It seems to be that Jon Snow from Game of Thrones is one of those characters that you either love or hate. There isn’t a whole lot of in-between. The reasons for the love are many. He’s loyal, dedicated, and strong. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a member of the Stark family, everyone’s favorite family, either. Because he’s so loved, that means he’s also hated. It doesn’t matter how many valid reasons someone gives for hating Jon Snow. The real reason they dislike this character overall is because they’re being a contrarian. It’s a way of going against the grain and showing your trendiness. Now, we don’t hate Jon Snow, not even close. We’re not hip enough. But, even we can admit that he’s been a bit of a D-Bag throughout the show’s run.
There was a time, ages ago now it seems, that George R.R. Martin wrote books. They were very good. Those books were turned into a show, and that show continues to be very good. It has shown us how complicated politics can be and how everyone has both darkness and purpose in them. While most of the Game of Thrones characters have a really excellent duality in them, some characters have been drawn a little more straight-laced. Jon is one of these, perhaps even the truest example. But even though he’s been created as this truly heroic figure, he’s also been a knob. We want to highlight those knobbish moments, not to justify all the hipsters who thought Jon was lame before it was cool to think that way, but to show that even the greats have their down moments.
Here are 15 Times Jon Snow was a Real D-Bag.
15. Joining The Watch
When Ned was asked to be the Hand of the King and travel to King’s Landing, Jon was not allowed to go. He may have wanted to stay at Winterfell, but Catelyn was still mad at Jon’s existence, so he couldn’t stay there either. So what does Jon do? He joins the Night’s Watch because “even a bastard may rise high in the Night’s Watch.” What a stupid reason. When he gets to the Wall, he whines because it wasn’t like he imagined and no one thought to tell him of it. Maybe, pick up a book Jon. Maybe, don’t make a lifetime commitment on a whim. Maybe, call up one of your dad’s friends and see if there’s a place for you at one of their castles. Maybe, squire for one of the countless knights that Ned knows. There were other options.
14. Moody Pants
Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves how young Jon is, but even that can’t begin to defend how moody this little baby has been at times. There are countless examples of Jon sulking about and being a whiny baby, but maybe the worst was when he learned of Robb’s rebellion. It was then that he decided he had to help his family. When he was questioned about it, he lashed out and told everyone else that they had no idea what he was going through. Yeah, you’re a bastard Jon. Things weren’t perfect for you. Still, you were rich, had servants, lived in a castle, and had food to eat whenever you wanted. It could have been worse. Jon cried about this for a bit until Maester Aemon told him what was what. After Jon accused him of not understanding, Aemon told him what it was like to be next in line for the Iron throne and have to pass it up and what it was like to have your entire family killed while at the wall, helpless babies and all. Suck it up, Jon.
13. The Love Affair With Sam
Jon is one that always fights for the underdog. We like that about him, but he goes about it in unrealistic ways. Early on, Sam is made to look like a fool in front of all the other brothers. The truth is, Sam was a fool and it was right that he was made to look that way. Sure, the brothers were harsh and cruel, but Jon put his neck out too far to protect Sam. He could have been more subtle. He SHOULD have been more subtle. While Sam was welling up and moaning on the ground, Jon could have shown him some tough love. Instead, Jon’s antagonistic approach toward the other Crows ended up planting the seeds of his death in the future.
12. Crying About Being Named Steward
Remember when the Night’s Watch was giving all the new recruits their tasks? Jon just knew he was going to be a Ranger because that’s all he ever wanted. Well, he wanted to be one for the last week, at least. It was the glorious title. But he didn’t get Ranger, did he? Nope. He was named a steward. When this came to him, boy oh boy, did Jon ever put on a show. He ran away and sulked. When his friends told him that it was a good thing, Jon tore them all down. “I’m better than all of you,” he cried, lip sticking out and pouting like you wouldn’t believe. “He’s grooming you,” Sam told him. Expressing how Mormont wanted to mold him into a leader in the creepiest way possible. Oh. Leadership, you say? Now, he’s interested.
