“You’ll Be Fighting Their Battles Forever”: Jon Snow and the Grey King

20160421_ep602_Publicity_still_32_00161588[1]

Jon Snow has a secret. No, not his real name. No, not his parents. No, not that his direwolf has gone missing and no one cares. And no, not that he had sex with his aunt.

His secret is that he is not among the world of the living anymore. He is the undead, risen from the slab his cold, broken body rested on in Castle Black following his assassination. Jon’s life is now closer to that of the Mountain, Coldhands (Benjen Stark in the show), and Beric Dondarrion. What does that mean for Aegon- I mean Jon? Why isn’t he following the orders of a White Walker like any other wight? How long will his journey in undeath last? And what does the Grey King of Westerosi legend have to do with this?

508_promo_stills_1100162650[1]

To start off with our discussion, we need to discuss what exactly Jon is. There are four known types of wights, or the undead.

First we have the ice wights controlled by the White Walkers. They have no or very limited free will, shining blue eyes, and are more animal than human. Classic zombies.

The next is Gregor Clegane, the Mountain. Saved and seemingly raised from undeath by the exiled Maester Qyburn he has limited free will as well but lacks the blue eyes and control of the White Walkers.

The third is Benjen Stark, and a similar character known as Coldhands in the books. He has full free will, and the ability to speak and interact as he did before death. This sounds like Jon Snow except for a key difference: Benjen had obsidian shoved into his heart which brought him back.

The final type of the undead we’ve been shown so far is the one Jon met this past season: the Lightning Lord, Ser Beric Dondarrion. This type of the undead is what Jon actually is. He doesn’t have the shining blue eyes of the ice wights, doesn’t obey commands of a master like Gregor and the ice wights do, and doesn’t have any obsidian in his chest like Benjen.

When Beric has been slain in the past, his friend Thoros of Myr says the ancient words of the faith of R’hllor over his body and Beric is instantly healed and brought back to life. In the above clip, the Hound nearly splits Beric in two, yet moments later he’s whole again. There’s a cost to this however, as Beric lays out heartrendingly in the books.

“Can I dwell on what I scarce remember? I held a castle on the Marches once, and there was a woman I was pledged to marry, but I could not find that castle today, nor tell you the color of that woman’s hair. Who knighted me, old friend? What were my favorite foods? It all fades. Sometimes I think I was born on the bloody grass in that grove of ash, with the taste of fire in my mouth and a hole in my chest. Are you my mother, Thoros?”

Arya stared at the Myrish priest, all shaggy hair and pink rags and bits of old armor. Grey stubble covered his cheeks and the sagging skin beneath his chin. He did not look much like the wizards in Old Nan’s stories, but even so . . .

A Storm of Swords, Arya VII

Beric is what George R.R. Martin calls a “fire wight”, a corpse animated by the power of fire. This appears to be what Jon Snow has become as well. Like Jon and Melisandre, Thoros says the words of the faith of R’hllor over Beric. Beric is healed and returns to life with his major injuries healed, some nasty scars- and diminished somehow. He loses bits of his past, his personality, his will to go on. George R.R. Martin describes what they are in his interview with Time magazine:

Q: And Jon Snow, too, is drained by the experience of coming back from the dead on the show.

A: Right. And poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.

The very important parts here of this quote is that not only are their bodies not physically alive anymore as we understand it, they are not performing their normal functions. They don’t need much if any sleep anymore. They don’t eat much. Their bodies are more or less frozen in time exactly as they are. They won’t heal from wounds or any kind of physical damage to themselves unless they get resurrected again. What this means for Jon and Beric going forward is terrifying or amazing, depending on your perspective.

And for that, we turn to the companion book The World of Ice and Fire and the legendary Iron Islands character of The Grey King.

Art by Arthur Bozonnet From The World of Ice and Fire

Art by Arthur Bozonnet
From The World of Ice and Fire

In the Age of Heroes, the legends say, the ironborn were ruled by a mighty monarch known simply as the Grey King. The Grey King ruled the sea itself and took a mermaid to wife, so his sons and daughters might live above the waves or beneath them as they chose. His hair and beard and eyes were as grey as a winter sea, and from these he took his name. The crown he wore was made of driftwood, so all who knelt before him might know that his kingship came from the sea and the Drowned God who dwells beneath it.

The deeds attributed to the Grey King by the priests and singers of the Iron Islands are many and marvelous. It was the Grey King who brought fire to the earth by taunting the Storm God until he lashed down with a thunderbolt, setting a tree ablaze. The Grey King also taught men to weave nets and sails and carved the first longship from the hard pale wood of Ygg, a demon tree who fed on human flesh.

The Grey King’s greatest feat, however, was the slaying of Nagga, largest of the sea dragons, a beast so colossal that she was said to feed on leviathans and giant krakens and drown whole islands in her wroth. The Grey King built a mighty longhall about her bones, using her ribs as beams and rafters. From there he ruled the Iron Islands for a thousand years, until his very skin had turned as grey as his hair and beard. Only then did he cast aside his driftwood crown and walk into the sea, descending to the Drowned God’s watery halls to take his rightful place at his right hand.

Nagga versus The Grey King

Nagga versus The Grey King

A thousand year reign for one person. Those that are familiar with legendary and mythological figures know that these are often exaggerations, that no one lives for hundreds of years and it’s a way of marking the extreme length of a reign of one person or their dynasty. The Grey King though is different as his extreme lifetime is possible in this fantasy world. Over his thousand-year reign he didn’t die of natural causes or collapse into dust. The man, according to legend, over time turned a grey color that eventually matched his hair and beard color. It is implied by his walking into the sea to joined the Drowned God that he finally died by his own hands, not natural causes. This would an interesting bit of fantasy history from George, but with the fire wights Jon and Beric, this is an extremely relevant story.

As far as we know, wights don’t age as aging is a biological process of cell division and the breakdown of the genetic code over many iterations, until the systems of the human body begins to fail. These concepts no longer apply to wights. They will not grow, they do not need physical upkeep, they likely don’t even need to breathe other than by habit and wanting to talk. But wait, I hear you saying- that’s just a guess right? We haven’t seen any truly old wights pointed out. And that is where you are wrong.

The Three-Eyed Raven of the books, an ancient Targaryen bastard named Brynden Rivers, also known as Bloodraven is extremely long lived and shares traits with wights. At the time Bran Stark finds him in A Dance with Dragons, he is around 125 years old and, like Jon whose wounds do not heal, is seemingly unable to die from aging.

YiaJR

His body was so skeletal and his clothes so rotted that at first Bran took him for another corpse, a dead man propped up so long that the roots had grown over him, under him, and through him. What skin the corpse lord showed was white, save for a bloody blotch that crept up his neck onto his cheek. His white hair was fine and thin as root hair and long enough to brush against the earthen floor. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents. One burrowed through his breeches into the desiccated flesh of his thigh, to emerge again from his shoulder. A spray of dark red leaves sprouted from his skull, and grey mushrooms spotted his brow. A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.

A Dance with Dragons, Bran II

The show has seemingly removed his identity for simplicity’s sake, but they have the show version communicate the very same information about his character as the book version about their situation.

The show version of the Three-Eyed Raven is a thousand years old as he claims, and the book version is the oldest person known in the story. These characters show the practical reality of the Grey King, Jon’s future if he survives the new War for the Dawn. He will not age, he will not die from natural cause; he could be the King of Westeros for centuries or thousands of years if he wants. The known mechanics of undeath allow for it. But, like the Grey King of legend his skin will gradually lose its color and like Bloodraven, any wounds sustained will be permanent while the body refuses to die. Any bruise, broken bone, stubbed toe, cut is permanent. It may be that fire wights do age at an enormously slow rate compared to normal humans. However, it’s entirely possible that unless Jon suffers injuries his appearance may not change by much. A thousand years of perfect Kit Harington brooding.

707 - Ship - Daenerys, Jon 1

There’s also hints elsewhere in the story that there are other examples of undead, long lasting rulers who have survived to this day in the fabled city Asshai by the shadow and Qarth, the greatest city that ever was or will be as well. Click here to go to my blog post on Qarth and Asshai, or here to go the Reddit post where I go more in depth on these two ideas.

The show has almost hinted at this possibility in this past season. Jon may not be able to father children anymore despite his apparent tremendous abilities at sex. His body no longer functions beyond locomotion. This scene with Jaime and Cersei may be incredibly relevant for the end of the series. If you cannot have children, what is the point of taking the throne? And this scene later between Jaime and Bronn calls back this sentiment, as the two friends discuss what is the meaning of life without death and children as motivators, as a reminder to the viewers that Jon faces these exact questions.

Alliser Thorne, in his last words before being hanged by the resurrected Jon, says what may be prophetic of what is to come.

