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Mulled Wino

[Book Spoilers] The countinuing emasculation of Jon Snow

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I was referring to the books. Jon initially used Ghost to keep Ygritte away from him. Ghost didn't leave him until after he slept with Ygritte.

ah ok nm. although, ghost did not come with them up the skirling pass -- ghost left again when jon went to climb the wall, which is what you're thinking of -- but i'm thinking of way before that -- when jon and stonesnake climb the pass to take out ygritte et al. actually i just checked and it's not b/c ghost can't go up with them, it's b/c qhorin says ghost is too easily noticeable in the moonlight -- huh. and it's only for that night. my bad.

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Jon has been turned into a keystone cop this season. He's been beaten up and humuliated. He's been called stupid by other characters and does little to dispel this. His character is going to have to make some serious progress next season(s) in order to us to buy that he could be elected Lord Commander.

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Everyone I've spoken to who is a fan of the show but hasn't read the books really enjoys Jon, he's their one of their favorite chracters. Their sentiments haven't changed in season 2. And even though he's been less than impressive this season (or less impressive than he was in COK) it doesn't make them like him any less or make them think he's an "idiot". That's only hardcore book fans who are complaining that his character is somehow ruined b/c he allowed himself to get surprised by Craster and allowed Ygritte to take him a few times. He's out in the wild by himself for the first time, lost his older ranger support crew, and he's supposed to be a badass? That's why they got rid of Ghost for the time being, to show the vulnerability of Jon. He has or had hardcore notions about "honor" like every other Stark in the show (Ned, Rob, Arya, Sansa) and they are going to get challenged by the real world. Ygritte ripping Jon was part of that. I don't really see how the character arc is dramatically changed. Who said anything about the changes to LIttlefinger and Tyrion enhancing their arcs? I was speaking of Snow, who needs to get beat up a bit and shit on as the green boy that he is before he becomes the steely leader he will become. I just don't see how these changes "ruin" Jon.

Hes been training for his entire life to do exactly what hes doing now. Its pretty much medieval knighthood 101. He is 100% in his element at this point in the story. Whats more, while some people think Jon is just a "regular joe" hes definitely not. This isnt a kid whose had a carefree easy going life, hes someoen who has been trained to a very specific job and do it very well, and he is doing that job. Its exactly the reason Robb can outfox Tywin Lannister, they arent "green boys" they are highly trained young men who are doing exactly the things they trained for.

Now thats not to say that Jon and Robb dont make mistakes, because they do. But they mistakes they make are not for lack of competence, but lack of wisdom and foresight. Jon in trying to run off when news of Eddards death, his initial attitude toward the other trainees, his initial attitude at being named a steward or in his failure to see the other officers of the NW plotting against him. And in each case (well except the last one) he tends to learn his lessons quickly.

TV show Jon on the otherhand shows basic incompetence. He doesnt think through the consequences of sparing Ygritte, he begs to go on a ranging (when in the books at that point he knows and accepts his duties, and moreover understands and agrees with the logic behind it). He also shows instances of courage and competency in the books, hes not just there for the ride, but hes showing actual ability.

But ultimately what drives me nuts is that I think its made pretty clear in the book that Jon a pretty stoic guy. Hes always had a pretty large amount of misfortune heaped up on him, The reason that that he can hold the wall after Noye's death, the reason Sam, Pyp and Grenn look to him, the reason that he is the lord commander who can stand up to stannis is because outwardly, the guy is just a pillar of strength.

The mary sue comparisons drive me nuts because he doesnt do things blindly thinking that hes going to do the right thing and its going to work out for the best because hes good, He does things where he knows the very real very serious consequences that coud result, and he chooses to do them anyways.There is something deeply fatalistic about Jon's character that the TV series doesnt even come close to capturing.

And thats actually the biggest gripe I have about the Qhorin plotline turn. Jon would have easily preferred to fight with Qhorin against the wildlings to the death. He doesnt have any hopes or dreams for himself, doesnt dare to allow himself to have them (and thats what makes Stannis's offer of Winterfell so seductive, the dream is something he cant have). Instead Jon selects duty, dishoner in the case of the wildlings, and what looks like death.