11. Brat On The Hero’s Journey
We like a good Hero’s Journey. There’s a reason that the traditional storyline has been featured in countless movies and books. It’s familiar and we like the way it makes us feel. Well, fans of Game of Thrones have become accustomed to seeing traditional plots and tropes subverted. We’ve come to expect these twists. With Jon, however, there are no twists. His story is the Hero’s Journey, right on the nose. This bothers some people. At the stage of the Hero’s Journey when Jon crosses the threshold, when he first leaves Castle Black to go beyond the wall, the men go to Craster’s house. There, we see another glimpse of Jon being a snot-nosed brat. When Craster voices his dislike of Jon, this guy stares daggers at Craster as if he’s asking to be kicked out of that warm house. This is when Jon’s mentor, Mormont, smacks some sense into him. This little pep yell goes a long way in shaping Jon Snow. Even still, not one day later, Jon is found spying on Craster and is beaten.
10. Lord Commander Was Too Easy
This isn’t Jon’s fault, but it’s one of the reasons people hate on him. At the end of his time at the Wall, Jon was the Lord Commander and acted like he earned his title and his responsibility. He walked with his head held high as if he was some battle-scarred veteran who paid his dues. Well, he didn’t. The whole being named Lord Commander thing was about as premature as Jon’s intimate time with Ygritte. The guy had been at the wall for like a week and all of a sudden, he’s leading one of the oldest institutions in Westeros. Granted, there were only like 12 guys to choose from and there was a serious high school-level popularity contest going on. But, let’s be honest with ourselves. Jon earned nothing. It was all too convenient that he was named Lord Commander and he damn well knows it.
9. His Change As Lord Commander
In the early days, Jon joined the Night’s Watch just because he could. When he got there, he hated it. He complained and he griped about everything. He had to be convinced to stay on at several occasions, battled with authority, and struggled to determine what was right and what was wrong. Then, he’s named Lord Commander and, as if a switch was flipped, Jon is now the master of self-sacrifice. He carries this holier-than-thou mentality and pretends that he does everything for the good of Westeros and the Night’s Watch. Dude, five minutes ago you wanted to leave your post to give your brother a hug and now you’re the savior of humankind? We’re not buying it.
The whole decision to go to Hardhome to convince the Wildlings to fight alongside the Night’s Watch was a tough one to make. There was really no winning here. Either they risk alienating the men of Watch and dying by going to Hardhome to recruit these Wildlings, or they don’t and they all die without the alliance. The issue here is that Jon’s decision (we’re blaming him since he’s the leader) ended up being the worst of all options. Jon decides to go to Hardhome with a host of Wildlings and Night’s Watch. He alienates his fellow Crows and they end up being attacked by White Walkers, losing many of their own and barely getting back any Wildlings. Sure, they do pick up some, but they also lose some good ones and lost the damn bag of Dragonglass. Now, they’ll have to find a new cache of daggers or return to that dreaded place to get what they lost.
7. Kept Ser Alliser Too Close
We could sit here and try to defend Jon’s decision to make Alliser Thorne First Ranger. We could say it was an attempt to make peace, but we all knew what would happen. Thorne was his enemy from day one. From day one, Thorne was out to get Jon. If Thorne would have been named Lord Commander, Jon would have been killed or sent away. It wasn’t kindness that made Jon keep Thorne around. It was stupidity. When Jon was giving out tasks, Thorne knew he was screwed. He knew that he would be sent far away or sent on a suicide mission. But, incredibly, he wasn’t. Jon surprised us all. Instead, Jon basically invited Thorne to kill him. He might as well have put the blade that did him in right into Thorne’s hand.
