You make some interesting points, but they represent massive inconsistencies in Jon’s character arc that would compete with the ridiculous character changes made by Jamie, Tyrion, Varys and Daenerys.

  1. Sansa’s warning to John to be smarter than father and Robb is an observation by Sansa, not an indication of any off screen evolution by Jon. Later in season 7, he embarks on the most idiotic mission in the history of the show, to secure a wight, makes the wrong tactical decision in every situation and again should have been killed multiple times.
  2. With regard to the question of who is manipulating whom, Jon is incapable of deceit or manipulation. If that were the case, he would have promised to stay out of the fight between Daenerys and Cersei in order to gain the aid of the Lannister army a few episodes later. In the S801 frozen waterfall scene, Jon seems like a willing lover; his attitude changes at the end of S802 when he finds out Daenerys is his aunt.
  3. Like his “father” Ned, Jon is a soldier who learned how to die long ago. He has no problem with risking his own life to save others — just look at his decisions to go on suicide missions at Crasters Keep, infiltrating the Wildlings, and going by himself to kill Mance Raydar. Every decision Jon makes from the time he is brought back to life are even dumber and feel more like he’s got a death wish: he tells Melisandre not to bring him back if he dies in the battle of the bastards; Jon ignores Sansa’s advice not to do what Ramsay wants him to do, and charges out to save Rickon under the hail of a million arrows; Jon ignores Sansa’s advice not to go south because every other Stark has been killed doing so; Jon agrees to go on the insane mission to capture a wight; Jon waits too long to get on Drogon to escape from the ice island, choosing to fight the entire army of the undead; Jon decides to jump in front of the undead dragon and yell at it.

With regard to the Tyrion speech, it was a way for the showrunners to explain away the horrible writing in the final two seasons. Daenerys needed a lot more time to descend into insanity if that was the intended ending for the show. There’s no reason for her to just sit around waiting for the bells before attacking the city or killing innocents instead of just going directly to the Red keep and killing Cersei.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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