September 19, 2011

Jon XIII

Lord Commander Jon Snow and Ghost
Jon is pleading Selyse to help him with Hardhome and grant him some men, but Selyse declines all his asking by demanding that he simply let the wildlings die. When Jon says that he will do the ranging himself then she lets him, but tells him that he will have to answer for it and other things once Stannis is back. She then summons "the king of the wildlings", which turns out to be Gerrick Redbeard, a far descendant of Raymun Readbeard. His daughters are to be married to knights of Selyse's court, and she demands that Val marries Ser Patrek, but Jon simply deflects it by saying that he needs to rob her then after wildling custom. Selyse's answer is to summon Val to teach her the proper behavings of a lady, and Jon is dismissed.

Angrily, he makes his way to his chambers. Out of the court, he encounters Melisandre, but he doesn't want to speak with her, accusing her of all her prophecies being wrong. She asks after Ghost, whom Jon has locked up in his rooms since Borroq's boar seems to make him mad. She also says the ranging is a bad idea, and that she saw in the fires that all ships were lost, but Jon turns her down and goes to the armory. On the way he seeks out Leathers, with whom he has a short discussion about how many men they should take and where the advantages of either approach lie. He gets a report that Ghost is wild, even biting the stewards, which disturbs Jon deeply.

In the armory, where he can see that the report wasn't false since Ghost is really restless, he thinks about the right route to Hardhome, concluding that going along the coast, starting at Eastwatch, is the best way and would secure them the help of giants. Shortly after, Othell Yarwick and Bowen Marsh come to discuss further strategy, but both only complain about the wildlings and point out potential dangers, advising him to let them all die. He dismisses them in despair and goes out, where the snow has blown up on the Wall, and commands the cells to be dug free and Karstark to be brought in the cellars of the Lord Commander's tower so he doesn't die.

He meets Tormund, who mocks Gerrick Redbeard, and discusses the ranging with him when a messenger from Clydas comes to tell him of a letter he needs to see. The wildlings and Jon trade some wise words before Jon departs into the armory, where a letter sealed with pink wax and the word "Bastard" written on it is waiting for him. It is from Ramsay, who claims to have defeated Stannis in a seven-day-battle and taken his sword. Mance Rayder he demasked and put in a cage, warmed only by the skins of his six spear wives. He demands that Jon gives over Selyse, Shireen, Val, Monster and Theon to him, or he would come and cut his heart out. Jon reads the letter to Tormung, and then they talk for two hours.

After, Jon goes to the Shieldhall, where wildlings and brothers wait for the orders for the ranging to Hardhome. Ghost wants to follow, but Jon locks him in, so he doesn't attack Borroq. In the hall, Jon announces that Tormund will lead the ranging instead of him, reads the letter and states that he will ride to Winterfell. He will not command anyone to come with him, but take volunteers. The wildlings in the hall volunteer, the brothers and queen's men leave. Before anything more can happen, news drag him outside, where Wun Wun is currently killing Ser Patrek, who seems to have attacked him. Jon tries to defuse the situation when Whick Wittlefield stabs him in the neck. Before Jon can get his sword out, Bowen Marsh stabs him in the bowels. Jon falls to his knees, is stabbed in the shoulders and loses consciousness.

This chapter was surely the Red Wedding of this book. When I read it the first time, I was horrified. Like with the Red Wedding, all the elements were in place long before, carefully sowed over the book, but you don't really recognize them until it hits you in the face.When Jon then is finally stabbed to his seeming death, it comes out of nowhere, punching you. Now, in the reread, you see the signs everywhere. It's like Tywin's battles won with ink - a meaningless remark on the first read, ripe with looming doom when you read it again. The chapter of course is the one chapter standing out of the book, leaving the most questions and the most awful cliffhanger.

