PDA

View Full Version : Game of Thrones: A Dance with Dragons question[SPOILERS]



TSGames
2012-06-20, 07:34 AM
WARNING! THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS GAME OF THRONES BOOK 5 SPOILERS.

CONTINUE TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

That being said, I wanted to get the playground's opinion on a very specific question about one character.

Jon Snow: Do you think he made the right decisions in book 5? Do you think he deserved his fate? Is he an oathbreaker?

hamlet
2012-06-20, 07:39 AM
He made the tactically correct decisions for the most part (that bit at the end about going to rescue his family from the Boltons is questionable), but he failed utterly at the other aspect of leadership: he failed completely to sell his decisions to those he was leading. That's just as important as making the right choices.

Compare to Dany who could sell sand to a desert nomad, but couldn't make a decision to save her life.

Put them together, and you actually have two halves of a perfect leader.

Dienekes
2012-06-20, 08:25 AM
Which decision, he made quite a few and some were better thought out than others?

Though in the brief hamlet has a pretty decent grasp of the situation. I also like his description of Jon vs Dany. Nicely compared.

hamlet
2012-06-20, 08:30 AM
Which decision, he made quite a few and some were better thought out than others?

Though in the brief hamlet has a pretty decent grasp of the situation. I also like his description of Jon vs Dany. Nicely compared.

For real brain breakage, compare them both to Tyrion: the intelligence to see the correct course, the guts to follow it, and the charisma or just flat out stubborness to get people to willingly go along with it, but will never be trusted, loved, or honored despite his accomplishments.

He is, in a lot of ways, the perfect "left hand" of a leader. The "third half" if you will.

The dragon has three heads . . .

TheSummoner
2012-06-20, 08:32 AM
Which specific descision are you talking about?

If you're talking about helping the wildlings and sending men to rescue the ones still beyong the wall, yes, that was the right choice, though he did a horrible job convincing his men of it. When your enemy recruits the dead, you don't give them access to a huge number of bodies. That's simple enough, though Jon barely bothered trying to explain that to his men.

If you're talking about how he aided Stannis, then he really had little choice in the matter. Stannis had the manpower to take anything he wanted by force and the personality to convince himself that he was right in doing so should Jon flat out refuse to cooperate.

If you're talking about trying to rescue "Arya" then he made the wrong choice. As Night's Watch, his only family is the Night's Watch. When he swore his oath, he gave up his to ride off to fight beside Robb and he gave up his right to inervene and try to save "Arya" even indirectly. Still, it's really hard to blame him for it. Honor is a cold mistress and as Aemon said, it's nothing next to love.

Cikomyr
2012-06-20, 09:12 AM
Overall, John suffered from the same sin as Aerys or Joeffrey. Assuming everybody would follow his orders to the end because he was the one in charge.

hamlet
2012-06-20, 09:56 AM
Overall, John suffered from the same sin as Aerys or Joeffrey. Assuming everybody would follow his orders to the end because he was the one in charge.

But he does have the benefit of not being a raving lunatic. At least not to their extent.

hamlet
2012-06-20, 09:58 AM
Dratted board errors.

Cikomyr
2012-06-20, 10:04 AM
But he does have the benefit of not being a raving lunatic. At least not to their extent.

From the point of view of the Night Watch, are you sure that's notnwhatnthey thought?

The man wanted to risk dozens of Black Brother to save wildlings. He recruited wildlings and giants in the Night Watch. He opened the gates to thousand of people who, weeks ago, were battering at these very gates. And he decided to use the Night Watch's strengths against the legitimate Warden of the North for personal reasons.

Who's to say he wasn't a raving lunatic?

hamlet
2012-06-20, 10:09 AM
I imagine their complaint was more along the lines of him being a traitor and turncloak rather than merely insane.

Cikomyr
2012-06-20, 10:44 AM
I imagine their complaint was more along the lines of him being a traitor and turncloak rather than merely insane.

For those not liking John to begin with, you are right.

But those who trusted John and believed he was a True Brother? They couldn't think he was a true turncloak. Most likely thought the post of Lord Commander went to his head.

Thialfi
2012-06-20, 10:49 AM
I agree with pretty much everything he did right up until the end where he allowed himself to be taunted into a huge blunder without bothering to confirm any of the very likely false information contained in the letter.

Some of the above commentors are correct about his lack of political savvy regarding his own men.

Hopefully, he will learn from his mistake when he is given another chance to lead in the last books.

Cikomyr
2012-06-20, 10:55 AM
Hopefully, he will learn from his mistake when he is given another chance to lead in the last books.

I believe he is dead. He got killed real good by his own Brothers.

However, we did learned that for certain... Willful individuals, death ain't the end of all when you have a Red Priest as an ally. Reprising one as powerful as Melisandre.

Grif
2012-06-20, 11:01 AM
I believe he is dead. He got killed real good by his own Brothers.

However, we did learned that for certain... Willful individuals, death ain't the end of all when you have a Red Priest as an ally. Reprising one as powerful as Melisandre.

So Melisandre is going to pull a Beric Dondarrion here? Sounds legit.

I cannot see Jon dying actually. He's a little too integral for the plot in the North.

Cikomyr
2012-06-20, 11:40 AM
So Melisandre is going to pull a Beric Dondarrion here? Sounds legit.

I cannot see Jon dying actually. He's a little too integral for the plot in the North.

Agreed to your argument. But you should specify "I cannot see John dying for good"

He'd still be John Snow, and do his duty. It's only after repeated comebacks they start to.... Fade.

Many comebacks, or too long of a death, like Stoneheart.

Erloas
2012-06-20, 11:40 AM
The way Martin ended it, I don't see Jon as being completely dead either. The way it cut away right before anything could be confirmed and ended the book completely away from the area makes it seem like that line isn't dead yet.
The fact that it was not very subtly hinted about for the entire book that it was going to happen means it couldn't possibly happen in such a straight forward way.

