If you haven't caught up with the current season of Game of Thrones please go away.
[SPOILERS for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire below]
The resurrection of Jon Snow, one of the most hyped events in the history of Game of Thrones, cable television, celebrity deaths (basically!), and blogging, took a comically long time to actually happen. It was delayed for nearly three entire episodes — all the while Jon Snow's body was, I assume, stinking up the entire Night's Watch dorm. When it finally did happen, as one A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit contributor points out, it was reacted to appropriately by exactly no one.
What gives? Is it just that no one really cares that much whether Jon lives or dies? If I were him, I would take offense! If I were Melisandre, who just pulled off the greatest party trick in living memory, I would be even more PO-ed.
Here is a list of people who have interacted with Jon Snow since he came back to life and know that he came back to life yet seem totally unimpressed / unconcerned.
- Davos Seaworth: At first, Davos was (maybe) surprised to see that Jon Snow was alive, but that was only because he had previously given up hope that Melly's spell had worked and stomped out of the room in tears like a big ole onion-loving baby. Before that, his frame of mind was more like, "I saw that murder shadow baby, and now I just don't even know what kind of show I'm on. Resurrection? Why not! Sure would help an Onion Knight out of a pickle!"
- Ghost: Ghost was so unimpressed that he didn't even bother to show up for any subsequent episode. The appropriation of Game of Thrones' CGI budget is perfectly rational.
- Melisandre: At first Mel is all, "You are Azor Ahai!" And then Mel is all, "I don't really feel like being on this show anymore."
- Tormund Giantsbane: Tormund reacts with a dick joke, which, okay.
- Dolorous Edd: Edd is very selfish and mostly just furious because Jon no longer cares about the ice monsters that threaten the lives of every human being on the continent. Edd, Ramsay is living in Jon's house. Be cool, dude.
- Ollie: Mainly just annoyed. (Then dead.)
- Alliser Thorne: A little confused, then dead.
- Those other two Night's Watch guys that die: Who knows!
- Sansa Stark: Was her reaction edited out for time?!
- Brienne of Tarth: I get it, Brienne is more concerned with bragging about killing Stannis. But resurrected zombie Starks might eventually be a substantial issue for her so it would behoove her to pay attention.
- Every wildling
- Wun Wun
People who watch Game of Thrones may not be that impressed by magical resurrections, as we've already seen several, but most of the characters on the show itself have seen exactly zero. They're are also extremely suspicious of magic, thanks primarily to the Maesters who were responsible for their education and were constantly telling them that magic isn't real. Honestly, that sounds very similar to my public education. If I were to one day witness someone being raised from the dead, I would lose my goddamn mind.
Apart from not being impressed it doesn't even seem to worry anyone that Jon used to be dead. It's like everybody watched a Nuva Ring commercial and really enjoyed the part where friends drink sangria together, and sort of / kind of heard the list of side effects but chose not to dwell on it. Is nobody at all concerned that Jon's body might be possessed by something terrible? You know, because of his current proximity to 80,000 monsters?
Here is a list of people who have interacted with Jon Snow since he came back to life and may not know that he came back to life but still fail to ask very basic questions like "Hmmm, aren't you Lord Commander of the Night's Watch? Like, what are you doing here?"
- Lyanna Mormont: Lyanna has plenty of time to reveal herself as #NotAnAlly, and grill Sansa with accusatory questions about her obviously involuntary marriages, but the only burn she can summon up for Jon is "You're not a Stark." Kind of overplayed at this point, Lyanna.
- Lyanna's crew: To be fair, they didn't speak.
- Galbart Glover: Considering Galbart is ready to rattle off a very rude synopsis of the life of Robb Stark (RIP) it it surprising that he knows virtually nothing about Jon. I guess, like me, Galbart thought Robb was way hotter.
- Galbart's crew: Very quiet.
- Galbart's choker: Loud, but unhelpful.
Here is a list of people who wrote Jon Snow rude letters, assuming he was still the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch but I guess not really caring.
- Ramsay Bolton: Ramsay mails the letter by Raven Express to the Wall, so he obviously knows Jon is there and probably thinks he is still Lord Commander. He challenges Jon to march on Winterfell, without making any reference to the fact that the Night's Watch commander can't do that. I know Ramsay doesn't play by many rules, but it has not been established that he is stupid.
Here is a list of people who had a weird barn strategy meeting about Sansa Stark's life and clearly heard her when she mentioned that Jon was going to help her steal back a castle but didn't ask "Wait, isn't that wayyyyyy not allowed, since he is Lord Commander of the Night's Watch?"
- Littlefinger: Peter has really lost the plot, just in general, so I suppose I can't really blame him for this one. He was being eviscerated at the time, so I'm sure his thought ducks weren't exactly in a row. Remember when he used to make incessant comments about how "knowledge is power?" Guess he forgot.
Can everyone stop acting so casual about Jon's employment situation? Lord Commander of the Night's Watch is a prestigious job, even if people are often dismissive of the entire organization's usefulness! The last time we saw a Night's Watch deserter on this show was the pilot episode — and Ned Stark chopped his head off! He didn't want to, and the deserter guy was saying a lot of things about White Walkers that we now know to be extremely true and urgent (your bad, Ned), but he had to because them's the laws. If one were a Northern lord who didn't know Jon's "brothers" had viciously stabbed him to death, therefore freeing him to exploit a loophole in his contract, one would be required to chop off his head. I know everyone pretty much does whatever they want in Westeros, but that usually involves more head-chopping, not less!
doesn't anyone care about rules anymore?
I'm sorry for taking you on such a long and winding journey for naught, but I really have no answer for the question I posed in the headline, other than, I suppose, bad writing? Or maybe good writing, because the show would need another 10 episodes to fit in every "holy baloney you were raised from the dead by sexy / geriatric witch magic." Another day, another get-David-Benioff-and-Dan-Weiss-off-my-lawn post.
Jon, if you're reading this, I see you. I am impressed, but not really because your world doesn't have normal physics.