25 Inimitable Men 7/25
Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)
He knows things. He actually knows a lot. Jon Snow — the one Game of Thrones character I’m almost positive the entire world can agree on. He’s one of the good ones, the pure ones. The character you don’t expect to love so fervently when the series begins, but once his storylines begin to progress, Jon serves as the symbol of hope who’s consistently rooted for. Behind the kind, ruminating eyes is a man who’s seen too much not to care — in a world where the Iron Throne is all that matters, for Jon Snow, it’s the people, it’s honor, it’s dignity, it’s love. There aren’t many people in George R. R. Martin’s world that’d be steadfast to their word the way Jon Snow is. The innate kindness, sincerity, and astounding bravery not only make him worthy of a King’s title, but he stands as inspiration of the fact that a light in darkness and goodness amongst cruelty can be the most unexpected form of strength.
There aren’t many male characters with the level of compassion that runs in Jon Snow’s veins — the kind of males who wear their hearts on their sleeves. But because Jon’s kindness isn’t similar to what we’ve often seen on Game of Thrones, we could understand that it comes from a place of profound loss. In the world of ice and fire, you either play the game as hard as you can, or you lose. This isn’t a place for the soft at heart — it truly isn’t. However, where there’s kindness in the form of a man who so desperately needs to release it, the type of game he manages to play is unlike anything anyone’s ever seen — participants included. He’s accused of knowing nothing when in fact, he knows too many things, which often seem to be released with a sense of childlike wonder as opposed to the traditional man’s perspective. And perhaps that’s where the uniqueness in his kind heart comes from — plenty of men are kind, but to carry the tarnished innocence Jon does all while remaining good and gentle is a remarkable combination. Throughout Game of Thrones’ seven seasons, Jon grows admirably while building thicker skin and toughening up, but the gentleness never stops exuding from him. Physically and emotionally his kindness only ever grows towards the people who are truly deserving of it — the people who don’t receive it enough. It’s in his interactions with his friends, Ygritte, his sisters, and today, Daenerys and dragons.
Jon Snow is as sincere as they get. When he promises something, he intends to keep it until his final breath. When he says something, he states it straight from his heart. Jon has seen too much terror in this world to remain as sincere as he has, others would break and crumble, some would harden to the point of no return, but somewhere along the way, he managed to continue reflecting sincerity. He isn’t the boy who found a lone white wolf in the forest in a place of complete isolation after the death of its mother, but somewhere inside of him that boy still governs his heart in spite of the horrors they’ve seen. The desire to just be good in spite of how he’s perceived and the reputation he holds because he isn’t Ned Stark’s biological child. He has every right to project fury, but the goodness surpasses it all. It never changes. And that’s entirely due to the fact that Jon Snow has chosen to remain loyal to his roots — he’s chosen to make a name for himself through nobility. He’s chosen to remain steadfast to the belief that in a dark world, people need sincerity. In desperate times, it’s what he’s held on to and when need be, he’s fought harder than anyone else to reflect it.
I wasn’t able to write about Jon and Ygritte for the #25LoveStories portion of this mega project because I wasn’t watching Game of Thrones back then, (I know. I know.) but if I had, I’d talk about the fact that Jon’s sincerity brought the kind of hope in Ygritte that would’ve otherwise been lost forever. His honesty towards her even when he knew it could be used against him stood as the ultimate proof that he doesn’t care how he’s perceived as long as he doesn’t mask his true emotions. Whatever he is, however he is, that’s how the world will see him — where his thoughts and feelings are concerned, we’ll only hear the truth from him. And a woman with a fire in her heart needed the kind of gentle truth that’d leave her trusting in something bigger. A woman who was certain that the promises made to her came from a place of unparalleled adoration and sincerity. A woman who knew that at the end of the day, no matter how naive at times, she’d chosen the kind of man who’d be her absolute strength and anchor if they had more time. A woman who knew that she’d never be more loved than she was in the little time they spent together. (I’m not even going to bother going more into this relationship because let’s be real, I won’t stop, I’ll resort into an endless puddle of tears, and everything will be tragic. They were the best of them all.)