The first matter to discuss is, of course, Jon's fate. Is he dead? There are basically three possibilities how it can go. First, Martin really killed Jon off, he's dead and the Night's Watch goes to hell. This is possible, but not very likely. Second, Jon is not dead, but mortally wounded. SInce Tormund, Melisandre and others came out of the hall after him, they could have secured him after the fourth step, and Melisandre worked some magic or stuff that saved him. Or, third possibility, and the most likely, Jon is dead and will return somehow. For the latter, there are again basically three possibilities. The first is that Jon will return as an Other, turning the story somewhat upside down. Second, he is kissed back to life by Melisandre like it was done by Thoros. Or third, he wargs into Ghost, and instead of leading a second life like Varamyr, he somehow returns into his body.

I strongly opt for the last opportunity. I think that the basic outlay was done for that, especially in Melisandre's vision of "man becomes wolf becomes man again". The concept of skinchanging in general was very much emphazised in the book, and we also learned that Jon has really strong capabilities, although denied and undeveloped. So he might be of a level with Bran, therefore able to do some serious stuff. I would guess that we get another POV chapter for Jon in the next book, starting from Ghost's perspective and flying over the Heart of Winter or something before returning into his body, much the same like Bran's chapter in "A Game of Thrones" before he wakes up. At least, I hope it will be that; somehow I find this the most fitting solution. But Martin could of course come up with something entirely different.

The second question for this chapter is of course Jon's true identity. Is he Azor Ahai reborn or The Prince Who was Promised or both? Typically for Martin, the prophecy is solved: Marsh's tears provide the salt, Jon's smoking wounds the smoke, and Ser Patrek was certainly bleeding with his big star embroidered all over his clothing. It's not as strong as other fulflillments we find in Dany, but it's a small hole that was left and carefully hidden by Martin, surely not by accident. This is not the place to repeat the discussion whether Azor Ahai and the Prince Who was Promised are the same person or not, and whether Dany fulfills at least part of it, but one thing is certain - if Jon is meant to fulfill that role, he is not dead, but will be reborn - more or less instantly after being stabbed, since otherwise he couldn't be reborn amidst smoke and salt under a bleeding star. But then again, we don't know how much truth that prophecy will hold anyway.

The third obvious question is the truth of Ramsay's letter. Martin has himself more or less confirmed that it doesn't contain 100% truth, so let's have a look at what is likely. First, there is only one thing in the letter that he couldn't know without some success: Mance and his spear wives. It is not sure whether he really has Mance or if the wildling could escape, but he certainly captured one of the spear wives, otherwise he wouldn't have that information, and he knows that they were sent to retrieve "Arya Stark". The rest of the letter could be and likely is bullshit. First, everyone knows of Lightbringer, so Ramsay could just say he has the sword. Second, a seven-day-battle to defeat Stannis? It sounds like something out of ancient annals, not like something that really happened. And third, Ramsay demands Theon from Jon - he would however certainly have him had he defeated Stannis and conquered his camp. At least he would have captured Asha. But there is none of that; Ramsay doesn't know. So, it's not likely that he did it.

Of course, Jon doesn't know either. He swallows it, and that seems what Ramsay intended. Why exactly he wants to provoke Jon into marching on Winterfell I don't know; perhaps he wants to destroy Stannis' foothold in the Watch. It is possible that he was in contact with Marsh, although I doubt it. Perhaps he wanted to use the Watch's betrayal as a pretext to gain support from the Iron Throne. Perhaps he just likes to make a racket. We will know in the next book, I hope.

So, why does Marsh finally attack Jon? He could have done it times and times before, at better times, when he is not surrounded by hundreds of wildlings who just swore to fight for Jon. I still think that Marsh, as unhappy as he was with Jon's politics, did not plan on murdering him before he commited open treason. And make no mistake, his announcment of marching on Winterfell was exactly that, treason and defection. Marsh after all never concurred to Mormont's plan of the big ranging either and did carry it when it was ordered. He is a follower, after all, and Jon really stressed his loyalty in the previous chapters over and over again without him breaking. I am convinced that Marsh really lives the Watch besides all his shortcomings, and that he attacked Jon because he was a traitor, and not because he didn't like his politics.

