His oath has been broken. Not that he hasn’t broken it before … I mean he’s never left, but he’s engaged in plenty of #hotpringsex. Anyways, “Oathbreaker” brought our Jon Snow back to us. He’s up, he’s walking around, Tormund Giantsbane’s making fun of his penis size—all that fun stuff. It’s great to see our buddy Kit Harington back! However, I’m scared to say, I don’t know who this really is.
Events sprinkled throughout seasons past provide strong evidence for the altering of one’s “self” when being brought back from the dead. After all, when Melisandre asked Jon what he saw on the other side, he simply replied, “Nothing.” If every single one of my existential shower thoughts came to fruition right before my eyes, I might be a little bummed too. Not to mention, he’s got to go hang a child. While we haven’t had an example of this in a while, remember that Exhibit A and B are still floating around the Riverlands—well, at least one of them still is.
A byproduct of the third season’s Red Wedding should have surely been a resurrected Catelyn Stark. Why we don’t get to see this is beyond me—but don’t give me a budget … don’t you dare give me a budget! If we were indeed graced with another Michelle Fairley performance, I think fans would be slightly turned off by Lady Stoneheart’s treatment of a certain Brienne of Tarth. Come to think of it, pretty much everyone else actually.
Another favorite character in the Storm of Swords adaptation is the Lightening Lord himself—Baric Dondarrion. In the third season (which was by far, without argument, the best season), Baric—accompanied by his very own Red Priest, Thoros of Myr—said, “Every time I come back, I’m a bit less. Pieces of you get chipped away.” In Barric’s case, he seems to by okay, really. A little boring, maybe less noble—but altogether, not a radically changed individual. By “Stark” (pun intended) contrast, Catelyn has absolutely been chipped away—and what is gone has now been replaced by something else. Something with determination and conviction—albeit misguided at times.
“Oathbreaker” only afforded us a few glimpses at Jon. When resurrected, he spends much of the scene with Davos and Melisandre in silence, taking in the weight of the experience. This was a wonderfully acted scene that provided an opportunity to witness Jon come to terms with what was done to him. His life was claimed from him by his brothers in a carefully planned, angrily motivated assassination. Those that he fought so hard to protect—and care for—hated him. He is now alive, and he is still Lord Commander over all of them.
Jon proceeds to go about his duties as head of the Nights Watch—i.e. hanging Olly and Alliser. Though I have to ask, “Shouldn’t we be hanging a lot more people here?” I swear there were at least fifteen dudes chomping at the bit to sink their knives into poor Jon. All that aside, we aren’t really shown too much of what ultimately drives Jon to his decision in turning over the reigns to Edd. He greets his friends, greets his enemies, and receives a speech from Alliser-turned-somber-Joel-Osteen. That’s pretty much all we have to go on. Which begs the question “Where is the turning point?” Why does Jon refuse to continue his tenure over the Wall during it’s most sincere time of need? And where the hell is he going? Do you not remember Hardhome? Jon, there were hundreds of them!
In the weeks to come, I am really hoping for the motivation behind this seemingly rash decision-making to be fully fleshed out. Is the new Jon more calculated? Is the new Jon misguided? Is the new Jon even a new Jon? We just don’t know. But while he may eventually fulfill the prophecy of The Prince Promised, it might not be the Jon we’ve come to know and love who carries out that promise.
What do you think? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!
Join The Small Council: Ramon Govea, Madi Mae and Ginny McQueen every week, live and on-demand, for review and conversation about each new episode. Tweet in questions or comments to the hosts all week using the hashtag #GOTAS
Ramon Govea – @ramongovea
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