It's not easy to accept something terrible, no matter how many people involved say it's true. Of course, I'm talking about a certain beloved character on a certain fantasy HBO series right now. No matter how many people say Jon Snow is dead on Game Of Thrones, I myself cannot, in good conscious (and out of insane love for the character) say that Jon Snow is dead. I cannot do it. I refuse to believe it. Kit Harington has said Jon Snow is dead and recently an HBO executive echoed the statement. But seriously guys, how can one of the most beloved characters actually be dead? I know George R.R. Martin and the TV series have killed off many amazing characters (RIP Oberyn!) but killing Jon Snow just feels like the final straw. Both the book and television series have a Jon Snow "death scene," but each version is quite different (which is not surprising considering how much the show has changed from the books in Season 5 alone). So how do the two supposed deaths compare?
I've decided to break it all down, because we have way too much time on our collective hands before Game Of Thrones premieres Season 6. In the meantime, there's not much more to do besides continue to theorize and investigate what we've already seen on the show and in George R.R. Marin's book series. So let's start with the way Jon Snow is lured from his chambers before the actual mutiny begins.
In The Book: Jon Hears A Scream
Then he heard the shouting … and a roar so loud it seemed to shake the Wall. 'That come from Hardin’s Tower, m’lord,' Horse reported. He might have said more, but the scream cut him off. Val, was Jon’s first thought. But that was no woman’s scream. That is a man in mortal agony. He broke into a run. Horse and Rory raced after him. 'Is it wights?' asked Rory. Jon wondered. Could his corpses have escaped their chains?
Jon hears a scream and believes wights have escaped and are attacking.
On The Show: Jon Is Alerted To Big News By Olly
Olly runs in to tell Jon that a Wildling has come to give potential information about Jon's uncle Benjen. Apparently, the Wildling says Benjen is still alive. Of course, Jon rushes out to find out any news about his uncle. Why wouldn't he?
In The Book: Jon Discovers A Giant & A Surprise Attack
The screaming had stopped by the time they came to Hardin’s Tower, but Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun was still roaring. The giant was dangling a bloody corpse by one leg… The dead man was Ser Patrek of King’s Mountain; his head was largely gone, but his heraldry was as distinctive as his face… 'Leathers, talk to him, calm him. The Old Tongue, he understands the Old Tongue. Keep back, the rest of you. Put away your steel, we’re scaring him.' Couldn’t they see the giant had been cut? Jon had to put an end to this or more men would die. They had no idea of Wun Wun’s strength. A horn, I need a horn. He saw the glint of steel, turned toward it. 'No blades!' he screamed. 'Wick, put that knife …' … away, he meant to say. When Wick Whittlestick slashed at his throat, the word turned into a grunt.
Jon is doing his Lord Commander duty as he asks the men's help to calm the giant Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun down. Unfortunately, because he's trying to help keep them safe and speak to the giant, he doesn't notice that the betrayal has begun.
On The Show: Jon Knows The Betrayal Has Come
When Jon gets through the crowd of people, it's obvious what's happening. He sees the "Traitor" sign and knows that this is it.
In The Book: The Betrayal Begins
He cut me. When he put his hand to the side of his neck, blood welled between his fingers. 'Why?' 'For the Watch.' Wick slashed at him again. This time Jon caught his wrist and bent his arm back until he dropped the dagger. The gangling steward backed away, his hands upraised as if to say, Not me, it was not me. Men were screaming. Jon reached for Longclaw, but his fingers had grown stiff and clumsy. Somehow he could not seem to get the sword free of its scabbard.
Wick is the first person to stab Jon and say the iconic words: "For The Watch." Jon doesn't see it coming and the men don't make it obvious either.
On The Show: The Attack Begins
The Black Brothers begin to stab Jon Snow, each more angry and betrayed than the next.
In The Book: Stab Number 2
Then Bowen Marsh stood there before him, tears running down his cheeks. 'For the Watch.' He punched Jon in the belly. When he pulled his hand away, the dagger stayed where he had buried it.
Things start to escalate but there are some discrepancies from the show.
On The Show: Stab Number 2
In the second stab, the blade comes out of Jon Snow, unlike in the book. And there are no tears from the men.
In the Book: Stabs Number 3 & 4
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…
Jon's last few stabs aren't really described in full detail. We really see the full extent of the brutality in the show moreso than in A Dance With Dragons. But what we do hear in the book and not the TV series is Jon whispering "Ghost" before he goes down. Why is that?
On The Show: Stabs Number 3 & 4
Not much to give away here, just two more stabs and two more Black Brothers stating, "For The Watch."
On The Show: The Ultimate Betrayal/Stab Number 5
Jon gets one extra real blade in the stomach (and a metaphorical blade to the heart) when Olly comes out of the crowd, with tear-stained cheeks, and stabs Jon as well. He tries to call out to Olly by saying his name, but he can't get anything else out before Olly stabs him and utters the same line as the other brothers: "For The Watch"
On The Show: Jon's Final Look
Finally, the series leaves us with these images of Jon laying in the snow with his blood pooling in an interesting, almost wing-like fashion. We do see Jon seemingly "taking his last breath" here, which could very well mean he is dead. But I can't accept it. Even after watching it in this much detail, I just can't do it. He has to be alive, or else resurrected in some way. Please, Game of Thrones? For more analysis of this heart-wrenching scene, check out the video below.
Images: HBO (16)