The beginning of the chapter almost fades before these events, but it is not of no interest. We can see queen Selyse with her court acting in the vacuum of her own imaginations. They treat with the wildlings like they want and only acknowledge those fitting, ignoring the reality. The king Redbeard is hilarious, but they don't even get the idea that the wildlings won't accept him. Worse, they will try to force him on them, since the knights already married the daughters and would suffer serious smears on their honor if it was revelaed that Redbeard was just a bag of wind. It's strange anyway how Selyse tries to reward her own knights. What's with Stannis' men? Her husband will have taken the best and most able with him, but Selyse hands rewards to her collection of trash. Either Stannis wants to give his people better stuff, which is a promise in an uncertain future, or Selyse just sabotages his enitre nothern policy. Knowing this queen, I think it's the latter. And she doesn't even know it.

As to side notes, we again get the notion in this chapter that the direwolves sense the danger of their owners. Grey Wind sensed the Red Wedding, and Ghost sensed Marsh.Nymeria attacked Joffrey. Neither Robb nor Jon nor Eddard listened. The wolves really seem to have the hang out of people, judging them way better than anyone else. Second, I like the advice of maester Aemon about standing and sitting people. Jon lets all people in the hall sit on benches before speaking to them, since sitting men are more likely to listen, and standing men more inclined to shout. Nice remark.

34 comments:

  1. I've been waiting for you to get to this chapter :)

    Do you think the "treason" to the Nights Watch is something that Hon would actually do? he seems so caught in his obligation, personally putting his family aside numerous times, that to run off at a letter from Bolton seems more like a plot driven decision than a character driven one to me.

    Unlike the Red Wedding, I was more annoyed than shocked, it just seemed unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not at all. I think the decision is understandable, and given Jon's character, it is surprising that he did hold off that long.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I suppose I'm in a minority then (your view ties in with a lot of my friends)!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree that it was in Jon's character, and as a matter of fact we already have a precedent for this, he did attempt to defect in the past to join Robb in his war. He was only stopped by his friends in the watch, and the Lord Commander Mormont. He did seem to have grown and developed much after this, and accepted his fate, but a man can only take so much. I believe the threat to his loved sister Arya (his special relation with her and to a minor degree to Robb is brought up many a time in the series) is the final tipping point in the scale, which turns him to take the decision to "march south".
    I do think the Steward (and who else?) was conspiring against him , even before his announcement to take on Winterfell. I believe they were planning to take hold of him, or get rid of him on his ranging to save the wildlings, but as he changed plans they were forced to attempt on his life in circumstances less than favourable.

    This chapter might be a highlight in the book, but in my opinion by no means comparable to the Red Wedding. The certainty of the death of Robb (A sword to the heart and no less ), the ugliness and unexpectedness of betrayal, and the circumstances of it, was completely shocking and evoking many emotions. After the red wedding chapter I remember feeling first incredulous, then sad, then angry and finally elated when understanding the significance of it, how well written, and how much it opened for the rest of the series. When I read “Jon XIII”, I hardly felt any of this, what I felt was certainty that this was not the death of Jon. What will happen we’ll have to wait, but Ill wager that Jon will persist, and with him the watch or/and the wildlings will take part in the battle with the others and probably with Winterfell. We will also learn about the identity of Jon Snow, and I do not mean if he is “the promised one” but rather about his linage. I believe that is in close relation to events that will follow, and to his storyline.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really don't understand why Jon would march south. People say it was to save Arya - but that makes no sense. In his letter, Ramsay (if it was him) admits he doesn't have her or Theon, and requests them back. Which means that Ramsay believes that Arya will reach the Wall before he can catch her - and likely is not giving chase. He is simply threatening to ride north to the Wall - and in doing so would give Jon the strength of the wildlings AND the Watch behind him. Jon's army would not have to attack Winterfell's defenses - in fact Bolton's army would have to march north for weeks through the snows and blizzards to get to Jon, probably killing most of his army - especially if Manderly is still messing with him from the inside. So there is no benefit to riding south.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Actually it makes sense. Jon wants the Watch out his oathbreaking, which it is. So he can't stay on the Wall, or even in the gift. And yes, Ramsay says he doesn't have Arya anymore, but that doesn't mean that she's safe either. Ramsay has better chances to get her back than Jon does.
    And the threat to Jon does not give him the strength of the Watch. They wouldn't support him in this, since Jon is simply guilty of having supported Stannis. It's a fact. By leaving the Wall, he does the only thing that could rescue his brothers. And besides, he still cares for the threat of the Others (check out my upcoming essay about that!). And he has no clue what Manderly is up to.
    You assume too many information for Jon he simply doesn't have.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can see him wanting to leave the Wall to save his brothers. But in that case, why make the announcement like that? If you are right, and he wanted to save his brothers from oathbreaking with him, why did he invite as many brothers as would follow him to march south?

