For centuries our families fought together against their common enemy. Despite their differences, together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive – because the enemy is real. It’s always been real.
Her auburn hair looked ablaze in the warm glow of the fire. She senses his presence, but does not look up from her work.
“Now don’t tell Lady Mormont, but knitting also has its place.” She gestures to the soft wool garment taking form in front of her. “You wouldn’t believe how cold it gets when winter comes. How many soldiers there are to clothe.”
He moves closer, his eyes compelled by the methodical and finessed work of her long elegant hands.
“I may not wield a sword or a dragon, but I’ll do what I can.” If there was slight hurt in her voice, she quickly buries it. “I’ve always been good with a needle.”
S, I'm curious... I haven't watched s7 (have to wait for the translated subtitled version) but has Jon actually pledged THE NORTH to Daenerys, or just 1. implied he'd bend the knee if he wasn't half-dead from hypothermia and 2. pledged HIMSELF to her? Because if it's just the former, what's stopping him from just abdicating in Sansa's favor when they get to Winterfell (it's not like he WANTED to be king from the beginning anyway)?
Wow, great question, dear nonny! You really made me think about it. Assuming you don’t mind *SPOILERS* I’d say it’s the second option. Sorry about the long answer but as a science girl I really need to support my opinion on facts and bibliography, i.e., the show’s actual dialogue.
First of all, at the end of ep 6 Jon calls D@ny “D@ny” and then she implies she doesn’t like it and he offers “my queen” instead. Again, his queen. And then he adds he’d “bend the knee but” and when asked about his people Jon just says “they’ll all come to see you for what you are.” Pretty vague answer, if you ask me. What D@ny is, really? A woman with a good heart? A tyrant? A mad queen? The woman he loves? Hmm…
Now I’m a little nauseous because I’m reading season finale subtitles (and I truly don’t like that ep, not just because what I ship or anything, but that is something we can discuss some other time). On that scene on the Dragon Pit with Cersei, he says that he “cannot serve two queens” and that he has already pledged himself to to Queen D@enerysof House Targaryen. (Sorry about all this @ here, pretty tired of non-civil J0n€rys shippers, with the polite ones I’m quite fine but you can never be too safe, can you?). And then D@ny says she is grateful for Jon’s loyalty, and Tyrion says Jon he’s “pleased you bent the knee to our queen”. Even Cersei asks Tyrion if he hoped to “make Jon Snow submit to” his queen.
Anyway, then there’s this scene with LF and my baby Sansa where LF says “I can’t believe he’d surrender the Northern crown without consulting you”. Again, Jon surrendering the crown to whom? D@ny? One of his sisters? Not the same thing to me… But then Sansa says “He pledged to fight for Daenerys Targaryen. He’s bent the knee.” Again, no reference about the North itself doing anything or being lost. Just something Jon did. Individually.
Maybe I’m seeing more than I really should or maybe it’s just my hopeful heart seeing what it wants to see. I don’t know. I couldn’t find a reference about the North actually being pledged to D@ny or the Starks to house T@rgaryen. Just Jon himself, and not actually reference by his title, only his name or pronoun.
So yes, in my opinion you are more than right. I really hope you are. Jon is Jon, and he keeps his word. He will keep his word here too. He has pledged himself to fight for D@ny, and I think in the end he will. He will fight the NK alongside his queen. He has surrendered his crown. So yes, nothing really stops him for arriving at Winterfell and saying “Whoopsie, I kinda f-up here and bent the knee but you guys totally don’t need to. Here you have not one, not two, but three (I’m counting Bran because he is Ned Stark’s son, I don’t care what he says, but he is there and he has the possibility to rule; if he doesn’t want to that’s another matter entirely) true-born Starks that can rule instead of me if you don’t agree with me. Oh, you don’t? Too bad, D@ny, my people first so I guess it means I’ll just have to abdicate in favour of one of my siblings. What a bummer. But I can totes fight for you, my queen!” And then my girl Sansa would be like:
Tah-dah! Fixed it!
I really hope the scene goes exactly like this
Anyways, I hope this answers your question. Feel free to message anytime! Big hug <3
“Do you ever think about… just, how weird everything is?” I asked, absentmindedly playing with Kit’s hair as we lay on his bed, the sheets kicked off and the windows wide open. The summer air was hot and sticky, even the late evening. Kit paused, the patterns he was tracing on my arms faltering for a moment. He leaned back to get a good look at me, trying to figure out what I was talking about. Not that I really knew myself.
I really like the way that the colors of white and black interplay in Jon’s and Arya’s storylines.
