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Mulled Wino

[Book Spoilers] The countinuing emasculation of Jon Snow

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Well, seeing as he's a heterosexual male who can resist Ygritte's sexual advances, I'd say he has honour and integrity made of Valyrian steel.

As I've said before in other threads, I feel this is the most important reason for the changes of the last few episodes. There is no way to show why Jon resists Ygritte's avances if she makes them after he has seemingly joined the wildlings. At that point, he can't say 'I took an oath of celibacy' as the explanation, that would give away to the wildlings that he still considers himself a crow. In the books we know this because we are inside his head, but in the show, if they can't let him say it, the reason for resisting Ygritte is open to interpretation. It could also be because he just isn't into her, or because he's a virgin and afraid to look terribly inexperienced to this wildling woman who obviously knows very well 'what goes where', or any other explanation people could come up with. With the scenes with Ygritte, they have established that he is tempted, but doesn't want to break his vow. If he keeps resisting her avances for a while after he joins them, that shows us he hasn't forgotten that vow yet, without him having to say it.

So I think moving up some of the Ygritte relationship to before he turned his cloak was necessary. I do wish they had done the rewriting differently, though, because I feel they way they did it, some things just don't make much sense, starting with how Qhorin and the others just leave Jon to killing Ygritte (even if they wanted to give him some privacy to do it, why would they move so far away that Jon could get lost?).

An example how it could have been done better:

- instead of letting Ygritte go Jon takes her back to Qhorin and the others (opportunity for the 'test' explanation of Qhorin)

- Qhorin sends Jon to take Ygritte back to the fist for questioning (opportunity for the needed pre-cloakturn 'sexual harrassment' scenes)

- Qhorin and the others run into Rattleshirt and his men, the rangers sacrifice themselves one-by-one to let Qhorin catch up with Jon with Rattleshirt hot on their tail.

- the rest follows as in the books, just with Ygritte as their prisoner at the time Rattleshirt catches them.

I think the most charitable explanation is that D & D do just interpret Jon differently from the majority of posters on this thread. A minority of posters do think their changes make sense, even from a character point of view (as hard as it is to understand that), so they're not absolutely out of line with possible ways of viewing Jon's character.

Good point. I never read Jon as this totally badass infallible guy people apparently want him to be in the show, certainly not at this point. I don't think the most important aspect of his development was 'manning up' or 'becoming a great leader'. To me, the most important thing was the development from 'always do what has to be done' like Ned taught him, obeying rules and customs, to 'do what is right from a more humanist point of view'. Lord Commander Jon does things not because the 'rules and customs' say they should be done. If he feels the right thing to do is not what the rules say that should be done, he changes the rules. That is why he opens the gates to the wildlings even though the Night's Watch is supposed to keep them out of the Seven Kingdoms: he feels it is not right to let thousands of people be killed by the others just because they were born on the wrong side of the wall. It's this change that by the end of aDwD is his downfall: he's changed too many rules for the men that followed him to accept.

This important aspect of Jon is still intact, so, while I didn't like all the changes and would have preferred a solution that didn't make Jon (and Qhorin) look less competent than they were in the books, I also don't think they really are problematic for Jon's further development.

The first season is pretty succesfull, so they get it in their heads that it's because of them, and then they think they can make any change they want. When in reality, the first season did so well because they actually stuck to the source material(for the most part).

I think that is not a fair judgement. The first book has nowhere near the complexity as the second. It serves as an introduction to the main characters, but there's not really huge character development yet, and the number of different storylines and locations is also significantly less. It's just easier source material to stick to. The second book is where things start to happen more inside the character's heads than through actions, which is much more difficult to translate to the screen, and the huge diverging of the storylines makes it very difficult too. They need to change things to make this interesting TV. If they stuck to all the contemplation and thoughts we get in the books, the 'average' TV-audience would get bored and/or terribly confused. All in all, the fact that we are all still watching and still care about what they do, proves to me that they are not doing a bad job.

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I think that is not a fair judgement. The first book has nowhere near the complexity as the second. It serves as an introduction to the main characters, but there's not really huge character development yet, and the number of different storylines and locations is also significantly less. It's just easier source material to stick to. The second book is where things start to happen more inside the character's heads than through actions, which is much more difficult to translate to the screen, and the huge diverging of the storylines makes it very difficult too. They need to change things to make this interesting TV. If they stuck to all the contemplation and thoughts we get in the books, the 'average' TV-audience would get bored and/or terribly confused. All in all, the fact that we are all still watching and still care about what they do, proves to me that they are not doing a bad job.

true. the first season was much easier to translate to the screen. the narrative is tighter the main characters were together for much of it, and then restricted to a few locations, with one outlier(daeny). now everyone is by themselves, and the narrative has widened in scope tremendously. predictably, they lost control, and a lot of season two has suffered. they either wern't up to the task or they underestimated it, admiring their own work in season one. hopefully, after they see what a wreck they've created, they put serious effort into fixing these problems for season 3. again, translating book2 was an exponentially tougher job. nailing it would have been a tremendous accomplishment. but they did not nail it,

they do need to make changes, and probably bigger ones than theyve been making. they need to focus on arcs, or cut them entirely. the cliffnotes plotlines we've been getting are weak.

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As I've said before in other threads, I feel this is the most important reason for the changes of the last few episodes. There is no way to show why Jon resists Ygritte's avances if she makes them after he has seemingly joined the wildlings. At that point, he can't say 'I took an oath of celibacy' as the explanation, that would give away to the wildlings that he still considers himself a crow. In the books we know this because we are inside his head, but in the show, if they can't let him say it, the reason for resisting Ygritte is open to interpretation. It could also be because he just isn't into her, or because he's a virgin and afraid to look terribly inexperienced to this wildling woman who obviously knows very well 'what goes where', or any other explanation people could come up with. With the scenes with Ygritte, they have established that he is tempted, but doesn't want to break his vow. If he keeps resisting her avances for a while after he joins them, that shows us he hasn't forgotten that vow yet, without him having to say it.

So I think moving up some of the Ygritte relationship to before he turned his cloak was necessary. I do wish they had done the rewriting differently, though, because I feel they way they did it, some things just don't make much sense, starting with how Qhorin and the others just leave Jon to killing Ygritte (even if they wanted to give him some privacy to do it, why would they move so far away that Jon could get lost?).

An example how it could have been done better:

- instead of letting Ygritte go Jon takes her back to Qhorin and the others (opportunity for the 'test' explanation of Qhorin)

- Qhorin sends Jon to take Ygritte back to the fist for questioning (opportunity for the needed pre-cloakturn 'sexual harrassment' scenes)

- Qhorin and the others run into Rattleshirt and his men, the rangers sacrifice themselves one-by-one to let Qhorin catch up with Jon with Rattleshirt hot on their tail.