But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever

These could be extremely relevant questions for Jon in the future. If he cannot have children, if he has everything he wants as the near immortal monarch of Westeros, what motivates him then? In the far future, if Jon makes it out of the conflict with the White Walkers, he may have eternity to ponder the meaning of his unending life and what to do with it. Watch as all his friends and family wither and die before him, and their children, and theirs after them. His memories gradually fading over his enormous lifespan. Will he mimic his ancestors in Old Valyria and conquer his way across the world in search of more power and glory, trying to outrun death on dragonback? Sit beneath the weirwood of Winterfell like so many Starks before him and walk among his dead in the crypts? Or perhaps, one day, he’ll take off his crown and walk away from it all, like the ancient Grey King before him and join the legends of the past. Of course before any of this happens, he’ll have to defeat the White Walkers, avoid the return of the Long Night, and claim his birthright somehow. As Stannis Baratheon once said to Jon on how long he has:

Nightfall. The sun drops fast this time of year. Hurry, Jon Snow!

103 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Although, GRRM says that Beric and Jon are fire wights. Wouldn’t it come into play that Jon is both ice and fire where the results of resurrection have a different outcome. Otherwise, what is the point or significance of Jon being fire and ice.

        Quote  Reply

    2. cuddly crow:
      Although, GRRM says that Beric and Jon are fire wights. Wouldn’t it come into play that Jon is both ice and fire where the results of resurrection have a different outcome. Otherwise, what is the point or significance of Jon being fire and ice.

      Ice and fire is a multi layered concept talking about opposites uniting, emotions, and identification rather than a practical effect. George parodies the practical by having jon in a
      Dream imagine himself with ice armor and a flaming sword. He’s a symbol of ancient opposing forces working together in support of life continuing. At least that’s my take on what it means.

        Quote  Reply

    3. My initial comments are related to the supposed quote of George’s about Beric as it relates to Jon and what we’ve seen on the show:

      His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.

      If this is true of Beric then it’s not really being shown to be true of Jon (on the show) YET. If Jon’s heart isn’t beating and blood isn’t flowing there’s one thing he shouldn’t be able to do, boatsex. Unless he’s just been walking around with a rigamortis stiffy the whole time he shouldn’t be getting aroused without a heart pumping blood. Is it suggested that the ‘fire’ animating him can function in a way that allows fluid to flow for erections but nothing beyond that?

      He also shouldn’t have needed rest and/or a need to recuperate after getting away from the wights. That is of course if we’re going with the notion that “any bruise, broken bone, stubbed toe, cut is permanent,” with the referred to ‘fire wights.’ Should he not be free of any pain if his body is not truly living?

      Well, since it’s all fantasy magic stuff I should just go with it, whichever way it goes. I suppose for the time being I’ll believe that he’s still mostly alive-ish and that multiple resurrections like Beric has had would make one less living each time. With that belief of Jon in mind I can still think that he will get Daenerys pregnant since that’s been heavily hinted at as a probability. Perhaps whatever he’s become does mean he could live an unusually long life… if he’s not killed/destroyed in some fashion.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Clob:
      My initial comments are related to the supposed quote of George’s about Beric as it relates to Jon and what we’ve seen on the show:

      If this is true of Beric then it’s not really being shown to be true of Jon (on the show) YET.If Jon’s heart isn’t beating and blood isn’t flowing there’s one thing he shouldn’t be able to do, boatsex.Unless he’s just been walking around with a rigamortis stiffy the whole time he shouldn’t be getting aroused without a heart pumping blood.Is it suggested that the ‘fire’ animating him can function in a way that allows fluid to flow for erections but nothing beyond that?

      He also shouldn’t have needed rest and/or a need to recuperate after getting away from the wights.That is of course if we’re going with the notion that “any bruise, broken bone, stubbed toe, cut is permanent,” with the referred to ‘fire wights.’Should he not be free of any pain if his body is not truly living?

      Well, since it’s all fantasy magic stuff I should just go with it, whichever way it goes.I suppose for the time being I’ll believe that he’s still mostly alive-ish and that multiple resurrections like Beric has had would make one less living each time.With that belief of Jon in mind I can still think that he will get Daenerys pregnant since that’s been heavily hinted at as a probability.Perhaps whatever he’s become does mean he could live an unusually long life… if he’s not killed/destroyed in some fashion.

      As to his abilities in bed, sex is not conception. And he can move the rest of his body, seems logical that he can make his pink mast rise. If she gets pregnant, I’d expect more horror and monstrosity than regular child. Jon is not among the living, it should be different.

        Quote  Reply

    5. I seriously doubt Jon becomes an immortal. But I do believe that fathering a child with Dany could have repercussions for her. My theory may not be new; Mirri Maz Durs curse that prevents Dany from conceiving is also what make her fire proof. So if she becomes pregnant the price she’ll pay is losing her invulnerability to fire. (Could also explain the short blond hair do, if it got singed off in the show)

        Quote  Reply

    6. Some of Jon’s wounds have already healed though.The scar he took at Hardhome is completely healed by now.Honestly going by the show I think all his bodily functions work just right and it seems to me there is too much foreshadowing for baby making at this point.But anyway can’t wait for the modern day spin off of Game of Thrones staring Kit cause he would be the only survivor lol.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Joemagician: As to his abilities in bed, sex is not conception. And he can move the rest of his body, seems logical that he can make his pink mast rise. If she gets pregnant, I’d expect more horror and monstrosity than regular child. Jon is not among the living, it should be different.

      You’re doing a bit of assuming and working things to fit an idea.

      No, sex is not conception, but getting aroused isn’t exactly like muscle function either… It’s not like those would actually work either of course, but an erection requires flowing blood. If the “magic” makes that function properly who can say that he can’t produce the seed. I’m also pretty sure they’re not going to have a second deformed, ‘demon’ baby birthed on the show, especially by the two main protagonists…

        Quote  Reply

    8. Clob,

      Damn, Clob, you got there first. I too thought that the Jon I saw on the boat most certainly did not have a body that was “not physically alive anymore”. and “not performing his nornal functions.” *

      * Alternatively, even if he were an undead fire wight, getting naked with Emilia would’ve brought him back to life. She is ultra-concentrated sunshine.

      (Excerpt from article):

      The “very important parts here of this quote is that not only are their bodies not physically alive anymore as we understand it, they are not performing their normal functions. They don’t need much if any sleep anymore. They don’t eat much. Their bodies are more or less frozen in time exactly as they are.”

        Quote  Reply

    9. It was interesting to learn about this Grey King, but I’m skeptical about the parallel to Jon Snow.

      This is the problem when using too much logic to explain magic. Some authors love to setup a whole diagram about how their magic system works (like Brandon Sanderson), but I find GRRM’s style different. He seems to prefer leaving magic abstract, without a clear explanation (“sword without a hilt” is an apt metaphor).

      How would a reanimated body work at all? If the body moves, talks and does a bunch of other stuff, why wouldn’t it be able to reproduce? I actually prefer a vague magic system. That way, these kinds of logic traps don’t bother me too much.

      And that’s all without going over the differences between books and show (Jon’s book version will probably suffer bigger changes than his TV counterpart – there should at least be a mention of him warging into Ghost).

        Quote  Reply

    10. Joemagician,

      Joemagician: He’s a symbol of ancient opposing forces working together in support of life continuing. At least that’s my take on what it means.

      I really like your take, but I wonder if that means Jon’s life continuing as well since he is that symbol.

        Quote  Reply

    11. I think you guys are over-estimating Dan & David’s planning and storytelling. GRRM has thought through this, for sure, but since Book 6 won’t be released, we’ll never know what becomes of Jon. But in the TV show, it appears as though Jon is basically the same guy, and I’d bet that he doesn’t suffer from any of the side effects like losing the ability to have children, or growing old and dying. I think the D&D are basically going to ignore the resurrection issues from this point forward.

        Quote  Reply

    12. The very important parts here of the quote are the fact that George is referring specifically to Beric being a fire wight, not Jon. Jon, unlike Beric, is a protagonist, with familial relationships and a parentage reveal that has to play an important role in the story, which can’t be accomplished if your main character is a vegetable with no blood flowing through his veins. Y’all want him to be an undead zombie with no character development or progression so badly it’s hilarious.

      “Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again.” His warging in the books is going to pay off in a big way.

      Sorry fam, but Jon’s going to be a daddy next season. Best start speculating on the baby’s name and gender or something. xoxo 😛

        Quote  Reply

    13. Jenny,

      I would totally be down with this spinoff. Eternally young and hawt Jon with a cute animal companion for each decade he’s alive. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    14. Jon (Aegon) may be immortal if nothing happens to disincorporate his body. This is why I believe he will be destroyed or sacrifice his body in the battle of the Long Night. I do not see him surviving the end game.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Fascinating how the predictions regarding how long Jon will live range now from till the NK is defeated to forever.

      Personally I want something in the middle. He becomes King but dies of old age like the rest of us. Him living for ever feels like too much of a fairy tale ending since one of the most difficult problems in governance is the succession.