I mean, the one unquestionably sweet and pure thing he has in his adult life, with the exception of his bond with ghost perhaps, is Ygritte's love. And he (indirectly) kills her for duty.

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Who is this "Ghost" character people keep mentioning? He sounds interesting but invisible.

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Its emasculating to take someone captive, then have them set you up then make you their prisoner- then have her say shes gonna cut your balls off if you run. Its emasculating to have someone take your own sword and beat your ass with it. Its emasculating to have to beg to go ranging as opposed to being selected by the best ranger for his team. 3 examples if deviations that make snow look bad for no reason.

There are reasons though. Why should Qhorin want Jon on his team? Because he's a POV character, or a Stark? It's certainly not because he's a ranger, or an old hand at combat, or has displayed any sort of tracking/wilderness/combat ability. Yes, Craster gets the jump on Jon and smacks him across the face, so? Craster's a wildling, and an old(ish) one at that, and my guess is he's got a wee bit more experience at moving silently than Jon. Plus, Jon's clearly pretty shocked/confused by what he's seeing and isn't focused on potential threats. And Ygritte's character is pretty much the same as in the books, she talks a big game in front of the other wildlings and does actually have some skill and knowledge of the landscape, which is what Jon fundamentally lacks.

These changes were all made to emphasize other parts of the story, either Ygritte's character (without the capture, chase, capture sequence we really wouldn't know much about her), the sacrifices, or simply the fact that Jon is still hungry for glory (and is a bit of a noob).

the last time we saw ghost was when he was leaving w/qhorin and jon tries to call ghost but ghost wont come and qhorin says it's b/c direwolves are wild -- which to me was a blatant falsehood w/r/t their relationship to their owners. the direwolves are connected to their masters -- and that connection helps them know when their masters are in danger, which is how they are almost always around to defend them. here, ghost should know where jon is, or at the very least, should be able to track him -- not only that, but getting captured is a time when jon would be feeling fearful, which would immediately alert ghost to his need to come back and defend jon. the lack of ghost at this point is a blatant plot hole that makes no sense.

1) How is Qhorin supposed to know about the connection between the Starks and their direwolves, assuming it even is on the level you suggest?

2) Maybe Ghost doesn't feel like Jon needs his help, or is in no real danger. Jon's expression upon capture seems to be more exasperation than fear, and even once captured he doesn't seem particularly concerned that Rattleshirt's going to kill him. Maybe Ghost can either sense that or sense that Ygritte isn't a threat or hell, really is busy.

Hes been training for his entire life to do exactly what hes doing now. Its pretty much medieval knighthood 101. He is 100% in his element at this point in the story.

Sorry but Medieval Knighthood 101 doesn't contain any lessons about wilderness survival, dealing with sexy savages or pretty much anything else Jon's been going through. Knighthood is all about open combat, codes of honour and the like, which is exactly what Jon is expressing. He's been trained to fight, and he's pretty good at it (as seen in S1), but he's got no idea how to deal with girls or chase people down in the North, nor would I expect him to. Robb's winning his war because he's been trained in how to lead armies and fight wars, Jon's getting rope-a-doped by a girl because he "knows nothing".

The mary sue comparisons drive me nuts because he doesnt do things blindly thinking that hes going to do the right thing and its going to work out for the best because hes good,

Mary Sue's don't necessarily assume things are going to work out because they're good, rather that's just how things happen. Jon is mary sue-like in the books because everybody around him thinks he's awesome, and for no real reason. Qhorin selects him for the ranging despite his being intensely under-qualified, Mance makes him basically inner-circle upon meeting him despite his being a traitor, he's voted Lord Commander despite his being intensely under-qualified. True, Jon doesn't expect these things but they still happen, and there isn't generally a good reason beyond 'he's a Stark' which is Mary Sue rationalization of the highest order.