- the rest follows as in the books, just with Ygritte as their prisoner at the time Rattleshirt catches them.

Good point. I never read Jon as this totally badass infallible guy people apparently want him to be in the show, certainly not at this point. I don't think the most important aspect of his development was 'manning up' or 'becoming a great leader'. To me, the most important thing was the development from 'always do what has to be done' like Ned taught him, obeying rules and customs, to 'do what is right from a more humanist point of view'. Lord Commander Jon does things not because the 'rules and customs' say they should be done. If he feels the right thing to do is not what the rules say that should be done, he changes the rules. That is why he opens the gates to the wildlings even though the Night's Watch is supposed to keep them out of the Seven Kingdoms: he feels it is not right to let thousands of people be killed by the others just because they were born on the wrong side of the wall. It's this change that by the end of aDwD is his downfall: he's changed too many rules for the men that followed him to accept.

This important aspect of Jon is still intact, so, while I didn't like all the changes and would have preferred a solution that didn't make Jon (and Qhorin) look less competent than they were in the books, I also don't think they really are problematic for Jon's further development.

I think that is not a fair judgement. The first book has nowhere near the complexity as the second. It serves as an introduction to the main characters, but there's not really huge character development yet, and the number of different storylines and locations is also significantly less. It's just easier source material to stick to. The second book is where things start to happen more inside the character's heads than through actions, which is much more difficult to translate to the screen, and the huge diverging of the storylines makes it very difficult too. They need to change things to make this interesting TV. If they stuck to all the contemplation and thoughts we get in the books, the 'average' TV-audience would get bored and/or terribly confused. All in all, the fact that we are all still watching and still care about what they do, proves to me that they are not doing a bad job.

There is a way to show Jon resisting Ygritte, after he joins the Wildlings, without him saying "I swore a vow". In the book, Jon said he didn't want to screw Ygritte because he "would not father a bastard, and that he was to young to wed", that's the reasoning he gave Tormond, for not having sex with Ygritte. So the show could have done domething like that, it's not like there only option was to show Jon refusing Ygritte, before "turning his cloak".

And I understand the second book is more complicated than the first book. I get that they need to combine some storylines, and condense others. However, that does not explain some of the very poor choices they have made with their changes this season. There is no reason to show Jon being a blundering idiot in every single episode he is in, especially when some of those blunders conflict with the character development they showed him having in season one. They should be able to figure out how to do changes withough changing entire character motivations, and we should not be able to tell who the writers personally like best, and who they don't care about, as far as characters go. Then there are some very minor things that they have changed, for no reason at all, but to be different from the books. In the book, 4 men go with Qhorin including Jon, and that's Ebben, Stonesnake, and Squire Dalbridge. In the show, the same amount of men go with Qhorin, except they give two of the guys made up names, instead of making them Ebben and Squire Dalbridge. I know that's not a huge thing, but why change those two names to something made up, if not just for the sake of being different?

In the show, Tywin freaks out on Amory Lorch for sending a raven to a Northern House. I have no problem with this(or any of the Tywin changes for the most part). However, the House Tywin names is a made up Northern House. What is the point of that? There are like fifty known Northern Houses in the books, and they could have used any one of them. So why have Amory send a raven to a made up House, it just makes no sense, there is no reasoning for it, other than just being different. So why those things are not huge, there is still no reason to change them. The show is already going to have to change so much, and they do, so that's why people get mad with the little things, when there is no point in changing them. The show has completely whitewashed Tyrion, they have made people sympathies with Cersei way more than in the books, and they have made Joffrey way worse than he is. There is no need for such extreme changes, they don't need to completely remake all these major characters.

For example, the changes they made with Margaery Tyrell's character, combining her character with Olenna Tyrell's, that was done very well. It makes sense to combine characters like that for the show. The unfortunate thing is though, not all the changes have been as successful as the changes with Margaery. The show is making to many characters black and white, instead of leaving them as shades of grey. The books are full of grey characters, and that's what makes them so good. Yet the show is changing that for some reason, and it's not because tv audiences don't like those kinds of characters. HBO has had a lot of shows with morally grey characters, very succesful shows I might add. So that's why it seems like the writers are changing things just because they can, and that's why it seems like they think they are better than the source material.

(I really hope this post makes sense. I wrote it after just waking up, with only like an hour of sleep, because my 8 week old boxer puppy doesn't think I should be sleeping right now.)

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There is a way to show Jon resisting Ygritte, after he joins the Wildlings, without him saying "I swore a vow". In the book, Jon said he didn't want to screw Ygritte because he "would not father a bastard, and that he was to young to wed", that's the reasoning he gave Tormond, for not having sex with Ygritte. So the show could have done domething like that, it's not like there only option was to show Jon refusing Ygritte, before "turning his cloak".

That is the explanation he gives Tormond, yes, and I believe there is truth to it too, but it isn't the main reason. The main reason is being true to his vows is so important to him, and they can't have him say that after he joined the wildlings. It's only later that he realises the celibacy thing isn't that important, what's important about joining the Nights Watch is defending the realm, and as long as he does that, he's not betraying the NW, even if he is breaking their rules. That is the development I'm talking about: from being the guy who follows the rules he becomes the guy who does things because he feels they are the right thing to do.

And I understand the second book is more complicated than the first book. I get that they need to combine some storylines, and condense others. However, that does not explain some of the very poor choices they have made with their changes this season. There is no reason to show Jon being a blundering idiot in every single episode he is in, especially when some of those blunders conflict with the character development they showed him having in season one.

I already said that I would have preferred them to make the change in a different way, making him look less blundering. I'm not sure the blunders conflict with the development from season one, though. In season one we saw that he's a good swordfighter, we saw that even though he thought he was better as them at first ('Lord Snow') he developed a good relationship with the 'common men' of the Nights Watch (Grenn and Pip), we saw that he stood up to protect the weaker elements (Sam), and we saw that he ultimately decides to stick to his vows even though he wants to do something different (although it took his friends to convince him on that one). I haven't seen blunders that conflict with that.

They should be able to figure out how to do changes withouth changing entire character motivations, and we should not be able to tell who the writers personally like best, and who they don't care about, as far as characters go.

As explained, I don't think they have changed Jon's entire character motivation. It would have been more of a change to his motivation if they had disregarded Jon saying no to Ygritte because of his vow.