      If good king Jon is going to live for ever than all of a sudden you take away one of the key issues the next regime has to wrestle with.

        Quote  Reply

    16. I think show John is a little bit different. In episode 6 when he comes out of the water he is gasping for air at the end. I’m sure Dan and Dave understand the description of fire whites as you have laid them out yet I don’t think they are going to that extreme.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Flayed Potatoes:
      The very important parts here of the quote are the fact that George is referring specifically to Beric being a fire wight, not Jon. Jon, unlike Beric, is a protagonist, with familial relationships and a parentage reveal that has to play an important role in the story, which can’t be accomplished if your main character is a vegetable with no blood flowing through his veins. Y’all want him to be an undead zombie with no character development or progression so badly it’s hilarious.

      “Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again.” His warging in the books is going to pay off in a big way.

      Sorry fam, but Jon’s going to be a daddy next season.Best start speculating on the baby’s name and gender or something. xoxo 😛

      The question and answer is specifically about how Beric is being used by George to prime his audience for what will happen to Jon.

      Q: And Jon Snow, too, is drained by the experience of coming back from the dead on the show.

      A: Right. And poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this,

      I find a character like Jon having a near immortal life as a fascinating future. Or even 20-40 years later as he still looks like a 20 year old and his siblings are middle aged, what everyone moving on without him will affect his psyche. How he doesn’t really want any of the pressure and trappings of being royalty and having it shoved on him as a King that some would worship. How would the religious react to finding out he’s a wight and one of their enemies? Would he eventually end up like the Mad King, going insane over the years?

        Quote  Reply

    18. Clob: You’re doing a bit of assuming and working things to fit an idea.

      No, sex is not conception, but getting aroused isn’t exactly like muscle function either…It’s not like those would actually work either of course, but an erection requires flowing blood.If the “magic” makes that function properly who can say that he can’t produce the seed.I’m also pretty sure they’re not going to have a second deformed, ‘demon’ baby birthed on the show, especially by the two main protagonists…

      If we want to go down this route, muscles don’t move without a bloodflow either. Maybe it would help if I describe how I think fire wights work. Basically, I think they are human skinchanging their own bodies like puppets. The spell that Mel and Thoros repeat essentially forces the soul back into the body. They can move them like pulling strings attached to the body parts rather than with biological processes like nerves and blood flow. Skinchanging is essentially astral projection, the mind and body being separate things. So like when you move your arm, your brain sends electrical signals down your spine into your muscles to get them to contract. Wights, based on the evidence we’ve seen about them, move differently where they are “picked up” and moved like a child would with a doll. Since Jon and Beric don’t have functional organs anymore, their souls more or less flop their corpses around by force of will. It’s the best way I’ve seen it described for how they move with George’s quote about how their bodies are dead and lifeless in terms of blood and their heart and other organs by extension. Long story short, Jon can get an erection but probably can’t ejaculate. Unless they say he can. But that’s the fun of writing theories, making guesses and seeing how they turn out!

      It’s not particularly ridiculous for Dany to give birth to a monster, it’s happened before. Rhaego had a hole in his chest, black papery skin, and wings. And again I wouldn’t expect happy outcomes from the show. Jon is undead, and I imagine that’ll have unexpected results when he tries to impregnate a living woman.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Just approaching the topic from the audience’s big picture, it would be a terribly frustrating come-down for Jon to lose his Humanity to wightness of whatever sort.

      I think the applicable thought is (paraphrased): “The Lord of Light brought you back, and only he knows for what purpose.”

      So I don’t consider Jon a member of a class, but, rather, a unique instance, due, as said above, to his being a protagonist who must bring a meaningful and satisfactory ending to the saga.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Joolie,

      As far as we can tell, that didn’t happen in the show. I mean you can speculate it did, but there’s no proof. Ghost seemed to be just himself and Jon didn’t show any signs of warging the way Bran does.

        Quote  Reply

    21. BrienneBabe,

      Same applies to Sandor. He was clinically dead and starting to decompose, but was reborn/resurrected by the god(s) for a reason.

      Here’s how Brother Ray, in S6e7, described coming upon Sandor’s body, intending to give him a proper burial:

      Brother Ray: “When I found you, I thought you’d been dead for days. The way you were stinking already and you had bugs all over you and bone was coming through right there. (Ray points to Sandor’s leg). I was going to give you a proper burial and then you coughed.
      Oh, I nearly sh*t myself. I reckoned you were gonna die by the time I loaded you on the wagon, but you didn’t. Now, I reckoned you’d die a dozen more times over the next few days, but you didn’t.”

      “…There’s a reason you’re still here…
      The gods aren’t done with you yet.”

      #SandorAhaiTinfoil 🐓🐓

        Quote  Reply

    22. Clob,

      Very well said. I had a chuckle reading that. Especially the ‘boatsex’ part. Like how can a reanimated corpse without blood flowing get an ‘hard on’ and do the bisso LOL 🙂

      I find it amusing how people can go into the finest details and come up with theories regarding resurrection and the differences between them – i.e. the wights, Beric, Jon, etc on a topic which is pure fantasy with a bit of magic thrown in.

      I’m not saying there’s anything wrong doing that, but often wonder if its a sort of escapism to get away from the real world shit currently with natural disasters, wars raging in the Middle East and of course ‘Little Rocket Man’ in NK who wants to nuke the USA 😉

      I simply enjoy GoT for what it is – Great TV and a good tale with its intertwined plot lines and fascinating characters. I’ll certainly miss it when it concludes with S8.

        Quote  Reply

    23. JoeMagician,

      I think that would be a very interesting story on its own. Unfortunatley we wouldn’t really get to see it which is why i feel they won’t go there in addition to what I wrote above.

      But agreed, it would be super interesting to explore that dynamic with a character

        Quote  Reply

    24. Flayed Potatoes,

      You have way more patience than me. At this point I’m wondering what vital function Jon hasn’t displayed as working perfectly normally on the show. I can’t stop laughing at the notion that Benjen is a prominent enough character to exposit about his vital status the moment he returns onscreen, but apparently Jon Snow isn’t enough of a key protagonist to warrant acknowledging in any way if his body suddenly stops working (unless you count his digestive, respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems). That’s the kind of thing you can just never mention, because lord knows it wouldn’t be anything major for Jon to grapple with or anything. Dany: “A magic curse has likely rendered me infertile.” Jon: “There may or may not be an issue preventing me from reproducing as well, but it escapes me at the moment. Give me a minute, it’ll come to me.” I mean, I know D&D can skimp on character development sometimes, but…seriously?

        Quote  Reply

    25. elybe:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      You have way more patience than me. At this point I’m wondering what vital function Jon hasn’t displayed as working perfectly normally on the show. I can’t stop laughing at the notion that Benjen is a prominent enough character to exposit about his vital status the moment he returns onscreen, but apparently Jon Snow isn’t enough of a key protagonist to warrant acknowledging in any way if his body suddenly stops working (unless you count his digestive, respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems). That’s the kind of thing you can just never mention, because lord knows it wouldn’t be anything major for Jon to grapple with or anything. Dany: “A magic curse has likely rendered me infertile.” Jon: “There may or may not be an issue preventing me from reproducing as well, but it escapes me at the moment. Give me a minute, it’ll come to me.” I mean, I know D&D can skimp on character development sometimes, but…seriously?

      Beric is the same from show to books, and George has said that Beric is dead and his organs don’t function. Seeing as Jon is brought back in the same process, then Jon’s organs don’t function either. Think it’s one of the things the show does poorly is not really diving into skinchanging and resurrection. Anyway, the wights of the White Walkers move and can scream and take in external stimuli like sound and vision. And that includes the ones that are just basically skeletons. They can’t have lungs anymore, or muscles to move their limbs and yet they do. It’s the same idea that governs them that now governs Jon, however Jon is….fresher or more whole so the mechanics of what is going on with his corpse is less glaring.

        Quote  Reply

    26. JoeMagician,

      I have a feeling that all this fire wight thing will be only in the books. In the show, neither Jon, nor Beric are any kind of withts – they are simply humans who suffer from PTSD but deal with that.
      But in general I agree that one of the main ideas of the story might be comming to terms with mortality and it’s interesting how it’s gonna play in Jon’s case. In the beginning he almost hated living and wanted to die a heroic death ASAP. Later, especially after his resurrection, Jon started embracing life more and more and now he is much less ready to die than ever before. This may imply that he will have to sacrifice his life in the war for dawn, but he may also get an unnaturaly long life, just like Melisandre, and that at the end he will have to ask for the gift of death. Luckily, Arya will be always there for him.
      And as for Dany, she is not an ordinary human to, so reproduction should work pretty well.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Inga:
      JoeMagician,

      I have a feeling that all this fire wight thing will be only in the books. In the show, neither Jon, nor Beric are any kind of withts – they are simply humans who suffer from PTSD but deal with that.
      But in general I agree that one of the main ideas of the story might be comming to terms with mortality and it’s interesting how it’s gonna play in Jon’s case. In the beginning he almost hated living and wanted to die a heroic death ASAP. Later, especially after his resurrection, Jon started embracing life more and more and now he is much less ready to die than ever before. This may imply that he will have to sacrifice his life in the war for dawn, but he may also get an unnaturaly long life, just like Melisandre, and that at the end he will have to ask for the gift of death. Luckily, Arya will be always there for him.
      And as for Dany, she is not an ordinary human to, so reproduction should work pretty well.

