10

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?

Post is related to a rapidly changing event.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Möoz, Ward, Adamant, Politank-Z, Shevliaskovic May 4 '16 at 5:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 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 '16 at 14:08
  • 3
    If Mat Cauthon and the Horn of Valere are anything to go by, then yes. – Rand al'Thor May 2 '16 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 '16 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 '16 at 14:25
  • 2
    Related: Loophole in the Night's Watch oath? – TARS May 3 '16 at 0:03
7

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 '16 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 '16 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"? – Sorrel Vesper May 3 '16 at 15:35
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    @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. – Justin Ethier May 3 '16 at 16:03
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    @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 '16 at 16:15

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