has a high chance of going insane.

R + L = J, and not because I want to believe it.  Jon is my favorite character, so why would I want him to be a Targaryen?  Fortunately blood is not everything, and he has not demonstrated any signs of madness.  I'd be more worried about the Targaryen who is currently embracing "fire and blood" (destruction and murder) while talking to blades of grass.

On 5/7/2023 at 10:45 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Rhaegar, a god mated with a human.  The incompatibility produced a child in danger of losing his mind. 

Rhaegar is not a god.  Again, ASOIAF is not racial supremacist propaganda... though it is a story about the danger of mortal racial supremacists thinking they are gods.

But let's say you are right.  Just because Rhaegar (and Dany)'s parents were brother and sister (disgusting) and their parents before that were too (double disgusting), their parents were not siblings.  The "god" already mated with "a beast".  So all Targaryens henceforth (including Dany) are already incompatible "god/beast hybrids in danger of losing their minds".  And that's assuming that Aegon V was the first Targaryen to marry a non-Targaryen... which of course is not the case.

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On 4/30/2023 at 9:53 PM, Kierria said:

Genetic incompatibility when the female parent is not a Targaryen is very likely a cause of the madness.  The prophecy stipulated that the Promised Targaryen had to come from a couple of generations of Targaryen + Targaryen parentage.  I now suspect this was to reduce the chances of madness.  The Dragonlords never intended to mate with lower status people and would not have this issue of incompatibility.  Illegitimate children with servants were easily sent away and were never heard from. 

Valyrians before the doom were having children with other Valyrians.  Yeah so the most likely cause in Westeros was because they were having children with Non-Valyrians.  The DNA may differ enough to cause problems. 

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Posted (edited)

If you want to play this game, at least do it right, and do it 'mad Queen Dany' style. :D

Jon Snow has, from the very beginning of ASOIAF, been a fan favorite. He is a lovable underdog, a bit of a rebel with a strong sense of justice and a distinct moral compass. While his show version left something to be desired at times, Book!Jon is a man with character, a shrewd negotiator and a man with wit and cunning. But he isn’t perfect. He can be arrogant, all too self-assured, and occasionally impulsive. And as of the end of A Dance With Dragons, Jon Snow is also dead. We’re not sure how dead exactly, since merging one’s spirit with one’s familiar is entirely possible in the ASOIAF universe, but as far as we know, he is very much dead. So what will Jon Snow look like, when he comes back? Will he still be the lovable underdog? Or will his traumatic experience turn him into something much more sinister? So sinister, in fact, that we might question where his storyline is headed, and whether it’s going anywhere good. In this meta, I’d like to argue that Jon Snow’s story is meant to be one of tragedy.

The Bastard and the Oathbreaker

Jon Snow is a bastard. It’s one of the defining aspects of his identity, partly because he does experience the disadvantages of bastardy as he grows up, but also because he makes it so himself. He never quite feels like he belongs to the Stark family, even though Ned Stark took him in and raised him as one of his own sons, which was quite extraordinary for a bastard given the time and age (even an acknowledged one). Rather than appreciate his privilege, however, Jock Smalls wants more. He wants nothing more than to be acknowledged as A True Stark.

“Let them say that Eddard Stark had fathered four sons, not three.”

Jon IX, AGOT

Since that doesn’t seem to be in the books as long as Lady Stark is in the picture (an extremely simplistic conception of Catelyn, who by all definitions was a goodhearted woman, and a far more interesting character than Jace will ever be), Jon Snow’s ambitions need another outlet: a bastard can rise high in the Night’s Watch, he has heard, and so he wants to join. Would he still have joined if he had known that “glory” was not to be found in the Night’s Watch, though he would defend the realms of men all the same? I find it doubtful.

Interestingly, Jon’s “Snow” and “Stark” sides seem to be constantly at war with one another. He breaks his oath not once, but twice, because of his urge to be considered a real “Stark”, yet when it becomes an inconvenience, he claims his bastardy easily.

The very first time Jason’s vows are challenged, he breaks his oath and he runs away. When Robb starts a war against the Lannisters, Jerry fully intends to leave and join his brother as both a bastard and an oathbreaker (assuming that Robb will simply pardon him, thereby putting Robb in an extremely difficult position). It is only because of his Night’s Watch brothers that he is stopped from doing so.

When he finds out that Arya (for all he knows) is to be wed to Ramsay Bolton, however, saving her seems rather more trouble than it’s worth, and he claims both his Night’s Watch vows…

“His thoughts kept returning to Arya. There is no way I can help her. I put all kin aside when I said my words. If one of my men told me his sister was in peril, I would tell him that was no concern of his. Once a man had said the words his blood was black. Black as a bastard’s heart.”

… and his bastardy, when Melisandre claims she has seen Arya’s coming in the fire:

“What is her name, this little sister that you do not have?” “Arya.” His voice was hoarse. “My half-sister, truly…” “for you are bastard born. I had not forgotten.”

Jon VI, ADWD

So Jonathon feels quite comfortable breaking his oath in order to “avenge” his forever dead father, but feels no compulsion to do so when his very much alive “sister” is suffering at the hands of an actual monster? That checks out.

Even in his office as Lord Commander, Jim Frost can’t keep his nose straight. Though he shouts high and low that “The Night’s Watch takes no part”, he can’t help but meddle a little here and there when it’s convenient for him. When Alys Karstark comes to the Wall for his aid, and her kinsman Cregan comes after her, he welcomes Alys with open arms but throws Cregan in an ice cell under truly inhuman conditions:

“Karstark,” said Jon Snow. “Wake up.” The furs stirred. Some had frozen together, and the frost that covered them glittered when they moved. An arm emerged, then a face–brown hair, tangled and matted and streaked with grey, two clumps of frozen snot.

When Cregan challenges Jon to kill him, Lord Jim refuses, and conveniently denies that he is a Stark even though his growing up as one is exactly why he is helping Alys to begin with:

“If you mean to kill me, do it and be damned for a kinslayer. Stark and Karstark are one blood.” “My name is Snow.” “Bastard.” “Guilty. Of that, at least.”

Jon X, ADWD

Finally, right before he dies, Jameson is challenged by Ramsay Bolton by means of a letter, and he decides to promptly abandon his rescue mission to Hardhome and turns his attention to Winterfell instead. He has to answer, he claims. Unlike on the show, Jumbo has no sibling in peril to encourage him to do this (in fact, from the letter can be surmised that faux-Arya is no longer with Ramsay, therefore there is no particular reason why Jackson should feel obliged to go). He receives the letter before he dies (after which his leaving the Night’s Watch was conveniently not considered oathbreaking anymore), so choosing to meet Ramsay’s challenge effectively involves meddling in things he has no business in. He decides to go because he was provoked. Not for honorable reasons, not in order to save others, but to once again prove himself as the son of Eddard Stark. 

The Myth of the Selfless Man

One of the things Jon Snow is often praised for, and invites comparisons with his long-lost aunt, is his letting the free folk through the Wall. It is argued that Jon cares about the free folk and he doesn’t want to let them die, therefore he lets them through. What is less often considered is that Jon helping the free folk was also simply a pragmatic decision. While Daenerys had nothing to gain from freeing the slaves in Yunkai and Meereen, Jeffrey knew that if he didn’t let the free folk past the Wall, they’d come for the Night’s Watch in a much more terrifying form. Or, as Julius himself tells the men of the Night’s Watch when they–very reasonably–voice their objections to letting the free folk through the Wall:

“Are you so blind, or is it that you do not wish to see? What do you think will happen when all these enemies are dead? (…) Let me tell you what will happen,” Jon said. “The dead will rise again, in their hundreds and their thousands. They will rise as wights, with black hands and pale blue eyes, and they will come for us.”

Jon VIII, ADWD

Daenerys frees the slaves without any conditions, and goes out of her way to feed them even though they are free, and she is advised multiple times to just leave them. Jon offers the free folk food, but only in exchange for their fighting skills. If they man the castles on the Wall, he can feed them; all those he has no use for he leaves to their own devices. 

“You want more food?” asked Jon. “The food’s for fighters. Help us hold the Wall, and you’ll eat as well as any crow.” (…)

And old woman with a turnip cradled against her chest said, “You kill us, you starve us, now you want t’ make us slaves.”

Or, as Jesse himself says:

“The choice is yours,” Jon Snow told them. “Those who want to help us hold the Wall, return to Castle Black with me and I’ll see you armed and fed. The rest of you, get your turnips and your onions and crawl back inside your holes.”

