The title of this page says it all. George has said that writing for television better honed his craft to create a better cliffhanger. *This page will be a companion page to the “who done the stabbing” page that is in the works.*
*editing in progress*
Martin told Time Magazine that writing for network TV (including Beauty and the Beast) taught him the importance of the “act break.” This means going to a commercial on a moment of “revelation, a twist, or a cliff-hanger.” He wanted the books to keep readers engaged, so he “tried to end every chapter with an act break.” This doesn’t mean he wanted to always end chapters with cliffhangers, though: “A cliff hanger is a good act break certainly, but it’s not the only kind of act break. It can just be a moment… a character moment, a moment of revelation, it has to end with something that makes you want to read more about this character.” And remember, A Dance of Dragons was the transition from act two to act three, as discussed here. What we witnessed with Jon on page was most likely an act break. So far we have plenty of “living dead” in A Song of Ice and Fire, and Jon Snow is no exception. This page will go over the why’s and how’s of this idea.
The best stories of GRRM’s to read to see this near death experience are as listed as best as my memory can remember. In each and every one of these stories, the main icy “Jon” archetype is on the literary path of gained knowledge through experience. And also in each and every one of these stories the main Jon-archetype has a near death experience where his protector, usually his love interest, stands over his body protecting him until he heals (and sometimes later dies).
- And Seven Times Never Kill Man. This story even has the icy Arik NeKrol battle in the snow as he sides with the waterfall folk, and his battle ends with him in a river.
- Nightflyers. One of the strongest Jon and Val against a fiery dragon prototype stories George has written. Melantha, the Val-type, stands over Royd Eris as he is near mortally wounded and she protects him until he can “save the day”. So, so many shared themes in this story with ASOAIF.
- Fevre Dream. The main protagonist, Joshua/Josh York, is injured and in danger of being overpowered by the dark lord type antagonist (yes, George has dark lords). Joshua’s protector stands over him and urges him on so Josh can “save the day”.
Jon and Bran are being set up to work as one- Bran the tree of knowledge will have Jon as the knight. Compare these scenes below. Bran asks some very interesting questions about his possible death and warging experience and this is just a few chapters before Jon and his mutiny stabbing, Bran even thinks of his family in the mess because he mistakes someone for his sister Arya like Jon did with Jeyne Poole.
Jon literally sacrificed his life to save the wildlings, something which he sees as important to the future of Westeros and humanity and even desires one. :
- A Dance with Dragons – Bran II
The wights, Bran realized. Someone set the wights on fire.
Summer was snarling and snapping as he danced around the closest, a great ruin of a man wreathed in swirling flame. He shouldn’t get so close, what is he doing? Then he saw himself, sprawled facedown in the snow. Summer was trying to drive the thing away from him. What will happen if it kills me? the boy wondered. Will I be Hodor for good or all? Will I go back into Summer’s skin? Or will I just be dead?
The world moved dizzily around him. White trees, black sky, red flames, everything was whirling, shifting, spinning. He felt himself stumbling. He could hear Hodor screaming, “Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor.” A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled Hodor’s eyes and froze there.
“Summer was trying to drive the thing away from him.” Could this be a clue that someone had released Ghost during the mutiny, and that is why Jon called to him when he did? Did Jon see Ghost running to the rescue and call to him to actively make his first conscious warging? A loyal Raynald Westerling did release Greywind at Robb’s mutiny.
“a cloud of ravens pouring from the cave.” Could this be a hint that the men loyal to Jon-Odin will come to his defense when he is stabbed? The NW are crows, but the raven is the symbol associated with Odin and the cave could be Shieldhall. The free folk and Night’s Watch brothers are flocking to Jon like ravens from a cave.
“he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that.” Could this be a hint that Val, or Melisandre with Shireen and the fire, will have an immediate impact after the mutiny?
