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Drowsey Dragon

"You Know Nothing Jon Snow" (Spoilers)

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Ygritte says this line over and over to Jon at very particular instances. It is even her last words to him when she passes away in his arms. For a young Wildling, Ygritte possess a surprising amount of deep wisdom which she shares with Jon. Do you think there is any deeper meaning into these words?

I have to assume there is, since they are used so much and with Jon in particular, who is turning out to be a key character in the series. We know he is unaware of so much outside the wall in the real world and what has happened with his family. This could be alluding to that in a literal sense, or that he knows so little of his origins, his mother, what Ned felt for her etc.

But I am leaning towards the words alluding to the fact he possessess an inner greatness that he is totally unaware of and what he is destined to become. I would really like to hear what others think about this.

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My theory is the same as yours, but I think it has both a 'literal sense' and 'the fact he possesses an inner greatness'.

A Dance With Dragons 'spoilers,' not really a spoiler, just a line of text spoken:

I believe

Melisandre

said to Jon in one of his chapters: 'You know nothing, Jon.' So the line is returning in Jon's chapters.

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I wondered something along these lines as well. I always felt that eventually we would be told something to correct the nothing. It never seemed to happen though.

My newest thoughts ont he matter though are this:

Martin is fantastic at creating his world. Creating essentially pop songs that get referenced constantly, not because they have any real meaning behind them, but just because he is creating a culture and world. I have come to think of this as a simple saying, a catch phrase similar to the Dothraki "it is known", or even a common catchphrase that we might use here in our real world. I think its something Martin added as a means to make his world more alive and independent of our own. Like how he uses Ser instead of Sir (even though ser is a real word, its a gender neutral form of sir, but clearly in Westeros it isnt entirely gender neutrl since people dont know how to address Brienne).

I'm not certain if I make sense here or if I'm just babbling (been drinking a bit) but essentially I think its just Martin's fantastic, in depth meticulous world building skills that we are seeing here in that he goes so far as to invent common phrases.

Also, I didnt read the spoiler because I've accidentally spoiled enough of ADWD so if it proves me way off I apologize.

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I wondered something along these lines as well. I always felt that eventually we would be told something to correct the nothing. It never seemed to happen though.

My newest thoughts ont he matter though are this:

Martin is fantastic at creating his world. Creating essentially pop songs that get referenced constantly, not because they have any real meaning behind them, but just because he is creating a culture and world. I have come to think of this as a simple saying, a catch phrase similar to the Dothraki "it is known", or even a common catchphrase that we might use here in our real world. I think its something Martin added as a means to make his world more alive and independent of our own. Like how he uses Ser instead of Sir (even though ser is a real word, its a gender neutral form of sir, but clearly in Westeros it isnt entirely gender neutrl since people dont know how to address Brienne).

I'm not certain if I make sense here or if I'm just babbling (been drinking a bit) but essentially I think its just Martin's fantastic, in depth meticulous world building skills that we are seeing here in that he goes so far as to invent common phrases.

Also, I didnt read the spoiler because I've accidentally spoiled enough of ADWD so if it proves me way off I apologize.

It's just that particular line 'you know nothing' spoken to a certain person by a certain person. If you finished A Storm of Swords you should know these two characters are at the same place, and that both of them are alive at the start of A Dance with Dragons. It might sound vague, but I just don't want to spoil anything.

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Okay, I've finally arrived at the point where my sweet nickname inspiration died, so I'll share some thoughts.

I believe the major hint is the situation where Jon counts the giants and mammooths and says something like "WOW there are so many, it must be hundreds" (or something like that) and then Ygritte snaps at him: "...hundreds? Oh you know nothing, Jon Snow!"

So from that I assume there must have been a time where there were not only "hundreds", but maybe a large part of Westeros used to be populated by giants, wildlings and all kinds of creatures. And when the modern Westerosi decided to "own" land and build a wall to let the natives deal with the harsh cold and the dangers of the north, they practically sentenced them to death or at least brought them close to extinction and claimed all the fertile lands for themselves.

It always reminds me of the Saami situation here in Finland, the nomad people of the Saami used to populate a very large area, but they didn't claim land. Nowadays, they are on the brink of extinction and their culture is mainly reduced to a tourist attraction.

Native people are often being perceived as barbaric or simple and people of the western world see them from their own limited perspectives. They don't really think the natives know anything useful, because they don't share the same values.

Also reminds me of native Americans and the movie Pocahontas ("Colours of the wind"):

Excerpt from the lyrics:

"You think I'm an ignorant savage and you've been so many places, I guess it must be so.

But still I cannot see - if the savage one is me, how can there be so much that you don't know?"

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Ygrette, I agree and thought the same... I was dissappointed that your namesake died as I was certain she was going to have his baby!

I was not dissappointed to see her die. I felt it was a fitting ending to her character arc. The last thing Jon wanted in life was to sire a bastard and if she had given birth, thats what would have happened since Jon could never marry her. Also she was quite savage and murdered the old man in cold blood right before Jon made his escape. I think the author made this point so you can see the different world perspectives and thinking process between Jon and Ygrette.

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I was not dissappointed to see her die. I felt it was a fitting ending to her character arc. The last thing Jon wanted in life was to sire a bastard and if she had given birth, thats what would have happened since Jon could never marry her. Also she was quite savage and murdered the old man in cold blood right before Jon made his escape. I think the author made this point so you can see the different world perspectives and thinking process between Jon and Ygrette.