    And if he just wanted to find Arya before Bolton - a) Bolton believes she is out of his reach, or he wouldn't ask for her back. b) It would be easier to send a few bands of wildlings in small groups to recover her. Or even all of them in small groups. A mass attack with Jon at its head would not help with a mission like that. That sort of strategy is only for a full-on attack.

    I didn't assume he would know about Manderly - that was just a note. He would however know, from his teaching from his father and others at Winterfell, just how horrific it is to move troops in the winter - and how unlikely it would be that Bolton would ever be able to carry out his threat, at least for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was an impossible situation from the start. He never had time to build the coalition he needed, and he was pressed on all sides. You have Hardhome, the Others, Mell"lie"sandre, a fractured Nights Watch, no provisions for the Winter, Stupid Stannis on his death march. I mean, it's ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that he's a kid. It's amazing he lasted as long as he did. It would be just like Martin to leave him dead, and have the people left at the wall get engulfed by Others.

    Does *anyone* in King's Landing give a shit about what's going on up there? If stupid Stannis could see the advantage to be gained by helping the cause, surely one of the gamers down there would see an angle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that's little fingers strategy...

      Delete
  10. This was definitely not one of Jon's better days. He spends most of the chapter angry, and completely ignores the counsel from anyone who doesn't tell him what he wants to hear.

    I agree that this was really foreshadowed. It was Jon's ultimate weakness: he forgot the lesson of the Old Bear, who was stabbed to death by his own men. He made all the hard-but-right decisions prior to his mistakes in this chapter, but sent away all his friends and allies, and ultimately locked up his final source of protection (Ghost) a la Robb. When the attack finally came (and it really felt like a spur-of-the-moment attack by Marsh and his friends), he was virtually naked.

    Do you think the "treason" to the Nights Watch is something that Hon would actually do? he seems so caught in his obligation, personally putting his family aside numerous times, that to run off at a letter from Bolton seems more like a plot driven decision than a character driven one to me.

    I think it makes sense. Jon has already been faced with a conflict between his vows and his blood, and he failed the last time (his friends brought him back, and forced him to accept that he couldn't really do anything). Moreover, he was clearly becoming more and more estranged from the Watch as time went on, culminating in his decision to abandon them to march south with wildlings to save his sister. There was also foreshadowing in his covert support of Mance's rescue effort, plus his politicking over the Karstarks.

    You can see it in this chapter, and particularly in the tone of Jon's thoughts. He's upset, unwilling to listen to either the Watch or any other counsel that doesn't agree with him, and Arya's possible capture and mistreatment by Roose is the final straw (along with the failed rescue effort). You can actually read the moment when he is faced with Maester Aemon's choice once more - and once again fails.