I think the only real question is if Jon is saved in such a way that everyone knows and keeps his position as commander or is saved in a hidden way so he basically disappears.

Thialfi
2012-06-20, 11:52 AM
I believe he is dead. He got killed real good by his own Brothers.

However, we did learned that for certain... Willful individuals, death ain't the end of all when you have a Red Priest as an ally. Reprising one as powerful as Melisandre.

I fully realize that Martin is about as ruthless an author as I have ever read. I
fear for the safety of a lot of my favorite characters, however, I don't think there is even the slightest chance that Jon won't be back as a major player in the books to come.

I would also be surprised if, regardless of what is in the letter sent to Jon, King Stannis doesn't outlive both of the Boltons.

TSGames
2012-06-20, 03:03 PM
I think that Jon made the right decision in letting the wildlings through the wall, both initially and with Tormund. He also handled Stannis about as well as he could.

However, he also made some decisions that were so dumb only Caitlin or Cersei could have thought they were good ideas. Sending the ships at Eastwatch out to rescue the wildlings that had fled to the bay, for example. In one brilliant move he risked the Commander of Eastwatch, almost all of the black brothers' fleet, and many experienced men of the Watch that he could not afford to lose. Not only that, but he did it after he heard news that the wiildlings were already starving and possibly cannibalizing each other, making the journey to save them a moot point as there would be few or none of them left to save by the time the ships arrived anyway.

Then there was sending Mance to retrieve his sister. Actually, not the worst decision, but only because Mance is...well, Mance.

And then there was the letter...The last big ****up in a series of ****ups that would come to characterize his short reign as Lord Commander. At this point John Snow pretty much says "**** this oath." He decides to read the letter out loud to the corwded gallery so that he can raise an army of wildlings to rescue his sister. He doesn't anticipate that the men of the Night's Watch will see this as the last and most definitive breaking of his oath, not mention as a threat to the existence of the Night's Watch.

Overall Jon made some very good, very necessary decisions, but also some amazingly terrible decisions. Caitlin probably rubbed off on him. I just hope he's a smarter character after the kiss of fire.

INDYSTAR188
2012-06-20, 04:52 PM
I think that Jons biggest mistakes were not trusting his fellow officers. Put some stock into those who you lead and they might surprise you. That might, maybe have kept Bowen Marsh's blade in its sheath. I think the Wildling decisions were well made but poorly executed from a leadership perspective. As I said above you have to include your officers in the decision and carefully explain and listen to each others opinions with you having the final decision. I don't think he's dead. It wouldn't surprise me tho, considering the foreshadowing from Melisandre and this would make him a 'believer' in her visions.

McStabbington
2012-06-20, 06:34 PM
Jon Snow usually, albeit not always, had the right objective. Unfortunately, how he did it usually came off in ways that were by turns, clumsy, inept or abrasive.

The Night's Watch as an institution is, from top to bottom, encumbered by rituals and formalities that no longer serve it. Those who take the black must necessarily either have no wife or effectively divorce their wife upon doing so. Which means that by definition, your highborn conscripts will be limited to one of two pools: the third or lower child of a lord who has no chance in the line of succession, or knights who lose a rebellion but survive. That's not a large pool to draw from even if serving in the Night's Watch were still considered a high honor. What's worse, the vows are interpreted even more strictly than they are written: the vow of celibacy (I will take no wife) is interpreted as a vow of chastity (I will not have sex). The fact that women cannot serve in the Night's Watch limits the pool of potential applicants, and even in this highly gendered society forces you to commit men to being stewards who could be rangers and builders.

And if you note, a lot of Jon's attempts to reform the Night's Watch deal with those structural problems. By bringing in spearwives and women from Mole's Town, he's effectively ending the male-only rule of the Night's Watch. He's shifting the emphasis from fighting the wildlings to fighting the Others. He's altering the training regimen from one designed by knights to one that can make good use of commoners, who rarely know how to use a sword but often need the bow to survive.

The problem, of course, is twofold. First, Snow repeatedly gets carried away in trying to carry out these shifts. Bringing a wildling like Tormund Giantsbane, whom you know and can trust after a fashion is actually a fairly smart move. Bringing the Weeper, named because he's made a career out of cutting the eyes out of the men you serve with and you're now asking to protect him, is much less so. Trying to save the people you couldn't get off Hardhome with boats by going overland and then leading the bedraggled survivors back is pure lunacy. And yet he couldn't distinguish between the bad advice of Bowen Marsh (don't trust any wildling) from the good (any man you take to Hardhome is coming back cold, pale and with burning blue eyes).

Which brings us to the second problem: Jon Snow really didn't have a clue about how to inspire loyalty in his brothers. Once he became commander, he shut himself away from his friends, he did nothing to cement a relationship with those who worked under him like Bowen Marsh, and he did nothing to secure the loyalty and dedication of the men under his command. This is especially troubling given both why the previous Lord Commander had died, and that he was the compromise candidate between the commanders of Eastwatch and the Shadow Tower. If he had done so, he might have been able to survive his clear oathbreaking by leading an army of wildlings against what, to all intents and purposes, appeared to be the rightful Warden of the North. As it was, it was not surprising that he ended up getting knifed. At all.

Kato
2012-06-21, 02:05 AM
And he decided to use the Night Watch's strengths against the legitimate Warden of the North for personal reasons.

What legitimate Wardens? The cruel, inhuman bastards that got their spot by plotting against the former Warden? If that makes the Bolton's legitimate in anyone's eyes you might as well give up on the Night Watch.


I believe he is dead. He got killed real good by his own Brothers.

However, we did learned that for certain... Willful individuals, death ain't the end of all when you have a Red Priest as an ally. Reprising one as powerful as Melisandre.
Really, I was shocked when people actually assumed he was dead. "Wait, what?" Theon made it, Melisandre is around, dead are walking all the time..." Alice or 'alive' I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him. He's got too much left to do.


