opinion

Jon Snow is a metaphor for every mediocre man who rises to the top of his profession.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8. If you’re not caught up on the latest episode, bookmark us and come back once you’re ready to properly debrief. 

I’m not very popular amongst my fellow Game of Thrones-loving colleagues this week.

No I didn’t share a spoiler but I did share my view that the character of Jon Snow, the bastard of Winterfell, son of Rhaegar Targaryen, true heir to the Iron Throne and knower of nothing, is a metaphor for real life mediocre men who find themselves at the top.

Things I Say While Watching Game of Thrones. Post continues after video. 

While my colleagues collectively screamed their undying love for the broody, pretty-eyed, honourable Snow, I had to remind them that while he may be pretty-eyed and broody, he is not really that honourable and in fact, sometimes quite useless and even terrifyingly inept at his job.

Let’s start at the beginning.

game of thrones season 8 jon snow
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Look how average he is... Image: HBO.

When we meet Jon, he is about to be shipped off to the Night's Watch. We feel a bit sad for the guy as he couldn’t go south to King's Landing. He is after all just a bastard and Catelyn Stark, who for his whole life resented him for being the illegitimate son of her gallant husband Ned, wouldn’t have him in the house.

So off he sadly rides to the cold barren wasteland of Castle Black where he takes the oath.

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“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.”

Let’s unpack that for a second. So technically he doesn’t take a wife but he certainly got it on with Ygritte in the hot spring which is borderline oath-breaking. He also leaves the Night's Watch, allows himself to be declared King of the North which seems to be a title that comes with a whole bunch of land, and if you count him riding into the Battle of the Bastards to face Ramsay Bolton, winning himself some glory by taking back his spiritual home of Winterfell, he broke every… single... part... of... that... oath.

He also gets promoted pretty damn quick to the leadership team at Castle Black, despite having no more experience than a quick trot north of the Wall and a run in with the Wildlings who, let’s be honest, seem to be way more reasonable than they’re made out to be.

It’s like that guy at your job who started after you and promised he was in no way looking to take your job because he’s wildly unqualified. So you show him the ropes and while he’s okay he’s not the best, but then you find out he’s been in “closed door” talks with the boss and he’s now been promoted ahead of you and is trying to teach you the things that you literally just showed him how to do three months before. *eye roll*

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Snow is like the worst middle manager you’ve ever had. He doesn’t listen to the staff who are all qualified, fully functional humans because he thinks his idea is better, but instead of mass resignations, his staff just stab him to death. The guy can’t even stay alive. And before you say “yeah but he came back to life” he didn’t do that on his own, did he? No Game of Thrones' lady with the beauty-enhancing necklace we’d all like to get our hands on, Melisandre did that for him. She’s the assistant manager, the one who does all the hard work but her manager gets all the glory and then gets banished to the North for her troubles.

Now supposedly Jon Snow’s tactical genius rating is also a full five stars if you look at the number of times he gets asked to lead troops into battle.

Let’s just remind everyone that had it not been for Sansa and her then-friend Littlefinger, who sent fighters on horseback to the Battle of the Bastards, old mate Snow would have ended up squished to death in season six. Or the fact that he threw out all the advice he'd been given heading into the battle, all because Bolton sent poor old, doesn’t-know-how-to-zigzag-run-from-arrows, Rickon to his death. He let his brotherly emotions get the better of him and while he was being all honourable and defending the life of his now dead brother, he sent a ton of very alive other people to their deaths.

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Seems like a totally reasonable decision you made here Jon.

Or without aunty/lover Daenerys on her dragon, Jon Snow would have been White Walker food north of the Wall in season seven. That little rescue mission also cost her a dragon which would end up breathing an icy blue hole in the Wall that was supposed to keep them out. So many bad choices!

Everyone working under Jon Snow is continuously bailing him out, while they end up having to deal with the fall out from his ill-informed decisions that everyone could see ending badly from a mile away.

The only good thing Jon Snow has done is continually tell people that a) winter is coming and b) White Walkers are pretty bad. But he couldn’t convince anyone, he had to trek one end of Westeros and back before people started listening.

And while he’s happy to risk a million people for the death of his “little brother”, he all but ignores sister Sansa who tells him over and over that Daenerys isn’t such a cool chick. No he’s the man boss who knows better and ignores the lady in the room, who is obviously smarter and has more experience than he does with the politics of throne-taking seeing as she spent much of her young life watching Queen Cersei manipulate the hell out of literally everyone. Maybe her voice was too shrill for him to hear it properly.

He goes on to break yet another promise when he tells his “siblings” that he’s really their cousin. Dany asked him not to but no, Jon Snow knows better, even though we all know that Jon Snow knows nothing. This decision made Dany realise that she can trust no one, not even her nephew/lover, which directly led to women and children being burned and crushed to death at Kings Landing - THANKS JON SNOW!

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Now despite Sansa telling him about 88 times that Dany might not be a great choice of Queen, it’s only now that he sees it with his own damn eyes that he realises that he’s made a poor choice and has helped destroy an entire city. Sansa’s all up in Winterfell like:

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And despite all of this, he’s still got peeps like the now very crispy Varys and others telling him he should be going for that big promotion because he’s the man? That people, is how mediocre men make it to the top. Jon Snow is lovely but he’s not management material.

What do you think of Jon Snow? Is he every medicore white man ever? Tell us in the comments!

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