In the world of Game of Thrones, few characters are as central, enigmatic and possibly – as shall be revealed either way in the final season – the single most important game-changer in the overall storyline that the series has to offer as Jon Snow is. His brooding is the stuff of Hamlet-like legends, while his moments of action are second to none. A consummate warrior who seeks the most honorable path possible, he also had a penchant for negotiation and peacemaking. In many ways, he is the “rock” of the show. His worst flaws seem to be circumstances hurled upon him and his decency of character seems almost to be locked into his DNA. But then, there are so many contradictory qualities in this complex protagonist, many fans can get understandably confused.
If his path is destined as it often seems to be, why so many deviations on the path? If he’s universally recognized as perhaps the best Westeros has to offer, how can he sometimes make such lousy choices? And it’s not just about Jon, but about the figures around him. Many other characters approach him in ways that don’t add up after everything we’ve learned about it. Winter is coming, but a lot of the answers on Mr. Snow may not be! It’s time to take a look at Game Of Thrones: X Things Wrong with Jon Snow We All Choose to Ignore:
20 He’s Super Confident... Until He’s Not
From the very first time we meet Jon Snow, we see him as dedicated to learning the art of battle. He’s been trained by the best in Winterfell as a ward in the House of Stark and is ready to “Take the Black” and serve on the Wall. When he makes his choices, he puts body and spirit on the line with the assuredness of his convictions.
But then, so many times, he deliberates. Will he ally himself with the Wildlings or won’t he? Will he betray the order at Castle Black or follow the order to the letter? Is he going to strategically align himself with House Targaryen or is he going to just jump into a romance with Daenerys? Jon puts on the airs of a singularly-motivated man one moment, and the next, he is just as liable to flip-flop.
19 Seems to Fall for Daenerys a Little Quickly
As much as fans would love to see Game of Thrones go on forever, it really is time to wrap things up. Unlike a book where characters’ aging can stand still, these actors are outgrowing their Westeros roles. Sophie Turner, for example, makes more sense as Jean Grey in X-Men: Dark Phoenix than she does a still-teenaged Sansa Stark.
Since the show is so expensive and time-consuming to make, a truncated storytelling mechanism is necessary. And still – it sure seems that Jon Snow’s epic and sudden passion with Daenerys Targaryen seems uncharacteristically impulsive for this almost painfully deliberative gent. Of course, there’s some very weird reasons those two should not get together, but we’ll shelve that for now.
18 He Should Know How to Defeat the Night King by Now
When Jon Snow led a bunch of very brave black-ops operators deep into the territory north of the Wall, their encounter there almost cost the entire band their lives, but Jon didn’t come completely unprepared. It turns out that weapons made of Dragonglass can disintegrate White Walkers as effectively as Darth Vader’s lightsaber did to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.
Not only that, but taking out a “battalion commander” of one of these unliving armies also makes all of its soldiers turn to dust as well. So why is Jon not planning on that strategy already? If this bears out, eliminating the Night King this way could end the Long Winter before it even starts! For a guy who seems to be a master strategist, he sure is blowing this one.
17 Breaks His Wall Vows Too Easily
Here again, we see an example of the one guy in Westeros who believes 100% in his own inner sense of honor; until he doesn’t, that is. Once Jon became the Lord Commander of Castle Black, he had many enemies on the inside, and on one night of immense betrayal, a band of his brothers got together to take him out Julius Caesar style – until Melisandre, the priestess serving the Lord of Light, brought him back to life.
When Jon was all corporeal again, he quits his job, effectively breaking his vow of serving for life. His reasoning? He had served till the end of his first life, and so has met his obligation. That seems a little convenient to us. Can someone please check the Castle Black fine print for how these things work in case of resurrection?
16 His Betrayal of the Wildlings Is Out of Character
If there’s one thing we all know about Jon Snow, it’s that Jon Snow knows nothing. At least, that’s according to his romantic partner north of the Wall, Ygritte, who loves telling him so. Going deep undercover with a covert band of Wildlings, Jon gains their trust when they infiltrate the northlands just south of the huge barrier of ice and rock. However, things get complicated when this special-ops team burns and pillages a small village.
That’s when Mr. Snow goes turncoat, revealing his double-agent status and turns on his erstwhile allies. This is a very clumsy tactic for Jon. If anything, he should have sought a way to convince the Free People and the folks of Westeros to join forces against the White Walker threat. True, he does that later on, but how he handles things at first seems like a radical choice on his part.
15 His Love for Ygritte Comes off as Phony After What Happened
He loves Rose, he loves her not. Not to get too meta, but the actress who plays Ygritte in Game of Thrones – Downton Abbey alumni Rose Leslie, and Kit Harrington (who plays Jon Snow) are in fact a couple in real life, but their romance on the show was weird.