Then there are some very minor things that they have changed, for no reason at all, but to be different from the books. In the book, 4 men go with Qhorin including Jon, and that's Ebben, Stonesnake, and Squire Dalbridge. In the show, the same amount of men go with Qhorin, except they give two of the guys made up names, instead of making them Ebben and Squire Dalbridge. I know that's not a huge thing, but why change those two names to something made up, if not just for the sake of being different?

In the show, Tywin freaks out on Amory Lorch for sending a raven to a Northern House. I have no problem with this(or any of the Tywin changes for the most part). However, the House Tywin names is a made up Northern House. What is the point of that? There are like fifty known Northern Houses in the books, and they could have used any one of them. So why have Amory send a raven to a made up House, it just makes no sense, there is no reasoning for it, other than just being different. So why those things are not huge, there is still no reason to change them. The show is already going to have to change so much, and they do, so that's why people get mad with the little things, when there is no point in changing them.

I agree with you on that point. Those minor changes don't really have a point to them. But, as they are minor changes, I don't really have a problem with them, either. Maybe it's because i have only read the books twice, and these details were already lost to me anyway.

The show has completely whitewashed Tyrion, they have made people sympathies with Cersei way more than in the books, and they have made Joffrey way worse than he is. There is no need for such extreme changes, they don't need to completely remake all these major characters.

I don't know if you read the forum on TWOP, especially the 'completely unspoilt' thread? It seems to me those characters are received pretty much as I read them first time around. I think our view of the characters is influenced a lot by what happens later in the books, and what's great about GRRM's writing is that, when we re-read, we see that the elements that become clear later on in the books are already present earlier.

For example, the changes they made with Margaery Tyrell's character, combining her character with Olenna Tyrell's, that was done very well. It makes sense to combine characters like that for the show. The unfortunate thing is though, not all the changes have been as successful as the changes with Margaery. The show is making to many characters black and white, instead of leaving them as shades of grey. The books are full of grey characters, and that's what makes them so good. Yet the show is changing that for some reason, and it's not because tv audiences don't like those kinds of characters. HBO has had a lot of shows with morally grey characters, very succesful shows I might add. So that's why it seems like the writers are changing things just because they can, and that's why it seems like they think they are better than the source material.

I'm afraid that is the result of the time restraints. Like I said, GRRM is very good at including details that make the characters greyer, that become more obvious as time passes, but the show simply does not have the time to be this nuanced.

(I really hope this post makes sense. I wrote it after just waking up, with only like an hour of sleep, because my 8 week old boxer puppy doesn't think I should be sleeping right now.)

It does. I just don't agree with all of it :D

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As I've said before in other threads, I feel this is the most important reason for the changes of the last few episodes. There is no way to show why Jon resists Ygritte's avances if she makes them after he has seemingly joined the wildlings. At that point, he can't say 'I took an oath of celibacy' as the explanation, that would give away to the wildlings that he still considers himself a crow. In the books we know this because we are inside his head, but in the show, if they can't let him say it, the reason for resisting Ygritte is open to interpretation. It could also be because he just isn't into her, or because he's a virgin and afraid to look terribly inexperienced to this wildling woman who obviously knows very well 'what goes where', or any other explanation people could come up with. With the scenes with Ygritte, they have established that he is tempted, but doesn't want to break his vow. If he keeps resisting her avances for a while after he joins them, that shows us he hasn't forgotten that vow yet, without him having to say it.

So I think moving up some of the Ygritte relationship to before he turned his cloak was necessary. I do wish they had done the rewriting differently, though, because I feel they way they did it, some things just don't make much sense, starting with how Qhorin and the others just leave Jon to killing Ygritte (even if they wanted to give him some privacy to do it, why would they move so far away that Jon could get lost?).

An example how it could have been done better:

- instead of letting Ygritte go Jon takes her back to Qhorin and the others (opportunity for the 'test' explanation of Qhorin)

- Qhorin sends Jon to take Ygritte back to the fist for questioning (opportunity for the needed pre-cloakturn 'sexual harrassment' scenes)

- Qhorin and the others run into Rattleshirt and his men, the rangers sacrifice themselves one-by-one to let Qhorin catch up with Jon with Rattleshirt hot on their tail.

- the rest follows as in the books, just with Ygritte as their prisoner at the time Rattleshirt catches them.

Good point. I never read Jon as this totally badass infallible guy people apparently want him to be in the show, certainly not at this point. I don't think the most important aspect of his development was 'manning up' or 'becoming a great leader'. To me, the most important thing was the development from 'always do what has to be done' like Ned taught him, obeying rules and customs, to 'do what is right from a more humanist point of view'. Lord Commander Jon does things not because the 'rules and customs' say they should be done. If he feels the right thing to do is not what the rules say that should be done, he changes the rules. That is why he opens the gates to the wildlings even though the Night's Watch is supposed to keep them out of the Seven Kingdoms: he feels it is not right to let thousands of people be killed by the others just because they were born on the wrong side of the wall. It's this change that by the end of aDwD is his downfall: he's changed too many rules for the men that followed him to accept.

This important aspect of Jon is still intact, so, while I didn't like all the changes and would have preferred a solution that didn't make Jon (and Qhorin) look less competent than they were in the books, I also don't think they really are problematic for Jon's further development.

I think that is not a fair judgement. The first book has nowhere near the complexity as the second. It serves as an introduction to the main characters, but there's not really huge character development yet, and the number of different storylines and locations is also significantly less. It's just easier source material to stick to. The second book is where things start to happen more inside the character's heads than through actions, which is much more difficult to translate to the screen, and the huge diverging of the storylines makes it very difficult too. They need to change things to make this interesting TV. If they stuck to all the contemplation and thoughts we get in the books, the 'average' TV-audience would get bored and/or terribly confused. All in all, the fact that we are all still watching and still care about what they do, proves to me that they are not doing a bad job.

Interesting post.

I certainly don't think anyone would say Jon was infallible. He didn't make any of the mistakes Jon Show does, but that doesn't mean he has super powers or anything. He was badass in the books compared to Jon Show though, although this isn't saying much.

I didn't think Jon's arc in CoK was about becoming a leader no, it was about growing up and resigning himself to being a man of the Night's Watch and learning about his duty. Interestingly the leadership bit is what HBO is playing up, if you think about Mormont's comment to Jon at Craster's and Benioff's idea that Jon Show thinks asking to go with Qhorin is a fast track to leadership.

I guess I don't agree with your idea of an opposition between a code Jon learned from Ned and a more humane ethos he later develops. Jon has always been a humane person, I think, and he learned this from Ned.