      They haven’t changed anything about Beric that would make me think they’ve abandoned it. They may tone down exactly what it means, as in not use all of this background that George has given, but Jon is definitely among the undead. He’s like Benjen without the obsidian basically. I understand people don’t want that to be true, this isn’t a pleasant future for Jon or Dany. It’s kind of like Arwen and Aragorn in reverse. However, it is entirely possible from an understanding of wights and other undead in ASOIAF that Jon could be virtually immortal and also not have children. The evidence is there from other characters, histories, and George’s answers on it. Think it’d be such a heartbreaking path for Jon that Dan and Dave would be unwise to skip it if Jon survives the war.

        Quote  Reply

    28. JoeMagician,

      Do you think the show has been building to this and laying the groundwork?

      For example, here are some major plot points that were heavily foreshadowed years in advance:

      Shireen being burned: telgraphed at the end of Season 3 and flat out screamed it at the beggining of Season 4.

      R+L=J: three heavy handed references in 5×04 made it obvious even to non book readers i know (similar to dany being pregnant with three mentioned in one episode)

      Burning the Sept: Cersei was talking about burning cities since at the very least season 4 and likely sooner

      Jon’s death: Olly was staring him down non stop that year

      Jon’s resurrection: set up in season 3 when Mel visited the Riverlands

      Arya becoming an assassin: again during Mel’s visit to the Riverlands

      Red Wedding: Roose Bolton was giving Robb the side eye throughout all season 2

      These are just a few example of the top of my head. But it seems like on the whole this is a show that makes heavy use of foreshadowing and is not subtle about it. Aside from Thorne’s quote, do you see any other evidence from the show itself?

        Quote  Reply

    29. JoeMagician,

      Beric is dead in the books and alive in the show. Jon is a warg in the books and not one in the show. Davos has never even met Jon before he is stabbed in the books, yet becomes his top adviser shortly thereafter in the show. Is it really that far outside the realm of possibility for you that D&D may have deviated a bit on the precise method of Jon’s return? You are basically ignoring the reality of what has actually been demonstrated in the series in order to try to justify an unproven argument that is grounded in the assumptions that 1. The resolution to Jon’s stabbing in the books will play out beat for beat the same way it did on the show, despite the fact that the changes I’ve listed so far are just the tip of the iceberg, and 2. that no other confounding variables will come into play that might result in a different fate. I mean, your reasoning that Jon’s organs can’t be functioning in the show because Beric’s aren’t in the books falls apart in the face of the overwhelming evidence that they absolutely are. You’ve seen Jon eat, drink, sleep, breathe, fuck, and nearly die of hypothermia, with no alternate explanation provided for how he’s doing any of this without a functioning body. Also, none of your arguments address how nonsensical it would be to keep something as major as this alleged “change” from the audience when Benjen’s new status was spelled out for us. Jon is the male lead of this series, not a bit character. If he’s losing his humanity, that reveal doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor, especially if it’s relevant to his endgame. You honestly think D&D spent two full seasons revealing who Jon’s parents were but couldn’t be arsed to write two lines of Jon observing that he lacks a heartbeat?

        Quote  Reply

    30. JoeMagician: Beric is the same from show to books, and George has said that Beric is dead and his organs don’t function.

      If Beric’s organs don’t function, why does he bleed and how does he keep dying over and over?

        Quote  Reply

    31. QueenofThrones,

      Exactly what I thought after reading this! Yet another hint to the” bittersweet” ending. Arwen remained with Aragorn despite the fact that she knew she would outlive him. Perhaps GRRM has something similar in mind since Jon also parallels Aragorn’s secret royal lineage but it’s Dany who goes through the journey in exile. Maybe the Golden Company will act as the Dead Men of Dunharrow and leave their contract with Cersei to fight for the “true king”, Jon, and finally find home back in Westeros.

        Quote  Reply

    32. House Monty,

      Yes, the conversations with Jaime with Cersei and then Bronn seem to hint to the ideas of what is the purpose of life if you can’t reproduce. And why would you build a dynasty you can’t continue. Given Jon’s wightness, those are extremely good questions. Jon and Beric also had their chat about their shared experiences, and in that Jon expresses he doesn’t know why he continues doing what he’s doing and Beric replies with a shrug and that he should use his gift to protect others. The Thorne one is also fairly blatant, and the wording of “forever” is strange in that moment. Build it together, and you get the message that Jon may spend a very long time protecting the realms of men in lieu of having his own family. Becoming the father to the realm instead of his own children.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Eh, no. Jon’s wounds from his first death have healed, just badly scarred. He had wounds and bled during the Battle of the Bastards. He almost suffocated. He almost drowned and froze near Eastwatch. His body was certainly fighting to breathe and live when they stripped him of his wet clothing. He feels pain. I can’t see that is at all plausable that they’d throw this type of thing in there at this point. Particularly not with such foreshadowing of Dany getting pregnant as well.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Clob,

      I agree with you. I think Jon is more human than wight, since he’s only been resurrected once, compared to the multiple times Beric was. Maybe GRRM has different plans for the character in his yet to be published book, but HBO Jon Snow is a lot more human. And I’m betting he can make babies.

        Quote  Reply

    35. JoeMagician,

      Yes. Those are good examples. And if your theory plays out then we will certainly be able to look back on them as foreshadowing.

      They just seem to be a lot more subtle than most of the stuff the show has trafficed in in the past where there is a lot of foreshadowing within the appropriate characters arc.

      In this case, it felt like those conversations with Jaime were much more tied to his own story. Even in the case of Jon his conversation felt more tied to his own discomfort with being brought back from the dead. Discomfort that was shown by his unwillingness to talk about it with Dany. Beric’s talk on the surface was about helping Jon process the question of why him which is what he had been wrestling with – in addition to laying out the entire thesis statement for the whole show.

      But I really appreciate the article and its a fascinating theory to think through. Will be interesting to see if it turns out to be true or not. Although the degrees of freedom on the ending have been reduced, its great to still be exposed to different ways the story could end that make sense narratively and thematically.

        Quote  Reply

    36. JoeMagician,

      Well, the Grey King you’ve mentioned had children with a mermaid. And Dany thinks she’s barren anyway, so I see no point in making Jon inferile too.
      As for Jon being unable to die, I can see something like that: Melisandre is an example more than Beric. But, as I wrote, there is Arya and the Faceless Men and the Many-faced God, so if the issue occurs, it will be resolved. Valar morghulis.

        Quote  Reply

    37. GRRM himself doesn’t appear to have a clue on how this undead stuff work. He simplifies Beric as ‘Like an Ice wight but animated by fire rather than Ice’.

      So apparently all wights don’t eat, sleep, breathe and have no beating heart.

      This explanation falls flat on its face in case of Beric however because he is said to die again and again. Six times.

      If Beric the fire wight doesn’t breathe, why would he die via strangulation? If Beric the fire wight doesn’t have blood flow, why would he die from wounds?

      No, if fire wights function in the way Martin suggests, then they have to be immortal like their ice wight counterparts. Can’t kill them by punches or blades or noose, only by burning their bones to dust.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Joolie,

      Why do people keep saying this? Jon did not warg into Ghost as he lay dying, not in the show and not in the book either.

      Jon had no control of his warging. The one time he did have a strong wolf dream, that was achieved via Bran warging into Ghost.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Joolie,

      I actually think that’s an interesting thought for Book!Jon. This definitely did not happen on the show but seeing as how Jon’s POV ended with him getting stabbed in ADwD, I think that Ghost tethering Jon to the living world is a definite possibility in the books. His connection with Ghost is A LOT stronger in the books to the point where Jon acknowledges that Ghost is a part of him. Jon can even feel what Ghost feels while awake as shown when Jon felt ravenous and his thoughts become more feral which makes him realize Ghost was near. Maybe your scenario can happen in TWoW.

        Quote  Reply

    40. JoeMagician,

      If your argument is that Jon is just like Beric, then there is no way he is immortal because Beric isn’t (as he died 6 times).

      BranTheBlessed,

      Because there is an entire prologue chapter in ADWD about warging after death, with specific mentions of Jon being a powerful warg and a second life in his wolf being “fit for a king”. The evidence is right there in the text, but this fandom likes to ignore it for the sake of coming up with the edgiest most tinfoily theories.

