The oath:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

And (spoilers for s06e02)

Jon Snow died, despite the fact that he is now alive.

Is he now free of the Night Watch oath?

  • 8
    I'd say yes (and I hope yes), but the writers may have Jon stick to his principles and remain as Lord Commander.
    – TylerH
    May 2, 2016 at 14:08
  • 3
    If Mat Cauthon and the Horn of Valere are anything to go by, then yes.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 2, 2016 at 14:11
  • 2
    @Randal'Thor er... Mat Cauthon and the Horn of Valere are from Wheel of Time, are they not?
    – TylerH
    May 2, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    @TylerH Yep. So it doesn't prove anything about Jon Snow (hence comment rather than answer), just an interesting analogy.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 2, 2016 at 14:25
  • 2
    Related: Loophole in the Night's Watch oath?
    – TARS
    May 3, 2016 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


There will not be a definitive answer until next episode. That said, obviously this has never happened before and has no precedent. Jon could probably take either path and be able to justify his decision:

  • On the one hand, by being alive he is still able to fulfill his oath to the watch and remain the Lord Commander.
  • On the other, the oath is literally It shall not end until my death and he most certainly died. Thorne even admits in front of the whole watch that he killed him.

From a pragmatic point of view, he will be able to better guarantee his safety by surrounding himself with people he trusts (mostly the wildlings) rather than men of the nights watch (there are only a handful that proved absolutely loyal to him). And this is the second case in a very short period of time that a Lord Commander has been killed by men of the Night's Watch. So big changes are coming regardless of his decision.

  • In my opinion this will be used as an advantage in a political moves , though probably he will stay with the night watch. But we cannot know until the end.
    – npocmaka
    May 2, 2016 at 14:56
  • 1
    "has no precedent" - Actually, it might have a precedent? The Night's King was Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and, after "giving up his soul" to a mysterious woman, declared himself king. Of course, whether he was breaking his oath by doing so - whether he in fact "died" by giving up his soul, and whether that death released him from his oath - is just as much a matter of debate as the case of Jon Snow... So that doesn't help resolve matters :)
    – recognizer
    May 2, 2016 at 21:38
  • Can you please cite a reference for your claim "Nights King was Lord Commander of Nights Watch and gave up his soul"? May 3, 2016 at 15:35
  • 1
    @recognizer - According to legend he made sacrifices to the others and ruled as a king for 13 years, but there is no mention that he actually died during that time. May 3, 2016 at 16:03
  • 1
    @SorrelVesper It's right there in the books: imgur.com/avaVdvm So, not "my" claim, it's Old Nan's claim. I'm willing to take her word for it.
    – recognizer
    May 3, 2016 at 16:15

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