Even if you are right about this being central to Jon's development though, why have D & D botched the scene that really revealed Jon being humane, namely his sparing of Ygritte. They changed it from the books so Jon's honourable decision is laced with indecision and weakness. It is not even clear when Jon decides to spare Ygritte, he just chickens out of doing the deed then and there.

Lastly, Jon's incompetence, married to his reluctance to kill a girl (the only reason the show gave for his behaviour with Ygritte) has gotten all his comrades killed. This ought to be an immensely powerful formative experience which should change Jon substantially from the book version. So it is hard to say they are really on the right tracks with his character.

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Interesting post.

I certainly don't think anyone would say Jon was infallible. He didn't make any of the mistakes Jon Show does, but that doesn't mean he has super powers or anything. He was badass in the books compared to Jon Show though, although this isn't saying much.

I didn't think Jon's arc in CoK was about becoming a leader no, it was about growing up and resigning himself to being a man of the Night's Watch and learning about his duty. Interestingly the leadership bit is what HBO is playing up, if you think about Mormont's comment to Jon at Craster's and Benioff's idea that Jon Show thinks asking to go with Qhorin is a fast track to leadership.

I guess I don't agree with your idea of an opposition between a code Jon learned from Ned and a more humane ethos he later develops. Jon has always been a humane person, I think, and he learned this from Ned.

Even if you are right about this being central to Jon's development though, why have D & D botched the scene that really revealed Jon being humane, namely his sparing of Ygritte. They changed it from the books so Jon's honourable decision is laced with indecision and weakness. It is not even clear when Jon decides to spare Ygritte, he just chickens out of doing the deed then and there.

Lastly, Jon's incompetence, married to his reluctance to kill a girl (the only reason the show gave for his behaviour with Ygritte) has gotten all his comrades killed. This ought to be an immensely powerful formative experience which should change Jon substantially from the book version. So it is hard to say they are really on the right tracks with his character.

I agree with this.

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You also missed that he was selected steward to the LC to be groomed for command and was very competant. Enough so to rescue the LC from a midnight attack from a wight amd kill said wight. That makes a big point and refutes your comment about his development from one book to John Show season 2.

"hope you make a better ranger than you did a steward"

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They miss so many chances to tie the second season to the first season (the season that was so effective because it followed the book more closely).

Most people remember the scene when Ned cut off the head of the boy from the Night's Watch who ran from the white walkers. Back then, Jon didn't question Ned, he was his hero. But here Jon is in a nearly identical situation, about to swing the blade and he makes a very different decision, he spares Ygritte. That's character growth, that's continuity, that's even downright poetic. The bastard is seeing the shades of gray that Ned, for all his finer points, couldn't see.

The show took all that away. Sure, they get from point A to point B. But along the way, they leave something behind - the character.

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But here Jon is in a nearly identical situation, about to swing the blade and he makes a very different decision, he spares Ygritte.

In what way is this "nearly identical." Ned beheaded an oath breaker. Jon and the Crows captured an enemy on the enemies' soil, and for expediency expected to kill them all. No lofty ideals there. That Jon spared her, for whatever reason, redounds to his favor later. She saves him. What goes around comes around. A standard theme in literature and life.

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@fengari

i will only respond that even if you accept the show's premise and storyline, there were easy and appropiate changes that would not have impacted time or budget and would fit within the story arc they were creating.

if jon once defended himself to Ygritte during the 2 episodes in other than lame ways.

If he responded just once to shut her up saying something like "I will father no bastards" that would have empowered Jon, given insight to his character and still created and strengthened the relationship to Y.

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As I've said before in other threads, I feel this is the most important reason for the changes of the last few episodes. There is no way to show why Jon resists Ygritte's avances if she makes them after he has seemingly joined the wildlings. At that point, he can't say 'I took an oath of celibacy' as the explanation, that would give away to the wildlings that he still considers himself a crow. In the books we know this because we are inside his head, but in the show, if they can't let him say it, the reason for resisting Ygritte is open to interpretation. It could also be because he just isn't into her, or because he's a virgin and afraid to look terribly inexperienced to this wildling woman who obviously knows very well 'what goes where', or any other explanation people could come up with. With the scenes with Ygritte, they have established that he is tempted, but doesn't want to break his vow. If he keeps resisting her avances for a while after he joins them, that shows us he hasn't forgotten that vow yet, without him having to say it.

I agree that it's going to be hard to show that Jon's still faithful to his oath. In the book, we can hear his inner thoughts but film has its own ways how to work around that. For example, while being with the wildlings Jon can encounter a member of the night's watch and tell him that he's not a turncloak and then have the wildlings kill the guy. Also they can use the actor's face to show the character's true feelings. Besides, he said he doesn't want to have sex with her because he doesn't want to father a bastard. That explains his hesitation to me. And he didn't find her attractive at first but they can't use that since Ygritte is played by Rose. And if I remember correctly, none of the wildlings really believed that he broke his oath.

I didn't think Jon's arc in CoK was about becoming a leader no, it was about growing up and resigning himself to being a man of the Night's Watch and learning about his duty. Interestingly the leadership bit is what HBO is playing up, if you think about Mormont's comment to Jon at Craster's and Benioff's idea that Jon Show thinks asking to go with Qhorin is a fast track to leadership.

Jon's motivation is still the same, I think. He's a lord's son who's had to live his whole life under the shadow of his siblings. He wants to prove everyone that he's just as good as them. He couldn't do that while being locked at the Wall, so Mormont's campaign presents a huge opportunity for him. Being asked by Qhorin to join his scout party is a big honor for him and he doesn't want to disappoint him because he's this big famous ranger. And he didn't. He did everything right. He's competent and level-headed. But that's exactly what the show turned on its head. Jon Show is reckless, doesn't think ahead and can't defend himself even if he's being insulted by his prisoner. So his motivation is still there but the execution is completely wrong. The writers might think that his main motivation is to become a leader(which I also don't really agree with) but it isn't flat out wrong. It just isn't something that plays a big part in ACoK. He just wants to be a proper member of the Night's watch and show that he's worth something. The fact that Sam now looks like a more competent man of the watch just proves my point.

Another thing that's been bothering me is that Jon's scenes lack drama. And by this I mean dialogues with some powerful writing and emotions. The only one I find good is Mormont telling him to learn how to follow... and maybe his fight with Ygritte about the North. Season 1 was much better in this regard. We had his talk with Eddard, Tyrion, Sam and Aemon. There's one episode left till the end of the season and we've had two fairly interesting scenes that tried to deepen Jon's character. He's one of the main characters for God's sake! But no, they'd rather show Ros getting schooled by LF or being tortured by Joffrey.

true. the first season was much easier to translate to the screen. the narrative is tighter the main characters were together for much of it, and then restricted to a few locations, with one outlier(daeny). now everyone is by themselves, and the narrative has widened in scope tremendously. predictably, they lost control, and a lot of season two has suffered. they either wern't up to the task or they underestimated it, admiring their own work in season one. hopefully, after they see what a wreck they've created, they put serious effort into fixing these problems for season 3. again, translating book2 was an exponentially tougher job. nailing it would have been a tremendous accomplishment. but they did not nail it,

they do need to make changes, and probably bigger ones than theyve been making. they need to focus on arcs, or cut them entirely. the cliffnotes plotlines we've been getting are weak.