6. Supporting Kings
The men of the Night’s Watch are not supposed to get involved in the ongoings of the realm, especially as it has to do with kings and uprisings. Well, we all know that Jon is nothing if not a man who can’t keep his word. The moment Stannis shows any interest in the Wall, Jon gives him his support. We do realize that this is human nature. We wanted Jon to give Stannis his support too. But when Jon gets all high and mighty and start talking about honor, we just have to roll our eyes. Jon, we all know you only have honor when it’s convenient.
5. The Oathbreaker
We can’t just name one time when Jon broke his oaths, so we will just call him Oathbreaker. There is one moment that really grinds our gears, though, and it has to do with Jon forgetting this fact. Stannis offers Jon Winterfell. He says that he will name him Jon Stark if Jon pays fealty to him. The music plays and Jon’s eyes light up. He wants it. Still, he turns it down because he’s “a man of the Night’s Watch.” He “pledged his life.” Oh, how honorable. Give it up, Snow. The only reason you joined was because you wanted to be something. Well, here you are. And don’t give us that crap about oaths. You’ve broken your oaths about six times. You killed another crow, slept with a woman, joined the Wildlings, abandoned your post, and got involved with issues of the realm numerous times. Oaths mean nothing to you, clearly. Why let them stop you now?
4. He Knows Nothing
From the very beginning of his time at the Wall, Jon sowed seeds that would lead to his death. Perhaps, he is blind to what others think of him because of how long he was a lord of sorts at Winterfell. Still, he acts as if he understands men’s hearts, so why is he incapable of seeing that everyone wants to kill him? It started with him standing up to Ser Alliser. It was brave, if not stupid, but it should have ended there. Then, he made a big show about joining with the Wildlings. Yes, we understand that this was necessary in the long run, but Jon should have seen that the Night’s Watch were not in love with this idea. Yet, Jon continuously made decisions in the open that showcased his love for the Wildlings. It’s really no surprise that he got stabbed 63 times. The only surprising bit is that it didn’t happen sooner.
3. Cheesy Revival
There’s nothing worse than a cheesy back-from-the-dead revival on television. Now, there is magic in this world, so this type of thing tends to happen in Game of Thrones. We won’t be too hard on it. But, if you’re looking for reasons that people hate Jon, him being revived so easily (and apparently so consequence-free) is one of them. Fans don’t like it when one character gets all the good treatment. Jon really hasn’t suffered a whole lot. His death was shocking, yeah, but there were a good many fans who just knew he wouldn’t be gone long. Was it a plot device or was this just a cheap way to keep a fan favorite in the show? It wasn’t his fault that he was brought back, but his entitlement makes him a D-Bag to many.
2. Abandoned The Night’s Watch
Every chance Jon got, he tried to abandon the Night’s Watch. Robb’s going to war? Jump ship. Named a Steward? Leaving! Got killed? See ya! Sure, we understand the technicalities here and why Jon left the Night’s Watch, but let’s not pretend that he stuck it out long enough and death gave him a new lease on life. If Aemon Targaryen had been killed and brought back, we would accept him leaving. Jon was with the Night’s Watch for an incredibly short period of time. He got a little sniff of being Lord Commander and then bounced. Him being killed wasn’t the reason he left. It was the excuse he was looking for since the moment he first set foot at the Wall.
1. Didn’t Tell Rickon To Zigzag
Rickon has to take some blame in this as well, but what was Jon thinking? As Rickon is told to run to Jon, the kid makes a mistake that will cost him his life. He runs perfectly straight. We don’t begrudge him for his path at first. But after that first arrow touches down, Rickon should have clued in. Hey, these arrows take about 15 seconds to touch down. If I just change my path once an arrow is loosed, even ever so slightly, I will live. As soon as it became clear that Rickon couldn’t solve this puzzle on his own, Jon should have yelled orders at Rickon. Hell, if Rickon is such a lost puppy and runs only to where Jon is, then Jon should have moved to one side after an arrow was shot and had Rickon run to him there. It was a pretty silly way to go and Jon must feel pretty bad about himself for not figuring out how to keep his brainless little brother alive.