        Quote  Reply

    41. At last, it’s Biologists’ Corner!

      Human sperm are about two months in the making, with a pretty high turnover rate. They cannot survive more than a couple of hours outside of ideal conditions. Without good semen quality, functioning testes or an accommodating female womb, they are gonners. Even sitting with a hot laptop is said to decrease sperm quality, which is how fragile the little things are.

      I think Jon’s fertility may be safely assumed to be zilch. Also, a woman is said to have a no higher than 25% chance of getting pregnant at any one try – and that’s actively trying under ideal conditions. (25% might seem low, but apparently people have sex an awful lot, and it will take most normal couples a few months before they conceive.)

      I am impressed however that GoT managed to find something even more unsavoury than twincest – huzzah for undead incest. And that is the first and last time I want to ever think about Jon’s stale dead sperm. At least we can now interpret that look on Tyrion’s face.

        Quote  Reply

    42. elybe,

      But muh trope subversions!!!1111 😛

      At this point I just laugh. He’s supposed to be SUCH a boring, cliche, generic hero character (compared to all those other characters we pretend aren’t tropes amrite), yet Jon’s all they talk about and tinfoil after every season. Jon Snow’s all in their mouths like liquor. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    43. Steve,

      > GRRM has thought through this, for sure

      I don’t know his personal thoughts, but considering he compares himself to a gardener, it appears he also likes to see what happens when plants an idea (a good gardener does planning, sure, but different from an architect) so I wouldn’t be surprised if he developed/changed his ideas about resurrection over the course of the books.

      In the books the warging into Ghost will prevent Jon’s mind having taken too much damage. The ice cells will conserve his body better. Other than that, I don’t think we are supposed to think it through on a biological level.

      As for the Grey King, I doubt this has any foreshadowing for Jon. It sounds like GRRM having fun developing a mythology for the Ironborn. Having long-lived kings is something typical for mythologies, after a few centuries of mainly oral communication a regency of 40 years is probably considered to have lasted 400 years.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Flayed Potatoes,

      For a boy it could be: Rheaddard or Eddrhag lol. For a girl it maybe Lyanearys? I think they will go with Lyanna for a girl and Eddard for a boy though. That is, unless Jon isn’t completely happy with the man who raised him after hearing the truth of his parentage. Then I believe he might choose the name Aemon. Seriously though, it does not sound like the Jon Snow we know but he could end up surprising us and be somewhat sad/pissed that Ned chose to keep it from him and let Cat treat him poorly, etc.

        Quote  Reply

    45. We saw Jon eating at Castle Black, just before Ramsay’s letter arrived. We see him -and Beric- dressed warmly to ward off the cold. We saw Jon’s lungs gasping for air on multiple occasions. We saw Jon receive a leg injury during BOB, which healed. His facial scars are healing, becoming much smaller. His torso wounds have closed. Beric’s deadly wounds also closed. Everything in the show points to Jon’s body functioning as it’s supposed to, with working reflexes. The stimulus to brain connection appears to be operating normally. The question of sperm production aside, D&D aren’t going in the fire wight direction with Jon, with good reason…a large portion of show watchers would hate it.

      Jon Snow fans identify with his struggles and his HUMANITY, just as fans of other main characters do. When you start taking away the essential human qualities, people stop identifying with the character. Look at the reaction to Bran in season 7. He’s a meme now. Sure, that’s popular, but who loves Bran now? How much investment do people have in Bran’s character now? All I see, now, is people wondering what truth bomb Bran will drop to affect the plots, and that’s basically it. What fans loved about Bran is gone. His youthful emotions, the hard decisions he had to make…they don’t exist anymore. His familial connection has dwindled. “Creepy” is the word I see used most often to describe Bran. With “creepy” Bran in place, there’s no need for a “creepy” Jon as well.

      Whatever happens for Jon in the books, the show went in it’s own direction in season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    46. ygritte,

      Your first two suggestions remind me of Reneesmee (spelling?) from Twilight lol.

      I think Eddard and Aemon are solid names for a boy, and for a girl I can’t imagine anything other than Lyanna or Rhaella. I hope it’s not….. Viserys lol

        Quote  Reply

    47. On Jon fathering children:

      I was thinking about Melisandre, her role, and what the point of introducing her shadow babies was if it was never going to appear again. Also her extreme age must have some kind of point.

      I think it is possible that Jon the fire wight can in fact father children, but not of the kind anyone expects.

      There is not time for Mel to come back to the story, convince Jon to sleep with her and then have another shadow baby, for a purpose that is not at all clear. There is, however, time for Dany to get pregnant as she already slept with Jon, experience a pregnancy that progresses remarkably quickly as Mel’s did, and for that pregnancy to produce something that is the next step past Mel’s shadow baby.

      Dany being pregnant would provide a reason for her and Jon to quickly marry just as Robb did, causing complications in the Targaryen contingent.

      This may seem tinfoily, but Mel’s role and story history deserves to be looked at in detail in relation to this question. I don’t think shadow babies were introduced merely as a convenient way to kill Renly.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Flayed Potatoes: The very important parts here of the quote are the fact that George is referring specifically to Beric being a fire wight, not Jon. Jon, unlike Beric, is a protagonist, with familial relationships and a parentage reveal that has to play an important role in the story, which can’t be accomplished if your main character is a vegetable with no blood flowing through his veins. Y’all want him to be an undead zombie with no character development or progression so badly it’s hilarious.

      “Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again.” His warging in the books is going to pay off in a big way.

      Sorry fam, but Jon’s going to be a daddy next season. Best start speculating on the baby’s name and gender or something. xoxo

      This is a big problem for me with these statements from GRRM. Having Jon as a zombie is terrible storytelling. The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. GRRM has developed Jon’s character for five books. He has deep internal struggles, he is always in conflict with himself, and he struggles to do his duty.
      GRRM has created future conflict for the character by adding all of the aspects of his origin.

      What would the point be of making Jon a wight? A wight doesn’t have much internal conflict, and according to GRRM he writes about the human heart being in conflict with itself, but by making Jon a wight he would be removing all interal conflict. What does a wight care about where he comes from or his parents, would a wight really care about North? Would a wight really be interested in family reunions? A wight isn’t an emotional being. What would be the point of bringing Jon back, if you are just going to change his character and completely ignore what you did before? It then becomes a different character. Then Jon might as well have died if that is the case, and GRRM could just have brought in a different character.

      The physics surrounding fire wights also doesn’t make any sense. Beric Dondarrion died six times, by methods such as strangulation and being stabbed in the heart. How could he have died from stab wounds in the chest, if he didn’t have any blood pumping through his veins? How can he die from being hanged if he doesn’t need air? It really makes little sense.
      And there are other bodily functions such as eating and having sex, a wight shouldn’t be able to do these tasks. Jon has been eating. Jon and Dany obviously had sex. In the books Dany dreams about a young lover, and after the information Alan Taylor revealed that came from GRRM. It seems like they will have sex in the books as well. This should not be possible, it is debatable if a fire wight would even be interested in sex. Beric Dondarrion in the books completely forgets about his betrothed.
      There has also been a lot of foreshadowing about a potential Targaryen baby in the future.

      GRRM will have to be very careful about he does with Jon in the future, it can very easily descent into bad writing.

      That being said I’ve always thought it was possible that Jon would live very long, especially if he is touched by magic. Everyone always expect Jon to die, but this would be a different type of a bittersweet ending. It would be sad to watch all of your children and your wife die before you, along with all of your brothers and sisters and everyone you once knew. There is some foreshadowing in the books about Jon becoming very old.
      Melisandre is also very old, and there are no children in Ashai.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Inga: I’ve never been interesed in the private life of any stars but the news really make me unexpectedly happy.

      Ditto. So a GOT wedding theme perhaps? (tho given the RW, probably not go there)

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Just glad to hear of something happy. All this misery in the real world with extreme weather etc I don’t need to turn to the grimdark world of GoT for things bleak so will wish them well – not that I’ll go so far as to knit booties for their first child when and if he/she comes along (that may seem extreme but there were people who knit booties for Prince William back in the 1980s – I suppose they (the booties – as in baby socks, not the type Beyonce shakes) were given to charity.

        Quote  Reply

    51. There is no way that this can be applied to the show.

      The scar Jon had on his face when he was resurrected has disappeared. The wounds he has suffered from various battles have healed. He twice almost drowned in a human crush and then in a struggle with wights underwater – he wouldn’t be struggling for air if he didn’t need to breathe.

        Quote  Reply

    52. ash: Ditto. So a GOT wedding theme perhaps? (tho given the RW, probably not go there)

      I’m pretty sure the wedding will be in one of her family’s castles – and I’m about 50 /50 that Kit will wear a kilt!