This.

I think they extremely underestimated the complexity of the second book. But if you can't do it right, then don't do it at all. It seems to me like they didn't have enough time for the pre-production of season 2. The first season was a much longer process and it shows. Hire more writers (good ones) and make Bryan Cogman the third showrunner. They need someone to tell them what they're doing wrong and since D&D started this thing together and had success with it, they can't see clearly anymore. They're downgrading a lot of the characters. I don't know if they fear losing viewers or if they just cater to fans of certain characters. This show is never going to be True Blood but it is HBO. It's supposed to be complex and jarring. This season is "A Clash of Kings for Dummies" and that's a big shock for me after season 1.

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I want to comment on some things after doing some rereading.

I think it cant be overstated how good Jon Snow is at committing violence, and how comfortable he is with it. That Jon Show would let Craster just haul him around like a sack of potatoes rings hollow, Jon is extremely well prepared to meet violence with violence. By the end of storm of swords, when Thorne goes to grab him Jon grabs Thornes throat with enough force to lift him off the ground and is prepared to throttle him, until other guards step in. At the skirling pass he has no problem killing orell quickly and stil getting a dagger to Ygrittes throat. Unless Jon was unconcious, I dont think he would have left himself to Craster's tender mercy.

That said, if they really wanted to do that scene, why not substitute Sam for Jon? Its not a hit to Sam's character at all, in fact its more in character for him then Jon. In the books I think its pretty clear that Jon isnt really interested in bucking things at Crasters. He airs his concerns to Mormont only later, and leaves it up to Mormont in terms of what to do about it.

And frankly, the fact that Jon is extremely good at violence and has no fear of it, I think is at the core of Ygritte's attraction to him, strange as that may sound. Wildling society is very anarchic, a man's place in it is often his ability to defend what is his. For a woman in such a society, men who are strong protectors are probably very attractive. But the flip side is that strong aggressive men can also be extremely threatening as well. The fact that Jon is in a posiiton where Ygritte expects to be raped, murdered or both and yet treats her relatively well means hes actually a safe person to be interested in, not a minor point. Add to this that he shows interest in what she has to say about Bael the Bard, From the perspective of Ygritte, here she has found a man she finds physically attractive, is safe to be around but equally capable of cutting anyone else who messes with her to ribbons, if you think about it that way Jon is pretty much her dream man. The fact that he killed the halfhand? Ghost helping is immaterial, since being a warg is like being strong, its a general feature. Jon pretty much establishes himself as one of the deadliest men in Wildling society with that. The halfhand was someone wildlings knew and feared.

I just think Ygritte's attraction to Jon makes a lot of sense in the books when you think through it from a Wildling woman's perspective. Jon is answering the most fundamental questions for such a woman about a man's worthiness in that night.

Anyways I dont think Jon Show can have the same appeal, because hes not anywhere near as dangerous as Jon Snow. Not that the TV show could have sold things better then the book, which I dont think sold things all that well either, but fundamentally its not the same dynamic.

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I want to comment on some things after doing some rereading.

I think it cant be overstated how good Jon Snow is at committing violence, and how comfortable he is with it. That Jon Show would let Craster just haul him around like a sack of potatoes rings hollow, Jon is extremely well prepared to meet violence with violence. By the end of storm of swords, when Thorne goes to grab him Jon grabs Thornes throat with enough force to lift him off the ground and is prepared to throttle him, until other guards step in. At the skirling pass he has no problem killing orell quickly and stil getting a dagger to Ygrittes throat. Unless Jon was unconcious, I dont think he would have left himself to Craster's tender mercy.

That said, if they really wanted to do that scene, why not substitute Sam for Jon? Its not a hit to Sam's character at all, in fact its more in character for him then Jon. In the books I think its pretty clear that Jon isnt really interested in bucking things at Crasters. He airs his concerns to Mormont only later, and leaves it up to Mormont in terms of what to do about it.

And frankly, the fact that Jon is extremely good at violence and has no fear of it, I think is at the core of Ygritte's attraction to him, strange as that may sound. Wildling society is very anarchic, a man's place in it is often his ability to defend what is his. For a woman in such a society, men who are strong protectors are probably very attractive. But the flip side is that strong aggressive men can also be extremely threatening as well. The fact that Jon is in a posiiton where Ygritte expects to be raped, murdered or both means hes actually a safe person to be interested in, not a minor point. Add to this that he shows interest in what she has to say about Bael the Bard, From the perspective of Ygritte, here she has found a man she finds physically attractive, is safe to be around but equally capable of cutting anyone else who messes with her to ribbons, if you think about it that way Jon is pretty much her dream man. The fact that he killed the halfhand? Ghost helping is immaterial, since being a warg is like being strong, its a general feature. Jon pretty much establishes himself as one of the deadliest men in Wildling society with that. The halfhand was someone wildlings knew and feared.

I just think Ygritte's attraction to Jon makes a lot of sense in the books when you think through it from a Wildling woman's perspective. Jon is answering the most fundamental questions for such a woman about a man's worthiness in that night.

Anyways I dont think Jon Show can have the same appeal, because hes not anywhere near as dangerous as Jon Snow. Not that the TV show could have sold things better then the book, which I dont think sold things all that well either, but fundamentally its not the same dynamic.

Your absolutely right about why Ygritte is attracted to Jon in the books.

It really makes no sense why she is attracted to Jon in the show, other than him physically looking good, unless she likes slow dumb guys. Seriously, Jon Show is a bigger simpleton than Hodor, it's ridiculous. In the books, Jon and Stonesnake are the ones that attack Ygritte, Orel, and that third guy, and Jon takes on two people. Jon kills Orel fast enough to get to Ygritte, before she can make a move. However, the show doesn't give Jon any credit here. In the show Qhorin takes on two guys, and Jon gets Ygritte. So Jon didn't really steal her in the show, because he didn't outfight or outthink the men with her, Qhorin did. In the show version Ygritte should think Qhorin stole her, not Jon. That's why it makes no sense for Ygritte to want Jon in the show. Jon killing Orel and letting Ygritte live was huge for why she liked him, he didn't spare her and then chase her, he just let her go.

