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Monday, July 25, 2016

Game of Thrones: Will Jon End Up Like Robb?

   People have made comparisons to Jon's King in the North scene with Robb's making them fear for his well being as it didn't turn out well for Robb in the end. But I feel like Jon will have a better time with it. Personality, upbringing, and psychology are factors for both Kings. Let's start with Robb.

Such a handsome face. If only there was a brain in there.
Or at least common sense...

Robb Stark: The Young Wolf

    Robb Stark was the eldest child and son of Ned and Catelyn Stark. He was raised to be the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. It was a job he took seriously. But he didn't think that made him better than anyone else. Robb was raised to treat every one he met with respect. Even if he disliked them Robb maintained a cool, stern politeness. Robb even cared for his half-brother Jon Snow despite his mother's hatred of the child. Robb didn't let Catelyn's animosity rub off on him. Nevertheless, underneath Robb's noble, cool exterior was a hot head prone to make decisions based off emotion. 

Sure ruin your chances in this war for a girl you JUST MET!

     Robb ignored his mother's advice on three key occasions: 1.) Letting Theon go back home not thinking that Baelon Greyjoy may see Theon as a complete stranger turning him against Robb (not all fathers can be as good and noble as Ned, Robb); 2.) He married a girl he just met because he was "in love" with her thereby alienating who would have been his greatest ally to help him win the war. I suppose seeing his parents so in love it's what Robb wanted and that's understandable but obviously he didn't pay close enough attention to their relationship to see that there were quite a few downs in their marriage; "Love didn't just happen with us." And 3.) Perhaps the most important event where Robb even ignored his wife's advice, Robb chopped off Lord Karstark's head when he should have just kept him as a hostage to keep the Karstarks army with them.

"The King Who LOST the North."

     I loved Robb's character. I cried when he was betrayed then murdered at the Red Wedding. Robb always tried to do the right thing but his heart always got in the way which was his biggest flaw. Robb did what he wanted instead of what he needed to do and that's what ultimately got him killed, ending his reign as well as his rebellion. 

Any last words, bitch?

Jon Snow: The White Wolf

    Jon Snow grew up with the stigma of being called a Snow; a bastard child of a high born lord. He bore the shame of what he was even though we now know that he was the opposite. Jon was possibly legitimate but he had to grow up socially scorned by many especially his foster father's wife. Even Ned had to keep a distance from him even though Jon was the last surviving part of his beloved sister. But Jon never held any resentment towards his legitimate siblings. His one desire was to be counted as a Stark yet he bowed his head and took the abuse. He wanted to hate Robb but found he couldn't. Jon seemed prone to loneliness and misery. I don't feel like he felt happiness was meant for him though he's not a cynic. Just used to disappointment or never expecting to be seen other than as a bastard of the North.

Season 6 is looking pretty gloomy

     Then Jon joined the Night's Watch. He was a virgin at the time but that was because he was afraid that if he had a child then that child would grow up hated and scorned like he was which is a life Jon would spare anyone if he could. However, we all know Jon was special. He kinda knew it too. He could fight better than all the recruits and didn't mind showing it thinking that he probably wouldn't have to try so hard to prove himself. This didn't make him many friends until Lord Tyrion advised him to be more "brotherly" and sympathetic to his comrades. Jon took this advise learning that he's not better than anyone. This humbleness earned him the love and respect of many Brothers. Jon became more modest but he still clashed with the higher ups (excluding Mormont). 

(Future) The King in the North vs The Night King's henchman!

       On multiple occasions Jon has displayed a knowledge of right and wrong but also of knowing he must serve a greater good. He has made the hardest choices that perhaps he'll regret later in life but he wouldn't have done them differently. He killed the Halfhand so he could infiltrate the Wildling army. Jon fell in love with a Wildling woman, breaking his vows of celibacy, however, he chose to return to the Night's Watch. Even though it would mean his life, Jon went out to kill the King Beyond the Wall. And then when Mance was sentenced to die by burning, instead of letting him suffer, Jon mercy killed him with an arrow earning the wrath of Stannis. Jon beheaded Janos Slynt because he wouldn't follow orders, consolidating his role as Lord Commander who wouldn't tolerate insubordination. And even when almost everyone in the Night's Watch was against his decision to help the Free Folk, Jon knowing that a greater evil was coming, saved many of their lives. 

"He's dead. He's not coming back."
Then they brought him back to no one's surprise

      Jon has gained the respect of the Free Folk and quite a few Brothers who avenged him when he was murdered. Jon can inspire this kind of devotion because he will always make the hard choice. It's what makes him a better leader than Robb. Jon slept with Ygritte sure but he gave her up because he made a vow to defend the realms of men (at the time this meant fighting Free Folk). That's the defining difference between Robb and Jon that I think will help our second King in the wars to come. 

Welcome back! Though we knew you would be...
     Jon will always give up his heart's desire to serve the greater good for the realms. Jon would have gone to help Robb but he was convinced to stay at Castle Black; Stannis offered to make him legitimate, give him the name Stark and take revenge for his family but Jon declined choosing to stay Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Then Jon hung the men who stabbed him, including Olly even though he was just a kid because they betrayed their Lord Commander.

"The King in the North! The King in the North!"

     Even when Jon finds out (and he will find out) that he's actually a Targaryen I don't think that will affect his standing in the North. Jon has proven himself a capable leader because he chooses duty over heart. Jon will do whatever he thinks is the right thing even if it's the hardest thing in the world. Both boys have tried to emulate their honorable father though I think they learned that being noble was more difficult in practice than it was ideal. However, I think Jon emulates Ned the most because for years Ned sacrificed his personal honor to keep Jon safe from Robert. Jon is willing to make similar sacrifices if it serves a greater purpose. Perhaps Jon Snow's reign as the King in the North will be longer than his predecessor's. Hopefully...

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