        Quote  Reply

    53. Such a good read. After this season’s finale, with the talks about Jon and Dany’s child, I couldn’t see that happening for Jon. He had that chance in books, to be lord of winterfell and he thinks how he could have a son and name
      him Robb, but he refuses Stanis’ offer, so I thought that Jon’s story passed the chance of having children and after this read I guess we really gonna get that bittersweet ending GRRM was talking about.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Jenny:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      They would rather die than name their child Viserys lol.

      Dany did though… sort of 😛

      If she names the kid Drogo or Viserys, I’ll…. throw a shoe at my tv lol

      Boudica,

      One of the many theories I subscribe to is that Jon will outlive his friends and family and die an old man, weary and miserable after a difficult life of fighting wars and rebuilding. There is a chapter in book 1 with him and Tyrion that someone used as a theory to foreshadow Jon and Tyrion’s ending, which I thought was interesting. Basically they’ll both be miserable as hell lol.

      Naturally, if it were after me I’d send him on vacation to Pentos with Ghost, Arya and Bran, where they’ll enjoy cocktails on the beach….but I know that is not happening lol.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Queasy Backfat: Mirri Maz Durs curse that prevents Dany from conceiving

      There’s no such thing, either in the book or the show.
      MMD makes a prophecy concerning the possibility of Drogo making a full recovery. That’s all.
      In the show, she does not even mention Daenerys bearing a living child.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears: Same applies to Sandor. He was clinically dead and starting to decompose, but was reborn/resurrected by the god(s) for a reason.

      Here’s how Brother Ray, in S6e7, described coming upon Sandor’s body, intending to give him a proper burial:

      Brother Ray: “When I found you, I thought you’d been dead for days. The way you were stinking already and you had bugs all over you and bone was coming through right there. (Ray points to Sandor’s leg). I was going to give you a proper burial and then you coughed.
      Oh, I nearly sh*t myself. I reckoned you were gonna die by the time I loaded you on the wagon, but you didn’t. Now, I reckoned you’d die a dozen more times over the next few days, but you didn’t.”

      “…There’s a reason you’re still here…
      The gods aren’t done with you yet.”

      I don’t think any of this means that the Hound was actually dead. He may have been “stinking”, but infected wounds can smell bad. Most people would have died in his circumstances, but he is a man with a strong constitution.

        Quote  Reply

    57. I think this is a bit tinfoily. First, the ruler ruling for a thousand years makes *far* more sense as myth than as reality, especially since the story is about the Age of Heroes. I don’t think there’s a single thing in the Age of Heroes that actually happened according to whatever stories were passed down. It’s better to think of the Age of Heroes as similar to the Greek Age of Heroes, in which the Iliad and the Odyssey took place. We tend to make a distinction between Greek heroes like Achilles and Odysseus and Greek gods like Zeus and Athena, and this was a distinction the Greeks made too, but to them, the heroes were also gods, just not ones who lived in Olympus; they also had cults. Heroes were literally worshipped, and while they weren’t worshipped in the same way as the officially-named gods, they were still worshipped. Some of that continues to the present day with saints in various forms of Christianity; you could say they aren’t literally worshipped and instead the Christian God is worshipped in their names, but that’s a matter of semantics. In any case, the Grey King’s thousand-year rule is as much of a pure myth as Odysseus’s journey or the Night’s King.

      But more importantly, I think you’re missing a few characters. To start with, remember the Undying, as Quaithe told Daenerys at some point in the books. Their hearts still beat (at least before Daenerys got to them). Then, Melisandre is an interesting case. She no longer requires sleep or sustenance, but tries to pretend in order to keep up appearances. She’s very, very old, possibly older than Bloodraven. We don’t know that these characters actually spent any time being dead.

      When it comes to Jon, there are a few other problems. First, the scarring: that’s an active cell process. Your scars don’t just magically heal; your body needs to actually do work to make that happen. Second, the breathing. Jon Snow breathes a huge gasp when he comes back to live. We see him almost suffocate at the Battle of the Bastards. I don’t think we can make any claims about lack of biology there. We can also assume that the sex scene with Daenerys involved… sex, which, even aside from sperm production beforehand, requires hormones and blood flow changes to various body parts. From his comment about how her inability to have children may not be a real thing, we can guess that *he* doesn’t foresee any issue having issue of his own.

      We’ll find out how the books approach Jon’s status, but I think the fact that his body continues to work in the show should not be in dispute.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Flayed Potatoes: One of the many theories I subscribe to is that Jon will outlive his friends and family and die an old man, weary and miserable after a difficult life of fighting wars and rebuilding. There is a chapter in book 1 with him and Tyrion that someone used as a theory to foreshadow Jon and Tyrion’s ending, which I thought was interesting. Basically they’ll both be miserable as hell lol.

      Naturally, if it were after me I’d send him on vacation to Pentos with Ghost, Arya and Bran, where they’ll enjoy cocktails on the beach….but I know that is not happening lol.

      Are you referring to when Jon and Tyrion camps for the night on the way to the Wall?

      Yes, I agree Jon would fighting and rebuilding his whole life long if he survives the White Walkers, that is definitely something I could see.
      It would have been great if he and Arya just met up and left Westeros behind. Or if Jon just retired to some small keep with a family, that would be his ideal end,which is why it wouldn’t happen.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Wolfish Hearts,
      Flayed Potatoes,

      Well, if Dany gets pregnant, there is still no guarantee that the child will be born. The Ning King is on his way to WF and, at least so far, Dany is the only dragon rider. So, it’s legit to assume that she will have to risk and maybe even sacrifice her life and the life of her unborn child in the war for the dawn. Pregnancy gives no plot armor: GOT has aready established that young pregnant queens can be killed – see the Red Wedding. Moreove, Stannis and the death of poor Shireen may be a foreshadowing that Jon will have to face a similar challenge. Things really look tense. For one thing I am sure: Jon and Dany will die more or less together. There is no sense to kill one and leave the othrer alive, simply because, if Dany dies and Jon lives, we will get a sequel with Jon marrying Lyanna Mormont or other sweet girl, and, if Dany lives, we’ll get as sequel with her and Daario or some Dothraki or whomever. Leave a beloved protagoninst mourning over his/her lost love is just a loose thread, especially considering that both protagonists have already been through this. So, either Jon and Dany die together or they live together and die afterwards.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Inga,

      I hope you will read my post above. It influences timeframes and such things.

      To summarize though:

      1. Mel was revealed for some reason to be very very old. She is almost certainly a fire wight just as Jon is.

      2. Mel was shown early on to have a very specific ability – giving birth to shadow babies. This strange power seems frankly very odd to introduce then use only once for the death of a fairly minor character and never be seen again.

      3. There is not time for Mel herself to seduce anyone else in this series in order to produce any more shadow babies.

      4. But if fire wights can reproduce in the form of shadow babies, this might be the reason why this capability of Mel’s was introduced.

      5. Much was made in season 7 of Dany’s inability, she thinks, to have children. It is an odd thing to emphasize if it was not going to become a plot twist.

      6. Dany and Jon have already had sex. There IS time for that to result in a shadow baby or something beyond. Mel’s entire shadow baby pregnancy took something like a day for full gestation.

      7. The purpose of such a plot twist is almost certainly linked to dragons, their birth, their death, their transformation or resurrection.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Why should Jon be the same as Beric? They were both brought back by that pagan Fire Lord about whom very little is known, and in general I wouldn’t expect any god to be bound by strict rules of how to do things so they are always the same.

      Or maybe he was still training on Beric and Jon is his masterpiece.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Boudica,

      Somehow, I don’t understand this whole leaving Westeros behind and running into the sunset concept. Westeros is Jon’s home and he wanted to be a leader since the beginning of the series. So, why should he run away from the job? It would be childish and not worthy of a man Jon has become. If he is tired of fighting he can take a day off – now he is having a fortningh off with Dany on a love boat, but any adult would get bored, if such life lasted for years or even months. Adults need challenges and problems to solve, they find joy in fulfilling their duties, not in some laizy lying on a couch or sipping wine or sailing into nowhere.

        Quote  Reply

    63. awol: 1. Mel was revealed for some reason to be very very old. She is almost certainly a fire wight just as Jon is.

      Possible, but if that’s the case then why would Mel be so curious about what Jon saw on the other side during his death if she’s already experienced it herself?

        Quote  Reply

    64. Inga: Adults need challenges and problems to solve, they find joy in fulfilling their duties, not in some laizy lying on a couch or sipping wine or sailing into nowhere.

      Bingers of Netflix and other streaming services don’t agree. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    65. seenGhost?:
      Why should Jon be the same as Beric? They were both brought back by that pagan Fire Lord about whom very little is known, and in general I wouldn’t expect any god to be bound by strict rules of how to do things so they are always the same.

      Or maybe he was still training on Beric and Jon is his masterpiece.

      Beric’s path in the story is linked to two things, which may amount to the same thing eventually:

      1. The flaming sword
      2. Bringing justice to Gregor Clegane

      In the books he passes on his last life to Stoneheart, and Stoneheart also seems likely to pass on her “flame” if you will to another character shortly.