Jon V, ADWD

Daenerys, in the mean time, takes care to feed all of her freedmen, not only her Unsullied. When comparing the two, Jon comes out looking much less magnanimous than his long-lost aunt.

In fact, the one time Judd spares some thought to the existence of slaves, he considers how he might exploit them:

Glass, Jon mused, might be of use here. Castle Black needs its own glass gardens, like the ones at Winterfell. We could grow vegetables even in the deep of winter. The best glass came from Myr, but a good clear pane was worth its weight in spice, and green and yellow glass would not work as well. What we need is gold. With enough coin, we could buy ’prentice glassblowers and glaziers in Myr, bring them north, offer them their freedom for teaching their art to some of our recruits. That would be the way to go about it.

Jon VII, ADWD

Once again, Jon Snow’s aid is not unconditional: whereas his much reviled aunt does not offer the Unsullied their freedom in exchange for them fighting for her, Jon Snow would only consider freeing these foreign slave glassblowers in exchange for teaching their art to the white men of the Night’s Watch. Not only, then, would he actively participate in the slave trade by buying these slaves in this kind of scheme (I wonder what Ned Stark would think of that), he would also be profiting from it by using their freedom as a bargaining chip rather than as a fundamental right. Moreover, his bringing these slaves to a cold and foreign country where they might not even speak the language, use them to teach the superior white men of the Night’s Watch their skills, only to magnanimously “set them free” once they’re no longer useful to him, leaving them alone in a foreign country with no way of surviving winter (unless, most likely, they swear to fight for him)? Not a great look, there, Jonno. The “freedom” he thinks to offer them is, as such, not really freedom at all.

Playing with Fire (and Blood)

1. Some resurrection required

So much for Jimmy’s past. As per the current state of affairs in the book series, however, Jon Snow is dead. But we all know that he isn’t going to stay that way. Jon’s resurrection was all too carefully set up for that. So the question at this point is not whether Jim Snowflake will be brought back, but how. At the point of Jake’s death, Melisandre is right there but has more urgent matters on her mind, namely saving her promised prince Stannis, who, by the word of a dubious letter, is thought to be dead. Being the devout follower that she is, she will no doubt be looking for ways to bring him back. What we also know is that we still have the burning of Shireen Baratheon in store in the books. The most logical conclusion, then, is this: Melisandre will burn Shireen to bring Stannis back, but instead the magic released by that sacrifice will resurrect our great Lord Jon, rather than Stannis. Such a sacrifice is quite reminiscent of what Mirri Maz Duur did with Drogo in AGOT, in fact: Melisandre, too, knows of blood magic, we’ve already see her perform it with no compunction, and surely for such a dire circumstance drastic measures would be required? Out of the two ‘types’ of resurrection we’ve seen in ASOIAF so far, then, it seems more likely that, rather than a Beric Dondarrion Lord of Light resurrection, which seemed to come mostly free of charge for others (though it left Beric quite changed), we’ll have an “only death can pay for life” kind of resurrection requiring a human sacrifice, such as we know Drogo underwent. Of course, that didn’t turn out too well for Drogo, since it restored his body, but not his spirit. How lucky, then, that Jon has such a loyal familiar who is willing to make some space for him in his mind while his body is pending revival. When Jon’s body is restored, his spirit should then be, theoretically at least, quite intact, and ready to reenter his body.

The consequence of all this, if my theory is correct, is that Jon will be resurrected by the grace of an innocent girl who was burned alive so he (even accidentally) might live. Added to the trauma of getting murdered all in itself, I cannot imagine that will do wonders for his mental stability.

2. R + L = J

Though I’m not sure how the reveal will happen in the books, at some point it will happen, and I’m betting it will shake Jimmy up quite a bit. Whether or not this means that he merely has different parents, or that he actually is no longer a bastard, it is doubtful that it will fundamentally change his character: his drive to prove himself, which was so long informed by his bastardy, will not simply go away even if he does turn out to be legitimate.

Enter fAegon. Here is the man who not only is most likely the real impostor, but he is the one who will make the story of JJ’s parentage even more unlikely. So what will Jon do with this information, in his drive to prove himself? Once it becomes clear that fAegon will not treat with Jon and Daenerys, and more extreme measures might be necessary, I don’t doubt that Jumbo will be highly tempted to climb on a dragon and set a fire or two. After all, who could possibly doubt his parentage if he proves himself an honest to god Dragon Rider?

His choice for Fire and Blood was even foreshadowed earlier in the series, when Jeremy’s thoughts are unwittingly drawn to one of his ancestors, and how much he would like to emulate his example:

“When Jon had been a boy at Winterfell, his hero had been the Young Dragon, the boy king who had conquered Dorne at the age of fourteen. Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror.”

Jon VII, ADWD

Aside from the intriguing irony of Jon mirroring himself to the Targaryen who conquered Dorne, the kingdom which suffered the heaviest losses from Rhaegar’s infidelity (from which Jon is the product), him fashioning himself a conquerer because of his bastard birth is highly revealing. Jon is not interested in helping people: he is in it for honor and glory. And once Jon gets ahold of a dragon, who knows what he might be capable of? The tragic irony of his story will be that, while finding out that he is (possibly) not a bastard after all, he becomes everything a bastard is generally thought to be: selfish, ambitious, greedy, and violent.

3. Jon vs. Jaime

While much has been said about Cersei and Daenerys being foils for each other, the obvious male half of that equation has not been often discussed yet. Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister, however, have more in common than meets the eye. They both join a military order from a very young age, be it for very different reasons: Jon believes the Night’s Watch is one of the few places where he, as a bastard, can achieve an honorable purpose in life, while Jaime, though he clearly has his idols in the then King’s Guard, mostly joins so he can spite his father and continue his incestuous relationship with his sister.

Both have broken their sacred oaths. Aside from being not quite as celibate as their vows would have them be, they also, quite literally, do the opposite of what their job description tells them. Jaime the King’s Guard murders his king. Jon, at the first challenge he meets, runs away from the Night’s Watch, and is only saved by the virtue of his brothers. He fails his own rule about the Night’s Watch taking no part, and one might argue that he is not being very effective at being the “shield which guards the realms of men” either, since he allows the Wildlings through the Wall–a highly risky endeavor–and he actively aids Stannis in his quest to conquer the North, thereby participating in this Game of Thrones which will only further destabilize the country until the Others find their way past the Wall.

Once again, though, Jon and Jaime’s reasons for becoming oathbreakers are quite different. Jaime kills Aerys to save the population of King’s Landing, which most would consider quite a noble sacrifice. Jon, on the other hand, breaks his vows for entirely selfish reasons. He wants to stand by his brother because he wants to be acknowledged as a true Stark. When Stannis offers to legitimize him, he hesitates quite some time before he is then, conveniently, voted in as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and the decision is taken off his hands. And yet, even as Lord Commander, when Jon is challenged by Ramsay Bolton by means of a letter, for some reason he “has to answer.” Not only that, but he reads the letter aloud to a room full of freefolk who are not sworn to the Night’s Watch, and are therefore free to follow him (and their response to the letter seems to make Jon quite hopeful), thereby leading them into a conflict which they have no part in, possibly leading them into a slaughter which is exactly what the free folk wanted to avoid, instead making them a tool in his own little game of thrones.

The key differences between Jordan and Jaime, then, are key in Martin’s clever foreshadowing of Jon’s downfall. Jon is born a bastard, while Jaime is born as the rightful heir of Casterly Rock (in contrast, Joff only dreams of being the Lord of Winterfell). And while Jaime resents his birthright, and really wants nothing to do with it, Jon, as a bastard, wishes nothing better than to be acknowledged as a true son of Eddard Stark. His bastard status bothers him, and it has guided his decision making in many crucial moments.

Jaime’s journey is one from selfishness to honor. Jory’s journey starts out with honor, but will it end up there? Jaime proves himself to be a genuinely kind and selfless man who sacrifices his own safety and comfort multiple times for a woman whom, by all definition, he should have no interest or investment in. Jon, in the mean time, has plenty of reasons to be invested in Daenerys. When she lands in Westeros, she’ll come with an army that is literally Jon’s only hope of defeating the White Walkers. His love for her will not be a selfless one, and even if it won’t end up quite as it did on the show (I do believe that will be Jaime and Cersei), chances are great he would lose interest the moment she has served his purpose in the war, i.e. defeat the Army of the Dead and get rid of Cersei and/or fAegon. 

