On Game of Thrones, Jon Snow seemed like a man who was destined for greatness. But he ended up right back where he started.
After killing Daenerys Targaryen to save the world from her supposed tyranny, Jon was banished to the Wall to become a brother of the Night’s Watch once more. It was a bittersweet end for a man who seemed so crucial to Game of Thrones that he was once brought back from the dead.
Jon grew up believing he was a bastard, someone who didn’t fit in and would never measure up to the 'real Starks'. Instead of complaining about it, or conspiring to take down his supposed enemies, he worked hard to prove himself. He started by joining the Night’s Watch so he could protect the Realm, like his uncle Benjen Stark. He fought alongside his brothers to keep Castle Black safe. He spied on the wildlings while being held prisoner North of the Wall. He saved countless lives in countless situations. He was never able to save everyone, no one can, but thousands of people are alive because of him.
Thanks to his hard work and constant sacrifice, Jon gained the support of his brothers and was voted Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch after the death of Jeor Mormont. As Lord Commander, Jon did what no one else before him had done: he made peace with the wildlings, who were fleeing the North to escape the White Walkers. This decision didn’t go over well with everyone, and Jon was killed by treasonous members of the Watch. Luckily, he was brought back from the dead – thanks to the Red God – and lived to fight once more. Or, rather, many times more.
He went on to defeat Ramsay Bolton to save Winterfell, was named King in the North, and teamed up with Daenerys to destroy the Night King and his army once and for all. Sure, he bent the knee to Daenerys to do so, but come on... we all knew that wouldn’t last.
When it was discovered that 'Jon Snow' was actually Aegon Targaryen, the lawful son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, it seemed to confirm Jon’s ultimate destiny to rule the Seven Kingdoms. He was the song of ice and fire, the blending of two worlds. But he couldn’t skate by on the Targaryen name alone. If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, birthright isn’t enough. You have to earn your place. Daenerys failed to earn hers with the people of Westeros – especially after choosing to burn King’s Landing to the ground. Jon stood up to her, did what he thought was right, and paid a hefty price. But at least Ghost got his pet.
The story ends with Jon, dressed in the black, heading north of the Wall, and it’s unclear if he’ll ever return. He was a good leader, and a kind man, but that’s not enough to make him a king. The throne wasn’t where he was meant to be.
Featured image: HBO