There's more than one way to view Jon Snow's final moment on 'Game of Thrones'

Helen Sloan/HBOJon Snow had to make a tough decision.
  • Warning: Major spoilers ahead for the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” “The Iron Throne.”
  • On the final episode of the HBO show, Jon Snow was forced back into the Night’s Watch.
  • But he went north with Tormund, which might have some major consequences for Jon later in life.
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HBO’s “Game of Thrones” came to an end Sunday night, and with its conclusion came a new adventure for Jon Snow.

On the episode, “The Iron Throne,” the former King in the North ended his story by heading north of the Wall with Tormund, Ghost, and the surviving Free Folk.

Though Jon is happily reunited with his friend and his direwolf, his choice to go past the Wall may have some consequences should he ever want to return to Westeros and see his family.

Read more:
Daenerys Targaryen’s downfall on ‘Game of Thrones’ aligns brilliantly with George R.R. Martin’s beliefs about the troubling morals of war

Jon tormund wall season 8HBOJon heading north with Tormund.

At the start of the episode, Jon is faced with the decision of whether to remove Daenerys from power, and he does so by stabbing and killing her.

Grey Worm arrests Jon and wants him killed, but Tyrion, also a prisoner, persuades Grey Worm and a group of surviving Westerosi leaders to let a new ruler decide.

With Daenerys dead, there’s no king or queen, so Sam Tarly puts forth the idea of a democratic vote. The council decides on Bran Stark and, as a compromise with Grey Worm, sentences Jon Snow back into the Night’s Watch, or whatever is left of it following the Night King’s attack.

“I don’t expect we’ll ever see each other again,” Jon later tells Tyrion.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Tyrion responds. “A few years as Hand of the King would make anyone want to piss off the edge of the world.”

Tyrion’s reference to peeing off the wall is a callback to season one when he did so in front of Jon, then a member of the Night’s Watch. But Jon’s inference may be foreshadowing his decision to head north.

Jon snow season 8 game of thronesHBOJon talking to Tyrion.

Jon’s going beyond the Wall with the Free Folk seems to be a decision to desert the Night’s Watch. If that’s the case, he wouldn’t ever be allowed back into Westeros, meaning he wouldn’t see any of his family or former friends and acquaintances again, unless they went past the Wall to find him.

Some fans have questioned the existence of the Night’s Watch – something Jon asks Tyrion about.

Tyrion tells him, “The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men.”

It’s also possible that Jon’s sentence was a ruse to soothe Grey Worm and those who wanted justice for Daenerys’ murder. After all, there’s no purpose for the Night’s Watch without White Walkers.

Jon has an affinity for the North, where he met his first love, Ygritte. Though he started as an enemy of the Free Folk, he soon became a hero to them and a good friend to Tormund. The Starks know about Jon’s ties to the North and might have delivered a sentence that would give Jon a way to venture North. And Tormund was waiting for Jon when he arrived at the Wall.

But that’s one question that will never be answered on screen.

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