I agree with pretty much everything he did right up until the end where he allowed himself to be taunted into a huge blunder without bothering to confirm any of the very likely false information contained in the letter.

Yeah, mostly. I also don't see how he could have communicated it better to his brothers. As far as I can tell they were either too stupid or stubborn to realize the wildlings were not their true enemies but the Others were. They were just stuck in this old struggle of fighting against the people from the other side and there was little Jon could have done about that as fast as he had to. Admittedly, I can't see why they are so scared of a bunch of zombies on the other side of the wall instead of a few thousand hungry people on their side but... I guess from a humane standpoint he did the right thing. Except... when he decided to abandon his oath and get taunted by some people known to LIE all the time.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 07:01 AM
What legitimate Wardens? The cruel, inhuman bastards that got their spot by plotting against the former Warden? If that makes the Bolton's legitimate in anyone's eyes you might as well give up on the Night Watch.


The Night's Watch takes no part. All blatant oath breaking aside, if Jon had gone after Bolton and had failed: given the cruel reputation of the Boltons, do you really think Ramsay would have left the Night's Watch alone? It would have been the end of the Night's Watch.

Also, I don't think most people think Jon is dead as in permanently dead. Most people acknowledge that he got a good and well earned shanking, is now dead or dying, and is going to be restored some way... Given that he keeps the company of an extremely powerful Red Priestess, my money's on the kiss of fire.

Ultimately, Jon continuing in some way in the next books will be as surprising as his shanking or the revelation that he's half Targaryen.

Grif
2012-06-21, 07:30 AM
The Night's Watch takes no part. All blatant oath breaking aside, if Jon had gone after Bolton and had failed: given the cruel reputation of the Boltons, do you really think Ramsay would have left the Night's Watch alone? It would have been the end of the Night's Watch.

Also, I don't think most people think Jon is dead as in permanently dead. Most people acknowledge that he got a good and well earned shanking, is now dead or dying, and is going to be restored some way... Given that he keeps the company of an extremely powerful Red Priestess, my money's on the kiss of fire.

Ultimately, Jon continuing in some way in the next books will be as surprising as his shanking or the revelation that he's half Targaryen.

Jon just done ****ed up in the last chapter. No doubt about it. Bowen Marsh was probably doing the Night Watch a favour by shanking Jon before he could lead them to ruin.

Anyway Jon's horrific lapse in judgement aside, am I the only one here who is rooting for Stannis? For some reason, I really liked his character since he appeared in Book 2. I was disappointed that fate conspired against him at Blackwater and again on the march to Winterfell. Man needs a break.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 07:37 AM
To be fair, it's not like Jon had much of a choice in the Bolton fiasco.

Ramsay's letter reveals information he could not have known without it being honest: Rayder and the spearwives. Then claims to have defeated Stannis. Then makes unreasonable claims and says if they're not followed he will destroy the Night's Watch.

The army is heading toward the Wall. If Ramsay's letter is true, and Stannis forces were destroyed then sending raiders to check, report back, and so forth would put them on a severely weak position putting them back weeks before they mobilize essentially screwing themselves over since the Wall is reiterated as being completely horrible defending from the South, and half the force has never had to take part in a defensive siege before.

No, Jon's army had the highest chance of success if he went out to meet his opponent in an area he had the ability to maneuver in.

If Ramsey's letter is false, then Stannis is still out there with his own army. Again, sending an army on an offensive is still the best choice the potential to meet up with Stannis is available and probably should be looked into. But the mobilization still needed to happen now. Now really it can be determined by how far the Bolton force moves north. If Stannis is still around Winterfell still needs to be defended the Bolton force will not have moved as far and the there is a likelihood that the scouting party of both the Stannis and Wall forces can meet up to defeat the opponent.

Now this is all assuming that Jon goes to war of course. Now if he decides not to. The letter was very specific, he needs to hand over his sister (which he doesn't have), and defy guests right by handing over Melisandre and Selyse. Because the neutrality of the Wall works both ways. They are not supposed to take part in the wars below, but neither do you attack the Wall to find your enemies. Waiting outside with a rather large army is one thing, but straight up threatening to attack the Wall is another. No one would give up Mel and Selyse, we saw how important guests right is, as a commander they are under his protection, and just being a human being. So since he can't take that action his only option remaining is to fight.

Mind you, all this being said Jon still needed to handle the decision better. Though in all honesty it was probably too late. It may just be my gut feeling about this, but it seems to me that the Watch was planning on executing Jon for awhile now, it was too coordinated to happen so fast right after Jon's speech.

polity4life
2012-06-21, 07:40 AM
Anyway... am I the only one here who is rooting for Stannis? For some reason, I really liked his character since he appeared in Book 2. I was disappointed that fate conspired against him at Blackwater and again on the march to Winterfell. Man needs a break.

Nevermind Stannis. What about Kevan Lannister? Talk about a raw deal there. He actually shows competent top-level leadership for the first time in over two decades and that ends right quick.

Can you imagine Tywin as king and Kevan as the hand and honestly tell me Westeros wouldn't be rock solid and better off in every tangible, quantifiable, qualitative measure? It's frustrating that they're dead but it does make for a more interesting story.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 07:46 AM
To be fair, it's not like Jon had much of a choice in the Bolton fiasco.

Ramsay's letter reveals information he could not have known without it being honest: Rayder and the spearwives. Then claims to have defeated Stannis. Then makes unreasonable claims and says if they're not followed he will destroy the Night's Watch.


...
.......
He said in the letter, "I will cut out your bastardís heart and eat it." He did not threaten the wall. At best, Jon Snow chose his own life above the Night's Watch. This would make him a craven bastard.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 07:47 AM
Nevermind Stannis. What about Kevan Lannister? Talk about a raw deal there. He actually shows competent top-level leadership for the first time in over two decades and that ends right quick.

Can you imagine Tywin as king and Kevan as the hand and honestly tell me Westeros wouldn't be rock solid and better off in every tangible, quantifiable, qualitative measure? It's frustrating that they're dead but it does make for a more interesting story.

