Jon Snow is possibly the closest thing to a hero we get in Game of Thrones. He was raised a bastard, left to join the honorable Night’s Watch, and then started fighting ancient ice beings that can reanimate the dead. If this is not enough, Jon Snow is also the rightful king of Westeros, was resurrected, and is considered by many to be the prophesized hero, Azor Ahai.
That being said, just because Jon Snow is the closest thing to an archetypal fantasy hero in Game of Thrones and a Song of Ice and Fire, this does not mean he hasn’t done anything wrong, or that he is the perfect hero. This article will list the 10 worst things Jon Snow has done.
10 Stabbing Daenerys
This addition to the list may be considered controversial. Jon Snow had to stab Dany. She had, essentially, threatened Jon’s family in her victory speech, she had just committed genocide, and she was going to fight a perpetual war.
However, regardless of the justifications, it was still a bad thing to do. This was a case of dirty hands for Jon Snow- doing a bad thing out of necessity.
9 Breaking His Vows
In the first book and season, Jon has a crisis of faith in the Night’s Watch and rides away from Castle Black with the intention of joining Robb in the War of Five Kings.
This is the first time that Jon would break his vows. The only reason why Jon came back was because of his friends in the Night’s Watch (after Ghost made noises to signal them to Jon’s hiding place), who convinced him to return.
8 Bending The Knee To Daenerys
Throughout Season 7, Dany is trying to get Jon to bend the knee. Jon, however, does not want to bend the knee as he is the King in the North, and the Northern Lords would not be happy seeing him bend the knee to a Targaryen queen. Consequently, Jon refused to bend the knee throughout the season.
However, this all changes after Dany rescues Jon and the gang from beyond the wall. Jon then bends the knee and recognizes her as his queen, knowing that this will not go down well with the Northern Lords. This was also pointless, as it was clear that Dany was going to help Jon in the fight against the White Walkers, regardless of whether he bent the knee.
7 Pink Letter Reaction
For show watchers only, the pink letter might not stand out to memorably. Before Jon’s assassination at the hands of the Night’s Watch, Jon receives a letter sealed with pink wax that is allegedly from Ramsay Snow (but probably not). The letter goads Jon into breaking his vows to the Night’s Watch by expressing a desire to attack Ramsay at Winterfell.
Within hours of the letter’s arrival, Jon Snow has been assassinated by the Night’s Watch because of his reaction to this letter.
6 Not Killing Littlefinger
Littlefinger will always be an unknown element. Jon certainly had the opportunity to kill Littlefinger in the Crypts of Winterfell, but instead opted only to threaten Baelish.
While killing Littlefinger may have proved politically problematic due to his connections to the Vale, it was still a mistake to have the former Master of Coin hanging around Winterfell.
5 Naively Trusting The Night’s Watch
Jon possessed one of the Stark’s main traits – naivety. This would be his downfall in season 5 of Game of Thrones. While it was the pink letter that would ultimately trigger his assassination, this letter was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Jon had been provoking the Night’s Watch for a while. He had invited Wildlings into Castle Black and also wished to send aid to Hardhome. A large swathe of the Night’s Watch did not agree with his decisions as Lord Commander and, as was shown with the murder of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, the Night’s Watch does not shy away from removing its leader.
4 Charging Ramsay At The Battle Of The Bastards
Throughout the buildup to the Battle of the Bastards, Sansa warns Jon to not fall for Ramsay’s taunts. However, that is exactly what Jon does. Sure, he is trying to save Rickon, but it was clear that Ramsay was trying to pull the army out of formation, and that is exactly what happened. From the start, Jon’s army abandoned their plan. If it wasn’t for Sansa’s intervention with the Knights of the Vale, Ramsay would have definitely won the Battle of the Bastards.
While there is no confirmation that Jon would have faired better according to their original plan, but it certainly would have helped them if they followed through with their tactics.
3 His Treatment Of Ghost
For those who are unaware, the direwolves are to House Stark what the dragons are to House Targaryen. It is such a shame that, aside from the first few seasons, Jon starts to suddenly lose interest in his direwolf, Ghost. The albino wolf is ever loyal to Jon, even staying by his side when he was assassinated, waiting for his resurrection. Jon, however, does not repay this loyalty.
Throughout season 7, we do not even see Ghost. Then, in season 8, we only see Ghost a handful of times. We first see him outside the walls of Winterfell, waiting to charge the army of the undead (a stupid idea from Jon, it’s almost like he wanted Ghost to die). We then receive confirmation that Ghost survived the battle, but Jon opts to send him back north with Tormund, without so much as a pat goodbye. Fortunately, however, they are reunited in the final episode of the series.
2 Suicide Mission Beyond The Wall
In season 7, Jon suggests that, in order to convince Cersei to agree to a truce, he will lead a ranging party beyond the wall in order to bring back a wight as proof the White Walkers are back. This idea was monumentally stupid. Not only does it rely on the group actually capturing a wight from an army of thousands, but it also relies on Cersei actually agreeing to the truce.
Cersei is a perfect combination of power-hungry and untrustworthy, so this would have been a huge chance to take. Furthermore, the mission beyond the wall also ended with the death of Viserion and, consequently, the Night King claiming his own dragon.
1 Long Night Battle Tactics
As with some of the options on this list, this may not be Jon’s fault, but rather, the fault of the writers. Nevertheless, in canon, Jon had a large influence on the tactics that were implemented in the final confrontation with the Others at Winterfell. For some reason, Jon decided that it would be best to place an army outside the large, stone walls of Winterfell, as opposed to using those walls to their advantage.
Additionally, Jon placed the defenseless in the crypts of Winterfell. While this may have been wise if the battle was against a normal army, it is not so wise when you’re fighting an army that can raise the dead. The battle tactics during this battle certainly led to some unnecessary deaths.