- A Dance with Dragons – Jon XIII
Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger’s hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. “Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …
Then compare Jon to what he has already experienced with his first Odin-like eye sacrifice where after this, back at Castle Black, he realizes that the wildlings are not as “bad” as people claim. Jon’s second Odin-like sacrifice is the big mutiny stabbing, but here is the first sacrifice for knowledge. :
A Storm of Swords – Jon II
A Dance with Dragons – Jon XI
With this information, it is within reason to say that with the wildlings (who outnumber the NW 5 to 1 per Jon) and still most of the NW brothers still loyal to Jon, and the fact that everyone sees Val as a princess or high ranking, it is plausible that Val will come to aid Jon after he is stabbed. I am sure if this happens then Morna and Tormund will be there as well to assist.
A Game of Thrones – Daenerys III
- Ygritte was the first moon for duty, Val is the second moon for love and “prophecy”, just as Elia was for duty and Lyanna was for love/prophecy.
Pasting this here from another thread so I can go back and edit it in:
There was a plan to play politics and try to influence the choosing of the LC at Castle Black a long time ago. Some of these conspirators openly hated Jon and Starks, some hated being at the wall, some hated Jon because they are misunderstanding the meaning of the Night’s Watch purpose. As described by a few others, there was talk of plans to try and control the decision making process. Jon was able to get rid of many of the four conspirators, except for the one that has the literal description of being duplicitous- the Pomegranate.
What it seems some posters are doing is lumping every death together in one big pile without realizing that Catelyn, Beric, the Hound, Varamyr, etc. all die for different reasons. Details matter. Some are linked to others for the purpose of foreshadowing within their own sub-plot, others are only linked because it gives a glimpse of just one aspect. George describes three other (symbolically connected) deaths that directly link to Jon almost the exact same way each, down to the body positions and last words.
Jon and Catelyn’s death are not comparable. Jon and Cat had no connection in life, why would they have one in death?
There was someone else who died at the Red Wedding that does have a deep connection to Jon on both a personal, bonded level and also has a direwolf and warg abilities. Robb is the death connection… but only for the cause and beginning.
Jon’s own mutiny stabbing is related to the main characters in his physical life- Rhaegar, Bran, Robb. Jon honors Eddard by way of his life teachings. Jon is keeping Ned’s spirit alive that way. One of those ways is shown in his conversation with Stannis about how Jon agrees he wants to repopulate the Gift with wildlings, because repopulating the Gift was something Ned (and Benjen) wanted to do.
Rhaegar= the past at the Trident, which also carries on Jon’s connection to water. Rhaegar dies, falls to his knees which would be into mud at the Trident, and whispers his last word, “Lyanna”. (yes, that has been confirmed)
Robb= the present. Robb is also mutiny arrowed/stabbed like Jon, but Robb has a wolf to warg into and Cat tells Robb to go to Greywind. Robb’s last word is “Greywind.” Greywind was also released by Robb’s squire, Raynald, and chances are Ghost was released as well and Jon sees him and has his first conscious warg into Ghost as Jon’s last word is, “Ghost.”
Bran= the future. There is the scene outside BR’s cave where Bran saw himself laying face down in the snow (as Jon did when he was stabbed), and Bran saw Summer defending his body (as Ghost probably is), and then Bran gets help from a female who is connected to the old gods (of which Jon realizes Ghost is also of, and Jon realizes he and Ghost are one). Bran at this time is looking at his body and wonders what could happen to it, and that is when Leaf shows up to help. We also saw this foreshadowing of someone (a female) coming to help Jon when he was wounded when Jon was attacked by the eagle that came for his eyes, and Jon was face down in the mud, and Ygritte came to stand over his body to defend it with her bone knife. Well, there is another woman at Castle Black with a bone knife, and a connection to Ghost, and many reasons to defend John at this time during his second fall into snow.
Even Melisandre sees a man-wolf connection:
- The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half-seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again. But the skulls were here as well, the skulls were all around him. Melisandre had seen his danger before, had tried to warn the boy of it. Enemies all around him, daggers in the dark. He would not listen.