On a side note, I really loved Ygritte's line in the book, when she says "do it bastard, I can't stay brave for ever", when he is about to kill her. It really made me mad that they didn't give her that line in the show, because I felt like that line was a good representation of Ygritte's character. Also, in the show, when Ygritte is talking to Jon as he is about to take her head off, she was more angry than in the book. Especially when she said "strike hard and true crow, or I'll come back and haunt you", I always thought that line was more playful in the book, and that's part of what made it so hard for Jon, because Ygritte was being so light hearted and casual. In the book, Jon asked Ygritte if she was afraid, and she said, "I was last night, but now the sun has come up". So I don't know, I just thought they made her to angry at that part in the show. I mean Ygritte can be fierce, but she also jokes a lot, and that's what I liked about her in the books, even when she was about to be a head shorter, she was still joking.

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From the perspective of Ygritte, here she has found a man she finds physically attractive, is safe to be around but equally capable of cutting anyone else who messes with her to ribbons, if you think about it that way Jon is pretty much her dream man.

You don't get the concept of what a spearwife is at all, do you? In fact, it is Ygritte who stands up and protects Jon on every single occasion in ASOS. The term 'emasculation' in this thread is telling enough. Ygritte is not into Jon because he is a mindless brute who is able to defend what he manages to drag into his cave. Mance is not king of the wildlings because he could beat the Magnar of Thenn and some other leaders. It is much more than that. Wildling society is the only society we have met that knows about gender equality. A man who steals a woman is not simply required to be violent, he must be smart and creative on top of that. Ygritte is not into Jon because he can protect her. She can protect herself. She starts to like him because he is smart, interested in her culture and their songs. If he was a mindless brute, she would just kill him in his sleep, because that is what wildling women do, in contrast to the kneeler women that are just sold by their families and have no way of helping themselves. I liked that about the show, they underlined that there is a society in which women can be strong. I would have hated it if Jon "had just shut her up" with some witty remark. This is her territory, she is a strong woman, and she chose Jon to be her partner not because she needs protection, but because she is a free woman. Just like the free folk choose their own kings. Jon is lost in this kind of society, and the show decided to underline that. He will get used to it and then he will appear more confident again. Right now, he has a lot to learn. For example, that being mocked by a woman doesn't equal emasculation. Ygritte outsmarted him and he will learn to do the same, and she will like him even better for it. Why do you all think weakness in a certain situation is a sign of 'emasculation'? This would imply not being a man (= being a woman) would equal weakness, right? Ygritte was in a weak position when she was captured, and no one would think she was a weak person. She was clever and turned the tables on Jon, so this initial weakness worked in her favour. Jon has to do the same. Why would that be emasculating? You need to experience failures so you can overcome them, but this is not even the point. The point is that Ygritte is not there to show that Jon is a desirable guy. Her function in the story is to reveal the free folk's perspective.

I think it was a good decision to lay the ground work for the concept of wildling society during the scenes with Ygritte and to cut the scenes with the rangers being on the run from Rattleshirt. These scenes would only be useful to work on Qhorin' characterisation, but why do we even need one? We didn't spend as much time with him as in the books. He will die soon, so why 'waste' scarce screen time with him? I like Qhorin in the books, but for the show they decided not to focus on his character, but on this function to the plot development. In the following seasons, it will be much more important that Jon learns about wildling culture because the free folk are an important statement about feudal Westeros and the Game of Thrones. If Jon is destined to be a king or a leader, he needs to learn these things. It's much more important than being the invincible smart guy with the cool wolf. This story is not about Jon, it is about the Game of Thrones. It is a political story, not a Bildungsroman. So maybe they are not very subtle with the handling of Jon's learning processes. So what?

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You don't get the concept of what a spearwife is at all, do you? In fact, it is Ygritte who stands up and protects Jon on every single occasion in ASOS. The term 'emasculation' in this thread is telling enough. Ygritte is not into Jon because he is a mindless brute who is able to defend what he manages to drag into his cave. Mance is not king of the wildlings because he could beat the Magnar of Thenn and some other leaders. It is much more than that. Wildling society is the only society we have met that knows about gender equality. A man who steals a woman is not simply required to be violent, he must be smart and creative on top of that. Ygritte is not into Jon because he can protect her. She can protect herself. She starts to like him because he is smart, interested in her culture and their songs. If he was a mindless brute, she would just kill him in his sleep, because that is what wildling women do, in contrast to the kneeler women that are just sold by their families and have no way of helping themselves. I liked that about the show, they underlined that there is a society in which women can be strong. I would have hated it if Jon "had just shut her up" with some witty remark. This is her territory, she is a strong woman, and she chose Jon to be her partner not because she needs protection, but because she is a free woman. Just like the free folk choose their own kings. Jon is lost in this kind of society, and the show decided to underline that. He will get used to it and then he will appear more confident again. Right now, he has a lot to learn. For example, that being mocked by a woman doesn't equal emasculation. Ygritte outsmarted him and he will learn to do the same, and she will like him even better for it. Why do you all think weakness in a certain situation is a sign of 'emasculation'? This would imply not being a man (= being a woman) would equal weakness, right? Ygritte was in a weak position when she was captured, and no one would think she was a weak person. She was clever and turned the tables on Jon, so this initial weakness worked in her favour. Jon has to do the same. Why would that be emasculating? You need to experience failures so you can overcome them, but this is not even the point. The point is that Ygritte is not there to show that Jon is a desirable guy. Her function in the story is to reveal the free folk's perspective.

I think it was a good decision to lay the ground work for the concept of wildling society during the scenes with Ygritte and to cut the scenes with the rangers being on the run from Rattleshirt. These scenes would only be useful to work on Qhorin' characterisation, but why do we even need one? We didn't spend as much time with him as in the books. He will die soon, so why 'waste' scarce screen time with him? I like Qhorin in the books, but for the show they decided not to focus on his character, but on this function to the plot development. In the following seasons, it will be much more important that Jon learns about wildling culture because the free folk are an important statement about feudal Westeros and the Game of Thrones. If Jon is destined to be a king or a leader, he needs to learn these things. It's much more important than being the invincible smart guy with the cool wolf. This story is not about Jon, it is about the Game of Thrones. It is a political story, not a Bildungsroman. So maybe they are not very subtle with the handling of Jon's learning processes. So what?