For a long time, Jon really seems to love his Wildling girlfriend, but when he allows a violent situation to put her in the worst danger, which ultimately led to her end – all that love comes into question. It almost felt like crocodile tears he was shedding over her passing. Love is a complex emotion, and during times of war, can be complicated greatly. Jon is nothing if not emotive, and it was a little surprising how hollow his feelings for Ygritte may really have been.
14 The Free People Should Never Have Trusted Him Again
The Free People north of the Wall are absolutely mistrustful of everyone south of the Wall, which they should be. This whole group of human beings has been cut off for centuries from the warmer south for very unfair reasons. Jon Snow won their trust deep in their own territory, and even joined one of their elite infiltration teams until he betrayed them.
Once the surviving Wildlings became prisoners at Castle Black, Jon decided it was time to try to forge an alliance. He found resistance from his own people, but more from the people he betrayed. Eventually, he convinces Tormund to vouch for him as trustworthy to his own king, which he clearly should have not. Even if the combined forces from both sides of the Wall defeat the Knight King, odds are Westeros will treat the Free People as second-class citizens yet again.
13 His Magical Properties Keep Changing
So here’s the thing we have been finding out about Jon Snow: he has some kind of crazy magic going on inside of him, which makes sense with the way things are looking. Jon is part fire-breathing, dragon-blooded Targaryen and part stone cold Stark, meaning he inherits family powers. We know he can warg (controlling other minds remotely), and don’t be surprised if he’s fire-proof.
He seems to be almost super-powered as a fighter, as both his impossible climb in the “Battle of the Bastards” proved, not to mention his ability to deflect arrows at point blank range. Then there’s that whole resurrection thing. Yes, it was done by a witch, but she seems only to favor those who already have magic within them. How magic is this guy anyway? Seems to change more and more every episode.
12 Is More of Stark Than any of the Real Stark Children
Ned Stark is pure warrior through and through and about as natural a leader as you’ll ever find. As King of the North, he faithfully served his old war companion, Robert Baratheon. Fighting and winning is in his character, but in his children, not so much.
Robb Stark proved to be an uninspiring king and lost his life for his poor skills, Sansa was petulant and selfish as a princess, but may be learning as she goes, Arya is a formidable stealth agent, a sort of ninja, but not royal court material, and Bran seems to be turning into a major wizard. That leaves Jon as the most “Stark” of Ned’s clan, but he’s not even his real son. Funny how that worked out.
11 He Should Have Fire Resistance, Right?
Although there hasn’t been a full-bore test of this hypothesis, it should perhaps be noted that Jon Snow should be fireproof. After all, he is a Targaryen, right? Not so fast. Not all Targaryens are fireproof. Even Daenerys wasn’t until she was reborn in a funeral pyre miracle.
Fair enough, but wasn’t Jon Snow’s resurrection its own sort of miracle? And isn’t the Lord of Light – the supposed divine sponsor of his resurrection – known for giving humans resistance to flames? Add all that up and Jon Snow should never melt if he goes dancing into a furnace. If that doesn’t turn out to be the case, the series will be throwing a wet towel on a pretty obvious plot point!
10 He’s Obviously King Material, Yet Doesn’t Seem to Know It
As already mentioned, Jon Snow is almost tailor-made to be royalty, and as a king, one thing he has to be completely sure of at all times is his undebatable authority. In many instances, we see these qualities present (his negotiations with the Wildlings comes to mind).
His ability to lead the underdog army into the “Battle of the Bastards” is another telling side, and yet, he seems to be almost always second guessing himself in public. He makes himself vulnerable in Castle Black by allowing a public vote on his status to move forward when clearly he should be leader. He seems to acquiesce to many of his peers rather quickly in other instances. When is this guy gonna get it? He’s basically this realm’s King Arthur!
9 Seems to Have Faith in Competing Gods
In all of Westeros, there are many competing pantheons of gods. The dominant religion of Westeros is the Faith of the Seven, the one god who supposedly serves all seven lands in the world. On the Iron Islands, a strong cult of the Drowned God rebels against the followers of The Seven, in the North, the Old Gods of the Forest still have their adherents, and the Many-Faced god is the deity of choice for Bravos’ House of Black and White.
So what about Jon? He lauds The Seven often, but he owes his life to The Lord of Light. Look, he may actually owe a lot of these entities a nice lunch with the luck he’s had, but will he ever be faithful to just one?
8 Ned’s Stubborn Lying About Jon’s True Lineage
Ned Stark was an awesome soldier, a relentless king, and a lousy politician. When he was asked to be the Hand of the King for Robert Baratheon, his fate was sealed. Not having an honest sword fight before him to do honorable battle, he fell to the backstabbing of bureaucrats and courtiers constantly working behind his back, but he curiously kept a very powerful secret that could have changed everything.
He has lied for years about being Jon Snow’s father. Sharing Targaryen and Stark lineage almost makes Jon the perfect peacemaker. If nothing else, he should have let Snow know the truth if only to empower him with the knowledge. Instead, he lets his wife Catelyn resent the boy his whole life unjustly and waste his life with allegiance to Castle Black. Not the smartest move, Ned.
