If you haven’t caught Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode, you should turn back, now. This article is a hive of spoilers, and while finding out things ahead of time might seem like fun, it's always better to just learn in the moment. So, go plow through the rest of HBO’s most popular series and then immediately head back to this article to read more about what happened.
Everyone on board? Last chance. Okay...
Game of Thrones is notorious for offering fans a slew of relationships, romantic trysts, affairs, wistful longings, and plenty of other bedroom-oriented action. The characters in the series are big fans of taking love where they can get it, leading us to a bunch of interesting and intricate relationships between men and women, men and men, and women and women, as well as threesomes, foursomes, incest, and much, much more. I’m not saying I’m personally a big fan of producing love children through incest, but plots like these blow the vaguely conventional romances on HBO’s drama out of the water.
Tonight’s episode featured the end of a life for one character and the end of an era for another. Jon Snow and the wildling Ygritte had a few good laughs and a few pretty cute shags, but let’s face it, their romance was never really one to warrant all that much screen time. It served more to shape Jon Snow as a person, and now that it’s over, I think it’s time to peruse the many reasons Jon and Ygritte did not = forever.
Star-Crossed Love Rarely Ends WellWe all know what happened to Romeo & Juliet, and while Jon Snow and Ygritte weren’t from feuding families like those young lovebirds, they might as well have been. Snow had been living on the Wall for several seasons before he ended up with the Wildlings, and if there’s anything you need to know about the Wall, it’s that White Walkers are… I mean, you should know the Wildlings and the Crows don’t get along. Star-crossed love rarely ends with a satisfying conclusion, and Jon Snow and Ygrittte’s ending was the worst.
Really, the dude’s spent all season hanging out with his bros, only to have a weird connection with his former lover on the battlefield. After this, in probably the most romantic gesture of all time, she decided not to shoot him up with arrows again, only to get blindsided by one for her troubles. Regardless of my jests, there was a nice moment there at the end. As Ygritte was dying, Snow was able to get in one last sweet little moment in the form of a dying conversation. At least they didn’t kill each other. Awww.
Ygritte Ain’t No LadyA spearwife and warrior, Ygritte was one tough cookie. She was also a woman who knew what she wanted, and when she set her sights on Jon Snow, she pushed him to sleep with her, even though he faithfully resisted at first. Their relationship was one of convenience and one that was pretty much steeped in sex. I’m not saying Snow and Ygritte lacked affection for one another, but as the title of this article notes, they truly were doomed from the start.
Even if Snow had found some way out of his contract at The Wall and even if Ygritte was game to become a member of the upper class elite, can you imagine her trying to get anything done in those horrible bell sleeves Sansa always wears? Oh god, or sitting there with a bunch of embroidery needles making scenescapes of feasts and tournaments? Or trying to say “You know nothing Jon Snow” with a crisp, upper class accent? She would rather die, and did.
The Multicultural ComponentWe here at Cinema Blend are totally in favor of multicultural relationships. A lot of times a relationship can survive and thrive if two people of different races or backgrounds partner up. There’s a lot that a brand new cultural perspective can teach a person insofar as expanding his or her horizons or gaining new skills. That being said, when two people are from completely different backgrounds and have different ways of doing things, those relationships can suffer from additional challenges and complications that two people from the same background might never face.
We’ve already talked about the complications Snow and Ygritte faced as former enemies coming together in the bedroom. However, we haven’t really focused on the fact that Snow was lost in the world of the Wildlings and Ygritte constantly had the upper hand in their relationship. Not only did she help Snow to navigate in the brand new world, but she also taught him how to navigate in the bedroom. In her world, she was in complete control, to the point where they could never be equals. In his world, as we saw in the “Ain’t No Lady” paragraph, he would be in complete control, to the point where they could never be equals. Good relationships are about balance, but because of how sharply different their upbringings were and how George R.R. Martin’s world is structured, there’s nowhere they could ever truly meet in the middle.
Spies Don’t Make Lasting LoversSnow joined the Wildling band as a spy. It was a plan concocted by his leader Qhorin Halfhand, who ended up dying at Snow’s hands in order to preserve the appearance of Snow joining the Wildlings. However, like all good spies, Snow eventually returned to the Night’s Watch after his betrayal to the Wildlings was made implicit. His willingness to challenge authority and take on leadership roles within the Night’s Watch has set him on a path to prominence within the organization.
Even if Snow and Ygritte were able to live together without opposition from outside entities, his betrayal as a spy would always be at the forefront of their relationship. Beyond this, if she found some way to forgive him for this betrayal, his path on the Wall is a much more rewarding road to take. As this week’s battle has proven, sometimes love isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes being a part of something larger is. Winter is coming and Jon Snow could very well hold the key to humanity’s salvation.
HBO’s Game of Thrones airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. You can catch last week’s epic recap, here, or tune in for the Season 4 finale next week.