Where his siblings are concerned, though he’s always known he’s a bastard, (Or rather, product of true love.) he has cared for the Stark children like his own siblings vowing to love and protect him for as long as life permits. Jon’s sincerity and the belief that Sansa is capable of ruling Winterfell until his return has showcased the sheer level of respect that he holds not only for women, but his sisters. Jon’s fully aware of how much Sansa has had to endure from a young age, and the choice to see her as capable, smart, and incredibly strong reflects the kind of morals he lives by, which are that people, no matter male or female, are easily stronger than most when they’ve stood tall after life’s treacheries. He doesn’t expect anyone to change themselves, but rather sees them for who they are deep within, imperfect and deserving of endless love and protection. While he will always be both a Stark and a Targaryen, where his siblings are concerned, we can be certain of the fact that he’ll cherish them in ways that’ll always inspire them to be the best versions of themselves possible. And in the face of any mistake, no part of Jon’s heart towards them will change, in fact, in those times, because of the kind of man he is, he’ll only love harder.
Conclusively, Jon’s courage isn’t measured by how many battles he’s won or how many situations he’s tackled head on, but rather the choice to ceaselessly fight with honor. The choice to leave his home when he did in order to join the Night’s Watch — everything Jon has done has been for the sole reason that he’s needed to feel as though his life served a purpose. He’s needed to feel as though he was doing everything in his power to be of use to this dark world. And that’s a kind of bravery not many possess for when the battle towards the Iron Throne began taking place, more often than not, people stood their ground, broke promises, changed the course of their objective because of what their opponents are doing, but Jon Snow longed for something bigger merely for the purpose of giving back. There’s immense bravery in steadfastness, and the choice to continue down the honorable road has showcased immeasurable courage through the eyes of a kind man who isn’t afraid of any battle. And that thick skin cobbled with the sincerity in his heart deems him braver than most, for there’s no bravery quite as admirable as allowing yourself to feel everything while simultaneously being able to determine what deserves attention and what doesn’t. Jon Snow is no saint, but his goodness is unparalleled. For, even when he does fight or kill, it’s always for the sake of bettering and protecting the world they live in.
When you think of a series as renowned as Game of Thrones, you imagine it’d be filled with A-list stars making it what it is, but that’s not who they were when they started off and as an ensemble, the series’ cast is unmatched. Individually, they’re all stars. A-list stars without a single doubt. From the small excerpts I’ve read, Jon Snow comes alive extraordinarily in Martin’s novels, but what Kit Harington has done in his portrayal requires no words. Harington’s performances have often left me speechless as he’s one of those whose silence speaks a 1000 words — Jon could be quietly sitting in the background but you know that his mind is anything but silent. And Harington has layered the character masterfully growing more and more with each passing episode. As I’ve said, there are very few words that could appropriately give him the proper praise he deserves and for that, I’d say he’s succeeded. Years from now, when people read his name in the credits, they’ll be certain that whatever they’re about to watch, it will be filled with excellence.
If there’s one character I’m hoping makes it to the end of the line, it’s Jon Snow, and with a series like Game of Thrones, we could never be certain of that fate. But regardless of what happens, what we can be certain of is the fact that Jon’s kindness will only grow, his honor will only ever increase. And as the rightful heir to the throne, we can be certain that he’ll govern with the type of nobility no Targaryen before him has possessed. There are only great things that can come from people born out of true love, right? There’s no doubt that learning the truth will shake him to his core, but Jon Snow (I refuse to call him Aegon Targaryen.) has been through far worse, and with an army of loved ones by his side, and a tender heart paving his road, he’ll do great things. If there’s one thing he knows nothing of, it’s the inimitable greatness within him.
- “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.”
- “Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”
- “In battle, discipline beats numbers nine times out of every ten.”