** Following article contains spoilers until episode 3 [Oathbreaker] of Game of Thrones season 6 **
Jon Snow made some uncharacteristic decisions in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Though it was expected that he will execute Ser Alliser Thorne and other Night’s Watch mutineers at some point but fans didn’t expect to see Olly hanging there as well and even though they hated the kid for killing both Ygritte & Snow, he was still a child whose parents were murdered by the Wildlings. Olly had his reasons to hate Jon Snow (for helping the people who took his family away from him) and being underage, his actions were probably influenced by Thorne and his men.
Then we saw Jon Snow surrendering his Night’s Watch cloak stating that his ‘watch is ended’ and unofficially naming Edd as the 999th Lord Commander. Clearly, death has changed Jon Snow and Kit Harington explains his recent actions to EW:
“He’s done with it. He’s seen the other side, seen what’s there, and comes back and realizes he needs to lead his life and get out of there. This place betrayed him, and everything he stood for has changed. Plus, he had to kill a child, Olly, and that’s what really does it. He kills an underage kid and he can’t see the point in being up there anymore. At the heart of it, he knows by staying at the Wall he can’t help the kingdoms and he’s probably going to die very quickly if he stays.”
Jon Snow probably now holds the record for highest number of oaths a Night’s Watch brother has broken and he has done that quite remarkably indeed. He has laid with a Wildling woman. He even betrayed the Night’s Watch when he temporarily joined the Wildlings, gave them information and also killed a brother to gain their trust. Though his intentions were good, he still broke multiple vows during this time with the Wildlings. And now he is possibly the first man to quit the Night’s Watch who does not face death penalty for desertion (Remember series premiere when Ned Stark beheaded a deserter?). Night’s Watch oath has this line- ‘It shall not end until my death’ and since he definitely died, it officially ends his watch. Well, no one can blame him as there is no clause for resurrection!
Harington also spoke last week about Jon Snow’s afterlife experience (or lack of it) and how it will affect his character development this season:
“At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up and he’s the same, back to normal — then there’s no point in that death. He needs to change. There’s a brilliant line when Melisandre asks: ‘What did you see?’ And he says: ‘Nothing, there was nothing at all.’ That cuts right to our deepest fear, that there’s nothing after death. And that’s the most important line in the whole season for me. Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person. He realizes something about his life now: He has to live it because that’s all there is. He’s been over the line and there’s nothing there. And that changes him. It literally puts the fear of God into him. He’s seen oblivion, and that’s got to change somebody in the most fundamental way there is. He doesn’t want to die ever again. But if he does, he doesn’t want to be brought back.”