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Why Jon Snow Deserves to Win GAME OF THRONES

Who do we most want to see emerge victorious and seize the Iron Throne? Before Game of Thrones‘ final season, we’re making the case for every worthy candidate still standing, starting with Jon Snow.

Jon Snow is a man of honor, heart, bravery, and willingness to do the right thing. But all of that was also true of his brother Robb Stark, and we know what happened to him. But the fact that only one of the brothers was lucky enough to have a Red Priestess bring him back to life isn’t the only thing that separates them. Here’s the case for why the Bastard of Winterfell should be the one to ultimately end up on the Iron Throne.

Qualifications and Experience

Jon was raised by The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Ned Stark, which is where he gets his strict moral and ethical code. Jon looks out for the weak, like he did when Sam first came to the Night’s Watch, and stands up against bullies, like he did with Alliser Thorne. While well-liked by those he serves with and rules over, he’s not afraid to do the difficult things often required by a leader, like when he beheaded Janos Slynt, disobeyed Stannis Baratheon by putting an arrow through Mance Rayder’s heart, and hanged young Olly.

He is also willing to forgive past transgressions for the greater good, like how he saved the wildlings and pardoned Houses Umber and Karstark. Unlike many who grow up in great castles, Jon cares about the safety and well-being of everyone, no matter where they come from. He focuses on what is best for his people, even when it brings him great personal pain (Ygritte) or danger (traveling to Dragonstone).

Despite his age and limited time with the Night’s Watch, Jon was named Lord Commander. He also united the wildlings to take on the Boltons. And then, despite being a Snow, he was named King in the North for reuniting the broken land. His best trait, though, might be that he doesn’t seek out power—he doesn’t even enjoy it—which is a big reason he’s so good at it.

A highly skilled warrior trained and educated by Winterfell’s experts, Jon has killed two White Walkers in personal combat, and killing White Walkers is definitely a huge plus on his résumé.

Special Skills

  • Came back from the dead once
  • Gets along well with giants
  • Great hair

Claim

In a world where your name means everything, Jon Snow has done the impossible, going from the lowly bastard of a great House to being named both Lord Commander and King in the North. It helps that while he might not have the Stark name, he has the Stark pedigree and the history that comes with it. The Starks were great kings once, before the Targaryens came along, and are among the oldest and most powerful families in all of Westeros. If any House has a worthy claim in this world of murky motives, it is the direwolves of the North. Combined with his extensive real world experience and natural ability, Jon is as worthy as anyone to assume the mantel of ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Of course, as “Aegon Targaryen,” the secret, lawful son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, he is the legal and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. It’s a chair and title created by his ancestor Aegon the Conqueror, who united the Realm into one kingdom. Based on the history of House Tagrayen where the son always comes before a daughter, Jon/Aegon’s claim is far stronger than even that of his aunt/lover Daenerys.

Oh, and as the progeny of Ice (Stark) and Fire (Targaryen), he might literally be the Prince That Was Promised, the legendary hero who is prophesied to return one day to lead the living to victory over the dead. That’s definitely a plus.

The Case Against

Jon’s not without his flaws. Sometimes he acts without thinking (charging Ramsay at the Battle of the Bastards), needlessly puts himself in danger (like, all the time), is too willing to die (when he went off to kill Mance after the Battle of Castle Black). Also, like his father and brother, Jon can be a little naïve about how the world works (like how he couldn’t lie to Cersei at the Dragonpit). For a ruler trying to keep a fractured kingdom together, sometimes a well-placed lie is more effective than a difficult truth. Jon still doesn’t always understand the value in that. His greatest attribute, his impeccable moral code and desire to do the “right” thing, is also his greatest weakness at time.

Also, he’s really gloomy. Yeah, okay, you were a bastard who Lady Stark basically tortured his whole life. And yes, you were stabbed in the heart and literally died at the hands of the men who swore to serve you. And sure, you saw the Night King and his army of 100,000 dead soldiers, but you can still smile more than once a year, right?

“First of His Name…”

Great men, men who were brave, smart, moral, and who truly cared about the people of Westeros, have sat on the Iron Throne and proved ineffective leaders. Few of them had the experience of Jon Snow, though, who has been the only person in Westeros to recognize the only threat that truly matters rather than worry about power for power’s sake. And he’s done so no matter how much pain it has caused him. No one has been willing to sacrifice more than him, because it’s the right thing to do.

Plus, he’s a genuinely good person and someone worth rooting for. His childhood could have made him bitter and angry, but instead he’s used his advantages of growing up as Ned Stark’s son to make the world a better place, even though that world has continued to bring him so much heartache, including an actual knife to the heart.

For all of those reasons, Jon Snow is worthy of being the ultimate winner of the game of thrones.

Images: HBO

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