    As for his resurrection, his and Melisandre's chapters practically screamed that he's Azor Ahai. That would be a huge mislead by GRRM if he wasn't.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "I can see him wanting to leave the Wall to save his brothers. But in that case, why make the announcement like that? If you are right, and he wanted to save his brothers from oathbreaking with him, why did he invite as many brothers as would follow him to march south?"

    Errr no, he explicitly said they wouldn't have too, Jon turned to the wildlings to volunteer to go with him, not his brothers.

    Also, I think I've told you this before Stefan, on your blog, but my interpretation of how Jon saw this was a direct challenge/threat to him, which was how he was trying to divorce the political implications based on a question of honor. Not that I think anyone, even Jon believed him, but that is how I think we could read the argument he made for it, which makes some sense even if it is unpractical (though then again since when does matters of personal honor ever make any sense in a medieval setting?)

    ReplyDelete
  12. His personal honor surely did play a part as well, but I think it's neglictible. In the end, it comes down to the direct threat by Ramsay and his involvement in northern politics. What he intends to do is the only way out from his point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, but a mistake nonetheless. He should already know that relations within the Watch were already strained to the point of rebelion. The wildlings situation, although the right thing to do on the long term and technically not a oathbreaker, goes against tradition in a long way, and we know that tradition is a big part of this world. The decision to march south, even with wildlings and no brothers, is treason. He is still a brother of the NW, he is the Lord Commander. Anything he do, is entitled to the entire NW. Advising Stannis and meddling with the Karstark situation could be taken as treason as well. Poor Jon, I really hope he´s not dead. I really wouldn´t like a zombie Jon or a perma-warged Jon. I would like he to be saved, exiled somewhere in the North, and come the time when he is most needed and the Watch realizing that he took the right choices, be elected as the 1000 Lord Commander (if that´s technically possible).

    ReplyDelete
  14. KrimzonStriker - "Errr no, he explicitly said they wouldn't have too, Jon turned to the wildlings to volunteer to go with him, not his brothers."

    Errr no, he asked the whole Shieldhall for volunteers, including the brothers who were there. The brothers walked out on him and the wildlings volunteered, but he did ask his brothers.

    And that doesn't address the fact that if he wanted to rescue Arya, going out in force is useless. Scout groups would be much more effective.

    ReplyDelete
  15. He snapped, clear as that. What he does in this chapter doesn't make sense, period. It's understandable, but is's a deep mistake for which he pays dearly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Maybe the red priest saving Victarions arm a few chapters earlier was a timely reminder that Jon's wounds may not be as "dangerous" as initially thought?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Err no, he instructed them to go to Hardhome, explicilty said he would not ask them to come with him... which only works with his asking for volunteers if he explicitly meant the wildlings.

    Yes it does, because the wildlings were to formally serve as an escort first, and a fighting force second, hence my stick about personal honor argument before.

    Stefan- "His personal honor surely did play a part as well, but I think it's neglictible. In the end, it comes down to the direct threat by Ramsay and his involvement in northern politics. What he intends to do is the only way out from his point of view."

    My theory behind Jon's thinking was that he planned to challenge Ramsay personally, since Jon makes no mention of Roose or anyone else, much like Brandon Stark tried to do with Rhaegar.

    I'm not saying it really WAS because of his honor, Jon himself doesn't buy it, but I think that it was probably the loophole Jon tried to use, and makes the most sense given what I'm reading about Jon's wording and thoughts on the matter.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I knew Jon was going to be killed as soon as he left Ghost behind, and didn't think for a second that he'd stay that way. I didn't say that to toot my own horn, I said it because I think it was written in way that makes those conclusions obvious to the reader.