Indeed... I wasn't disappointed on behalf of Jon so much as I thought it would be an interesting storyline... I'd have felt sorry for him if he was in that situation, would he have felt obliged to stay with her much as Robb did with Jeyne?

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Does anyone else notice the similarities between Jon/Ygritte storyline and Danaerys/Khal Drogo? I noticed some parallels there.

I thought "You know nothing" was just her way of saying "I love you."

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I think the author made this point so you can see the different world perspectives and thinking process between Jon and Ygrette.

That perfectly encapsulates what I think about the "You Know Nothing." I believe it's just Ygritte's way of reminding Jon Snow, that despite the fact that he had "turned in cloak" he is still a Crow at heart. It's sort of feel like it foreshadows the fact that the two of them can never actually be happy together, because they are so different.

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I think Ygritte has/had hope for Jon, she just keeps reminding him, because he still has a long way to go in order to become a free spirit. But I am sure she really would have wanted him to be freed of the 16 years of "civilized world" brainwash he's been going through. The short amount of time the two of them spent together were not enough to make him free, but at least now he knows that there's a world beyond the one he's grown up with and that it doesn't have to be a bad/cruel/savage one. Too many people in Westeros are afraid of different cultures. At least one of them has overcome this fear, which makes Jon still very valuable.

Ygritte taught him things he wouldn't have been able to understand if just some of the other wildlings had explained to him in words. And at one point she even says "You know nothing, Jon Snow. But you learn..."

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Ygritte seems to have more knowledge of a world that Jon knows nothing about. I think that's the point of the lines. Ygritte taught Jon things he never would have known had he stayed contentedly on the Wall. To me, that was her purpose: to show Jon a different life. Now he understands the enemy beyond-the-Wall better than anyone.

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Ygritte seems to have more knowledge of a world that Jon knows nothing about. I think that's the point of the lines. Ygritte taught Jon things he never would have known had he stayed contentedly on the Wall. To me, that was her purpose: to show Jon a different life. Now he understands the enemy beyond-the-Wall better than anyone.

True, but doesn't that say something about Jon? I feel like he saw a different life and turned his back on it. He could have chosen to be one of the free folk, but instead he chose the life of the seven kingdoms and what has that done for him? Called him a bastard and sent him out to the wall. It was the best life he could have hoped for--defending the realms of other men. I'm a little sore that he chose that, in the end, instead of Ygritte, and she paid the price for it.

It's so injust I have a feeling Jon will become a major player in "the Game" as the series goes on, even though by manning the wall he's supposed to be outside problems of succession.

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He could have chosen to be one of the free folk, but instead he chose the life of the seven kingdoms and what has that done for him? Called him a bastard and sent him out to the wall.

If I remember correctly, Jon wasn't sent to the wall, but it was his choice. Sure, frustration might have played a part in his decision, but the choice was his own. And I think his life as a bastard was a lot better than any other bastard's life in Westeros, let alone the life of the commonfolk. His childhood may not have been Disneyland, but it wasn't hell either.

I just remember a line from "A Chorus Line" that I've often found to be true: "It wasn't paradise, but it was home."

Just like Arya, he cannot just slip his identity off like an old shoe, just because his new environment has a lot to offer. He still loves his brothers, sisters, his father and all the people who ever loved him in Winterfell.

If you've been a Westerosi all your life, even if it's just for 15 years, you don't just turn into a wildling within a couple of weeks.

I'm 36 years old and been living in a foreign country for 5 years now. I love all of my new friends and decided to stay in this country. But still I'm not one of them, I'm still the foreigner. A loved, accepted and respected foreigner, but a foreigner.

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"You know nothing..." was a tender and humorous line the first 2-3 times, but grew aggravating after that. I can't blame Jon Snow for ditching Ygrette, especially after she killed a defenseless man in cold blood (and then shot an arrow at Jon Snow). She was clearly nuttier than fruit cake.

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Yes it was Jon's choice I just meant to point out how little regard the society he comes from places on him, so little that he felt the best decision he could make was going to serve on the Wall. I think Jon romanticized what life would be like up there because of his Uncle Benjen. It is actually really hard and he could have had it good with Ygritte. They seemed to be having "it" pretty good until he ran off. As far as Jon knows, most of his family is dead. I know that Jon did not kill Ygritte but I liked that line when he almost felt as though his arrow had killed her, because by being on opposite sides of the battle and Jon would not let Ygritte's side win. In fact he would do anything to stop them, even kill her. So it really shows what a loyal Westerosi boy he is that after the way they regard him, he would still let his first love die so he could stay on and man the wall.

Bit of a sap in my opinion. I guess it comes back for him now that he's Lord Commander.

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It's just that particular line 'you know nothing' spoken to a certain person by a certain person. If you finished A Storm of Swords you should know these two characters are at the same place, and that both of them are alive at the start of A Dance with Dragons. It might sound vague, but I just don't want to spoil anything.

However, as it has been pointed out on other forums, Ygritte is not the only person to say this to Jon. Melissandre says this and even Catelyn has said it also. I don't have a quote to hand, but I'm sure I recall a couple of other characters say it at some point also. I think the phrase is suited to the context in which it is said, ie. Ygritte says it probably because she marvels at his lack of worldly knowledge regarding the Wildling way of life, however as the phrase becomes increasingly repetitive, it is clear to me in any case, that it may have a wider significance, ie. it serves as some form of foreshadowing as to what Jon will eventually learn, regarding his inner strength and possibly his heritage as well.

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