In the s05e10

Jon Snow is killed by his brothers of the Watch.

However, there seems to be no clear reason why he was killed. If it was because he

let the wildlings pass

The killing could have happened before, for example when he arrived from

Hardhome, before opening the gate. Or even before he went to Hardhome.

In the book it's pretty obvious the reason was that he

took part in the war.

But what was the motivation behind this in the show?

  • 6
    We don't know if he dies. So don't draw hasty conclusions.
    – Jose Luis
    Jun 17, 2015 at 12:21
  • 4
    It would be interesting if he turns into a whitewalker and lead the whitewalkers to the iron throne. :p
    – Gautham
    Jun 17, 2015 at 12:34
  • 6
    @Daft You forgot that melisandre arrived just in time ;)
    – Vinz243
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:00
  • 4
    This is definitely as Ceasar Et-Tu-Brute moment. Like Ceasar, he did not give his subordinates the feeling that their concerns were heard Jun 17, 2015 at 14:25
  • 4
    I think people are way over-thinking this. It takes a while to come to the decision to do something like this, and even longer to discover that others are on your side. "Why did it take this long" is a completely vacuous question. Why did it take you so long to post this question? You could have done it on Sunday night. Jun 17, 2015 at 21:48

4 Answers 4


Reason: I think it was definitely because he let the Wildlings through.

There appears to be a few times when they could have done it:

These are not facts just my speculation.

  1. In between announcing that we was going to save the Wildlings and actually leaving.

  2. When he got back with the Wildlings.

  3. When they actually killed him.


Why? What are the chances that the Wildlings are going to agree to come with the leader of their oldest enemy? I would think he would never make it back alive and he almost didn't. Remember the Nights Watch think that the Wildlings are exactly as their name suggests. Wildlings vs Free Folk. As others have said there are also witnesses aplenty.


If they try to kill him here and succeed you would think that however many Wildlings were there would do something about it. i.e. attack the wall, yeah they had women and children but I doubt that the Nights Watch would have been able to fend off that many. Also witnesses.


Since he managed to return with the Wildlings, that 'plan' was now ruined. Middle of the night the only witnesses were the ones committing the act. No backup in the form of Wildling friends.

  • 5
    I think you can safely remove most spoiler tags from your answer. As it is, it's useless (you need to mouse over in order to know whether you want to read this answer at all; and if someone clicks on this question, you can safely assume they want to read the answer).
    – Andres F.
    Jun 17, 2015 at 21:07
  • @AndresF. Was just being extra cautious. I already knew he was going to die through other peoples carelessness.
    – DickieBoy
    Jun 18, 2015 at 9:25

They could have done it before, for example when he arrived from Hardhome, before opening the gate.

How? They could keep the gate closed or try to kill him with arrows; but that's too risky: it's not a guaranteed kill (especially the first method) and there are too many witnesses, including Sam.

Contrast with the actual assassination: it happens in the middle of the night with only a handful of men, presumably loyal to Alliser, and everyone stabs Snow which ensures that they won't talk. The next day, the NW wakes up and finds a dead commander; nothing can be tracked back to Alliser and so he assumes command and possibly frames and executes someone.

  • you need more spoiler tags you are giving everything away
    – Jose Luis
    Jun 17, 2015 at 12:56
  • Yeah but anyway it's too late the wildlings are there
    – Vinz243
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:02
  • 7
    @Joze You're already here and clearly already read the question. There's no spoilers beyond what's in there. These spoiler tags are pointless. Jun 17, 2015 at 17:48
  • 5
    @ChrisHayes Fully agreed. This abuse of spoiler tags is driving me crazy. I've removed the spoiler tags.
    – Andres F.
    Jun 17, 2015 at 21:08
  • 1
    There's S05E10 in the title. Why is anyone who doesn't want to be spoiled reading this?
    – Petersaber
    Jun 18, 2015 at 10:52

@falsedot gives a nice answer on why was he killed like that, but I'll answer the first part of your question:

However, there seems to be no clear reason why he was killed.

In the fifth book, it happens a bit different:

Rasmay sends a letter to Jon entitled 'Bastard' that says that he has defeated Stannis (which we do not know if it is true or not; unlike the show). This enrages Jon and decides that he wants to march against the Boltons.
Even though he is Lord commander, he cannot command his Brothers to march with him, but he asks them to join him only if they wish. But, for a Sworn Brother to do as such is against his oaths. This causes discontent within the Wall, and then Jon is killed.

Also, a lot of the Brothers didn't support or like Snow from the beginning. When he became Lord Commander, he was hated even more. When he helped the Wildlings and let them through the Wall, he was even more hated.

  • 4
    +1 This. In the books, the reasons for the assassination are a lot clearer. In the movie he arguably hasn't even breaking his oaths -- allying with Wildlings is not forbidden by any oath of the Night's Watch! What Jon does in the books is an explicit violation of the Watch's rules, and it arguably merits his removal and/or execution.
    – Andres F.
    Jun 17, 2015 at 21:11
  • 4
    @Andres: There's a movie?! Jun 17, 2015 at 21:49
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: Only after six seasons.
    – user46271
    Jun 17, 2015 at 22:00
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Heh heh heh... oops, brain fart. I meant books! :(
    – Andres F.
    Jun 17, 2015 at 23:00
  • 1
    @Joze It's in the 5th book, in Jon's last chapter. Jon XIII or something Jun 18, 2015 at 7:26

I think it's made pretty clear that the reason they kill him is because he let the wildlings through the Wall. For starters when he pushes through the circle with all the rebellious brothers there's a sign that reads "Traitor" and then he's stabbed many times with each brother repeating "For the Watch":

Traitor sign

We can also look at the two main characters point of view as to why they did what they did:

  • Ser Alliser Thorne:

    • He seemed to hate Jon Snow from the very beginning. This started with Jon rebelling against him slightly with trying to look after Sam and then his hatred grew more and more when Jon became the Lord Commander.
    • He wanted to become Lord Commander and very nearly got it if it wasn't for Maester Aemon.
    • He also thought of Jon as a traitor for letting the wildlings through the Wall and befriending them. When Jon showed Mance a kindness by shooting him instead of letting him burn it showed to him that Jon was a friend of the wildlings. Not to mention that Jon also had a "wildling girlfriend" Ygritte.
  • Olly:

    • The wildlings murdered his family and most people in his village so he had particular hatred for them. When Jon let them through the Wall he thought of him as a traitor and also used it as a way to take revenge for his family.

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