7 His Weird Relationship with Tyrion
Early on in the series, Tyrion Lannister takes a shine to Jon Snow, feeling a kinship to him as both are outsiders within their own families. At first, Jon feels insulted by him, but over time, they feel more of a mutual bond. Then, they separate on their own perspective journeys over the course of several seasons. Jon becomes a proven-in-battle warrior while Tyrion hones his skills as adviser to both House Lannister and the Mother of Dragons.
When both are reunited, despite being more mature, they exhibit distrust with each other. Sure, people need to be cautious, but shouldn’t these guys be quick enough studies at this point to realize they are natural allies? Regardless, by the end of season seven, they seem aligned once again. Or are they? Tyrion obviously is not happy with Jon and Daenerys’ unexpected liaison at the close of that season, so we will see how they bond in season eight.
6 Goes from Kind to Violent a Lot
Few people in Game of Thrones are as kind, patient, and understanding as Jon Snow is. Many a times, he has asked for lives to be spared, for peace to supplant violence, and for allies to be forged among enemies.
At others, this guy just blows a gasket and goes off like nobody’s business. He’s done it at Castle Black, with the Free People, and of course, the violent way he allowed Ramsay Bolton to be executed (Okay, that one was totally deserved, but still). It’s pretty schizophrenic of the curly-haired royal to be both such a vicious warrior on the one hand, and such a super nice guy on the other.
5 Should Have Ended Littlefinger When He Had the Chance
Anybody who has seriously watched Game of Thrones has had their fair share of characters they just couldn't stand. King Joffrey’s poisoning was widely cheered by the fan base and the shaming of Cersei was particularly enduring, but she wasn’t exactly blameless in King’s Landing either.
Then there’s Littlefinger, the most duplicitous man in the realm. Because of his behind-the-scenes subterfuge, many a beloved citizen of the Seven Kingdoms paid with their lives. Jon knew he was not to be trusted, yet he left him with the trust of taking care of Sansa. He shouldn’t have. That dude should have been offed right then and there, and Sansa paid the price for that misguided choice.
4 For a Master Strategist, He Misses Conspiracies Against Him
If you put Jon Snow in front of a war map, he knows all the best moves to make. Allow him to survey the lay of the land, and he will create the scenario for the best way to ambush the enemy. Again and again, this shrewd soldier has proven himself a great military leader, but when it comes to who he should trust and who he shouldn’t, he’s as blind as a bat.
It’s incredible he couldn’t see the rebellion against him in Castle Black. His close call at the “Battle of the Bastards” was all because of the forces who wanted to see him fail. Sure, he wins a lot, but if not for The Red Woman, or Sansa and Daenerys, he would be mincemeat by now. He just doesn’t trust the right people a lot of the time.
3 His Resurrection Has Some Issues
One of the worst moments in Game of Thrones is when Jon Snow loses his life due to the mutiny at Castle Black. Audiences were aghast to see this fan favorite fall, and with him, perhaps the best hope Westeros had against the army of White Walkers coming towards the Wall. Then, another kind of outrageous thing happens: he comes back to life.
Melisandre, the Red Witch who serves The Lord of Light used her resurrection trick to bring him back, but isn’t this the same mystic who totally misread the destiny of Stannis Baratheon, even going so far as to allow his daughter to be ended for no reason? The Red Lady’s powers seem to be rather fickle, and how she honed in on Snow as “the one” after seeing a number of signs in another direction feels a little Deus ex Machina to us.
2 Sometimes Seems to Have Superpowers in Battle
How many times have we seen Jon Snow in the midst of a chaotic battle, surrounded by enemies, facing impossible odds, just to come out as one of the few survivors? We saw this in the “Battle of the Bastards” when he had to literally climb out of a pile of fallen soldiers.
Also, at the fight against the Knight King in Hardhome, dozens of unstoppable zombies dropped like flies before his awesome sword. Sure, there’s always a better brawler in the mix of war, but this guy seems to have superpowers in a lot of these madhouse free-for-alls. Can it be that we will eventually learn that he’s truly imbibed with dragon strength? We are calling it now!
1 His Being Made King Is Surprising
It’s desperate times in Westeros; old alliances are falling apart, the petty warring between the kingdoms is reaching fever pitch, and the reality of the White Walkers returning is becoming too obvious to ignore. But, tradition can be a stubborn thing.
Bastards are simply not allowed to be kings. Such an appointment goes contrary to the very identity of the people of Westeros, and yet, Jon Snow eventually earns this title. How? Largely due to the insistence of the child leader of the Bear Island clan, Lyanna Mormont. To be fair, this young lady is very persuasive, but really? A little girl gets a bunch of grown men to break the rules in a single meeting? We loved it when it went down, but it is tough to square on paper!
What are some other details about Jon Snow that just don't make sense? Let us know in the comments!