    On first read, I was pissed that Martin would use the same plot device again. In my mind I was thinking "Really? He's leaving the wolf behind? /sigh...". Earlier in the book, Jon states that he is aware that Ghost senses danger, so when he locked Ghost up it woke me up from my suspension of disbelief, since it seemed so illogical. Additionally, Jon's consideration for Borroq seems like really poor writing to me because it's so illogical it's stupid. For some reason, Jon has decided to inconvenience himself in order to spare the feelings of some Warg he doesn't even know? If anything, Jon would lock up Borroq and his boar, quarantine them out of the way or send them to another castle! Locking up Ghost in consideration of Borroq is inconsistent with how inconsiderate Jon is with practically everyone around him! And honestly, there were a dozen ways Martin could have temporarily removed Ghost from the picture so that he wouldn't be around...he could have actually got in a fight with the boar for one! So when I finally read the scene I've been expecting, and Jon is killed, I closed the book, pissed off...because it just seemed so unoriginal, poorly done and obviously fake. I sat there thinking about why Martin wrote it this way and I came to the conclusion that it was on purpose, so that we would 'know' that Jon isn't dead. Martin knows we'll have seen this before, we've been conditioned to suspect character deaths, and the way that Jon's death comes about is highly reminiscent of others, and locking Ghost up is no exception. I'm convinced that, even though it seemed very heavy-handed to just lock Ghost up, it removed him in a way that was familiar to us because it was meant to remind us of what we've read and put us in the right mindset. I can't really think of specifics but the whole chapter seems to be written in a such way that you know Jon isn't dead when you read that scene, which if done on purpose, is particularly brilliant, (though if that's the case, Martin certainly took a risk being so 'subtle'). Honestly I really prefer to think of it that way, and give Martin the benefit of the doubt, since if it wasn't on purpose, it was a sloppy build up to a cheap and uninspired cliffhanger that would be insulting in its attempt to provoke an emotional response since it's so obvious that Jon isn't permanently dead. I actually appreciate that it is so obvious, and you can get closure for Jon's storyline, since I personally believe cliffhangers are for tv shows and comic books (mediums with quick turn around), and do not belong in a book where you have to wait 5+ years to 'see what happens next'.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Also, does anyone feel like Borroq might have warged into Marsh, or both Marsh and Wick were being controlled. We know its possible from Varamyr. I was already thinking pretty meta at that point in the chapter, but really it just seems so bizarre to me, because its so out of character for Marsh. How is it that, of all the brothers around, including rangers, Marsh, certainly not the bravest of the brave, is the one who takes action (I'm assuming he ordered Wick)? Not only that, but he does it in a highly dramatic way, in front of everyone, particularly in front of all the wildlings, he's not going to get away with this one. It just seems so out of character for him because we've been shown time and again that he is cautious. To overcome his caution and do something like that in front of everyone would take extreme passion/anger, but Marsh strikes me as apologetic when he stabs Jon. He's bawling and only stabs once, leaving the dagger in, not really indicative of a man so incensed that he would risk his life to stab Jon in person when he's surrounded by wildlings. Additionally, Wick backs away with his hands up "as if to say, Not me, it was not me". I guess I don't really believe my own theory, since I personally believe Borroq was planted so he could teach Jon in the next book, but it crossed my mind as I was reading the scene.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Na, that's no valid theory in my opinion, especially given the fact that it was established in the prologue that skinchangers don't warg into humans.
    To your critizism, it seems rather logical to me what Jon does. Locking Ghost away for three days is easy. Why piss some wildlings off when the situation is dangerous anyway when you can avoid it so easily?

    ReplyDelete
  21. It may be taboo, but that doesn't mean they don't do it. Both skinchanger viewpoints we've had so far have done so. Bran uses Hodor, and Varamyr tries to take over Thistle, though she bites her tongue.
    -----
    As for Jon locking up Ghost, it doesn't strike you as inconsistent that he's essentially done everything his way, willing to stand up to Selyse, Stannis, Melisandre, the leaders of the Night's Watch, Cregan Karstark, and in the end, Ramsay Bolton, willing to reverse thousands of years of precedent by letting in the wildlings, to send men on suicide missions to scout the Others and rescue wildlings from Hardholme, to break his sacred vows and lead an assault on Winterfell but isn't willing to step on the toes of Borroq?