King’s Landing

So what is going to happen, when the battle for King’s Landing is ready to be fought? First of all, let’s discuss Jon’s relationship to dragons. He has dragonblood, to be sure, but dragonblood does not a dragon rider make, and as Daenerys has proven, a distressed dragon can be quite unwieldy, especially for an inexperienced rider. Between the “three heads of the dragon”, such as they have been defined by fandom (Dany, Jon, and Tyrion), Jeeves doesn’t have half the practical skill riding the dragons as Daenerys will have, nor any of the theoretical knowledge that Tyrion has. When Daenerys fled the fighting pit on Drogon’s back, many were killed or injured trying to attack the dragon. 

So what will happen in King’s Landing, with Jon impulsively flying into battle, ballistas aimed at him, and barrels full of wildfire hiding beneath the city just waiting to be lit up? What will happen when Jon either, being inexperienced as he is, fails to control his dragon adequately, or simply lets his anger guide him and tells his mount to light up the city? 

Johnson’s lust for fire has even been foreshadowed in the very first book, when he fights his first wight:

“Spinning, Jon saw the drapes he’d ripped from the window. He flung the lamp into the puddled cloth with both hands. Metal crunched, glass shattered, oil spewed, and the hangings went up in a great woosh of flame. The heat of it on his face was sweeter than any kiss Jon had ever known. (…) Jon plunged his hands into the flames, grabbed a fistful of the burning drapes, and whipped them at the dead man. Let it burn, he prayed as the cloth smothered the corpse, gods, please, please, let it burn.

Jon VII, AGOT

Jon Snow as a living man was dangerous, selfish, and impulsive enough. What will happen to him when you add a little PTSD from getting murdered, an identity crisis, a powderkeg capital, and a dragon right at his command? While Rhaegar was generally considered a good-hearted man (though he had his own delusions, and him leaving his wife to impregnate a teenaged girl is highly dubious), Jett’s grandfather was the mad king himself, and Aerys–who only started going ‘mad’ after his trauma–never had to suffer an assassination and subsequent resurrection. It would not only be fitting, then, but also a rather clever inversion of traditional tropes, for this stereotypical hero figure, this hidden prince, to go dark after he finds out he is the promised prince from the stories. 

Jonathan Snowflake is a truly violent and impulsive man. We see his violent temper in different occasions:

And then he heard the laughter, sharp and cruel as a whip, and the voice of Ser Alliser Thorne. “Not only a bastard, but a traitor’s bastard,” he was telling the men around him.

In the blink of an eye, Jon had vaulted onto the table, dagger in his hand. Pyp made a grab for him, but he wrenched his leg away, and then he was sprinting down the table and kicking the bowl from Ser Alliser’s hand. Stew went flying everywhere, spattering the brothers. Thorne recoiled. People were shouting, but Jon Snow did not hear them. He lunged at Ser Alliser’s face with the dagger, slashing at those cold onyx eyes, but Sam threw himself between them and before Jon could get around him, Pyp was on his back clinging like a monkey, and Grenn was grabbing his arm while Toad wrenched the knife from his fingers. - Jon VII AGOT

Jon yanked away and grabbed the knight by the throat with such ferocity that he lifted him off the floor. He would have throttled him if the Eastwatch men had not pulled him off. Thorne staggered back, rubbing the marks Jon’s fingers had left on his neck. “You see for yourselves, brothers. The boy is a wildling.” - Jon IX ASOS

He was almost ready to lower his blade and call a halt when Emmett feinted low and came in over his shield with a savage forehand slash that caught Jon on the temple. He staggered, his helm and head both ringing from the force of the blow. For half a heartbeat the world beyond his eyeslit was a blur.

And then the years were gone, and he was back at Winterfell once more, wearing a quilted leather coat in place of mail and plate. His sword was made of wood, and it was Robb who stood facing him, not Iron Emmett.

[…]

That morning he called it first. “I’m Lord of Winterfell!” he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, “You can’t be Lord of Winterfell, you’re bastard-born. My lady mother says you can’t ever be the Lord of Winterfell.”

I thought I had forgotten that. Jon could taste blood in his mouth, from the blow he’d taken.

In the end Halder and Horse had to pull him away from Iron Emmett, one man on either arm. The ranger sat on the ground dazed, his shield half in splinters, the visor of his helm knocked askew, and his sword six yards away. “Jon, enough,” Halder was shouting, “he’s down, you disarmed him. Enough!”

No. Not enough. Never enough. Jon let his sword drop. “I’m sorry,” he muttered. “Emmett, are you hurt?”

Iron Emmett pulled his battered helm off. “Was there some part of yield you could not comprehend, Lord Snow?” - Jon XII ASOS

As we see in the first quote above, Jonathan wants to kill a man because of something as small as an insult. And in the last quote, we see how he completely loses his senses and beats Emmett senselessly. This shows Jonathan’s emotional instability, and is one of the signs that he is unfit to rule. Besides, we also know how Targaryen madness is a Chekhov’s Gun. So far, Daenerys  hasn’t exhibitted such behavior as attacking people over insults, which, in my opinion, shows who is truly the most likely candidate to follow in the Mad King’s footsteps: Jonathan Snowflake himself. Imagine what kind of terrible tragedies his violent and impulsive temper could cause.

Jonathan also exhibits many tyrannical behaviors. He kills people who disagree with him, like he did to Janos Slynt, even though his brothers of the Night’s Watch opposed his decision to kill him:

“I will not hang him,” said Jon. “Bring him here.”

“Oh, Seven save us,” he heard Bowen Marsh cry out. - Jon II ADWD

So we see how Marsh didn’t approve of Jonathan’s tyrannical decision to kill a man simply because he disobeyed him, but Jonathan did it anyway. And he shows in other times that he is willing to kill people just for disobeying. He gives the Wildlings a false sense of freedom by telling them that he will not ask them to kneel, but we see that they are not truly free:

“As you will. Boys and girls as young as twelve. But only those who know how to obey an order. That goes for all of you. I will never ask you to kneel to me, but I will set captains over you, and serjeants who will tell you when to rise and when to sleep, where to eat, when to drink, what to wear, when to draw your swords and loose your arrows. The men of the Night’s Watch serve for life. I will not ask that of you, but so long as you are on the Wall you will be under my command. Disobey an order, and I’ll have your head off. Ask my brothers if I won’t. They’ve seen me do it.” - Jon V ADWD

Jonathan also uses force, fear and threats to rule. He uses Wildling children as hostages, and unlike Daenerys, who in the end, refused to kill her hostages, Jonathan has every intention of killing the children to force the Wildlings to obey him:

“Aye, and why not?” Old Flint stomped his cane against the ice. “Wards, we always called them, when Winterfell demanded boys of us, but they were hostages, and none the worse for it.”

“None but them whose sires displeased the Kings o’ Winter,” said The Norrey. “Those came home shorter by a head. So you tell me, boy … if these wildling friends o’ yours prove false, do you have the belly to do what needs be done?”

Ask Janos Slynt. “Tormund Giantsbane knows better than to try me. I may seem a green boy in your eyes, Lord Norrey, but I am still a son of Eddard Stark.” - Jon XI ADWD

He also uses threats to force Gilly to abandon her child and put her own child in danger for the sake of Mance’s child, threatening to kill her child if she doesn’t obey:

“You will make a crow of him.” She wiped at her tears with the back of a small pale hand. “I won’t. I won’t.”

Kill the boy, thought Jon. “You will. Else I promise you, the day that they burn Dalla’s boy, yours will die as well.” - Jon II ADWD

And he also cruelly forces her to put her hand over the fire just to make a point:

“Men say that freezing to death is almost peaceful. Fire, though … do you see the candle, Gilly?”

She looked at the flame. “Yes.”

“Touch it. Put your hand over the flame.”

Her big brown eyes grew bigger still. She did not move.

“Do it.” Kill the boy. “Now.”

Trembling, the girl reached out her hand, held it well above the flickering candle flame.

“Down. Let it kiss you.”

Gilly lowered her hand. An inch. Another. When the flame licked her flesh, she snatched her hand back and began to sob. - Jon II ADWD

And it’s also important to note how Jonathan seems to think some lives are above others: he thinks trying to save Mance’s child is more important, and since Gilly is not an important person, he sees no problem in putting her child at risk, showing his classism.

And besides this, of course, we see in OP’s post how Jon is actually a slave owner, forcing Wildlings to work for him, and he is even accused of being a slaver by the Wildlings.