      In the show Beric has yet to pass on his last life but remains likely to do so, and I strongly suspect he will pass it to Gendry (who I believe is still at Eastwatch with him), because Gendry is the only blacksmith in the story who is capable of reforging Valyrian steel and is therefore tied to the story of the sword.

      Meanwhile Beric was given a mission by Ned, to bring the Mountain to justice. He took that seriously enough to not take sides in the Wo5K, and now he has recruited Sandor as a companion, whose driving goal in life is to kill his brother.

      As for how Beric and Jon are linked: so far Beric is the only character we have seem capable of setting a sword aflame and wielding it. Thoros’s flaming swords were a wildfire trick, and Mel used tricks on Stannis’s behalf as well. With Beric there is no trick. It seems very likely to me that only a fire wight can do this, and this is how he and Jon are linked.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Mr Derp: Possible, but if that’s the case then why would Mel be so curious about what Jon saw on the other side during his death if she’s already experienced it herself?

      Interesting point. Maybe she doesn’t remember? Or, maybe she doesn’t actually know that she died in the vaguely defined horribly painful experiences she went through to become what she is. I don’t know.

      It is mentioned that she is something called a “shadowbinder” though what exactly that is is not at all clear.

      But if shadow babies can be made, maybe they can also be “bound” to something else.

        Quote  Reply

    67. awol,

      I don’t think Gendry was at Eastwatch when the NK broke through. Initially, Davos planned to send him to Winterfel, so he either went there directly or took the boat to Dragonstone along with the rest. Moreover, the kiss of life has not been established on the show and it was explicitely said that this was Beric’s last life. Therefore, I think he’ll simply die figting, maybe, protecting someone, but now Beric is just a mortal. And the same rule will apply to Jon, when someone (Davos? Arya? Varys?) kills Melisandre.

      As for Mel being a resurrected fire wight, I don’t think so, but something prevents her from dying so in a way she could be qualified as an undead.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Boudica,

      I agree with you about Jon. I simply don’t buy that Jon is going to be some kind of emotionless wright. for the rest of the story. I think that Martin is either trolling, lying, or misleading his fans.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Inga:
      awol,

      I don’t think Gendry was at Eastwatch when the NK broke through.

      As for Mel being a resurrected fire wight, I don’t think so, but something prevents her from dying so in a way she could be qualified as an undead.

      Gendry did not go South to KL with them at all. He has not been seen since he ran to Eastwatch to send the raven. He clearly had no role to play in King’s Landing for the team so I see no reason at all why you would assume they brought him with them?

      It is true that he might simply show up at Winterfell next, but on the other hand he already rejected Davos’s plan for him because he wanted to be part of the real fight, so I have trouble understanding why he might leave the Wall now that he has seen where exactly the real fight is to be found.

      As for Mel, what you describe is the same thing as Bloodraven, who also never really died and got resurrected, but who simply persisted, sustained and turned into something other than alive by the magic. So becoming a fire wight might not have only the one way to come about.

        Quote  Reply

    70. To be honest, I like the idea of an immortal Jon Snow continuing on for centuries better than the hackneyed old plotline of him perishing gallantly in battle.

      But you mentioned the 3EyeCrow’s long hair … if NO biological processes were going on, how did it get so long?

        Quote  Reply

    71. awol,

      I ca simply agree that Gendry’s situation is ambiguous. We might have seen him on the boat undressing Jon together with Davos but that could have been someone else too. On the other hand we haven’t seen him on the Wall during the attack. So, everything is possible, but if he has to play some role as a blacksmith (which he should) he can simply pop up in Winterfel: there is no need to kill him and then have him resurrected by Beric who has never had or was implied to have such power in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Flayed Potatoes:
      Jenny,

      I would totally be down with this spinoff. Eternally young and hawt Jon with a cute animal companion for each decade he’s alive. 😛

      So Jon could become ‘The Doctor’ of Planetos? 😛 Living century after century, gaining more and more knowledge, traveling the planet, and accompanied by numerous, varied companions, both human and animal? I’d watch. 👍

        Quote  Reply

    73. awol: Gendry did not go South to KL with them at all. He has not been seen since he ran to Eastwatch to send the raven. He clearly had no role to play in King’s Landing for the team so I see no reason at all why you would assume they brought him with them?

      Correct that he wasn’t needed at KL, but why in the world would they leave him at Eastwatch. He was ‘rescued’ again by Davos and then rather than going directly to Winterfell he chose to be a part of JON’s crew to help HIM fight, not fight on his own or with a bunch of wildlings at Eastwatch. I think if they had intended for him to die or make his fate uncertain at Eastwatch he would have been with Tormund and Beric on the Wall in the last scene.

      Do not forget that they didn’t sail directly to KL from Eastwatch. We didn’t see it but they obviously stopped at Dragonstone on the way. Jon, Davos, Sandor and Jorah were all on the same ship arriving at KL with Tyrion, Varys, Missandei and Theon.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Ok,

      well i definitely don’t remember seeing Gendry undressing Jon. Just watched the scene again and I don’t think that is him. Just an extra.

      Inga:
      awol,

      I ca simply agree that Gendry’s situation is ambiguous. We might have seen him on the boat undressing Jon together with Davos but that could have been someone else too. On the other hand we haven’t seen him on the Wall during the attack. So, everything is possible, but if he has to play some role as a blacksmith (which he should) he can simply pop up in Winterfel: there is no need to kill him and then have him resurrected by Beric who has never had or was implied to have such power in the show.

      Of the group that went beyond the wall, Gendry was pretty unique when you look at it. Thoros and Tormund were both “kissed by fire” by virtue of their red hair. The Hound and Jon had previously been burned. Beric was a fire wight and also a redhead in the books. Jorah had no particular connection to fire but was saved from near death by another form of magic ie greyscale, and the ointment itself may have involved dragonglass IIRC.

      Only Gendry had not been altered or marked in some way by fire magic. So in that sense it may well turn out to be significant for him to be resurrected rather than simply safe when it comes to the forging role he is meant to play.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Clob: Correct that he wasn’t needed at KL, but why in the world would they leave him at Eastwatch.He was ‘rescued’ again by Davos and then rather than going directly to Winterfell he chose to be a part of JON’s crew to help HIM fight, not fight on his own or with a bunch of wildlings at Eastwatch.I think if they had intended for him to die or make his fate uncertain at Eastwatch he would have been with Tormund and Beric on the Wall in the last scene.

      This is not accurate. Gendry never made any vows of allegiance to fight for Jon. He simply said he was tired of sitting around doing nothing and wanted to fight for something real. When Davos gave him the chance to keep his head down and go to Winterfell he REFUSED. So why would he run away to Winterfell now, now thta he has seen the army of the dead and knows exactly where the real fight is, which is what he specifically said he wanted to do?

      The assumption that he would have been on top of the wall with Beric and Tormund if he was at Eastwatch also seems incorrect. He hates Beric. They would not be hanging out more than they need to. Not everyone stands on watch duty on top of the wall at the same time.

        Quote  Reply

    76. awol,
      I didn’t say that he made a “vow” to Jon, although he probably would have. I said he made the choice to fight with Jon’s group rather than just go to Winterfell and be ‘Clovis the smith.’ It wouldn’t be “running away to Winterfell now,” it would be continuing to fight alongside Jon, Davos and all of his men. When I say fight with Jon I mean helping him FIGHT, not simply forging weapons and armor. He wanted to help them in the fight against the NK and he’d be doing that with Jon as much or more than he would sitting on a Wall.

      You say that Gendry hates Beric. That’s probably still mostly true despite traveling together, so then why would he choose to remain at the Wall rather than continue on with Jon & Davos? Still, he’d already gone beyond the Wall as a part of the M7. Even if in “show reality” he’d avoid Beric or possibly just be in the buildings below, they wrote him in as fairly big part of the season and D&D know how “important” he is to the fanbase, so I believe they’d have shown him during the NK attack to let us that he was there and create a cliffhanger about him. I simply do not believe he remained at Eastwatch and will not.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Flayed Potatoes:
      BranTheBlessed,
      The evidence is right there in the text, but this fandom likes to ignore it for the sake of coming up with the edgiest most tinfoily theories.

      Aww, harsh. Will “Game” and “Song” fans get along better if we accept the show is de facto an adaptation? A la =>

      Silent Sister:
      Whatever happens for Jon in the books, the show went in it’s own direction in season 6.

      Flayed P, I honor your textual expertise. I myself went through the torture of Parts 2 & 3 of “LotR” departing in craven ways from the JRRT text. Still, I don’t feel that faithfulness to the ‘evidence in the text’ drives this show to the level you expect.

        Quote  Reply

    78. An interesting article.
      In the books, we also have LSH and Patchface as examples of wights.
      I think the word “resurrection” especially referring to bodily resurrection is an unfortunate one, with its Christian resonances (in the Western culture) and I’m surprised D & D went with this idea for Jon rather than a ‘near-death’.
      We’ll see how this plays out in season 8!