    It seems an odd thing to concede, particularly, as you've said "the situation is dangerous", and Jon KNOWS Ghost senses danger for him, he explicitly thinks this at some point in the book.

    I just found it particularly heavy-handed. Martin needs Ghost out of the way if something is to happen to Jon, and the way he chose to do it seems pretty forced.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think Jon is Rhaegar and Lyanna's son. He's a Stark and a Targaryen. Fire and Ice.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi everyone. I’m little late with this.

    I want to lay down a few thoughts in regard of the situation at the Wall.
    As of Jon 13, Castle Black is full of wildlings, if I recall correctly they outnumber crows and Queen Stannis’s man. In this respect I expect fighting to break out. My feeling is that the wildlings will not be very fond of the assassination attempt and the assault on Val and that there will be casualties on both sides. The question is has Bowen Marsh been able to prepare the discontent crows to attack the wildlings or was that an attack only on Jon.

    I agree that Jon is Azor Ahai and I think that Martin has prepared everything very carefully for that.
    First of all the prophecy is fulfilled with the bloody star, the smoke and the salt. A second think I find interesting and that has a double meaning for me is the word “reborn”. My expectation is that Jon is dead after the attack and will be “reborn” with the help of Melisandre, but not in the “zombie form that Dondarion and Catelyn where brought back to “life”. This is the thing that makes Jon special. Why do I say that:
    First in SOS and FOC Martin showed us, that after someone dies his soul dies too and when brought back, in the cases of Dondarion and Catelyn, it will be only there bodies and the memories that they carried. That was shown in the way Dondarion lacked purpose, he felt empty to me like a shell. We have a dead soul and a “living” body.
    Second in DoD the first chapter, Martin showed us on the other hand that the soul of a warg can save itself in a different body and will survive. Here we had a “living” soul and a dead body.
    In Jon’s case we will have a combination of a body brought back by Melisandre, which will accept back in itself the survived soul of Jon from Ghost body.
    Nice choice by the way for the wolf’s name.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank Gods for this blog! It has really helped me deal with the deep depression I felt after reading ADWD and realizing I had three years to wait before I could get answers to the many questions this book left me with. One thing no one seems to have brought up that stuck with me in regards to this chapter is Jon's inability to draw Longclaw. GRRM doesn't write that he doesn't draw it in time he writes that his fingers were clumsy and something seemingly preventing him from drawing it. I know he was already cut but it barely broke the skin, so was the dagger poisoned? Was he under some spell? Did someone take over his body or was he leaving his? Its seems the way the line was written it had to mean something.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi,

    thanks for the compliment! I think it doesn't mean that much. When you get stabbed, it seems natural to me that you can't draw a bastard sword and swing it. Your body is severely hurt, and you are flooded with all kinds of pheromons and stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Does anyone remembers Jon's nightmare. Jon had a dream that everyone was gone at casteblack, and he was the only one left. For a war will break out between the wildings and the crows.

    Also, I read where people discuss the crow saying "John Snow" for the first time, but forgot how before the that the bird mention King.

    Last, Dany guide (I call her) stated that she must pass thru the shadow before reaching the light. That show is the wall. Jon snow is not dead. He is to pivotal to the story and to much unanswered questions.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Also, why do I feel the white dragon is for John Snow.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Maester Aemon told Sam in AFFC that dragons switch between male and female like flickering flames. If Jon is of dragon blood, such as Rhaegar's son, then it's possible he and Dany are *both* Azor Azai. A kind of ying yang deal.
    That said, Jon can get burnt by fire. Dany can't, marking her off as a 'true dragon'.

