From the very beginning of the series, Jon Snow was seen as one of Game of Thrones‘ greatest heroes. He was a noble person, a skilled warrior, and a strong leader who eventually became the central figure in the story. And while Jon is responsible for some of the show’s best moments, certain aspects of the character haven’t aged well.
While Jon Snow is still a great character, looking back on the show highlights some instances in which he was a bit of a letdown. From his less heroic acts to storylines that fell flat, Jon Snow doesn’t hold up as well as fans might think.
10 Mystery Of His Lineage
The reveal that Jon Snow was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Mormont was a huge moment, even if many fans had already predicted it. It not only answered the long-held mystery but also made Jon the true heir to the Iron Throne.
But with the crowded final season of the show, it was easy to forget that revelation even happened. It wasn’t until the show ended that it became clear the whole storyline didn’t really have an impact as Jon simply learned the truth and then refused the throne. It made all that build-up seem rather pointless.
9 Jon Gets Stannis’ Approval
It was a fitting evolution for Jon that he was eventually named the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and it gave the character plenty of new struggles to face as a leader. Almost immediately after taking the position, Jon is forced to execute Janos Slynt for refusing an order.
The moment suggests uncertainty about whether Jon made the right call, but then he receives a nod of approval from Stannis, suggesting he is ready to lead. However, given that Stannis would burn his own daughter alive a few episodes later makes the audience second guess what his approval was worth.
8 His Pointless Death And Resurrection
Game of Thrones earned a reputation for killing off many of its most popular characters. But when Jon was killed at the end of season 5, fans didn’t really buy it. Despite the show trying their best to convince fans otherwise, Melisandre resurrected Jon the next season.
It made for a very talked-about moment, but looking back, it also didn’t amount to much. The show never explored the consequences or trauma of the resurrection and it was left feeling like a silly gimmick.
7 Killing Olly
One of the first things Jon Snow does after being resurrected is execute the mutineers who killed him in the first place. This includes the young boy Olly who had become one of the most hated characters on the show following his treachery.
But looking back, fans were a little harsh on Olly. He saw his family brutally murdered by Tormund and the other Wildlings only to see Jon Snow become friends with those same Wildlings. While killing Jon wasn’t right, Jon executing the boy was one of his least heroic moments on the show.
6 Selfish Actions In The Battle Of The Bastards
The scales of the battles on Game of Thrones were truly ground-breaking for television, but Battle of the Bastards was even bigger than what fans had come to expect. And Jon was right in the middle of it all, delivering some incredible moments like facing down the charging cavalry and the one-shot fight scene.
But revisiting the episode really shows how poorly Jon handled the situation. Though they had a solid plan, Jon abandons it when he fell for an obvious trap. His pointless charge at Ramsay forced his army to advance early, ending with countless of his men being killed.
5 Romance With Daenerys
Even before they met on the show, fans were pushing for the relationship between Jon and Daenerys. Sure enough, once they did meet, it didn’t take them long to become romantically entangled.
However, when Jon and Daenerys realized they were related, it complicated their romance. However, it also didn’t quite end it. Jon continued struggling with these feelings, unsure what to do. But given how easy it was to condemn Cersei and Jaime’s relationship, watching Jon decide whether or not to continue dating his aunt was pretty creepy.
4 Uselessness In The Battle Of Winterfell
The Battle of Winterfell was another huge spectacle the show delivered. But while its chaotic nature initially entertained audiences, the opinion of the episode has suffered the more fans had time to think about it.
The most frustrating thing to look back on was Jon’s role in the battle which was mostly pointless. Making Arya the hero of the battle was fitting, but Jon was rendered useless, spending an extended period of time just sitting on his dragon and not doing anything.
3 His Unheroic Final Season
As it turned out, Jon’s inactive role in the Battle of Winterfell hinted at his overall role in the final season of the show. Given the rushed nature of those last episodes, it wasn’t until it was all over that fans could look back and realize how disappointing Jon had been.
While Daenerys continued to spiral out of control, Jon spent several episodes leading to the finale refusing to take a stand one way or another. It felt very uncharacteristic for the hero and severely tarnished this important character’s final arc.
2 Killing Daenerys
It is clear Daenerys always had villainous potential, but her final turn into a murdering conqueror was not entirely her fault. The show seemed to try to shock fans with her brutal turn at the end of the show, but looking back, Jon could have done more to prevent this.
Realizing his complicity in her downfall, the scene in which he murders her has become hard to watch. It is likely meant to feel like a hero making a difficult decision, but it instead feels like Jon putting all the blame on her and punishing her for his lack of action.
1 Returning To The Nights Watch For No Reason
Seeing where the various characters on the show ended up in the finale was a bit of a mixed bag. Jon’s return to the Night’s Watch seemed fitting as it was the place he seemed to be at his best and it reunited him with Ghost.
However, thinking more about Jon’s ending, it doesn’t make any sense. With the Wildlings a welcomed group in Westeros and the Night King defeated, there is no reason for a Night’s Watch to even exist. Tyrion tries to explain it away as a place for outcasts to go, but it doesn’t explain what function it now holds in Westeros.