Jonathan is also very impulsive and reckless, and his actions leave the Wildlings at horrible conditions and poverty:

A few moments later the adults began to emerge from the earth. A stench came with them, the smell of unwashed bodies and soiled clothing, of nightsoil and urine. Jon saw one of his men wrinkle his nose and say something to the man beside him. Some jape about the smell of freedom, he guessed. Too many of his brothers were making japes about the stench of the savages in Mole’s Town.

Pig ignorance, Jon thought. The free folk were no different than the men of the Night’s Watch; some were clean, some dirty, but most were clean at times and dirty at other times. This stink was just the smell of a thousand people jammed into cellars and tunnels that had been dug to shelter no more than a hundred. - Jon V ADWD

Jonathan is so hypocritical that he berates his brothers of the Night’s Watch for mocking that the Wildlings are dirty, but fails to see that this is his fault: he is the one that is keeping the Wildlings confined to Mole’s Town, where’s there’s no space for them all, causing problems with the hygienic conditions. He is the one keeping the Wildlings in such inhuman conditions, even keeping guards to stop them from escaping:

Jon glanced back at the face, wondering who had carved it. He had posted guards around Mole’s Town, both to keep his crows away from the wildling women and to keep the free folk from slipping off southward to raid. - Jon V ADWD

And not only there are problem with hygienic conditions, but there are also many other problems, like hunger, and Jonathan barely gives them anything to eat (while also forbidding them to leave):

There were three women for every man, many with children—pale skinny things clutching at their skirts. Jon saw very few babes in arms. The babes in arms died during the march, he realized, and those who survived the battle died in the king’s stockade. […] He saw a score of those—men on crude crutches, men with empty sleeves and missing hands, men with one eye or half a face, a legless man carried between two friends. And every one grey-faced and gaunt. Broken men, he thought. The wights are not the only sort of living dead. - Jon V ADWD

“You can have an onion or an apple,” Jon heard Hairy Hal tell one woman, “but not both. You got to pick.”

The woman did not seem to understand. “I need two of each. One o’ each for me, t'others for my boy. He’s sick, but an apple will set him right.” […] “It’s not enough,” an old man snarled. “You bloody crows are starving us to death.” - Jon V ADWD

And like already pointed out in OP’s post, the only ones allowed to have more food are those who agree to fight for him, which is very much like slavery. And this also shows Jonathan’s recklessness and incompetence: he brings Wildlings from beyond the Wall despite his brothers’ reasonable objections, and soon he has no food to feed them or his brothers of the Night’s Watch, forcing the wildlings to live in extreme poverty and hunger, and forcing them to work for him (and he doesn’t even pay the Wildlings with money: he pays them with only food and shelter. That’s the same thing that slaves get, so the Wildlings are pretty much Jonathan’s slaves). He also puts the Night’s Watch in great debt with the Iron Bank due to his irresponsible administration.

Jonathan is also very arrogant and entitled. He thinks he deserves to go in important missions even though he hasn’t earned it:

Three days after their arrival, Jon had heard that Benjen Stark was to lead a half-dozen men on a ranging into the haunted forest. That night he sought out his uncle in the great timbered common hall and pleaded to go with him. Benjen refused him curtly. “This is not Winterfell,” he told him as he cut his meat with fork and dagger. “On the Wall, a man gets only what he earns. You’re no ranger, Jon, only a green boy with the smell of summer still on you.” - Jon III AGOT

He thinks he is better than the other peasant boys at the Night’s Watch:

“They’re not my brothers,” Jon snapped. “They hate me because I’m better than they are.” - Jon III AGOT

And he shows his sense of superiority by thinking about he’s the blood of Winterfell and the blood of the First Men:

Ygritte was with him, laughing at him, shedding her skins till she was naked as her name day, trying to kiss him, but he couldn’t, not with his father watching. He was the blood of Winterfell, a man of the Night’s Watch. - Jon VI ASOS

“Yes, my lord,” Jon said. The gods of the sept had nothing to do with him; the blood of the First Men flowed in the veins of the Starks. - Jon VI AGOT

And he while he learns to pretend to be more humble for appearance’s sake after Noye scolds him, he keeps his attitude of superiority, never listening to the concerns of his men in the Night’s Watch and doing only what he thinks is better, without any regard for what his brothers think. Even Melisandre notes how Jonathan has a false humility that is more pride than anything, and it impairs his ability to rule:

It was Jon Snow she needed, not fried bread and bacon, but it was no use sending Devan to the lord commander. He would not come to her summons. Snow still chose to dwell behind the armory, in a pair of modest rooms previously occupied by the Watch’s late blacksmith. Perhaps he did not think himself worthy of the King’s Tower, or perhaps he did not care. That was his mistake, the false humility of youth that is itself a sort of pride. It was never wise for a ruler to eschew the trappings of power, for power itself flows in no small measure from such trappings. - Melisandre I ADWD

Finally, R+L=J is a huge hint about Jonathan’s future. Jonathan is very likely to end up only being a bastard of Rhaegar and Lyanna. And as we see from the show, he is not destined to become King of Westeros. So what could possibly be the narrative reason for Jonathan to be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna? Some argue that R+L=J is important because Jonathan will be Azor Ahai/Prince that was Promise. But his aunt Daenerys already fits those prophecies much more, while he barely fits any of the requirements. So I would argue that the true reason for R+L=J is not for Jonathan to become king or prophetic hero: it’s a Chekhov’s Gun that will be revealed and explain Jonathan’s descent into madness, since he is the grandson of the Mad King.

And it makes a lot of sense, really. Jonathan is arrogant and entitled, he is tyrannical and violent, he keeps people in horrible conditions akin to slavery, and does things for his selfish desires, for glory, or if it benefits him, as shown above in this meta. It’s truly subversive and brilliant: we are led to believe that Jonathan’s story is yet another boring story about a traditional white able-bodied male hero, who is a secret prince and will save the world, only to realize how corrupted he is, how we shouldn’t be cheering for his violent ways.

I would like to remind everyone who identified with Snowy and saw something special in his growth that the story already has one good bastard male character: Gendry. Why on Earth would you want to stan that psycho Direwolf King when you have a perfectly unproblematic character right there? He even gets his happy ending in the show, and we all know this is very indicative.

No, you can’t be fan of both for different reasons. Everyone knows you can’t stan two bastards at the same time.

Yes, exactly. I’ve seen Jonathan stans saying that dark!Jonathan is bad because it’s “prejudice against bastards”. But Gendry is right there! Gendry is the true empowering representation for bastards! (It doesn’t matter that Gendry is only a side character and Jonathan is a protagonist, we all know that having positive representation in protagonists is not really that important. And we also know everyone must identify with one single character, we don’t need diverse representation of good bastards in power. Also, it’s totally ok if we have two evil bastards, that’s not problematic at all). Jonathan doesn’t need to be a symbol of empowerment for bastards, because we already have Gendry. Jonathan’s story is much more interesting as a villain, as a subversion of traditional fantasy tropes.

Edited by csuszka1948
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7 hours ago, Damsel in Distress said:

Valyrians before the doom were having children with other Valyrians.  Yeah so the most likely cause in Westeros was because they were having children with Non-Valyrians.  The DNA may differ enough to cause problems. 

Possibly some issues when the male parent isn't Targ also, Rhaego was born disfigured, resembling a dragon & while I know MMD's magic may have had something to do with it, this isn't the first time a Targ baby was born this way. I've not looked back to see if it tends to happen when the baby isn't full Targ though. 

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1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Possibly some issues when the male parent isn't Targ also, Rhaego was born disfigured, resembling a dragon & while I know MMD's magic may have had something to do with it, this isn't the first time a Targ baby was born this way. I've not looked back to see if it tends to happen when the baby isn't full Targ though. 

Visenya (daughter of Rhaenyra and Daemon) was born disfigured. I would say they count as incest.

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On 5/8/2023 at 12:54 PM, csuszka1948 said:

You are not wrong but I don't think this is 'crazy'. Can you say with a straight face that you wouldn't try to rescue your own sister from such a situation just because it threatens to trigger a conflict (or at least a very strong animosity towards the Watch) with the Boltons?

This is not 'craziness' or 'madness', valuing family over duty is normal human behaviour.

We have diverged from the main topic. I admit this is on another subject. The act of valuing family over duty on its own is not necessarily insanity. But for Jon to do that while charged with the protection of the entire Westeros proves he is unfit to rule. It is proof that Jon is unfit to command and make big decisions.  
 

I think the premise of the main topic stays true. 