    ReplyDelete
  29. There must always be a stark in winterfell. Bolton holding winterfell means the whole north is under his heel and will not aid the the crows. I think old bear tells jon how important winterfell is in the role of unifiying the north. War amongst northmen seems like it weakens the watch everytime. So he knows that watch is in trouble if the bloodbath goes on and on. He knows if he dies or ramsay dies considering stannis dead the conflict will be minimal afterwards. His duty is to go south

    ReplyDelete
  30. A wise man said you starks are hard to kill. The only way it has been accomplished so far is decapitation. Bran an eight year old boy, gets tossed off a tower. If jaime didnt think it a certain death he may not have gone that route. But to him he couldnt believe a boy coul survive that. And he was headed to death in his lengthy dreaming until a visitor to his dreams convinced him to live. He awoke to find his body destroyed yet he was able to prevent his bodys demise. Jon snow is much older and his body much better condition. Melisandre bran bloodraven and ghost may all play there roles but a couple stab wounds dont sound too dire to really think he would die unless they do decapitate him asap. Killing his wolf asap would be wise. The brothers cant handle ghost unleashed so they just leave him caged. But melisandre is able to sooth him so she can take him to heal jon. If theon hadnt convinced robb and jon that the wolves didnt truly live only to defend the starks they woild both be alive. Once he kills bram and rickon and their wolves dont protect them or die defending them, theon makes the starks lose faith in the fact that keeping the wolves close will always defend them. So they cage them when seem to be most fearful of the company their masters are keeping. Why didnt jon toich ghosts mind to find specifically who the wolf did mot trust. The wolves shouldve tore out theons throat when they were pups if they felt his intentions. But the wolves never sought out their brothers killer so jon and robb lost faith in their instinct. Sadly the wolves were right again theons true heart loved the starks and would never kill them. As for theon why did he never ask to take the black? He had already decided to do it seconds before he lost winterfell but ramsay screwed his plan. and he couldve let rodrik in and told him the truth of the princes, luwin wouldve confirmed it. And the kids were in the basement so they woulda come out quick. Hopefully jon will learn to heed ghosts moods always if he lives. And bran should be sending summer to someplace useful, like winterfell, hardhome, castle black and station him there. What good is the legendary beast spending his days choking on zombie flesh in the wasteland. He could escort the reeds home or just go south fimd lady stoneheart. Or if he warged ghost to fight at stannis side wouldnt every unsure bolton supporter want to side with the brother of the wolf they saw savage warriors in the field relentlessly. Or send hodor out to fight someone, brans mind driving that strength could aid someone. Or just send the wolf to winterfell and demonstrate false arya has no true connection with the wolf. But he could so much killing he could walk right up to you im the blinding snow and you wouldnt see him till his teeth were in your throat. A few guardsman go like that and just sit back and watch the fear consume the boltons. Roose woudlve beem better off marrying arya himself and giving ramsay the dreadfort to keep the spotlight off him.

    ReplyDelete
  31. As far as mance I cant how theon describes abel but hopefully he was able to bring mels glamour with him because once the shit goes down he can put on or take off the item generating the glamour changing his appearance persona so they can never find able. If the glamoir couldnt carry that distance I assume the slave ruby on his iron still kept him loyal. But with glamour ramsay finds him and likely removes his clothes for torture removing the ruby and the spell. Which could explain the request for mances kid and val to come to winterfell and safety. Mance tells ramsay enough to believe he hates stannis jon etc and was being controlled against his will. I would try to get ramsay to wear the ruby and hope it effects him. If not mance shows ramsay his value and ramsay didnt send a piece of king beyond the wall or right in blood as is his custom. all this indicates mance was counseling bolton hopefully in the wrong direction. And asking for reek back doesnt mean hes lying about the battle. If theon gets sacrificed as seems immenint they just may not find the body so they assume hes at the wall. Ramsay shpuldve killed theon after the wedding when there was no ise for him his death wouldve blendied in with all the others. They had no firther use for him and knowing what he knew it woildve been prudent to kill him.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'd think there's a fourth possible outcome. That someone disguised by Melisandre as Jon Snow was killed by Marsh. She was quite boastful of using any personal possession to accomplish it.

    Ghost is upset because it's not Jon.

    ReplyDelete