You have them both parts of order where black and white are extremely symbolic. The Night’s Watch, where the brothers wear black to distinguish themselves from the white snow north of the wall and to fade into the night when they are being stealthy. Theirs is a rigid existence, designed to remove them from the things that cause conflict in life (family, glory, personal gain) in order to become a “sword in the darkness” and a “shield that guards the realms of men”. They are not so much people as positions within their order, removing themselves from that which shaped their youth. The House of Black and White is similar: those who serve Him of Many Faces literally efface themselves and all their own personal desires and connections in order to be an instrument. But the thing that makes it more complicated is when you bring in Stark coloring.
If both the Night’s Watch and the House of Black and White operate on a black-white axiom, one of stark (heh) contrast, then you have House Stark’s colors of grey and white. Grey turns it into a spectrum, something that neither order really seems designed to accomodate.
In both the Night’s Watch vows and in the Kindly Man’s warnings about what will becoming a faceless man would entail, you have the restriction of family:
“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”
“My wants do not matter,” said the kindly man. “It may be that the Many-Faced God has led you here to be His instrument, but when I look at you I see a child … and worse, a girl child. Many have served Him of Many Faces through the centuries, but only a few of His servants have been women. Women bring life into the world. We bring the gift of death. No one can do both.”
In order to fully serve both orders, you have to sever ties with family, more so than anything else. And, of course, both Jon and Arya struggle with that.
For each of them, symbols of home are constantly around them. For Jon, you have his direwolf, Ghost (white and albino to symbolize his status as a Bastard when they first rescued the wolf pups), and Longclaw, which was refitted to have a direwolf’s head.
For Arya, there is Nymeria, a great silver hulking hell-bitch who is wreaking havoc in the riverlands and who shares Arya’s sleeping hours, and Needle, which she couldn’t bring herself to throw away because it was her reminder of home. (For Arya, both are silver in color; for Jon, one isn’t, and the other is the deeper grey of Valyrian steel, which draws into more symbolism about his probably Valyrian heritage.)
And, of course, you have their coloring. Jon and Arya are the only ones to have the Stark look of silver eyes and dark hair.
There’s a lot of silvery imagery in these two storylines which are framed in this dynamic of the world is either black or white and nothing in between, and that silvery imagery is what ties them both to their youth and heritage as Starks of Wintefell. And you see that manifesting for both of them while they participate in these orders. Jon grapples with his vows. He refuses to take the world wholesale based on his vows, the “us vs. them” mentality that the Watch has adopted for thousands of years. Instead, he learns, and Ygritte’s refrain of “you know nothing, Jon Snow” becomes something which goads him further, to keep bettering himself, to keep thinking about what the world is, not what he’s told it is. “They know nothing, Ygritte. And worse, they will not learn.” Jon thinks of his brothers in ADWD. As lord commander, he questions what it means to be the tool that his vows define him as. What does it mean to be “the shield that guards the realms of men”—does that mean protect the seven kingdoms from wildlings, or to protect all men from the Others? He refuses to accept what seems so obvious in his vows, what his role has been, and instead wonders what it will be to the point of refusing to sever ties with his family and calling for men to ride South for Ramsay.
And for Arya—her worldview is one that cannot mesh itself with the outlook of the House of Black and White. Though she is someone who sees herself as enacting justice when she prays for the deaths of those who have committed horrible crimes—and even when she kills Daeron in Braavos—she cannot remove morality from life and death the way the Faceless Men require:
“Then you have come to the wrong place. It is not for you to say who shall live and who shall die. That gift belongs to Him of Many Faces. We are but his servants, sworn to do his will.”
“All gods have their instruments, men and women who serve them and help to work their will on earth. The slaves were not crying out to a hundred different gods, as it seemed, but to one god with a hundred different faces… and he was that god’s instrument. That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.” Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”
Reducing lives to black and white—as the Night’s Watch and the House of Black and White require—is something that fundamentally effaces. It means following orders and commands and doing so without question—and that’s something neither Jon nor Arya does with ease. They see too much the shades of grey in life and the orders that they are apart of leave no space for that.
Say what you want, but Jon thinks of Sansa as ‘radiant’ in book one. Then, when thinking on her in ADWD links her to 'You know nothing, Jon Snow’, something that is related to his main love interest then yes, I’m presuming there is something going on there.
Not only that, but Sansa’s entire AFFC storyline, where she’s actually Alayne… Don’t even try to convince me Alayne isn’t based off of Jon. And when she hears the wind that she describes to sound like a 'ghost wolf’ (Which, seeing as AFFC and ADWD share a timeline, fits in perfectly with Jon’s “death”), then yeah. Of course I’m seeing something.
And you can’t forget the original plan for the books. Now that Sansa married Tyrion, and Arya has a brand new storyline (plus the direction of Sansa’s storyline in the show seems to be taking on a lot of aspects from Arya’s original storyline), it’s made me complete Jon/Sansa trash.
If it isn’t endgame I’m going to be really fucking confused. Because Arya/Jon was the original endgame. But with all the above, it seems it’s supposed to be Jon/Sansa. If it isn’t, I’ll just let GOT/ASOIAF finish me off.