Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jon Snow: Bastard, Savior, King

    Some of my favorite stories have one common character theme, the savior or better yet, the unlikely savior. It's a theme that's seen in characters such as Harry Potter, Aslan the Lion, Gandalf, Katniss Everdeen and many others. The savior character is oftentimes an outsider or misunderstood person who is selfless and sacrificial. At first they can be cut off from the world, but overtime they begin to see the world through other people's eyes. They usually don't conform to society and spend a good deal of time befriending others who may seem unwanted.

      At some point in the story the savior character must make a monumental decision that will make or break him/her in the eyes of their friends and enemies. That decision leads to their death. Sometimes it's by betrayal of their own people or choosing to lay down their lives. However, by mercy or fate, the savior lives and becomes stronger and more powerful than ever before. 

     While Game of Thrones has many good heroes, none can come close to Jon Snow, the nameless bastard son who becomes the King of the North. Christianity and Game of Thrones may not exactly run hand in hand together, but there is no denying that Jon Snow has been the quintessential Jesus Christ character in the whole series. 

     Growing up unwanted and unloved, Jon learned how to reach out to outsiders from an early age. He befriends Samwell Tarley which wins him loyalty and respect from the men and boys who formerly hated him. His undeniable courage is seen by the wildling people and especially by Mance Rayder who takes Jon under his wing when he is taken by the people. After Jon's experience with the wildlings, he understands that these are a people that want to left alone in peace to live their lives. However, he must make the decision to stand with his brothers of the Night Watch or to defend the wildling people.

     Jon's rise to leadership is a well written coming of age. His experiences in battles, negotiations and ability to see beyond the exterior brought him from an unsure boy to a confident man. In times of extreme fear and danger, Jon rose to become a leader that the Night Watch needed, but his opinions of the wildlings would eventually cause his untimely death by the men who swore their allegiance to him. 

     When Jon is miraculously brought back to life by the priestess Mellisandre he wastes no time in regaining the justice that was taken away from him. He is finally reunited with Sansa who has spent years in physical and psychological abuse, but has gained extraordinary wisdom and insight. Together the two of them fight Sansa's diabolical husband and reclaim their home, Winterfell, even though it meant the cost of their younger brother, Rickon.  

     By the end of season 6, we discover that Jon has been more than a bastard his whole life. There is a mystery that only he himself must uncover and those answers will alter the course of who he is forever. I definitely consider Jon Snow one of the best examples of the Christlike/savior characters in fiction. His virtues and principles that are rooted in deep morality and generosity that coinside with intense bravery and honor. Jon Snow would willingly sacrifice himself if it means to protect the ones he loves and even to better the world he lives in.

     His life as an outsider in his father's home taught him the importance of understanding the pain of others and never to judge by difference but rather by character. Is Jon Snow perfect? Absolutely not! He can be stubborn, unyielding and argumentative. However, the flaws of his own nature are what drives him to better than what people expect of him. 

     As Jon Snow grows in the story, he comes to the understanding that oftentimes loyalty and honor are not enough to survive in a world filled with coldness and hate. Yet, as a child of the North, Jon Snow has been forged by the cold winter winds and battle, betrayal, love and loss created a leader that is stuff of any fantasy. And the hardships and trials of his life were the crucible that made a bastard child a king and the unwanted son an unlikely savior. 

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