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On 5/22/2023 at 3:13 PM, csuszka1948 said:

If you want to play this game, at least do it right, and do it 'mad Queen Dany' style. :D

Jon Snow has, from the very beginning of ASOIAF, been a fan favorite. He is a lovable underdog, a bit of a rebel with a strong sense of justice and a distinct moral compass. While his show version left something to be desired at times, Book!Jon is a man with character, a shrewd negotiator and a man with wit and cunning. But he isn’t perfect. He can be arrogant, all too self-assured, and occasionally impulsive. And as of the end of A Dance With Dragons, Jon Snow is also dead. We’re not sure how dead exactly, since merging one’s spirit with one’s familiar is entirely possible in the ASOIAF universe, but as far as we know, he is very much dead. So what will Jon Snow look like, when he comes back? Will he still be the lovable underdog? Or will his traumatic experience turn him into something much more sinister? So sinister, in fact, that we might question where his storyline is headed, and whether it’s going anywhere good. In this meta, I’d like to argue that Jon Snow’s story is meant to be one of tragedy.

The Bastard and the Oathbreaker

Jon Snow is a bastard. It’s one of the defining aspects of his identity, partly because he does experience the disadvantages of bastardy as he grows up, but also because he makes it so himself. He never quite feels like he belongs to the Stark family, even though Ned Stark took him in and raised him as one of his own sons, which was quite extraordinary for a bastard given the time and age (even an acknowledged one). Rather than appreciate his privilege, however, Jock Smalls wants more. He wants nothing more than to be acknowledged as A True Stark.

“Let them say that Eddard Stark had fathered four sons, not three.”

Jon IX, AGOT

Since that doesn’t seem to be in the books as long as Lady Stark is in the picture (an extremely simplistic conception of Catelyn, who by all definitions was a goodhearted woman, and a far more interesting character than Jace will ever be), Jon Snow’s ambitions need another outlet: a bastard can rise high in the Night’s Watch, he has heard, and so he wants to join. Would he still have joined if he had known that “glory” was not to be found in the Night’s Watch, though he would defend the realms of men all the same? I find it doubtful.

Interestingly, Jon’s “Snow” and “Stark” sides seem to be constantly at war with one another. He breaks his oath not once, but twice, because of his urge to be considered a real “Stark”, yet when it becomes an inconvenience, he claims his bastardy easily.

The very first time Jason’s vows are challenged, he breaks his oath and he runs away. When Robb starts a war against the Lannisters, Jerry fully intends to leave and join his brother as both a bastard and an oathbreaker (assuming that Robb will simply pardon him, thereby putting Robb in an extremely difficult position). It is only because of his Night’s Watch brothers that he is stopped from doing so.

When he finds out that Arya (for all he knows) is to be wed to Ramsay Bolton, however, saving her seems rather more trouble than it’s worth, and he claims both his Night’s Watch vows…

“His thoughts kept returning to Arya. There is no way I can help her. I put all kin aside when I said my words. If one of my men told me his sister was in peril, I would tell him that was no concern of his. Once a man had said the words his blood was black. Black as a bastard’s heart.”

… and his bastardy, when Melisandre claims she has seen Arya’s coming in the fire:

“What is her name, this little sister that you do not have?” “Arya.” His voice was hoarse. “My half-sister, truly…” “for you are bastard born. I had not forgotten.”

Jon VI, ADWD

So Jonathon feels quite comfortable breaking his oath in order to “avenge” his forever dead father, but feels no compulsion to do so when his very much alive “sister” is suffering at the hands of an actual monster? That checks out.

Even in his office as Lord Commander, Jim Frost can’t keep his nose straight. Though he shouts high and low that “The Night’s Watch takes no part”, he can’t help but meddle a little here and there when it’s convenient for him. When Alys Karstark comes to the Wall for his aid, and her kinsman Cregan comes after her, he welcomes Alys with open arms but throws Cregan in an ice cell under truly inhuman conditions:

“Karstark,” said Jon Snow. “Wake up.” The furs stirred. Some had frozen together, and the frost that covered them glittered when they moved. An arm emerged, then a face–brown hair, tangled and matted and streaked with grey, two clumps of frozen snot.

When Cregan challenges Jon to kill him, Lord Jim refuses, and conveniently denies that he is a Stark even though his growing up as one is exactly why he is helping Alys to begin with:

“If you mean to kill me, do it and be damned for a kinslayer. Stark and Karstark are one blood.” “My name is Snow.” “Bastard.” “Guilty. Of that, at least.”

Jon X, ADWD

Finally, right before he dies, Jameson is challenged by Ramsay Bolton by means of a letter, and he decides to promptly abandon his rescue mission to Hardhome and turns his attention to Winterfell instead. He has to answer, he claims. Unlike on the show, Jumbo has no sibling in peril to encourage him to do this (in fact, from the letter can be surmised that faux-Arya is no longer with Ramsay, therefore there is no particular reason why Jackson should feel obliged to go). He receives the letter before he dies (after which his leaving the Night’s Watch was conveniently not considered oathbreaking anymore), so choosing to meet Ramsay’s challenge effectively involves meddling in things he has no business in. He decides to go because he was provoked. Not for honorable reasons, not in order to save others, but to once again prove himself as the son of Eddard Stark. 

The Myth of the Selfless Man

One of the things Jon Snow is often praised for, and invites comparisons with his long-lost aunt, is his letting the free folk through the Wall. It is argued that Jon cares about the free folk and he doesn’t want to let them die, therefore he lets them through. What is less often considered is that Jon helping the free folk was also simply a pragmatic decision. While Daenerys had nothing to gain from freeing the slaves in Yunkai and Meereen, Jeffrey knew that if he didn’t let the free folk past the Wall, they’d come for the Night’s Watch in a much more terrifying form. Or, as Julius himself tells the men of the Night’s Watch when they–very reasonably–voice their objections to letting the free folk through the Wall:

“Are you so blind, or is it that you do not wish to see? What do you think will happen when all these enemies are dead? (…) Let me tell you what will happen,” Jon said. “The dead will rise again, in their hundreds and their thousands. They will rise as wights, with black hands and pale blue eyes, and they will come for us.”

Jon VIII, ADWD

Daenerys frees the slaves without any conditions, and goes out of her way to feed them even though they are free, and she is advised multiple times to just leave them. Jon offers the free folk food, but only in exchange for their fighting skills. If they man the castles on the Wall, he can feed them; all those he has no use for he leaves to their own devices. 

“You want more food?” asked Jon. “The food’s for fighters. Help us hold the Wall, and you’ll eat as well as any crow.” (…)

And old woman with a turnip cradled against her chest said, “You kill us, you starve us, now you want t’ make us slaves.”

Or, as Jesse himself says:

“The choice is yours,” Jon Snow told them. “Those who want to help us hold the Wall, return to Castle Black with me and I’ll see you armed and fed. The rest of you, get your turnips and your onions and crawl back inside your holes.”

Jon V, ADWD

Daenerys, in the mean time, takes care to feed all of her freedmen, not only her Unsullied. When comparing the two, Jon comes out looking much less magnanimous than his long-lost aunt.

In fact, the one time Judd spares some thought to the existence of slaves, he considers how he might exploit them:

Glass, Jon mused, might be of use here. Castle Black needs its own glass gardens, like the ones at Winterfell. We could grow vegetables even in the deep of winter. The best glass came from Myr, but a good clear pane was worth its weight in spice, and green and yellow glass would not work as well. What we need is gold. With enough coin, we could buy ’prentice glassblowers and glaziers in Myr, bring them north, offer them their freedom for teaching their art to some of our recruits. That would be the way to go about it.

Jon VII, ADWD

Once again, Jon Snow’s aid is not unconditional: whereas his much reviled aunt does not offer the Unsullied their freedom in exchange for them fighting for her, Jon Snow would only consider freeing these foreign slave glassblowers in exchange for teaching their art to the white men of the Night’s Watch. Not only, then, would he actively participate in the slave trade by buying these slaves in this kind of scheme (I wonder what Ned Stark would think of that), he would also be profiting from it by using their freedom as a bargaining chip rather than as a fundamental right. Moreover, his bringing these slaves to a cold and foreign country where they might not even speak the language, use them to teach the superior white men of the Night’s Watch their skills, only to magnanimously “set them free” once they’re no longer useful to him, leaving them alone in a foreign country with no way of surviving winter (unless, most likely, they swear to fight for him)? Not a great look, there, Jonno. The “freedom” he thinks to offer them is, as such, not really freedom at all.

