Jon Snow needs a lesson in rhetorical strategy

August 1, 2017

"The Queen's Justice," Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," saw two epic castles changing hands, the death of a beloved Queen, the imprisonment of two more, and one of the most anticipated conversations in all of the seven seasons (and kingdoms): Jon and Daenarys' meeting in Dragonstone. 


This meeting wasn't only long-awaited for the audience, however. Dany and Jon too, surely, would have been waiting for this climactic confrontation since at least the delivery and reception of Tyrion's letter (below). Which, for two of the major rulers in Westeros, would mean that they would and should have been planning out their arguments for one another to get what they want: Dany, for Jon to bend the knee; Jon, for Dany to send her troops north to defend against the Army of the Dead. 


Dany went with a straightforward delivery, set up by the purposefully intimidating Dragonstone throne room itself, bolstered by Missandei's powerful (if not over-the-top) reading of the Queen's ever-accumulating titles. And Jon, well, he pulled a Jon Snow. 


As he has been wont to do when rousing support, either from the Wildlings, the Lords of the North, or now the Khaleesi, Jon talked about the biggest threat to the living in the same way that he always does, using a short anecdotal fallacy. "I've seen them," he says simply.

Well, Jon, that sounds like a you-problem. Any more evidence you can provide that would make this argument a little more veritable? You can mention, perhaps, the numbers that the Walkers have, that they stormed an entire keep at Hardhome just a few months ago and forced you to escape in the water, that you've killed one with your very own sword, or maybe even bring a few lads with you who can corroborate that you watched the Night's King convert hundreds of dead wildlings into fucking ice zombies right before your eyes. You know, something other than the weak "I've seen them, they're coming," line you've been feeding your lackeys thus far. 


Sure, there's no way to pull any real direct evidence into this non-digital age of ice and dragons, so anecdotal is about the best you can do, but you gotta ham that up a little better, man. Your ethos works with the boys up north, but when you're trying to make allies outside of Winterfell, you're going to need an accurate Night's King impression, some white walker literature from your boy Sam in Oldtown, and Tormund Brisbane talking about punching the heads off of these little zombie-fuckers at least


Just something to think about.




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