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The experience of Jon's capture for me is the defining moment for his character. The lessons he learns from his encounter with the wildlings and the subsequent love affair her has with Ygritte are what make him the man that ultimately becomes lord commander. In living with the wildlings he comes to understand what true leadership is about, he sees the determiantion, charisma, and devotion of Mance, Tormund, and Ygritte respectively and emulates these qualities when back on the wall. Then there is the sacrifice that Qhorin makes which shows Jon that no matter what he must achieve the goal of protecting the wall and those that live within the confines of its protection. So until these life altering changes take place I am totally fine with Jon bumbling about in the wilderness, he is still a boy. Even while lord commander he still makes mistakes, mistakes that in the end have him pseudo-assassinated, he is flawed but by no means emasculated.

Sincerely,

Eddard Sand -Bastard of the Boneway-

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The Wanderer: the falsehood i was referring to was the objective one -- not qhorin's view. i.e., we are left with qhorin's assertion as fact -- based on two things -- 1) jon doesn't bother correcting him; and 2) ghost doesn't come to jon then or at all. Upon re-reading my post, however, i can see that it is easily interpreted the way you interpreted it -- poorly worded on my part.

the point i was making was that "direwolves are wild" was the reason given to jon and the viewer as to why ghost doesnt follow -- but to the viewer, at a minimum it's weird, since ghost is pretty loyal -- but to a non-book reader -- it might be just the way qhorin says it is -- b/c we have no real understanding of jon and ghost's connection at this point. and to portray it that way, is to convey the relationship/connection falsely. and to have jon fail to say no, ghost isn't like that he's loyal etc., furthers this view of qhorins as truth rather than opinion. and his opinion is blatantly false, but up til now we have no reason to doubt it. to me, it seems like d&d put it in as a reason why ghost isn't around after that, when it really is a terrible reason, b/c objectively, it's false -- but considering the problems of cgi direwolves (cost and the fact that they can't really interact w/the cast in a meaningful way w/o seriously $$), it seems like this is how d&d solved it -- i.e., ghost is wild so he isn't going to come help jon

and the idea that jon isn't in danger -- from jon's pov -- strikes me as silly. jon is in a dangerous situation -- he's not too stupid or crazy to recognize it. maybe he's not pissing his pants, but this is the moment a direwolf comes to the rescue -- when your master is captured, you sense something is wrong and help. any reasons re: why ghost hasn't been around the past couple of episodes is justification, not real reasoning that makes sense w/in the confines of the story.

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This emasculating argument is so ridiculously stupid.

1. Ned trusting and being captured by Littlefinger was never emasculating.

2. Jaime splitting his army into 3 to siege Riverrun wasn't emasculating.

3. Tyrion being captured by Catelyn wasn't emasculating.

So why is Jon Snow being captured by Wildlings emasculating? The only answer I can come up with is because it wasn't in the books, which is, admit it: a terrible argument.

Think back to Season One, both Benjen Stark and Alliser Thorne told Jon he was not ready to go beyond-the-wall. Ah, perhaps they were right. It's a place Jon does not understand because he's naive and let's his honour get in the way of doing "what must be done." Mance is going to be a very important character in Season 3 and he'll likely get much more screentime than he did in the books. He'll most likely teach Jon how to lead men and how to survive beyond the Wall. Jon should be so taken aback by him that we think he may actually turn his cloak before the Queenscrown incident -- which can play out beautifully on screen. Of course, Jon's loyalty remains to the Night's Watch, where it has always been, but there's going to be a difficult way of showing this on the screen that I'm unsure of.

I see the arguments flying around "I would not elect this man Lord Commander." Well, no shit! I wouldn't either. I wouldn't elect Jon in ACoK's either. He's a green-boy who "knows nothing." That being said, Jon didn't get any votes in ASoS until Sam started messing with Denys Mallister and Cotter Pyke, and the raven landed on his shoulder which is prophecy that I don't particularly want to get into. So even as the voting of the new Lord Commander began, Jon was not being considered. In other words, your arguments are moot.