Yes I can. No don't get me wrong, King Tywin has a beautiful ring too it. But when you start setting up kings you have to look at succession as well. You know who would succeed Tywin? Jaime. Jaime freaking Lannister. He'd be as bad as Robert, except instead of getting Ned to do his thinking for him he'd get Cersei.

And if we know anything, it's that once Cersei gets her hands on power, it is inevitable that everything she touches turns to stupid.


...
.......
He said in the letter, "I will cut out your bastardís heart and eat it." He did not threaten the wall. At best, Jon Snow chose his own life above the Night's Watch. This would make him a craven bastard.

And the Wall would defend it's Commander. Even if you don't like Jon, from a simple regard to precedent allowing Ramsay to come in and kill your commander effectively means that the Wall is now directly under the control of the southern kingdoms, no longer an autonomous body that is allowed it's own thing unless someone screws up. Now if the folks of Winterfell don't like the current commander they can impose their own rules and regulations.

Hell, Jon had friends, not the big wigs, but plenty among the lower fighters and among the wildlings. Frankly if Ramsay did call for his head, many would have fought for him, unquestioningly. But they'd be in a terrible position.

Grif
2012-06-21, 07:51 AM
Nevermind Stannis. What about Kevan Lannister? Talk about a raw deal there. He actually shows competent top-level leadership for the first time in over two decades and that ends right quick.

Can you imagine Tywin as king and Kevan as the hand and honestly tell me Westeros wouldn't be rock solid and better off in every tangible, quantifiable, qualitative measure? It's frustrating that they're dead but it does make for a more interesting story.

Kevan is a tragic figure to be sure. As Varys put it, "good men in service of bad causes".

I don't consider Tywin to be a good leader per se. He certainly is competent, no doubt. But he also showed a remarkably ruthless streak and callous disregard for those he regarded as worthless. I mean, he's the guy who thought bringing in the Brave Companions to plunder the riverlands to be a great idea. No doubt he also had a hand in planning the Red Wedding and organising the treachery of the Boltons. Sure, it did bring a swift end to the rebellion in the North. But it permanently marred the reputation of the Lannisters and earned them the enmity of a great many Houses.

Both of which looking to backfire on the Lannisters in the long term. I won't be surprised if the Lannisters' future aren't looking too hot, with the Freys and Boltons looking shaky. Dorne Martells already hates everything that Tywin stands for because of the Dragonstone incident and you can bet your pants the Tyrells have no love for Lannisters either.

Tyrion would make a better King Hand and he shown good examples of restraint when trying to secure King's Landing. Tywin only succeeded in making a lot of enemies in the long term for the sake of securing short term gain.

EDIT: Cersei's stupid also contributed to those, I'll admit. But it doesn't excuse some of his more questionable decisions.

polity4life
2012-06-21, 07:51 AM
Yes I can. No don't get me wrong, King Tywin has a beautiful ring too it. But when you start setting up kings you have to look at succession as well. You know who would succeed Tywin? Jaime. Jaime freaking Lannister. He'd be as bad as Robert, except instead of getting Ned to do his thinking for him he'd get Cersei.

And if we know anything, it's that once Cersei gets her hands on power, it is inevitable that everything she touches turns to stupid.

That depends on what happens to Jamie during Tywin's rule. If he starts learning that there are alternatives to communicating with people that don't involve murder then he has an opportunity to improve as a leader. Granted, that took the loss of his ability to murder for that process to begin. What would likely happen is Jamie never learns that skill under Tywin's rule unless Tywin forces it on him.

No matter the case, Jamie isn't as hedonistic as Robert. He's more like a mild Joffery but with real intelligence.

And the only way Tywin could be king is if Cersi is out of the picture. How would that happen? Who knows. Accidents could have happened during the Battle of Blackwater.

If that were the case that Jamie would succeed Tywin, I imagine Jamie would tap Tyrion as his hand since they have such a close relationship and that wouldn't be a bad pairing by any means.

Grif, Tywin may not be an inspirational leader. He is ruthless and callous, as you say and that has led to long-term issues. But he is one of the top three public administrators in the books with the other two are Kevan and Tyrion. They know how to manage at the top. Casterly Rock and the Westerlands have prospered under Tywin and it isn't because of their natural resources; gold was always out there. It's because he knew what to do with it.

Granted, Tyrion is ultimately the best leader in all of the books. He only falls short on military matters due to lack of experience (that he is quickly amassing presently).

TSGames
2012-06-21, 07:56 AM
Y
And the Wall would defend it's Commander.

Given what just happened, I'm gonna go with a big "No" on that one.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 08:06 AM
Given what just happened, I'm gonna go with a big "No" on that one.

Depends who. Jon was assassinated by what was it 7 guys? Most of which he didn't like dealing with. Jon was never good with them. Jon does have quite a few people who owe him their lives, a few more he's befriended through training, a few hundred wildlings who respect him, giants, and the entire defenses left to Selyse and Melisandre. Who no matter what will fight back since Ramsay is essentially coming to kill them.

Yes. Someone would defend him. And if he waits for Ramsay to show up, they would lose, and lose bad.


That depends on what happens to Jamie during Tywin's rule. If he starts learning that there are alternatives to communicating with people that don't involve murder then he has an opportunity to improve as a leader. Granted, that took the loss of his ability to murder for that process to begin. What would likely happen is Jamie never learns that skill under Tywin's rule unless Tywin forces it on him.

No matter the case, Jamie isn't as hedonistic as Robert. He's more like a mild Joffery but with real intelligence.

And the only way Tywin could be king is if Cersi is out of the picture. How would that happen? Who knows. Accidents could have happened during the Battle of Blackwater.

If that were the case that Jamie would succeed Tywin, I imagine Jamie would tap Tyrion as his hand since they have such a close relationship and that wouldn't be a bad pairing by any means.