So Ygritte likes Jon because he is smart, I can see that in the books, because in the books, Jon is pretty smart, even when out of his known element. However, how in the world could Ygritte ever start to like Jon in the show, he is not smart, at all. On top of that, they did not have Ygritte tell the story of Bael the Bard, so it's not like Ygritte was attracted to Jon because he showed an interest in her culture right away. So they didn't have Jon kill Orel, they didn't show him taking an interest into her culture right away, and they didn't show Jon doing anything "smart". In fact, they showed many examples of Jon being stupid. So what the hell is there to make Ygritte want to be with Jon? Nothing that I can think of, and that's what I think people are having an issue with. Well that, and many other things.

Today I actually reread all of Jon's chapters in ACoK, from the moment he leaves the Fist to go with Qhorin into the Skirling Pass. So I gotta say that I disagree with you about them showing Jon and Qhorin getting chased by Rattleshirt. That chase was not all about Qhorin, so I don't share the same opinion on, "he's going to die, so why show it". There are really a lot of golden moments during those Jon chapters, and I feel like the show could have had some amazing dialogue between Jon and Qhorin. In those chapters, you really feel a since of urgency that is completely nonexistent in the show, when it comes to Jon's scenes. Those chapters are just so good IMO, you see these guys being willing to sacrifice themselves so that a few of them might make it back to the fist, and they do it without a moments hesitation. I think that would have been nice to see in the show, instead of Jon being responsible for the deaths of three of his Brothers, and the capture of the Halfhand. Those Jon chapters are so good, and so frustrating, because they literally did everything they could to get away from Rattleshirt, it just was not enough.

Without showing the chase, the death of Qhorin isn't going to be impacting at all, at least nothing like it was in the books. Especially because they not only didn't show the chase, but they also didn't make Qhorin as awesome as he was in the book. In the book, Qhorin is this soft spoken giant of a man, with a huge amount of wisdom, and book Qhorin is somebody who respects the Wildlings a lot, even as they are chasing them, trying to kill them. That kind of Qhorin is way more interesting than the short loud Qhorin on the show, who calls the Wildlings "goat fuckers", and tells Jon that he is stupider than he looks for saying he understood something that Qhorin in the book would actually believe in. Then show Qhorin says, "it's all just a bunch of words boy. Something to help us sleep at night", and I think that's ridiculously out of character for Qhorin. Qhorin really believed in dying for the Realm, and the Nights Watch.

I really can not get past how much they screwed up Qhorin... And all of Jon's story, for that matter.

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*snip*

I guess I don't agree with your idea of an opposition between a code Jon learned from Ned and a more humane ethos he later develops. Jon has always been a humane person, I think, and he learned this from Ned.

Even if you are right about this being central to Jon's development though, why have D & D botched the scene that really revealed Jon being humane, namely his sparing of Ygritte. They changed it from the books so Jon's honourable decision is laced with indecision and weakness. It is not even clear when Jon decides to spare Ygritte, he just chickens out of doing the deed then and there.

Lastly, Jon's incompetence, married to his reluctance to kill a girl (the only reason the show gave for his behaviour with Ygritte) has gotten all his comrades killed. This ought to be an immensely powerful formative experience which should change Jon substantially from the book version. So it is hard to say they are really on the right tracks with his character.

I guess it boils down to how GRRM's characters are so complex different people relate to different aspects of them. Although I think bringing a part of his relationship with Ygritte forward in the story was needed, I already said I wished they would have done it differently, without everything being the result of mistakes made by Jon. So I agree with you on that. The point is that for me, that isn't crucial to Jon's character development, it does change things, but it doesn't ruin everything. I understand that if you valued different aspects of the character, that may be more problematic to you, and I admit that that means the show has done a poor job of portraying the full complexity of the character. It just didn't feel that bad to me because the character as they chose to portray it still is in line with my personal view of it. (To say all this in one sentence: I concede :) )

Jon being 'responsible' for the three rangers being killed is indeed huge. There's quite a few different ways this can influence Jon, and we have yet to see where they'll take that, let's hope they will use it to turn him around (as in, he'll realise he really needs to think things through more).

*snip*

Also, in the show, when Ygritte is talking to Jon as he is about to take her head off, she was more angry than in the book. Especially when she said "strike hard and true crow, or I'll come back and haunt you", I always thought that line was more playful in the book, and that's part of what made it so hard for Jon, because Ygritte was being so light hearted and casual. In the book, Jon asked Ygritte if she was afraid, and she said, "I was last night, but now the sun has come up". So I don't know, I just thought they made her to angry at that part in the show. I mean Ygritte can be fierce, but she also jokes a lot, and that's what I liked about her in the books, even when she was about to be a head shorter, she was still joking.

I never read the lines you quoted as jokes. I always saw them as references to the WW: 'strike kard and true crow, or I'll come back and haunt you': if he doesn't do the job thoroughly she may become a wight. 'I was last night, but now the sun has come up': the really terrifying things happen at night, in comparison, getting a 'clean' beheading is not so terrifying. Which doesn't mean it is not scary, which is why she said she 'can't be brave forever'.

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You don't get the concept of what a spearwife is at all, do you? In fact, it is Ygritte who stands up and protects Jon on every single occasion in ASOS. The term 'emasculation' in this thread is telling enough. Ygritte is not into Jon because he is a mindless brute who is able to defend what he manages to drag into his cave. Mance is not king of the wildlings because he could beat the Magnar of Thenn and some other leaders. It is much more than that. Wildling society is the only society we have met that knows about gender equality. A man who steals a woman is not simply required to be violent, he must be smart and creative on top of that. Ygritte is not into Jon because he can protect her. She can protect herself. She starts to like him because he is smart, interested in her culture and their songs. If he was a mindless brute, she would just kill him in his sleep, because that is what wildling women do, in contrast to the kneeler women that are just sold by their families and have no way of helping themselves. I liked that about the show, they underlined that there is a society in which women can be strong. I would have hated it if Jon "had just shut her up" with some witty remark. This is her territory, she is a strong woman, and she chose Jon to be her partner not because she needs protection, but because she is a free woman. Just like the free folk choose their own kings. Jon is lost in this kind of society, and the show decided to underline that. He will get used to it and then he will appear more confident again. Right now, he has a lot to learn. For example, that being mocked by a woman doesn't equal emasculation. Ygritte outsmarted him and he will learn to do the same, and she will like him even better for it. Why do you all think weakness in a certain situation is a sign of 'emasculation'? This would imply not being a man (= being a woman) would equal weakness, right? Ygritte was in a weak position when she was captured, and no one would think she was a weak person. She was clever and turned the tables on Jon, so this initial weakness worked in her favour. Jon has to do the same. Why would that be emasculating? You need to experience failures so you can overcome them, but this is not even the point. The point is that Ygritte is not there to show that Jon is a desirable guy. Her function in the story is to reveal the free folk's perspective.