Outside of Jon and Qhorin's race through the wilderness -- and Squire Dalbridge's final stand -- I would argue that Jon's storyline has been improved. When Qhorin said "See that it wasn't worth nothing!" to Jon when he asked if the others were killed, I got chills. This set of events has been lined up to test his qualities and I'm sure they will come out very well next season.

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Regarding the fact that Ghost hasn't come to the rescue, keep in mind: The direwolves don't come running when their MASTERS feel danger; they come running when THEY, themselves, know their master to be in danger.

Granted, that's a very finely-cut distinction, but it's true.

(and besides... it costs a lot of money!)

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They are saving Ghost maybe for the Jon kills Qhorin scene? If I remember correctly Ghost actually attacks Qhorin because Qhorin is legitimately attacking Jon. He has every intention of dying but I think he also had the intention of making the fight a real one knowing that Ghost would intervene. Am I wrong?

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Regarding the fact that Ghost hasn't come to the rescue, keep in mind: The direwolves don't come running when their MASTERS feel danger; they come running when THEY, themselves, know their master to be in danger. Granted, that's a very finely-cut distinction, but it's true. (and besides... it costs a lot of money!)

this is not borne out by the books. fine a distinction though it may be, it is nonetheless a false dichotomy you're drawing.

cases in point:

1) summer attacking the reeds b/c bran is upset by them talking about his warging dreams -- he's in no objective danger whatsoever -- but he is upset and feels threatened (not physically, but emotionally/mentally) and summer attacks.

2) shaggydog attacks the walders when playing lord of the crossing after they get into an argument -- rickon is not in any subjective or objective danger -- granted, shaggydog is crazy, so take his actions with a grain of salt.

3) summer grey wind and shaggydog bulldoze tyrion when he's no threat whatsoever -- but robb is upset by his presence -- no objective danger.

contrast with:

1) nymeria attacking joffrey when arya is in real danger

2) ghost saving jon when he is fighting halfhand

3) summer saving bran from the attacker with the knife

4) summer and shaggy trying to get to bran and rickon during the ironborn's takeover of winterfell

...the direwolves attack when they feel their masters are in danger -- based both on their masters' feelings of threat (both physical and otherwise) and the more objective understanding that their masters are in danger. unless by "know their masters to be in danger" you meant the dw come when they "think" their masters are in danger, in which case, we are in agreement. and in which case, this is a subjective feeling of threat -- based on the dw's view of the situation -- but their view of the situation is in part colored by the sense of fear they get from their masters, which is not a run of the mill sense -- it is based on their mystical connections to their direwolves -- i.e., the fact that they're wargs.

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So why is Jon Snow being captured by Wildlings emasculating? The only answer I can come up with is because it wasn't in the books, which is, admit it: a terrible argument.

Because it weakens his character by making him a complete moron. Even things that were supposed to be intentional, like Jon letting Ygritte go, are turned into just another moment of Jon messing up.

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@ summer_stark:

Well lawyered... and no, that isn't sarcasm.

Just a couple of semi-rebuts...

(1) I don't think either of us could prove that a comatosed Bran felt threatened by the would-be assassin Catelyn fought. Catelyn felt the threat, certainly, but whether Bran did or not depends on how aware one feels he could have been in that state.

(2) I guess I always saw Shaggy and Summer's aggression toward the Walders as a greater recognition by the d'wolves (greater than the Starks, that is) that the Walders were bad news.

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Because it weakens his character by making him a complete moron. Even things that were supposed to be intentional, like Jon letting Ygritte go, are turned into just another moment of Jon messing up.

Hang on, are Eddard, Jaime and Tyrion morons as well? I think you missed my point. People get captured, it doesn't make them stupid.