I'm kinda confused by the rules here. As there is no possible way that Tywin becomes king, being dead and all. I was just assuming we are going to some weird parallel universe where Tywin sits on the throne.

While yes, Jaime isn't as hedonistic as Robert, that really wasn't Roberts problem. Ok, his whoring didn't hep matters, but you can have a lusty and efficient king that still ends up being a good ruler. His problem is that he didn't want to rule. He liked the crown, and being a ruler was great. But actually ruling? He left that up to everyone else. Jamie is the same.

Honestly his actions in the last book even remind me of what we heard of Robert during his rebellion. Being gracious to defeated enemies and attempting to make friends out of them. Mind you he wasn't as successful, but then he has a rather large stigma against him.

Grif
2012-06-21, 08:16 AM
I'm kinda confused by the rules here. As there is no possible way that Tywin becomes king, being dead and all. I was just assuming we are going to some weird parallel universe where Tywin sits on the throne.

While yes, Jaime isn't as hedonistic as Robert, that really wasn't Roberts problem. Ok, his whoring didn't hep matters, but you can have a lusty and efficient king that still ends up being a good ruler. His problem is that he didn't want to rule. He liked the crown, and being a ruler was great. But actually ruling? He left that up to everyone else. Jamie is the same.

Honestly his actions in the last book even remind me of what we heard of Robert during his rebellion. Being gracious to defeated enemies and attempting to make friends out of them. Mind you he wasn't as successful, but then he has a rather large stigma against him.

Add that to the fact that Robert is being secretly undermined by those around him throughout his rule. Let's take his Small Council.

Lord Jon Arryn was probably one of the few loyal and competent member of the council.
Ser Selmy is loyal, though none too bright.
Varys certainly had his own plans. ADWD revealed he's still loyal to the Targaryens.
Littlefinger was just there to grab more lands for his own.
Grand Maester Pycelle is just a Lannister lapdog.
Renly was too busy trying to unseat Robert or some such plans he had.
Stannis is cold, distant and "has the personality of a lobster". However! He is loyal and efficient. Not a friend of Robert though.

And then there's Cersei, Queen Stupid. If there's one thing that unseated Robert more than anything else, it was Cersei.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 08:17 AM
Depends who. Jon was assassinated by what was it 7 guys? Most of which he didn't like dealing with. Jon was never good with them. Jon does have quite a few people who owe him their lives, a few more he's befriended through training, a few hundred wildlings who respect him, giants, and the entire defenses left to Selyse and Melisandre. Who no matter what will fight back since Ramsay is essentially coming to kill them.

Yes. Someone would defend him. And if he waits for Ramsay to show up, they would lose, and lose bad.


If Ramsay showed up with an army, and demanded Jon Snow, the Black Brothers would have asked, "Dead or alive?" He had no friends worthy of mention; the majority of the Night's Watch was against him; the legitimate Warden of the North would be calling for him to be relieved of command as oathbraeker(which was true). The men of the NIght's Watch will not risk the Night's Watch for the life of one ****ty Lord Commander who they were about to shank anyway.

polity4life
2012-06-21, 08:19 AM
Depends who. Jon was assassinated by what was it 7 guys? Most of which he didn't like dealing with. Jon was never good with them. Jon does have quite a few people who owe him their lives, a few more he's befriended through training, a few hundred wildlings who respect him, giants, and the entire defenses left to Selyse and Melisandre. Who no matter what will fight back since Ramsay is essentially coming to kill them.

Yes. Someone would defend him. And if he waits for Ramsay to show up, they would lose, and lose bad.



I'm kinda confused by the rules here. As there is no possible way that Tywin becomes king, being dead and all. I was just assuming we are going to some weird parallel universe where Tywin sits on the throne.

While yes, Jaime isn't as hedonistic as Robert, that really wasn't Roberts problem. Ok, his whoring didn't hep matters, but you can have a lusty and efficient king that still ends up being a good ruler. His problem is that he didn't want to rule. He liked the crown, and being a ruler was great. But actually ruling? He left that up to everyone else. Jamie is the same.

Honestly his actions in the last book even remind me of what we heard of Robert during his rebellion. Being gracious to defeated enemies and attempting to make friends out of them. Mind you he wasn't as successful, but then he has a rather large stigma against him.

I sort of derailed the topic here but I'll put it back on track after this post.

Jamie would only be an effective king if he surrounded himself with capable people. If he had Tyrion then that's a huge boon.

Anyway, back on topic (sorry to the OP for the derail). It seems sort of funny how Martin has used the Stark family, namely the older boys, as demonstrations on how not to interact with people as a leader. They're decent people, Ned, Robb, and Jon, but they have no concept of the consequence of executive decisions. Every one of them derps badly simply because they don't think like leaders.

I'm willing to excuse Jon for his mistakes since he is so young and doesn't really have a cadre of well seasoned leaders underneath him.

Grif
2012-06-21, 08:27 AM
If Ramsay showed up with an army, and demanded Jon Snow, the Black Brothers would have asked, "Dead or alive?" He had no friends worthy of mention; the majority of the Night's Watch was against him; the legitimate Warden of the North would be calling for him to be relieved of command as oathbraeker(which was true). The men of the NIght's Watch will not risk the Night's Watch for the life of one ****ty Lord Commander who they were about to shank anyway.

I would think the wildlings would put up a fight though. Especially Tormund. They know they are only allowed there by the grace of Jon Snow. Without him in command, Bowen Marsh is liable to turn them all out again.

The men of the Night's Watch might not defend him, but his new friends will, either by necessity, or by their own free will.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 08:38 AM
I would think the wildlings would put up a fight though. Especially Tormund. They know they are only allowed there by the grace of Jon Snow. Without him in command, Bowen Marsh is liable to turn them all out again.

The men of the Night's Watch might not defend him, but his new friends will, either by necessity, or by their own free will.

