Jon Snow’s death mirrors Julius Caesar’s assassination

Julius Caesar was the dictator of the Roman Empire; and Jon Snow was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch – both leaders in their time (and worlds – real and not); they seem to have encountered a similar fate.

Julius Caesar assassination

Julius Caesar assassination

On the day of his death; Julius Caesar received a petition from Tillius Cimber, asking Caesar to recall his exiled brother. Similarly, Olly came to Jon Snow to tell him that a Wildling had information on the whereabouts of Jon’s uncle.

Caesar’s conspirators surrounded him; just as Jon was surrounded by his Watch brothers.

Caesar was then stabbed 23 times by his conspirators. Jon was stabbed multiple times by his Watch brothers.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow

Suetonius reported that some conspirators recall Caesar’s last words to be, “you too, child?” In response to Brutus also betraying him. If this is true; this is akin to Jon saying, “no Olly, don’t…” before Olly stabs him.

Jon Snow death

Jon Snow death

After the assassination of Caesar, the conspirators walked Rome shouting, “people of Rome, we are once again free!” Every time Jon was stabbed by his Watch brothers; they said, “for the Watch.” Both the conspirators and the Watch brothers wanted to free their community of leaders who had an alternative vision to what they believed in.

Both Caesar’s and Jon’s bodies were left/abandoned where they had been killed. What do you think – does Jon Snow’s death mirror Julius Caesar’s assassination?

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6 thoughts on “Jon Snow’s death mirrors Julius Caesar’s assassination

  1. I guess George Martin took his inspiration from many sources. Benioff and Weiss are carrying on the tradition. HBO also produced that great series “Rome”, which looks at historical events from a different imaginary perspective.

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  2. This occurred to me during the scene as well. Martin has a tendency to bring in other literary elements into his storytelling, and is fond of Shakespeare so I can imagine he has some inspiration from the telling of the tragedy of Julius Caesar, in fact some of his arguments to his detractors have been to mention if someones ever read a Shakespearean tragedy before. It’s all wonderful reinforcement that this is a harsh, cold and realistic world that is being written about (despite the large, flying, fire-breathing lizards and magic fire witches) so if you do acts that invalidate your standing to your people, no matter how heroic your actions, you stand the risk of being betrayed.

    It’s also interesting to note that in many ways Jon Snow died in ways that every Stark male has up to this point, standing up for something that felt right and just but others felt otherwise and it clashed with their own ambitions or pride. Rob dies because he marries for love instead of duty and due to the ambitions of the Boltons, Ned died trying to bring to light the illegitimacy of the current child king and install the rightful heir to the throne and Jon died because he chose to do something that was almost in-arguably for the entire kingdoms survival but still went against the opinions and values of many of the members of the Nights Watch.

    But going back to the comparison, I think you missed one aspect as well. In many ways Alliser Thorne can be seen as Cassius in this. He was the chief detractor to Jon Snows tenure as Lord Commander, and could very well have been the guiding force behind organizing his death at the hands of the brothers of the Night’s Watch. Cassius was cited as having his chief reason for arranging Caesars death being he feared what a Rome under Caesars rule would mean for him (read: his status) and went as far as forging letters to arrange people against him. Alliser is shown to have considerable influence in the watch, and would’ve been the next Lord Commander if it weren’t for Jon, and all of this coupled with Jon’s actions to let the Wildlings travel south of the wall all flew against the world Thorne wanted.

    It’s an excellent comparison between Caesar and Snow. Good catch on seeing that.

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  3. I was reading about Julius Caesar’s assassination when I noticed the similarity with that last scene in season 5, I thought there should be someone who had the same idea and then I googled it and found your article, AWESOME.

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  4. I live near the Wall (Hadrian’s) and my house is called Winterfell… not completely up to date with GoT so gutted to hear Jon Snow gets killed! All the good people do… mind you it’s a pretty amazing series that can kill of Sean Bean in an early episode and still be successful… (yes, I am being slightly sarcastic – I do like Sean Bean (saw him in Macbeth in Milton Keynes – he was really good) – but I do appreciate that there are plenty of other good people in GoT too!).

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