Jon Snow Dies. Really? (or Game of Thrones and The Stages of Grief)

What the crap! Really? (Shock) I’ve got to tell you that I’m a little miffed that Jon Snow, the brave, fair, wise, honorable… and not to mention, hot character of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, who had all the promise of saving this fantasy world against the dreaded White walkers, has died in a pool of his own handsome blood in the season 5 finale! Really? (Anger) As the horrific scene broke and the credits rolled, I noticed I had a visceral reaction to the show’s end. I mean it could have been a combination of the kid being burned to death at the stake, the usually nasty Queen Regent being publicly humiliated, as she was forced to walk naked through the streets to the Red Keep. Or maybe it was just the eye-gouging and the eventual death of Ser Meryn Trant, even though he was a horrible man. And then, just to top it all off; the betrayal of the decent Jon Snow by his own men! Did I mention I was disturbed about that? (Sadness and Disappointment)

And it wasn’t just me. Many people I talked to in the days that followed, had similar reactions and found themselves in the same sort of funk and disappointment, wondering if they ever wanted to watch the show again. People are going through their own grief process. And surely, Jon Snow can’t really be dead, right? (Denial) I mean, maybe he doesn’t really die. Maybe he is one of those special people, similar to the ‘brotherhood without banners’ people who believe in the Lord of Light, that they showed on Season 2, who, with the mere reciting of an incantation, can be brought back to life after dying, again and again. Maybe Lady Melisandre returned to bring him back to life. (Bargaining) Or maybe we can write the show to tell them they suck and that all Jon Snow-lovers world-wide are going to take to the streets rioting, unless they write him back into the show for season 6. (Blame)

Clearly, many were and still are attached! (Attachment, wishing things were different than they actually are) Hearing people talking and their reactions to what happened, it’s like the world needs some sort of collective grief process over the loss of a great figure, even though Jon Snow doesn’t really exist, it’s the idea of this person and what was stood for that does. We all love an underdog hero. Especially one who can save us from the monsters of this world.

As Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon was pretty much the last great hope in this dark fantasy world. And… where is that freak’n Dire Wolf when you need him, anyway? (Blaming again) I know, get a life, right? Well, that’s the thing. This is about life. Great people die everyday. Actual people, and otherwise.  And please, for the love of God, if I ever hear another person say, “only the good die young” I just might lose it. Please stop repeating this warn out dumb cliche. It’s sort of like saying, those of us who are left behind are neither good nor young. Half-way kidding, but please don’t. Pretty please?

Speaking of good and bad guys… have you ever noticed that when a bad guy dies, we don’t care so much? But when a good one does, it’s very disturbing to the world’s collective consciousness. Doesn’t that make you want to be a “good” guy in some weird sort of way? Btw, I’m referring to “bad” or “good” guys as villains and heroes of both sexes.

Whenever we experience any loss, if we allow this grief process to take it’s natural course of experiencing some of the saddest and disappointing emotions we can feel, eventually, these painful feelings will be traded out for acceptance and peace. The grief process is an exploration of some of the darkest emotions imaginable.

I know, Jon Snow isn’t even a “real” person in the “real” world, but I ask you, what’s “real” anyway? In the end, what’s “real” is our thoughts, emotions and our reactions to them. What’s real is our own personal perception of what happened in the story of our lives. In other words, I’m pretty sure that what gives us our experience of life, is solely experienced in our thoughts and feelings about it. The upside is that we don’t have to always react to things. I mean, there is always a new and empowering perspective of what happened. (Empowerment)

My point is… whether it’s on a television show or our “real” life, seemingly trivial or profound, everything we experience in our lives is still our “real” lives. But we’ll be okay, no matter what causes us to react to loss, we always have the grief process to bring us back to the healing of wholeness. (Acceptance)

So okay, I’m over it. Jon Snow may or may not be resurrected in Season 6 in some form or another. Or maybe he actually, really is dead now and will rise again in some other show. Either way is great. After all, he’s still hot no matter where he ends up. (Resolution)

Oh, and I apologize after the fact if I gave away something you haven’t seen yet. This topic was time sensitive and there is no way for me to know when everyone on the planet has finished the season. 


7 thoughts on “Jon Snow Dies. Really? (or Game of Thrones and The Stages of Grief)

  1. I like your post, Jade. It is a good example of the stages of grief and how we experience them in our day to day existance. Some losses are more profound than others, but a loss is still a loss and no doubt a lot of us can understand your feelings on this one.

  2. There was a whole lot of upset talk this week, around the water cooler.
    One co-worker of mine lost sleep the night it happened.
    People take this show seriously.

  3. Simply brilliant. Great writing. I feel like I just went through all the stages of grief with you. I believe the greatest pieces of art and expression will leave you feeling all kinds of emotions and having all kinds of complex thoughts, maybe that’s why alot of the very popular shows on TV involve turbulent human drama.

  4. Great post, as you said “What’s real is our own personal perception”. To many this fictional world does impact us. We’ve invested 5 seasons in this show and hours of our life following this quest and we do care. Perhaps season 6 will bring him back, or maybe we are all in denial.

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