While I agree that the wildlings would have fought Ramsay, we've seen how well they do against Westerosi knights. Win or lose, I really can't see Jon surviving this scenario. If the wildlings did attack, the Black Brothers would have been quick enough to join with the Boltons(seeing as how there is no shortage of enmity for either Jon Snow or the wildlings). The black brothers would have betrayed Jon just so they could hand him over to Ramsay as an oathbreaker, appease him, and save the Night's Watch. And if they failed in that task? Then Ramsay would either end the Night's Watch or cripple it further.

Any way you look at it, Jon's death was definite plus for the Night's Watch.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 08:39 AM
If Ramsay showed up with an army, and demanded Jon Snow, the Black Brothers would have asked, "Dead or alive?" He had no friends worthy of mention; the majority of the Night's Watch was against him; the legitimate Warden of the North would be calling for him to be relieved of command as oathbraeker(which was true). The men of the NIght's Watch will not risk the Night's Watch for the life of one ****ty Lord Commander who they were about to shank anyway.

Now we're talking in circles. Jon still had his allies, some who even agreed with his decisions. He still had his younger friends, some hotheads who would fight.

Then we also have the giants, and the wildlings, who realize they're only there and relatively safe because of Jon. And the Queen's Men who won't surrender to their deaths without a fight. Violence and destruction would be inevitable.

And once more we add in the previously forgotten post about precedent. The smartest guys of the Night's Watch know that they can kill Jon, but they cannot be placed under the heel of a lord of the Seven Kingdoms. If I may post a comparison to history. The senate can choose to assassinate Caesar because it is their hand, they are taking care of their own mess. They cannot get a Gaelic army to come take care of it for them, as that puts themselves under the heel of a direct militaristic political power.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 08:43 AM
And once more we add in the previously forgotten post about precedent. The smartest guys of the Night's Watch know that they can kill Jon, but they cannot be placed under the heel of a lord of the Seven Kingdoms. If I may post a comparison to history. The senate can choose to assassinate Caesar because it is their hand, they are taking care of their own mess. They cannot get a Gaelic army to come take care of it for them, as that puts themselves under the heel of a direct militaristic political power.

That post was as forgotten as it was irrelevant. Why would Ramsay even need to appoint his own head to the Watch? His very presence there, with an army, would guarantee the brothers picked a new commander that was pleasing to him. That aside, Ramsay is not a Southerner AT ALL.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 08:46 AM
That post was as forgotten as it was irrelevant. Why would Ramsay even need to appoint his own head to the Watch? His very presence there, with an army, would guarantee the brothers picked a new commander that was pleasing to him. That aside, Ramsay is not a Southerner AT ALL.

I don't believe I called him a southern, but from the south, which he is. As he is south of the Wall.

So, unlike Stannis, who essentially saved their hides. Ramsay will ride in, slaughter a few of the Watch's own who will stand up for Jon. Kill the people that the Watch has sworn to protect by right of guest. And force the Watch to appoint a leader that will do what he says.

You do not see anything wrong with this?

And hell, this is all assuming he just doesn't destroy it because he can. Which Ramsay has a habit of doing.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 08:49 AM
I don't believe I called him a southern, but from the south, which he is. As he is south of the Wall.

So, unlike Stannis, who essentially saved their hides. Ramsay will ride in, slaughter a few of the Watch's own who will stand up for Jon. Kill the people that the Watch has sworn to protect by right of guest. And force the Watch to appoint a leader that will do what he says.

You do not see anything wrong with this?

I was never arguing about right and wrong, but what the Watch would have done. You seem to have confused the two.

The fact of it is: Jon handled the letter in almost the worst possible way. He takes the letter and reads it a room full of wildlings and Black Brothers in order to raise an army of wildings to take out the rightful Warden of the North for personal reasons. Shanking him was the best move the Night's Watch could have done, and the only move he left them with.

Cikomyr
2012-06-21, 09:09 AM
Sorry for taking things off topic here (but since we already are, there is little sin in going further), but something struct me this morning while reading for the 2nd time A Storm of Swords.

Melisandre makes a point of mentioning that she can't see Patchface in her fire. At first, I was wondering if it had something to do with patchface maybe eventually killing Melisandre, like she couldn't see her doom.

But then I realized. Patchface had been strongly blessed by the Drowned God. He belongs to Him, he preaches about the Undersea Court. What is dead can never die, but rise stronger.

Melisandre cannot see him because he belongs to another God. Or because he died already.

Which means Melisandre, and all the Red Priests, CANNOT see the Ironborns (at least those who have been properly drowned and were brought back).

Also, could we make some sort of guess that the Drowned God's Drowned Men are some sort of Zombies, like the ones animated by the Fire Breath, or the Others? After all, Drowned Men are all a tiny bit... crazy. Just like the Fire Zombis.

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 09:33 AM
I was never arguing about right and wrong, but what the Watch would have done. You seem to have confused the two.

The fact of it is: Jon handled the letter in almost the worst possible way. He takes the letter and reads it a room full of wildlings and Black Brothers in order to raise an army of wildings to take out the rightful Warden of the North for personal reasons. Shanking him was the best move the Night's Watch could have done, and the only move he left them with.

I'm arguing what was reasonable for Jon to assume would happen with the information available to him. He did not know about the shanking (which I still think would have happened anyway, with or without letter). So he cannot take that into his plans. With the information only available to him he can either wait for Ramsay or go fight him.

If he waits for Ramsay, he cannot do what Ramsay says, because it is either impossible or breaks the Night's Watch oaths, so he and the Watch will be destroyed, along with everything he has tried to accomplish in strengthening the Watch from the Others. If he does offer his head for Ramsay, there are Watchmen who will fight. Not all of them, but many. Along with the wildlings and the queens men and so forth. If such fighting breaks out, I do not see the Watch universally siding with Ramsay. Actually I see closer to the opposite. Now undoubtedly there will be some of declare for Ramsay, of course, but I do not see it as a mass movement.

So if you cannot defend you must attack, and find suitable ground to do so.