Playing with Fire (and Blood)

1. Some resurrection required

So much for Jimmy’s past. As per the current state of affairs in the book series, however, Jon Snow is dead. But we all know that he isn’t going to stay that way. Jon’s resurrection was all too carefully set up for that. So the question at this point is not whether Jim Snowflake will be brought back, but how. At the point of Jake’s death, Melisandre is right there but has more urgent matters on her mind, namely saving her promised prince Stannis, who, by the word of a dubious letter, is thought to be dead. Being the devout follower that she is, she will no doubt be looking for ways to bring him back. What we also know is that we still have the burning of Shireen Baratheon in store in the books. The most logical conclusion, then, is this: Melisandre will burn Shireen to bring Stannis back, but instead the magic released by that sacrifice will resurrect our great Lord Jon, rather than Stannis. Such a sacrifice is quite reminiscent of what Mirri Maz Duur did with Drogo in AGOT, in fact: Melisandre, too, knows of blood magic, we’ve already see her perform it with no compunction, and surely for such a dire circumstance drastic measures would be required? Out of the two ‘types’ of resurrection we’ve seen in ASOIAF so far, then, it seems more likely that, rather than a Beric Dondarrion Lord of Light resurrection, which seemed to come mostly free of charge for others (though it left Beric quite changed), we’ll have an “only death can pay for life” kind of resurrection requiring a human sacrifice, such as we know Drogo underwent. Of course, that didn’t turn out too well for Drogo, since it restored his body, but not his spirit. How lucky, then, that Jon has such a loyal familiar who is willing to make some space for him in his mind while his body is pending revival. When Jon’s body is restored, his spirit should then be, theoretically at least, quite intact, and ready to reenter his body.

The consequence of all this, if my theory is correct, is that Jon will be resurrected by the grace of an innocent girl who was burned alive so he (even accidentally) might live. Added to the trauma of getting murdered all in itself, I cannot imagine that will do wonders for his mental stability.

2. R + L = J

Though I’m not sure how the reveal will happen in the books, at some point it will happen, and I’m betting it will shake Jimmy up quite a bit. Whether or not this means that he merely has different parents, or that he actually is no longer a bastard, it is doubtful that it will fundamentally change his character: his drive to prove himself, which was so long informed by his bastardy, will not simply go away even if he does turn out to be legitimate.

Enter fAegon. Here is the man who not only is most likely the real impostor, but he is the one who will make the story of JJ’s parentage even more unlikely. So what will Jon do with this information, in his drive to prove himself? Once it becomes clear that fAegon will not treat with Jon and Daenerys, and more extreme measures might be necessary, I don’t doubt that Jumbo will be highly tempted to climb on a dragon and set a fire or two. After all, who could possibly doubt his parentage if he proves himself an honest to god Dragon Rider?

His choice for Fire and Blood was even foreshadowed earlier in the series, when Jeremy’s thoughts are unwittingly drawn to one of his ancestors, and how much he would like to emulate his example:

“When Jon had been a boy at Winterfell, his hero had been the Young Dragon, the boy king who had conquered Dorne at the age of fourteen. Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror.”

Jon VII, ADWD

Aside from the intriguing irony of Jon mirroring himself to the Targaryen who conquered Dorne, the kingdom which suffered the heaviest losses from Rhaegar’s infidelity (from which Jon is the product), him fashioning himself a conquerer because of his bastard birth is highly revealing. Jon is not interested in helping people: he is in it for honor and glory. And once Jon gets ahold of a dragon, who knows what he might be capable of? The tragic irony of his story will be that, while finding out that he is (possibly) not a bastard after all, he becomes everything a bastard is generally thought to be: selfish, ambitious, greedy, and violent.

3. Jon vs. Jaime

While much has been said about Cersei and Daenerys being foils for each other, the obvious male half of that equation has not been often discussed yet. Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister, however, have more in common than meets the eye. They both join a military order from a very young age, be it for very different reasons: Jon believes the Night’s Watch is one of the few places where he, as a bastard, can achieve an honorable purpose in life, while Jaime, though he clearly has his idols in the then King’s Guard, mostly joins so he can spite his father and continue his incestuous relationship with his sister.

Both have broken their sacred oaths. Aside from being not quite as celibate as their vows would have them be, they also, quite literally, do the opposite of what their job description tells them. Jaime the King’s Guard murders his king. Jon, at the first challenge he meets, runs away from the Night’s Watch, and is only saved by the virtue of his brothers. He fails his own rule about the Night’s Watch taking no part, and one might argue that he is not being very effective at being the “shield which guards the realms of men” either, since he allows the Wildlings through the Wall–a highly risky endeavor–and he actively aids Stannis in his quest to conquer the North, thereby participating in this Game of Thrones which will only further destabilize the country until the Others find their way past the Wall.

Once again, though, Jon and Jaime’s reasons for becoming oathbreakers are quite different. Jaime kills Aerys to save the population of King’s Landing, which most would consider quite a noble sacrifice. Jon, on the other hand, breaks his vows for entirely selfish reasons. He wants to stand by his brother because he wants to be acknowledged as a true Stark. When Stannis offers to legitimize him, he hesitates quite some time before he is then, conveniently, voted in as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and the decision is taken off his hands. And yet, even as Lord Commander, when Jon is challenged by Ramsay Bolton by means of a letter, for some reason he “has to answer.” Not only that, but he reads the letter aloud to a room full of freefolk who are not sworn to the Night’s Watch, and are therefore free to follow him (and their response to the letter seems to make Jon quite hopeful), thereby leading them into a conflict which they have no part in, possibly leading them into a slaughter which is exactly what the free folk wanted to avoid, instead making them a tool in his own little game of thrones.

The key differences between Jordan and Jaime, then, are key in Martin’s clever foreshadowing of Jon’s downfall. Jon is born a bastard, while Jaime is born as the rightful heir of Casterly Rock (in contrast, Joff only dreams of being the Lord of Winterfell). And while Jaime resents his birthright, and really wants nothing to do with it, Jon, as a bastard, wishes nothing better than to be acknowledged as a true son of Eddard Stark. His bastard status bothers him, and it has guided his decision making in many crucial moments.

Jaime’s journey is one from selfishness to honor. Jory’s journey starts out with honor, but will it end up there? Jaime proves himself to be a genuinely kind and selfless man who sacrifices his own safety and comfort multiple times for a woman whom, by all definition, he should have no interest or investment in. Jon, in the mean time, has plenty of reasons to be invested in Daenerys. When she lands in Westeros, she’ll come with an army that is literally Jon’s only hope of defeating the White Walkers. His love for her will not be a selfless one, and even if it won’t end up quite as it did on the show (I do believe that will be Jaime and Cersei), chances are great he would lose interest the moment she has served his purpose in the war, i.e. defeat the Army of the Dead and get rid of Cersei and/or fAegon. 

King’s Landing

So what is going to happen, when the battle for King’s Landing is ready to be fought? First of all, let’s discuss Jon’s relationship to dragons. He has dragonblood, to be sure, but dragonblood does not a dragon rider make, and as Daenerys has proven, a distressed dragon can be quite unwieldy, especially for an inexperienced rider. Between the “three heads of the dragon”, such as they have been defined by fandom (Dany, Jon, and Tyrion), Jeeves doesn’t have half the practical skill riding the dragons as Daenerys will have, nor any of the theoretical knowledge that Tyrion has. When Daenerys fled the fighting pit on Drogon’s back, many were killed or injured trying to attack the dragon. 

So what will happen in King’s Landing, with Jon impulsively flying into battle, ballistas aimed at him, and barrels full of wildfire hiding beneath the city just waiting to be lit up? What will happen when Jon either, being inexperienced as he is, fails to control his dragon adequately, or simply lets his anger guide him and tells his mount to light up the city? 

Johnson’s lust for fire has even been foreshadowed in the very first book, when he fights his first wight:

“Spinning, Jon saw the drapes he’d ripped from the window. He flung the lamp into the puddled cloth with both hands. Metal crunched, glass shattered, oil spewed, and the hangings went up in a great woosh of flame. The heat of it on his face was sweeter than any kiss Jon had ever known. (…) Jon plunged his hands into the flames, grabbed a fistful of the burning drapes, and whipped them at the dead man. Let it burn, he prayed as the cloth smothered the corpse, gods, please, please, let it burn.

Jon VII, AGOT

Jon Snow as a living man was dangerous, selfish, and impulsive enough. What will happen to him when you add a little PTSD from getting murdered, an identity crisis, a powderkeg capital, and a dragon right at his command? While Rhaegar was generally considered a good-hearted man (though he had his own delusions, and him leaving his wife to impregnate a teenaged girl is highly dubious), Jett’s grandfather was the mad king himself, and Aerys–who only started going ‘mad’ after his trauma–never had to suffer an assassination and subsequent resurrection. It would not only be fitting, then, but also a rather clever inversion of traditional tropes, for this stereotypical hero figure, this hidden prince, to go dark after he finds out he is the promised prince from the stories. 