I think it was a good decision to lay the ground work for the concept of wildling society during the scenes with Ygritte and to cut the scenes with the rangers being on the run from Rattleshirt. These scenes would only be useful to work on Qhorin' characterisation, but why do we even need one? We didn't spend as much time with him as in the books. He will die soon, so why 'waste' scarce screen time with him? I like Qhorin in the books, but for the show they decided not to focus on his character, but on this function to the plot development. In the following seasons, it will be much more important that Jon learns about wildling culture because the free folk are an important statement about feudal Westeros and the Game of Thrones. If Jon is destined to be a king or a leader, he needs to learn these things. It's much more important than being the invincible smart guy with the cool wolf. This story is not about Jon, it is about the Game of Thrones. It is a political story, not a Bildungsroman. So maybe they are not very subtle with the handling of Jon's learning processes. So what?

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You don't get the concept of what a spearwife is at all, do you? In fact, it is Ygritte who stands up and protects Jon on every single occasion in ASOS. The term 'emasculation' in this thread is telling enough. Ygritte is not into Jon because he is a mindless brute who is able to defend what he manages to drag into his cave. Mance is not king of the wildlings because he could beat the Magnar of Thenn and some other leaders. It is much more than that. Wildling society is the only society we have met that knows about gender equality. A man who steals a woman is not simply required to be violent, he must be smart and creative on top of that. Ygritte is not into Jon because he can protect her. She can protect herself. She starts to like him because he is smart, interested in her culture and their songs. If he was a mindless brute, she would just kill him in his sleep, because that is what wildling women do, in contrast to the kneeler women that are just sold by their families and have no way of helping themselves. I liked that about the show, they underlined that there is a society in which women can be strong. I would have hated it if Jon "had just shut her up" with some witty remark. This is her territory, she is a strong woman, and she chose Jon to be her partner not because she needs protection, but because she is a free woman. Just like the free folk choose their own kings. Jon is lost in this kind of society, and the show decided to underline that. He will get used to it and then he will appear more confident again. Right now, he has a lot to learn. For example, that being mocked by a woman doesn't equal emasculation. Ygritte outsmarted him and he will learn to do the same, and she will like him even better for it. Why do you all think weakness in a certain situation is a sign of 'emasculation'? This would imply not being a man (= being a woman) would equal weakness, right? Ygritte was in a weak position when she was captured, and no one would think she was a weak person. She was clever and turned the tables on Jon, so this initial weakness worked in her favour. Jon has to do the same. Why would that be emasculating? You need to experience failures so you can overcome them, but this is not even the point. The point is that Ygritte is not there to show that Jon is a desirable guy. Her function in the story is to reveal the free folk's perspective.

I think it was a good decision to lay the ground work for the concept of wildling society during the scenes with Ygritte and to cut the scenes with the rangers being on the run from Rattleshirt. These scenes would only be useful to work on Qhorin' characterisation, but why do we even need one? We didn't spend as much time with him as in the books. He will die soon, so why 'waste' scarce screen time with him? I like Qhorin in the books, but for the show they decided not to focus on his character, but on this function to the plot development. In the following seasons, it will be much more important that Jon learns about wildling culture because the free folk are an important statement about feudal Westeros and the Game of Thrones. If Jon is destined to be a king or a leader, he needs to learn these things. It's much more important than being the invincible smart guy with the cool wolf. This story is not about Jon, it is about the Game of Thrones. It is a political story, not a Bildungsroman. So maybe they are not very subtle with the handling of Jon's learning processes. So what?

You are the one who doesnt get the concept of spearwife.

The is no need to look any further than how one acquires a spearwife. Your post is so wrong its not even funny. Its mentioned a number of times that a man has to prove his cunning by capturing his wife.

And mance does hace to physicaly best clan chiefs to become king. He says so. He had to kill a few and beat the magnar 3 times.

Strength comes first and foremost. For husbands, spearwives etc. Everything trickles down from there

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So Ygritte likes Jon because he is smart, I can see that in the books, because in the books, Jon is pretty smart, even when out of his known element. However, how in the world could Ygritte ever start to like Jon in the show, he is not smart, at all. On top of that, they did not have Ygritte tell the story of Bael the Bard, so it's not like Ygritte was attracted to Jon because he showed an interest in her culture right away. So they didn't have Jon kill Orel, they didn't show him taking an interest into her culture right away, and they didn't show Jon doing anything "smart". In fact, they showed many examples of Jon being stupid. So what the hell is there to make Ygritte want to be with Jon? Nothing that I can think of, and that's what I think people are having an issue with. Well that, and many other things.

Today I actually reread all of Jon's chapters in ACoK, from the moment he leaves the Fist to go with Qhorin into the Skirling Pass. So I gotta say that I disagree with you about them showing Jon and Qhorin getting chased by Rattleshirt. That chase was not all about Qhorin, so I don't share the same opinion on, "he's going to die, so why show it". There are really a lot of golden moments during those Jon chapters, and I feel like the show could have had some amazing dialogue between Jon and Qhorin. In those chapters, you really feel a since of urgency that is completely nonexistent in the show, when it comes to Jon's scenes. Those chapters are just so good IMO, you see these guys being willing to sacrifice themselves so that a few of them might make it back to the fist, and they do it without a moments hesitation. I think that would have been nice to see in the show, instead of Jon being responsible for the deaths of three of his Brothers, and the capture of the Halfhand. Those Jon chapters are so good, and so frustrating, because they literally did everything they could to get away from Rattleshirt, it just was not enough.

Without showing the chase, the death of Qhorin isn't going to be impacting at all, at least nothing like it was in the books. Especially because they not only didn't show the chase, but they also didn't make Qhorin as awesome as he was in the book. In the book, Qhorin is this soft spoken giant of a man, with a huge amount of wisdom, and book Qhorin is somebody who respects the Wildlings a lot, even as they are chasing them, trying to kill them. That kind of Qhorin is way more interesting than the short loud Qhorin on the show, who calls the Wildlings "goat fuckers", and tells Jon that he is stupider than he looks for saying he understood something that Qhorin in the book would actually believe in. Then show Qhorin says, "it's all just a bunch of words boy. Something to help us sleep at night", and I think that's ridiculously out of character for Qhorin. Qhorin really believed in dying for the Realm, and the Nights Watch.

I really can not get past how much they screwed up Qhorin... And all of Jon's story, for that matter.

This.

The chase and Jon Snow's subsequent defection was the most exciting storyline in CoK imo.

Easily translatable and would make awesome tv.

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