Could he have thought of a better means of getting this about without declaring himself an oathbreaker and leading a horde of wildlings? Yes. Definitely. But my point was Ramsay did not leave him a lot of options here, and I do not see it as a universal idiot ball as others have said.

Now with all that in mind, and keeping in mind the ideologies of the betraying Watchmen, they also make sense. Mind you, I don't think it'll work out for them in the end. Since we fall in the same problems as Jon had, they cannot give Ramsay Arya, the Wildlings are now going to fight them, and the Queen's Men still will defend the queen from the Boltons.

We'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 09:49 AM
If he waits for Ramsay, he cannot do what Ramsay says, because it is either impossible or breaks the Night's Watch oaths, so he and the Watch will be destroyed, along with everything he has tried to accomplish in strengthening the Watch from the Others. If he does offer his head for Ramsay, there are Watchmen who will fight. Not all of them, but many. Along with the wildlings and the queens men and so forth. If such fighting breaks out, I do not see the Watch universally siding with Ramsay. Actually I see closer to the opposite. Now undoubtedly there will be some of declare for Ramsay, of course, but I do not see it as a mass movement.

So if you cannot defend you must attack, and find suitable ground to do so.


If he offered his head to Ramsay, no one would stop him(except maybe Mel if she has some kind of plans for him). Certainly his few friends(all six of them) would ttry to dissuade him, but no wildlings would stop him as it would be his choice to do so. Waiting for Ramsay was a better option at least for a bit; he didn't know how much of the letter was true and made no effort to verify before jumping into action(he acted exactly opposite to how Doran Martell would have acted).

However, according to you, he has many friends and wildlings who would jump to his defense, so why should he not fight Ramsay at castle black where the castle can provide at least some meager advantage?

Instead, you argue, that it would have been a wiser decision to take a wildling army to Winterfell. Nevermind that an enormous blizzard had just passed through making passage difficult, never mind that his entire army would have been on foot because the Night's Watch had no horses to spare, nevermind that it would have been difficult at best to provision all the Wlidlings for the journey, nevermind that when the going got tough a good portion of the wildlings would simply slip away into north, and nevermind that Ramsay's soldiers were better equipped, better trained, and fighting from behind the walls of Winterfell.

How could anyone argue with logic like that?

hamlet
2012-06-21, 09:52 AM
Sorry for taking things off topic here (but since we already are, there is little sin in going further), but something struct me this morning while reading for the 2nd time A Storm of Swords.

Melisandre makes a point of mentioning that she can't see Patchface in her fire. At first, I was wondering if it had something to do with patchface maybe eventually killing Melisandre, like she couldn't see her doom.

But then I realized. Patchface had been strongly blessed by the Drowned God. He belongs to Him, he preaches about the Undersea Court. What is dead can never die, but rise stronger.

Melisandre cannot see him because he belongs to another God. Or because he died already.

Which means Melisandre, and all the Red Priests, CANNOT see the Ironborns (at least those who have been properly drowned and were brought back).

Also, could we make some sort of guess that the Drowned God's Drowned Men are some sort of Zombies, like the ones animated by the Fire Breath, or the Others? After all, Drowned Men are all a tiny bit... crazy. Just like the Fire Zombis.

Would be interesting, except that the Red Priest in the end can see Victarion in the fires, who most certainly has been "properly" drowned and brought back.

Cikomyr
2012-06-21, 09:56 AM
Would be interesting, except that the Red Priest in the end can see Victarion in the fires, who most certainly has been "properly" drowned and brought back.

How can we be sure? The Greyjoy family never seemed THAT pious before Aeron was drowned. who's to say Victarion hasn't simply been dipped in saltwater as a baby?

Erloas
2012-06-21, 10:40 AM
I think going out to meet Ramsey is certain death. If they stay in Winterfell then they will be attacking a defended castle, something they can't possibly do. If they meet them in the field the mobility of knights and superior numbers will crush them. The wall, however, even from the south side, is a much easier place to defend. Even if its much easier to get up the south side of the wall it is still impossible for horses and still a lot harder to attack.

The Night Watch would have defended against Ramsey too. If for no other reason then his reputation and knowing he wouldn't be happy with just Jon. And while Stannis and Melisandra don't have a lot of friends in the Night Watch, they do have some.
The Night Watch would be destroyed if they didn't fight off Ramsey. Whether it was from Ramsey's army or in-fighting or trying to capture Melisandra to give to Ramsey, or trying to get rid of the Wildlings afterwards. And I think the majority of the Night Watch would realize this.

As for the Night Watch hating Jon Snow, I think it was an influential few, and not the majority, that wanted him dead and gone. They had been planning it a while too, it wasn't just a spur of the moment action caused by his announcement. If the majority really did want him gone they could have done it a lot of different ways. The only way assassination makes any sense in removing him from power is if they didn't think it could be done any other way and didn't have the numbers to support using another method.
Besides, him leaving his duties as Night Commander and taking Wildlings with him to go to his certain death is hardly the catalyst for assassinating him. Why bother killing him when he is getting ready to do that himself and remove another problem in the process?

Dienekes
2012-06-21, 11:41 AM
If he offered his head to Ramsay, no one would stop him(except maybe Mel if she has some kind of plans for him). Certainly his few friends(all six of them) would ttry to dissuade him, but no wildlings would stop him as it would be his choice to do so. Waiting for Ramsay was a better option at least for a bit; he didn't know how much of the letter was true and made no effort to verify before jumping into action(he acted exactly opposite to how Doran Martell would have acted).

And considering Doran Martell has had how many years to plan? And who marched to attack him?


Instead, you argue, that it would have been a wiser decision to take a wildling army to Winterfell. Nevermind that an enormous blizzard had just passed through making passage difficult, never mind that his entire army would have been on foot because the Night's Watch had no horses to spare, nevermind that it would have been difficult at best to provision all the Wlidlings for the journey, nevermind that when the going got tough a good portion of the wildlings would simply slip away into north, and nevermind that Ramsay's soldiers were better equipped, better trained, and fighting from behind the walls of Winterfell.

