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"I am the Lord of Winterfell!" - Jon Snow's Unresolved Psychological Baggage

Craving Peaches

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On 2/1/2023 at 12:24 PM, kissdbyfire said:

Lastly, the last paragraph of the last quote, when Jon is pondering the offer Stannis made, is more about his awakening warg abilities… the ‘hunger inside’. And not only this but also an acknowledgement and understanding of what really matters. 

Yes and no.  It certainly seems like GRRM put a bow on this particular part of Jon’s story arc.  But then GRRM revisits it two books later in ADWD.  Which makes me think that GRRM has decided that Jon’s internal conflict with his vows to the Night’s Watch and his lust for Winterfell is still unresolved.

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8 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Nevertheless, a Jon presidency would be a different thing to a Robb presidency.

I'm not so sure.  They are both war time presidents and while Robb is on the offensive campaigning in the Riverlands and Jon is on the defensive at The Wall - to both north and south - they are both acting strategically in the best interests of The North as Ned taught them and as they believe right.

Of course GRRM being GRRM they both make strategic mistakes (Robb more so than Jon) and are both blindsided and undone by treachery (how very Nedlike :crying:) but I think their peacetime rule in the North would be very similar in how they treat their vassals and the smallfolk, which is really all ruling is in the absence of crises to manage.

Are they different individuals? Of course but nothing like, say Robert and Stannis or Balon and Euron in terms of how their character would shape their rule.

7 hours ago, SeanF said:

Jon was actually dealt a pretty bad hand by the Starks.

A big motivating factor for him to join the Watch was his belief that he would be destitute before long.  When it came to it, Catleyn was in a position to throw him out, in Ned's absence, and Ned had made no provision for him.  The Watch was a shithole, a penal colony, where 90% of recruits joined up only as an alternative to execution or starvation.  The likelihood was that Jon would die at a young age, on a wildling's axe, never having married, fathered children, or held lands.

It is no thanks to either Ned or Catelyn that he survived and became Lord Commander.

I think the example of Uncle Benjen takes the edge off this.  True, Jon is a bastard and he can expect no favours from Benjen but as Donal Noye, Aemon and Mormont all know and quickly confirm he is castle trained and, more importantly, educated as a Lord's son.  He has a lot of potential and he has to earn any rank or station in The Watch but he has a huge head start over the average recruit and is groomed for command from almost the beginning.   This wasn't guaranteed - Sam shows that - but I think it was always a good bet, if not that he would make such a meteoric rise.

It's still a hard and bleak life for sure and he does get picked for Qhorin's suicide mission so life is not without dangers but the alternative was probably dying with Robb at The Red Wedding or with Ser Rodrik in The Sack of Winterfell. 

And a lot of Jon's danger stems from Lannister overtures to yes men in The Watch.  Ned thought The Watch would be a safe haven compared to the particular dangers to Jon at Court but he couldn't know The Lannisters would prevail at KL and bring court politics to The Wall as well.

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