Jonathan Snowflake is a truly violent and impulsive man. We see his violent temper in different occasions:

And then he heard the laughter, sharp and cruel as a whip, and the voice of Ser Alliser Thorne. “Not only a bastard, but a traitor’s bastard,” he was telling the men around him.

In the blink of an eye, Jon had vaulted onto the table, dagger in his hand. Pyp made a grab for him, but he wrenched his leg away, and then he was sprinting down the table and kicking the bowl from Ser Alliser’s hand. Stew went flying everywhere, spattering the brothers. Thorne recoiled. People were shouting, but Jon Snow did not hear them. He lunged at Ser Alliser’s face with the dagger, slashing at those cold onyx eyes, but Sam threw himself between them and before Jon could get around him, Pyp was on his back clinging like a monkey, and Grenn was grabbing his arm while Toad wrenched the knife from his fingers. - Jon VII AGOT

Jon yanked away and grabbed the knight by the throat with such ferocity that he lifted him off the floor. He would have throttled him if the Eastwatch men had not pulled him off. Thorne staggered back, rubbing the marks Jon’s fingers had left on his neck. “You see for yourselves, brothers. The boy is a wildling.” - Jon IX ASOS

He was almost ready to lower his blade and call a halt when Emmett feinted low and came in over his shield with a savage forehand slash that caught Jon on the temple. He staggered, his helm and head both ringing from the force of the blow. For half a heartbeat the world beyond his eyeslit was a blur.

And then the years were gone, and he was back at Winterfell once more, wearing a quilted leather coat in place of mail and plate. His sword was made of wood, and it was Robb who stood facing him, not Iron Emmett.

[…]

That morning he called it first. “I’m Lord of Winterfell!” he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, “You can’t be Lord of Winterfell, you’re bastard-born. My lady mother says you can’t ever be the Lord of Winterfell.”

I thought I had forgotten that. Jon could taste blood in his mouth, from the blow he’d taken.

In the end Halder and Horse had to pull him away from Iron Emmett, one man on either arm. The ranger sat on the ground dazed, his shield half in splinters, the visor of his helm knocked askew, and his sword six yards away. “Jon, enough,” Halder was shouting, “he’s down, you disarmed him. Enough!”

No. Not enough. Never enough. Jon let his sword drop. “I’m sorry,” he muttered. “Emmett, are you hurt?”

Iron Emmett pulled his battered helm off. “Was there some part of yield you could not comprehend, Lord Snow?” - Jon XII ASOS

As we see in the first quote above, Jonathan wants to kill a man because of something as small as an insult. And in the last quote, we see how he completely loses his senses and beats Emmett senselessly. This shows Jonathan’s emotional instability, and is one of the signs that he is unfit to rule. Besides, we also know how Targaryen madness is a Chekhov’s Gun. So far, Daenerys  hasn’t exhibitted such behavior as attacking people over insults, which, in my opinion, shows who is truly the most likely candidate to follow in the Mad King’s footsteps: Jonathan Snowflake himself. Imagine what kind of terrible tragedies his violent and impulsive temper could cause.

Jonathan also exhibits many tyrannical behaviors. He kills people who disagree with him, like he did to Janos Slynt, even though his brothers of the Night’s Watch opposed his decision to kill him:

“I will not hang him,” said Jon. “Bring him here.”

“Oh, Seven save us,” he heard Bowen Marsh cry out. - Jon II ADWD

So we see how Marsh didn’t approve of Jonathan’s tyrannical decision to kill a man simply because he disobeyed him, but Jonathan did it anyway. And he shows in other times that he is willing to kill people just for disobeying. He gives the Wildlings a false sense of freedom by telling them that he will not ask them to kneel, but we see that they are not truly free:

“As you will. Boys and girls as young as twelve. But only those who know how to obey an order. That goes for all of you. I will never ask you to kneel to me, but I will set captains over you, and serjeants who will tell you when to rise and when to sleep, where to eat, when to drink, what to wear, when to draw your swords and loose your arrows. The men of the Night’s Watch serve for life. I will not ask that of you, but so long as you are on the Wall you will be under my command. Disobey an order, and I’ll have your head off. Ask my brothers if I won’t. They’ve seen me do it.” - Jon V ADWD

Jonathan also uses force, fear and threats to rule. He uses Wildling children as hostages, and unlike Daenerys, who in the end, refused to kill her hostages, Jonathan has every intention of killing the children to force the Wildlings to obey him:

“Aye, and why not?” Old Flint stomped his cane against the ice. “Wards, we always called them, when Winterfell demanded boys of us, but they were hostages, and none the worse for it.”

“None but them whose sires displeased the Kings o’ Winter,” said The Norrey. “Those came home shorter by a head. So you tell me, boy … if these wildling friends o’ yours prove false, do you have the belly to do what needs be done?”

Ask Janos Slynt. “Tormund Giantsbane knows better than to try me. I may seem a green boy in your eyes, Lord Norrey, but I am still a son of Eddard Stark.” - Jon XI ADWD

He also uses threats to force Gilly to abandon her child and put her own child in danger for the sake of Mance’s child, threatening to kill her child if she doesn’t obey:

“You will make a crow of him.” She wiped at her tears with the back of a small pale hand. “I won’t. I won’t.”

Kill the boy, thought Jon. “You will. Else I promise you, the day that they burn Dalla’s boy, yours will die as well.” - Jon II ADWD

And he also cruelly forces her to put her hand over the fire just to make a point:

“Men say that freezing to death is almost peaceful. Fire, though … do you see the candle, Gilly?”

She looked at the flame. “Yes.”

“Touch it. Put your hand over the flame.”

Her big brown eyes grew bigger still. She did not move.

“Do it.” Kill the boy. “Now.”

Trembling, the girl reached out her hand, held it well above the flickering candle flame.

“Down. Let it kiss you.”

Gilly lowered her hand. An inch. Another. When the flame licked her flesh, she snatched her hand back and began to sob. - Jon II ADWD

And it’s also important to note how Jonathan seems to think some lives are above others: he thinks trying to save Mance’s child is more important, and since Gilly is not an important person, he sees no problem in putting her child at risk, showing his classism.

And besides this, of course, we see in OP’s post how Jon is actually a slave owner, forcing Wildlings to work for him, and he is even accused of being a slaver by the Wildlings.

Jonathan is also very impulsive and reckless, and his actions leave the Wildlings at horrible conditions and poverty:

A few moments later the adults began to emerge from the earth. A stench came with them, the smell of unwashed bodies and soiled clothing, of nightsoil and urine. Jon saw one of his men wrinkle his nose and say something to the man beside him. Some jape about the smell of freedom, he guessed. Too many of his brothers were making japes about the stench of the savages in Mole’s Town.

Pig ignorance, Jon thought. The free folk were no different than the men of the Night’s Watch; some were clean, some dirty, but most were clean at times and dirty at other times. This stink was just the smell of a thousand people jammed into cellars and tunnels that had been dug to shelter no more than a hundred. - Jon V ADWD

Jonathan is so hypocritical that he berates his brothers of the Night’s Watch for mocking that the Wildlings are dirty, but fails to see that this is his fault: he is the one that is keeping the Wildlings confined to Mole’s Town, where’s there’s no space for them all, causing problems with the hygienic conditions. He is the one keeping the Wildlings in such inhuman conditions, even keeping guards to stop them from escaping:

Jon glanced back at the face, wondering who had carved it. He had posted guards around Mole’s Town, both to keep his crows away from the wildling women and to keep the free folk from slipping off southward to raid. - Jon V ADWD

And not only there are problem with hygienic conditions, but there are also many other problems, like hunger, and Jonathan barely gives them anything to eat (while also forbidding them to leave):

There were three women for every man, many with children—pale skinny things clutching at their skirts. Jon saw very few babes in arms. The babes in arms died during the march, he realized, and those who survived the battle died in the king’s stockade. […] He saw a score of those—men on crude crutches, men with empty sleeves and missing hands, men with one eye or half a face, a legless man carried between two friends. And every one grey-faced and gaunt. Broken men, he thought. The wights are not the only sort of living dead. - Jon V ADWD

“You can have an onion or an apple,” Jon heard Hairy Hal tell one woman, “but not both. You got to pick.”

