Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Monthly Dose of Westeros: Part 6-Jon Snow

I guess it’s not-so-monthly now...but still, I will be providing my thoughts and predictions for one storyline every month until the show’s return. Since I have read the books, I know what should happen, but several plots seem to be taking turns away from the original material, while others are almost spot on. I will examine these apparent changes/accuracy, and do my best to avoid spoilers in “A Monthly Dose of Westeros”.

It's been awhile. This post will be a little later than previous ones, thanks to college, so it'll be a bigger one. This time, we'll take a look at everybody's favorite bastard, Jon Snow and the characters he'll interact with next season.

Last we saw Jon, he had arrived at Castle Black after an escape from his wildling "friends" and his lover, Ygritte. On his way home ,Jon and Ygritte went through a messy breakup that left Jon full of arrows and many viewers misty-eyed. In one single heartbreaking scene, both characters' worlds were turned upside down.

I mean, look at these two. They're young kids in love, who can't be together because they're supposed to be fighting a war against each other. Jon has that Stark sense of duty and honor and Ygritte thought she had
shaken that out of him. The look on her face at the end of this scene says it all: you know nothing, Jon Snow, but you are a Stark.

Anyway, here's what we know involving the other characters surrounding Jon's arc. The Night's Watch is badly bloodied and now lacking in numbers. There was a garrison left at Castle Black, but the strength of the Watch was either killed during the Battle of the Fist of the First Men or remains beyond the Wall after the Mutiny at Craster's Keep. Lord Commander Mormont has been murdered by sworn brothers, with Rast and Karl leading the assault. The two now lead the remains of the Watch at Craster's. We don't know the locations of Grenn, Pyp, and Dolorous Edd (hopefully they're all alive). Samwell Tarly escaped Craster's with Gilly and her baby, killed a White Walker, sent Bran Stark and friends beyond the Wall, and returned to Castle Black. Sam was then instructed by Maester Aemon to send ravens to the great lords of Westeros requesting aid against the coming force of the Walkers. This is the same time that Jon returns, arrow-filled and barely conscious. Meanwhile, Tormund Giantsbane is leading an army of
wildlings, which includes Ygritte, towards Castle Black. Thanks to Jon, the group knows where and when to strike.

That's a lot of information to process. We also learned that Stannis Baratheon is preparing to head north, being the only one to answer the call from the Wall. With Stannis coming from the south, Tormund sneaking in the back, and Mance Rayder marching towards the Wall, it looks like we're in for one hell of a fight.

Next season will be Jon Snow's season. No doubt about it. Jon's storyline in the second half of A Storm of Swords has a ton in it and, if everything works out perfectly, we should get a couple battles, a few sad moments, and a few moments of triumph all in a span of ten weeks. Clearly we have at least one huge battle to look forward to, since a bunch of huge forces are coming to Castle Black. The ninth episode of the next season is actually (at least tentatively) titled "Castle Black", and is being directed by Neil Marshall. Marshall was the man behind season two's "Blackwater", so take that as you may.

Many of the characters that are usually surrounding Jon might have a much lesser role to play next season. Sam should fade into the background fro the majority of the season and the rest of the crows we're familiar with are still lost in the woods. Ygritte will obviously still play a huge part in Jon's story, as her and the wildlings are quickly closing in on the remaining crows. For fans of the Stark family, this season could bring some retribution to make up for last year's Red Wedding, but there's still plenty of action left to happen for Jon and his sworn brothers.

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