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Sorry but Medieval Knighthood 101 doesn't contain any lessons about wilderness survival, dealing with sexy savages or pretty much anything else Jon's been going through. Knighthood is all about open combat, codes of honour and the like, which is exactly what Jon is expressing. He's been trained to fight, and he's pretty good at it (as seen in S1), but he's got no idea how to deal with girls or chase people down in the North, nor would I expect him to. Robb's winning his war because he's been trained in how to lead armies and fight wars, Jon's getting rope-a-doped by a girl because he "knows nothing".

What do you think boar hunting is, a walk in the park? You dont think that Ned never thought his boys were going to have to hunt down wildlings or poachers or raiders do you? Think knights never had to take a prisoner and so wouldnt get tought what to do? Dont you think Qhorin asks him along because the thought he might be a burden never crossed his mind? This isnt some exotic scenario to a member of House Stark, this is a relatively predicatable life path.

What I will give you is that Jon isnt well prepared to deal with a woman, nor is Robb. And both get in a heap of trouble over it.

Mary Sue's don't necessarily assume things are going to work out because they're good, rather that's just how things happen. Jon is mary sue-like in the books because everybody around him thinks he's awesome, and for no real reason. Qhorin selects him for the ranging despite his being intensely under-qualified, Mance makes him basically inner-circle upon meeting him despite his being a traitor, he's voted Lord Commander despite his being intensely under-qualified. True, Jon doesn't expect these things but they still happen, and there isn't generally a good reason beyond 'he's a Stark' which is Mary Sue rationalization of the highest order.

Sam worships the ground Jon walks on because Jon put himself in danger to save his life. Pyp and Grenn think hes amazing because he is a fully trained knight, one of the finest swordsmen in the watch, and when they were first learning swordsmanship Jon was a scary god of steely death. Remember Noye's speech about a castle trained knight? And its not like Jon didnt do anything at all, he rode to warn those remaining Castle Black of a wilding raid with an arrow through his leg, then took over for Noye when Noye died in leading a bunch of stewards in holding off the entire wildling host with the leftovers of castle black. As for why he was promoted to that, he was the only one with military training of a knight.The only people who think him a traitor are slynt and thorne, and those loyal to them. Im pretty sure every brother who wasnt murdered in their beds by wildling raiders, and every brother they talked to didnt exactly buy that line. Moreover it was indicated he was Mormonts' hand chosen replacement. Oh yeah, and he has a giant fricking dire wolff as a pet. Jon should have been a rock star on the wall at that point.

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This emasculating argument is so ridiculously stupid. 1. Ned trusting and being captured by Littlefinger was never emasculating. 2. Jaime splitting his army into 3 to siege Riverrun wasn't emasculating. 3. Tyrion being captured by Catelyn wasn't emasculating.

You named 3 things that happened exactly as they did in the books. That is an accurate characterisation of their abilities. Jon's repeated idiocies are inventions for the TV series that substantially change his character for the worse.

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You named 3 things that happened exactly as they did in the books. That is an accurate characterisation of their abilities. Jon's repeated idiocies are inventions for the TV series that substantially change his character for the worse.

But Eddard, Tyrion and Jaime are not "worse" for being captured. So what's that difference? Maybe I am missing your point.

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Also, it's not like the Wildlings don't capture Jon and Qhorin in the books, they just do it differently and earlier in the show.

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Also, it's not like the Wildlings don't capture Jon and Qhorin in the books, they just do it differently and earlier in the show.

But it happens in a way that does not call into question Jon's basic competence. The issue isnt wether jon gets captured, the issue is wether jon looks like an idiot while it happens. In the TV show, Jon is a bumbling emo fool most of the time.

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Hang on, are Eddard, Jaime and Tyrion morons as well? I think you missed my point. People get captured, it doesn't make them stupid.

Jaime's act was the height of arrogance and stupidity, but he has since learned from it. Tyrion was taken by surprise, having no reason to believe he was in hostile company, so not stupid. Eddard was simply outplayed and payed the price.

Jon's beyond the wall storyline has been one giant blunder after the other, so much so as to border on the implausible. Yes, it has definitely weakened his character.

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