‘Game Of Thrones’: The First Rule Of The Night’s Watch Is That No One Ever Leaves, Why Has Everyone Forgotten This?

Ever since Game of Thrones started, fans have been constantly reminded of the first rule of the Night’s Watch: once you join, you can never leave. So why, in Season 6, has everyone forgotten this basic tenet?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

For many fans, the Season 6 return of Game of Thrones saw the welcome return of the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow (Kit Harington). For months, fans had speculated over just how dead Jon Snow was after members of the Night’s Watch stabbed him multiple times in the Season 5 finale. However, since Melisandre (Carice van Houten) brought Jon Snow back from the dead, it seems everyone has forgotten the rules.

HBO's Game of Thrones Jon Snow is sworn in as a member of the Night's Watch

Becoming a member of the Night’s Watch involves swearing the following oath.

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

HBO have made it pretty clear that Jon Snow died in the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones and, therefore, his watch has ended. He has been freed from his service to the Night’s Watch on a technicality. However, to those outside Castle Black, unless a raven has been sent that TV viewers were not privy to, for all intents and purposes, he is still a member of the Night’s Watch. So, if no raven has been sent, why were Lady Mormont and Lord Glover okay with Jon Snow assisting his half-sister, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), in reclaiming Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon)?

If we look back to the Night’s Watch oath, it clearly states that a member of the Night’s Watch “shall wear no crowns and win no glory.” But isn’t this exactly what Jon Snow is attempting to do when he storms Winterfell? Maybe not wear the crown, since he is a bastard not bearing the Stark name, but he is certainly attempting to win against Ramsay and have Winterfell returned to the Starks.

HBO's Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 The Broken Man Sansa Stark and Jon Snow

As The Verge pointed out, shouldn’t Lady Mormont and Lord Glover be more concerned with why Jon Snow has broken his sacred oath to the Night’s Watch rather than pointing out Stark’s previous indiscretions? After all, the oath is so widely known and accepted, it’s tenets so ingrained into the way of life in Westeros and its surrounds that even in the very first episode of Game of Thrones Ned Stark (Sean Bean) beheaded a deserter of the Night’s Watch. Because that’s what you do in Game of Thrones when a person of the Night’s Watch turns up on your doorstep on business that has absolutely nothing to do with being a member of the Night’s Watch. So why did Lady Mormont and Lord Glover not do the same when Jon Snow turned up insisting he was a part of Sansa’s plan to reclaim Winterfell?

Perhaps it was explained offscreen that Jon had been killed and resurrected and therefore was no longer a member of the Night’s Watch. Or perhaps that raven really has been sent out to everyone across the Game of Thrones universe and HBO just forgot to include that scene in the final cut of Season 6. Or perhaps, with Sansa’s letter scene in Episode 7 HBO just thought it was too many raven scenes too close together. Maybe fans will never know, and it will be yet another one of the great mysteries of Game of Thrones. Like that time Howland Reed turned up in one of Bran’s greensights as an ally to Ned Stark and potentially the only other person alive who know what went on in the Tower of Joy, yet he is nowhere to be seen in Westeros and no one ever talks to him. Or like why HBO insists on changing the actors who play some characters when it is already hard enough to keep up with the vast cast list already. Maybe even like why is Ramsay Bolton allowed to flay bodies anymore when it is apparently illegal under Westerosi law. Or why winter always seems to be coming but never actually does even though it sure does seem like it in parts of the North, and how that that even work from a science point of view? Or that time when you assume Melisandre looks young because her necklace is a type of glamour since she only showed her true age when she removed it, and then this picture turns up.

Melisandre image from season 4 of HBO's Game of Thrones

What do you think about Jon Snow and the oath of the Night’s Watch? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below!

Season 6 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 8, entitled “No One” on Sunday, June 12, at 9 p.m. ET.

According to Time, the official synopsis is as follows.

“While Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) weighs his options, Cersei (Lena Headey) answers a request. Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) plans bear fruit. Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a new test.”

[Image via HBO]