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15th Aug 2017

Jon Snow’s tactic to win the war against the White Walkers has been tried before

Paul Moore


Winter is here and the dead – and spoilers – come with it.

Next week’s episode of Game of Thrones is going to be special because as we now know, the first battle in the Great War is coming as Jon Snow leads his suicide squad beyond the Wall in search of a wight.

If you need a reminder about why he’s risking his life , the King in the North hopes that by capturing a soldier of the undead and bringing it to King’s Landing, all the squabbling houses in Westeros will halt their feud for the Iron Throne and concentrate on the only war that matters, the war between the living and the dead.

While some people feel that this plan is absolute madness, the seeds of this expedition date back to events that transpired in Season 1.

Cast your mind back to that scene when a wight attacks the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jeor Mormont,  at Castle Black. Just as Jeor is about to meet his end, Jon Snow and his direwolf, Ghost, intervene to save the day. For this act of bravery and courage, Jon is ultimately awarded his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw.

During this attack, Jon slices off one of the wight’s hands before finishing the job with fire.

In the aftermath of this attack, Mormont tells Jon that “I sent him (Ser Alliser Thorne) to King’s Landing yesterday. The hand that your wolf tore off that thing’s wrist I’ve….eh…ordered Thorne to lay it at the feet of this ‘Boy King’. That should get young Joffrey’s attention and it puts a thousand leagues between you and Thorne.”

In the TV show, no more details were provided about Ser Alliser Thorne’s journey to King’s Landing, but in the novels, we do get an explanation as to why Joffrey didn’t get to see this wight’s hand.

At that time, Tyrion was presiding as Hand of the King and his relationship with Ser Alliser Thorne was extremely prickly – Thorne and him really didn’t get along during Tyrion’s stay at the Wall.

As a small act of revenge, Tyrion made Ser Alliser wait before giving him an audience at King’s Landing to discuss this important matter. By the time the two men got around to talking, the hand had withered away.

In Tyrion’s own words, he says: ‘Come to think on it, I don’t believe I care to see Ser Alliser just now. Find him a snug cell where no one has changed the rushes in a year, and let his hand rot a little more.’

In the latest Inside the Episode segment, showrunenr David Benioff discusses the origins of Jon Snow’s tactic further.

“When the first wights got through in Season 1 they sent Alliser Thorne down with a hand – that was still alive – to prove to everyone that the undead are real. By the time this hand had got there, it had rotted away to nothing and stopped moving. There was the idea that bringing one of these things down south had been put out there before, but didn’t work. In theory, you could bring one of these things down and still have it functioning when it reaches King’s Landing. That seemed like it would do the trick on a story level.”

If Jon Snow’s plan is going to be successful, he has to bring the whole body of a living wight back to King’s Landing.

We can’t wait.

Clip via – GameofThrones