The woman did not seem to understand. “I need two of each. One o’ each for me, t'others for my boy. He’s sick, but an apple will set him right.” […] “It’s not enough,” an old man snarled. “You bloody crows are starving us to death.” - Jon V ADWD

And like already pointed out in OP’s post, the only ones allowed to have more food are those who agree to fight for him, which is very much like slavery. And this also shows Jonathan’s recklessness and incompetence: he brings Wildlings from beyond the Wall despite his brothers’ reasonable objections, and soon he has no food to feed them or his brothers of the Night’s Watch, forcing the wildlings to live in extreme poverty and hunger, and forcing them to work for him (and he doesn’t even pay the Wildlings with money: he pays them with only food and shelter. That’s the same thing that slaves get, so the Wildlings are pretty much Jonathan’s slaves). He also puts the Night’s Watch in great debt with the Iron Bank due to his irresponsible administration.

Jonathan is also very arrogant and entitled. He thinks he deserves to go in important missions even though he hasn’t earned it:

Three days after their arrival, Jon had heard that Benjen Stark was to lead a half-dozen men on a ranging into the haunted forest. That night he sought out his uncle in the great timbered common hall and pleaded to go with him. Benjen refused him curtly. “This is not Winterfell,” he told him as he cut his meat with fork and dagger. “On the Wall, a man gets only what he earns. You’re no ranger, Jon, only a green boy with the smell of summer still on you.” - Jon III AGOT

He thinks he is better than the other peasant boys at the Night’s Watch:

“They’re not my brothers,” Jon snapped. “They hate me because I’m better than they are.” - Jon III AGOT

And he shows his sense of superiority by thinking about he’s the blood of Winterfell and the blood of the First Men:

Ygritte was with him, laughing at him, shedding her skins till she was naked as her name day, trying to kiss him, but he couldn’t, not with his father watching. He was the blood of Winterfell, a man of the Night’s Watch. - Jon VI ASOS

“Yes, my lord,” Jon said. The gods of the sept had nothing to do with him; the blood of the First Men flowed in the veins of the Starks. - Jon VI AGOT

And he while he learns to pretend to be more humble for appearance’s sake after Noye scolds him, he keeps his attitude of superiority, never listening to the concerns of his men in the Night’s Watch and doing only what he thinks is better, without any regard for what his brothers think. Even Melisandre notes how Jonathan has a false humility that is more pride than anything, and it impairs his ability to rule:

It was Jon Snow she needed, not fried bread and bacon, but it was no use sending Devan to the lord commander. He would not come to her summons. Snow still chose to dwell behind the armory, in a pair of modest rooms previously occupied by the Watch’s late blacksmith. Perhaps he did not think himself worthy of the King’s Tower, or perhaps he did not care. That was his mistake, the false humility of youth that is itself a sort of pride. It was never wise for a ruler to eschew the trappings of power, for power itself flows in no small measure from such trappings. - Melisandre I ADWD

Finally, R+L=J is a huge hint about Jonathan’s future. Jonathan is very likely to end up only being a bastard of Rhaegar and Lyanna. And as we see from the show, he is not destined to become King of Westeros. So what could possibly be the narrative reason for Jonathan to be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna? Some argue that R+L=J is important because Jonathan will be Azor Ahai/Prince that was Promise. But his aunt Daenerys already fits those prophecies much more, while he barely fits any of the requirements. So I would argue that the true reason for R+L=J is not for Jonathan to become king or prophetic hero: it’s a Chekhov’s Gun that will be revealed and explain Jonathan’s descent into madness, since he is the grandson of the Mad King.

And it makes a lot of sense, really. Jonathan is arrogant and entitled, he is tyrannical and violent, he keeps people in horrible conditions akin to slavery, and does things for his selfish desires, for glory, or if it benefits him, as shown above in this meta. It’s truly subversive and brilliant: we are led to believe that Jonathan’s story is yet another boring story about a traditional white able-bodied male hero, who is a secret prince and will save the world, only to realize how corrupted he is, how we shouldn’t be cheering for his violent ways.

I would like to remind everyone who identified with Snowy and saw something special in his growth that the story already has one good bastard male character: Gendry. Why on Earth would you want to stan that psycho Direwolf King when you have a perfectly unproblematic character right there? He even gets his happy ending in the show, and we all know this is very indicative.

No, you can’t be fan of both for different reasons. Everyone knows you can’t stan two bastards at the same time.

Yes, exactly. I’ve seen Jonathan stans saying that dark!Jonathan is bad because it’s “prejudice against bastards”. But Gendry is right there! Gendry is the true empowering representation for bastards! (It doesn’t matter that Gendry is only a side character and Jonathan is a protagonist, we all know that having positive representation in protagonists is not really that important. And we also know everyone must identify with one single character, we don’t need diverse representation of good bastards in power. Also, it’s totally ok if we have two evil bastards, that’s not problematic at all). Jonathan doesn’t need to be a symbol of empowerment for bastards, because we already have Gendry. Jonathan’s story is much more interesting as a villain, as a subversion of traditional fantasy tropes.

Soooo, would you be in favour of mad queen Daenerys? Out of the two of them she is the one with the foreshadowing.

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On 1/15/2023 at 8:56 PM, Sydney Mae said:

He already appears to lose his sanity to the men who were there at the meeting.  A black brother revealing what he did would look like a lunatic to the audience. 

Jon Snow by every measure looked insane from where I stood.  I had to execute him for the survival of the nights' watch.  It gave me no pleasure but he left me with no other choice. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/22/2023 at 5:55 AM, Damsel in Distress said:

Valyrians before the doom were having children with other Valyrians.  Yeah so the most likely cause in Westeros was because they were having children with Non-Valyrians.  The DNA may differ enough to cause problems. 

The Targaryen + Targaryen parent requirement for the Prince Who Was Promised-Azor Ahai was also to produce someone who can bring the dragons back to life.  To bring an extinct species back to life takes very powerful magic and that magic belongs to Dany alone.  It is additionally necessary in order to remove the possibility of the non-Valyrian gene causing madness.  The few Targaryens who went mad came from Targaryen + Non-Targaryen parental pairings. 

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11 hours ago, Kierria said:

The Targaryen + Targaryen parent requirement for the Prince Who Was Promised-Azor Ahai was also to produce someone who can bring the dragons back to life.  To bring an extinct species back to life takes very powerful magic and that magic belongs to Dany alone.  It is additionally necessary in order to remove the possibility of the non-Valyrian gene causing madness.  The few Targaryens who went mad came from Targaryen + Non-Targaryen parental pairings. 

Aerys was mad & is Daenerys's father lol. We also don't know that the magic is Dany's alone. She is definitely the only one thus far, that we know of, to hatch dragons, but that doesn't mean no one in the future will figure it out. 

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Just now, The Bard of Banefort said:

S8 really broke people’s brains, huh?

Apparently, after watching S8, these guys unanimously decided to jump from Burj Khalifa and somehow landed on their heads. Now they bang blocks together yelling, "Jon mad! Tully mad! Stark evil! Walder Frey good! Walder Frey good!"

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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

S8 really broke people’s brains, huh?

 

4 hours ago, Ser Arthurs Dawn said:

Apparently, after watching S8, these guys unanimously decided to jump from Burj Khalifa and somehow landed on their heads. Now they bang blocks together yelling, "Jon mad! Tully mad! Stark evil! Walder Frey good! Walder Frey good!"

This insanity was already an issue before season 8, but it did get worse after that. 

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On 1/14/2023 at 9:24 AM, Damsel in Distress said:

Targaryen + Targaryen = Maegor the Cruel
    Arryn + Targaryen = Rhaenyra
    Hightower + Targaryen = Aegon II
    Rogare + Targaryen = Aegon IV
    Velaryon + Targaryen = Baelor the Blessed
    Dayne + Targaryen = Aerion Brightflame
    Kiera + Targaryen = Vaela
    Targaryen + Targaryen = Aerys II

The madness is mostly public slander concocted by the political  enemies of the Targaryens.  Rhaenyra was not crazy.  She just made bad decisions.  Maegor did the right thing to stop a dangerous religious cult.  He should have persecuted the faith more than he did.  Baelor is not different from those religious nutjobs in the north feeding humans to the trees.  The only confirmed nutjobs are Aerion, Baelor, and Aerys. The first two were only half-Targaryen.  The maesters were probably sabotaging the reign of Aerys II and gave him drugs to ruin his mind. I hope Marwyn exposes the maesters. 

 

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