How could anyone argue with logic like that?

Wildlings survive very well in the cold. Better than just about anyone else.
Why is he laying siege to Winterfell? Ramsay is coming North. Moving through territory that the wildlings can navigate better in conditions the wildlings know how to handle better.

He has an army that has never defended a siege before. But as raiders, they are unmatched. Use what you have to the best of their ability.
The cold will hurt Ramsay worse than it will hurt Jon. The Wildling raiders are best suited for raiding parties, which is very impossible to do during a siege.
Castle Black has been repeatedly described as being piss poor against any attack from the South. So why rely on it?
We've already seen that horses, really won't do that well in any form of march in the North right now anyway, nor will cavalry be very effective in this weather.

Honestly, the only possible way I see of winning is harassing and raiding parties. If Ramsay actually reaches the wall, the defending force will have very little to actually use for defense, and their army that relies mostly on surprise tactics will be next to useless with the backs literally against the Wall.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 01:15 PM
And considering Doran Martell has had how many years to plan? And who marched to attack him?

Glad we agree that surrendering his head is the best decision.



Wildlings survive very well in the cold. Better than just about anyone else.
Why is he laying siege to Winterfell? Ramsay is coming North. Moving through territory that the wildlings can navigate better in conditions the wildlings know how to handle better.

Yeah, they survive so well on foot, without food, without warm enough clothes to withstand the constant cold, and without armor to protect them. After all, its not like being on the verge of death from cold and starvation had forced them to go south of the wall with Tormund. Clearly they are ideal for a lengthy, cold march to Winterfell.




He has an army that has never defended a siege before. But as raiders, they are unmatched. Use what you have to the best of their ability.
The cold will hurt Ramsay worse than it will hurt Jon. The Wildling raiders are best suited for raiding parties, which is very impossible to do during a siege.

Yes, this would be an optimal use for them, just ask Stannis and his army that broke a windling host greater than ten times their number. And those were the knights of summer, not battle harderned notherern knights who have been raised to hate wildlings and fight during the cold snows of winter.



Castle Black has been repeatedly described as being piss poor against any attack from the South. So why rely on it?

Because it's still better than everything else you have suggested.



Honestly, the only possible way I see of winning is harassing and raiding parties. If Ramsay actually reaches the wall, the defending force will have very little to actually use for defense, and their army that relies mostly on surprise tactics will be next to useless with the backs literally against the Wall.
You miss the point entirely. He can't win this fight.

If he does win this fight and the Night's Watch does not betray him (two very big IFs), then the Night's Watch will have a Lord Commander who led a wildling army to overthrow the rightful Warden of the North. No longer will the Night's Watch be able to claim anything approaching neutrality, they will be seen as a threat, an army allied with Stannis and will be dealt with as such. It would be the end of the Night's Watch, and Stannis would behead Jon as an oathbreaker.

There is no winning scenariio if Jon attacks. Even if he wins, he loses and takes the Watch down with him.

If he didn't attack, burned the letter, and tried to gather information, he may at least have had a chance at some kind of plausible deniability, not to mention that tactically his odds would be about ten times better.

Also, I'm not sure why people think Ramsay could or would destroy the Night's Watch. I understand he is a terrible bastard, but you need more reasoning than that to say that he would disband the watch that had stood in the north for thousands of years. He is still a northman and his father would not let him destroy the Night's Watch because it would be a suicidally stupid political move. Would the Boltons guarantee that someone pleasing to them was put in charge? Yes, but it would be no different than what everyone except Stannis has done. The Night's Watch would continue, injured and with a new Lord Commander, but it would be all the better for it.

Kato
2012-06-21, 01:32 PM
Wow, someone really hates Jon it seems...

Asmittedly, given his information he shoul have never gotten involved with the Boltons. (As in, not try to rescue 'Arya')
But he did and now he has to live with it. His life was threatened. So I guss he had the chance to surrender his head to them to appease them... I guess that's an option... one in 10.000 would choose. And certainly not someone raised by Eddard Stark since I'm fairly sure suicide does not go well with the old gods either.

So, fight it is.
Your point about the wildlings running from the cold is entirely invalid. They were running from the others. They lived for centuries north of the wall and could probably spend years in that blizzard.
Admittedly, even if the Wall is a poor defense towards the south I wouldn't bet on what the better option is. The Wall surely can't offer shelter to all of them for a siege, like they used it against the dozen or so raiders once brought against them. But shooting from a near impenetrable point at your enemies would be much better for an army to defend. Would the wildlings sit on their asses and wait until Bolton arrives and sit on the wall while Bolton waits until they starve to death? Hardly.
As was said, they are trained for what one would probably call guerrilla tactics nowadays, making their trip even worse than it already is. And quite possibly forcing them to turn back.

As for what the Watch thinks of him... I don't dare to judge. We know a few or most of the high ranking officers were displeased but we have little idea how the average man thinks about Jon. We don't know what exactly happened after the attack.

TSGames
2012-06-21, 02:27 PM
Wow, someone really hates Jon it seems...


Believe it or not, he's one of my favorite characters =P

On wildlings and the snow:they survived in it for centuries because they had shelter(their huts) which could be buried in snow and still stay warm. It's entirely different from marching, which wasn't going well for them even before the Others showed up, due to a natural lack of organization and later due to a scarcity of supplies. Additionally, when the wildlings went through the wall with Tormund, a significant portion were lacking appropriate clothing(some were naked and some were even close enough to make no difference) and the watch cannot supply them all, not with food, not with coats, and especially not with boots.

For the Watch's opinion. Even Jon knew they disliked him: his comanders openly mocked him in their meeting, he was was aware of all kinds of rumors being spread about him, and many of the men had become dubious of him due to his association withh both Stannis and the red preistess. It's safe to say that the standard opinion in the watch was not a good one.