The Night's Watch begins:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.


Jon Snow has died and been resurrected

is he still bound by his oath?

  • Good question, we don't know. Maybe, Maybe not – Edlothiad Sep 20 '17 at 18:40
  • I was sure I've seen this question asked before. If not here probably on the Movie and TV stack exchange, but I've so far been unable to track it down. – onewho Sep 20 '17 at 18:50
  • If you find it, please do close this as a dupe... I too could not find a satisfactory question or answer for this. – Dancrumb Sep 20 '17 at 18:53
  • Since he was not immediately executed by any of the Northern Lords like any other deserter should be, I assume he is not bound by them anymore. Even though we never see him tell these lords about why/how he left the watch. – Virusbomb Sep 20 '17 at 19:23

That's up for interpretation.

Jon believes he is not bound by his oath anymore, after recent events. In season 6 episode 3, "Oathbreaker", Jon leaves the Night's Watch and outright says "My watch has ended". This is an explicit reference to the part of the oath you quoted:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.

However, in the following episode, season 6 episode 4, "Book of the Stranger", Lord Commander Edd disputes this. He argues that the following part of the oath still binds Jon to the Night's Watch (Edd's emphasis):

I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

So is the oath fulfilled at death, or do "all the nights to come" take precedence? It hasn't been put to the test before now, so nobody knows.

Jon himself considers his oath fulfilled, but the Lord Commander disagrees. Who's right? Well, the Lord Commander hasn't ordered him executed for desertion, and the Northern Lords seem to not consider him a deserter either, so he seems to have gotten off the hook.

  • Side note we have no idea that Edd is the Lord Commander. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 21 '17 at 7:51
  • @TheLethalCarrot Well, acting Lord Commander. I guess it all comes down to the power balance between the two. Edd is perhaps not respected as much as a properly elected LC would be, and Jon is King in the North. – tobiasvl Sep 21 '17 at 7:58
  • Well as we have no main characters at the Wall anymore for all we know they could have had an election. Last we heard Edd was acting LC but it may not necessarily be true now, that's all I was pointing out. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 21 '17 at 8:00
  • @TheLethalCarrot Gotcha. – tobiasvl Sep 21 '17 at 8:01
  • The full second line is I pledge my life...all nights to come. Technically Jon has pledged his life for all nights to come and given it. Just worth another note that Edd explicitly ignores that part of the sentence when he refers to it. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 21 '17 at 8:12

If you have not seen season 6, please do not continue reading, spoilers ahead.

In season 6 episode 3, this is answered by Jon's statement at the end of the episode:

JON SNOW: My watch is ended.

Script source

This episode is called 'Oathbreaker'.

This is possible because Jon has died and been resurrected which means he has served his watch until his death.

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