        Quote  Reply

    79. awol:

      As for how Beric and Jon are linked: so far Beric is the only character we have seem capable of setting a sword aflame and wielding it. Thoros’s flaming swords were a wildfire trick, and Mel used tricks on Stannis’s behalf as well. With Beric there is no trick. It seems very likely to me that only a fire wight can do this, and this is how he and Jon are linked.

      At least they formed a bond during the raid beyond the wall. My point is that there is no need at all for them both to be exactly the same after being brought back, or to follow the same rules. Being brought back for uncertain reasons they don’t see, it’s still safe to assume there are at least few different reasons for any of them. And it’s not just to fight the NK and his army , otherwise the Fire God should simply produce tens of thousands of them and we’ll have fire wights vs ice wights. Humans can just sit back and enjoy the show ( too bad they don’t have popcorns in Westeros ).

      As for the KL meeting: not just Gendry, at least half of the ppl present didn’t have to be there. Even more, it was stupid for Daenerys to put all eggs in one basket and place it handily right next to Cersei’s leg. But the show needed a spectacular meeting and the wildfire crowd reducer was already used in the previous season, so it went smoothly.

      Still The Wall is the last place Gendry is needed or useful. Seems like they omitted giving him few more seconds screen time, and receiving an unexpected benefit from that: the fandom spending time between seasons wondering where he is. Logically Gendry will pop up in WF with the rest in the next season.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Clob,

      Where Gendry ended up is an unresolved question so we won’t really be able to reach any conclusions here. I am pretty sure he did not go back to KL to show the wight. Of the 3 possibilities that seems the least likely because he could easily be recognized there and because he got to where he wanted to be which was fighting for something that mattered. Serving that cause does not simply mean following Jon everywhere but fighting for the same thing Jon is, which is for the living and against the dead.

      As for whether he stayed at the Wall or went to Winterfell, you have a point that hating Beric might be a point against the idea that he stayed there, on the other hand there was noone else at that point who was headed to Winterfell. So it is I would think very unlikely that he would have ventured off solo in the middle of winter in a part of the world he has never seen before just so that he could fight the army of the dead from Winterfell instead of from the Wall. In my view it seems clear that if he did not go South to KL, then he stayed at the Wall.

      However I do definitely believe that he will arrive at Winterfell in early season 8 if he is not already there. And if he was at Eastwatch, then his life is very clearly in grave danger at this point, so Beric passing his last life to him does not seem out of the question.

      But this thread is about Jon, and Gendry comes into it only as a speculative point tied into a broader theory which could turn out to be wrong, but which for now I think is a theory worth defending and exploring. That theory is that through the events of the story we are witnessing the forging of the sword, and so if a new Lightbringer must be forged, Gendry is the one to do it. Which clearly means he can’t die right now at the Wall.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Again with the undead Jon theory–can’t believe people still buying this nonsense. Jon has been healing, breathing, having sex…the body is alive and working. And come on–they have SO foreshadowed a Jon/Dany baby from Jorah and others. And they won’t make it a monster–that is perhaps the dumbest part of a dumb theory. Don’t know exactly what George is up to with his quotes book-wise but in the show Jon is CLEARLY among the living.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Clob: You’re doing a bit of assuming and working things to fit an idea.

      No, sex is not conception, but getting aroused isn’t exactly like muscle function either…It’s not like those would actually work either of course, but an erection requires flowing blood.If the “magic” makes that function properly who can say that he can’t produce the seed.I’m also pretty sure they’re not going to have a second deformed, ‘demon’ baby birthed on the show, especially by the two main protagonists…

      I’m late to the party, but I couldn’t agree more. So many assumptions have been made in the article, not based on substantial evidence.

      And I coudn’t agree more about blood flow being necessary for erections. Not that I’m an expert. But I do know that men with healthy blood flows have no issues with erections because it is a blood flow issue. From Web MD:

      The arteries relax and open up to let more blood to flow in; at the same time, the veins close up. Once blood is in the penis, pressure traps it within the corpora cavernosa. Your penis expands and holds the erection. When the inflow of blood stops and the veins open, your penis becomes soft.

      So flowing blood seems an absolute necessity to an erection as we know it.

      George might have just been lumping Beric in with the undead when saying he was a fire wight. Obviously, the fact that Beric has free will means there are massive psychological and mental differences. So I wouldn’t assume the physiological and physical states were identical.

      In fact, we have evidence that the wights and Beric are fundamentally different on a physical level, as well. When a wight’s resurrector dies, all of his wights die. But when Thoros died, nothing happened to Beric.

      I’m loving the snippet about the Grey King. His descendants were the Greyjoys, yes? And that is why they are drowned and worship the Drowned God. Will we see krackens in the books? Will we see water dragons?

        Quote  Reply

    83. JoeMagician: They can move them like pulling strings attached to the body parts rather than with biological processes like nerves and blood flow. … Wights, based on the evidence we’ve seen about them, move differently where they are “picked up” and moved like a child would with a doll.

      I can certainly see how one could make a limp dick rise like a puppet on strings, but that won’t make the dick hard enough to be inserted or any fun whatsoever.

        Quote  Reply

    84. JoeMagician: George has said that Beric is dead and his organs don’t function. Seeing as Jon is brought back in the same process, then Jon’s organs don’t function either.

      I see in the article the George quote where he said Beric’s heart didn’t beat and that blood didn’t flow “in his veins,” (not talking elsewhere, though). I am missing the parts where George has said that Beric’s organs do not function. Where did he say that?

        Quote  Reply

    85. as for blood flow, we don’t know much at all about how the Mountain was revived, but pretty much the only thing we DO know is that his blood was replaced with something else.

      Mel doesn’t feel cold. She clearly in the books feels arousal, which requires some kind of blood flow for women too btw, but her blood is not normal blood.

      So having sex does NOT imply that Jon, after DYING and being revived by magic, has normal, unaltered blood. Rather more likely that like Mel he now has fire in his veins.

      I don’t know if we will see a shadow baby ever again, I just simply think it is an extremely odd thing to have been introduced merely for the sake of killing off Renly. He was not important enough to have required his very own specific and extremely powerful kind of magic to kill. Also, Dany had her own encounter with dancing shadows if you recall, and that moment was intimately tied up with the loss of her pregnancy. That is enough to establish at least a suspicion that this is something that is going to come back into the story, and in a way that involves Dany.

      I don’t care if we ever see a shadow baby again. But if we are going to see one, Dany’s pregnancy would be the only scenario there is time for. Unless, that is, Cersei is pregnant with the Mountain’s baby – which would be a different kind of magic with different results.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Jenny:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      They would rather die than name their child Viserys lol.

      Ha! One of them is already dead, and the other has already named a baby after Viserys. Ice, Ice, Baby. Queen, Queen, Ripoff. But it wouldn’t be unlike the show to name two offspring the same thing, now would it?

        Quote  Reply

    87. awol,

      Hm, right before his death, Renly was very important. Some might even argue that he was the most important man in Westeros, as he had the largest army.

      The shadow baby did great many things in it’s short time in the world:
      1. Took off Renly while leaving the army intact, so a big part of it was available to storm KL.
      2 . Provided a spectacular scene.
      3. Instilled in Davos the seed of distrust of Melisandre which is blooming now despite the winter, but back then helped him get himself into prison, where he learned to read, which sent Stannis to the North…
      4. Kickstarted Brienne’s arc of revenge and serving the Starks.
      5. As a result of 4, saved Jamie’s life, so he can do something good before he dies.

      So even if we don’t see another one ( which might be kinda lame repetition ), the one did more than enough and the effects are still felt. And if there’s to be a second: Melisandre is still to make her final move so no need for another woman to bring it to the world. She just needs a daddy, after Stannis her luck with men is not worth mentioning.

        Quote  Reply

    88. seenGhost?,

      Yes, Renly had the biggest army in Westeros at the time, on the other hand, GRRM could have chosen not to include him in the story at all at it wouldn’t have made a particularly big difference to the overall narrative EXCEPT as a way to set up for future use elements he intended to be important. Some of those were:

      1. Establishing the lengths Stannis would go to to get what he thought was his.

      2. Exploring the broader theme of power and who deserves it, the one to whom it would fall by standard social convention or the one with the far broader range of popular support.

      3. Setting up Brienne.

      4. Mel and what she can do.

      So since the whole Renly subplot was about setting up other things it is not at all out of the question that the shadow baby was about that too, and the shadows Dany saw dancing in that tent were certainly related.

      There is also this: “Beside him stood a shadow in woman’s form, long and tall and terrible, her hands alive with pale white fire. ” Which many think refers to one of Cersei or Dany, and is a strikingly similar description to the ones of Stannis’s shadow baby. [\spoiler]

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *