Jon Snow from Game of Thrones is a man of honor. When he killed the dragon queen in S08E06, he didn't even escape but told the truth. But then why did he kill her with a back stab? Not literally, but he kissed her and she didn't know that he has a weapon.

I understand that maybe he couldn't kill her another way, but that's not a very honorable anyway.

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    Don't forget he was planning to do something very similar to Mance Rayder a few seasons ago, during peace negotiations (but with less kissing, probably) Commented May 21, 2019 at 12:03
  • 3
    The scene is reminiscent of the finale of Of Mice and Men, in which George kills Lennie, whom he loves, because of what Lennie has become. Commented May 22, 2019 at 6:23
  • "she didn't know that he has a weapon", he could have enter the room with a battle axe and a maul on his back. I didn't see the bucket where people have to leave their umbrella and sword at the entry of the room and their was no man to enforce the rule. Commented May 22, 2019 at 8:45
  • “she didn't know that he has a weapon” — really? There was a dagger hanging from his belt when he walked in, presumably the one he stabbed her with. Commented May 22, 2019 at 9:36
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    immoral != dishonorable
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 10:12

7 Answers 7


Jon did not commit to murdering Daenerys when he came to the Throne room.

The first thing he did was lash out at her about killing innocent civilians and prisoners of war. He had been a passive partner to Daenerys these last few episodes. He lashed out in anger because he wanted Daenerys to see reason. To snap her out of the cloud of smoke to see the rubble she had laid on ground.

The next thing he does is plead to her to see reason. To give mercy to Tyrion and the rest. Daenerys at this moment is now convinced that she knows what's right for the people.

The last thing he does is asks her plainly as to "what about the people who think they know what's best for them". She replies that they don't have a choice.

After making every effort to redeem Daenerys in his eyes, he fails and decides to kill her.

He loves her still and proclaims her the queen, now and always. Kisses her back, embrace her in his arms and stabs her in the heart.


Because there is a conflict between multiple of his honors here.

  1. He vowed loyalty to Daenerys, and even after all that happened seems to still love her to some extent. He is shown very often and very clearly not to break oaths, even risking the whole expedition North over this particular one.
  2. He vowed to protect all people, the common folk. Literally as part of his Night's Watch oath ("I am the shield that guards the realms of men"), but more significantly it's how he is raised and what he believes with all his heart, even to the point of getting killed over helping/protecting the free folk against the Night's Watch sentiment.

Tyrion reminds him very heavily of the second vow. Basically Jon is now tormented, if he keeps his first oath he will most likely be breaking his second oath because Daenerys at that point seems like a cruel conqueror who will not stop bringing fire and death. If he keeps his second Oath he must somehow stop Daenerys from doing that but there is not obvious way without breaking the first Oath. In the end he chooses his second, more deep-rooted vow.

After that choice it doesn't matter of how the murder is performed, the act in itself is dishonorable for him, and you see he is tormented by it and very well prepared to die as a consequence.

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    agree with (1), but (2) - he isnt a part of nights watch anymore(ever since his resurrection). The second reason is that hes an Honorable man with his heart and head in the right places putting people before his allegiance - for the greater good
    – Anu7
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 9:54
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    "So many vows...they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other.” - pretty interesting how Jamie's take on things ends up being Jon's torment as well
    – Selkie
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 16:27
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    @Selkie and the show version of the quote makes it even more obvious. "So many vows. They make you swear and swear. Defend the King, obey the King, obey your father, protect the innocent, defend the weak. But what if your father despises the King? What if the King massacres the innocent? It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or another."
    – kuhl
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 17:57
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    I just realised that her death was a mirror of her grandfather's. She was killed by someone loyal to her with a knife, someone who'd taken the black. The mad king was killed by his bodyguard with a knife, someone who'd taken the white. Both black and white swear oaths of loyalty including never having families of their own. Both were killed to prevent further death. The mad king was going to burn the city, the mad queen was going to burn the world.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 4:33
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    @Daniel The mad king was Dany's father, not grandfather. She's Jon's aunt. Commented May 22, 2019 at 9:48

Ultimately Jon had to betray someone - Dany or the people he was sworn to protect. Dany was bent on making the world better through force, convinced of her own righteousness. So for example, if Sansa had refused her it seems likely that she would have torched her, if not the whole of Winterfell. The rest of the world gets the same treatment.

So Jon killed her. He gave her every opportunity to change her mind. The way he ended up doing it was simply to avoid a violent fight.


I don't think it's about honor, the way I saw it, Jon didn't want Dany to suffer, i.e. it was a "Mercy Kill".

Clearly, Daenerys wasn't herself any longer, and was consumed by grief and hatred. When Jon realized he can't get her back, and the "old Dany" is suffering, he decided to end her pain.

He also knows that if he would let her know he's going to kill her, she can convince him to stop, and he won't be able to resist, still being in love with her.

All the above together should explain why Jon acted the way he did.


Love is the death of duty.

Jon and Tyrion discussed this quote from Maester Aemon. For Jon, it meant that he had forsaken his duty (acting in the best interest of the Realm) because of his love for Dany.

Tyrion then adds that duty can be the death of love. In order words, if Jon wants to do his duty, he must put his feeling of love aside. Quite literally, Jon's rightful duty would be to kill the woman he loves, since she is an active threat that cannot be stopped.

Killing Dany was in the best interest of the Realm, and Jon has unwaiveringly acted in the best interest of the people he represents: the Starks, the Night's Watch (and thus also the realm of men), the North.

When Jon killed Dany, he put aside his personal feelings and acted in the best interest of the people he swore to defend. Because Dany would have remained an active threat.

While Jon may not have understood Dany's statement, don't forget that in her victory speech, she specifically mention "liberating" Winterfell. That puts Jon in a strong conflict. The woman he loves threatens everything else he stands for, and he had to make a choice.

He chose duty over love. Because he couldn't prevent Dany from waging eternal bloody war.


I understand that maybe he couldn't kill her another way...

I wouldn't discount this as part of the reason. Once he'd decided he had to do it, which wasn't until well into the scene, he had to know that she was a hard person to kill. She had Drogon, and she was canny. If he'd given her advance notice of his intention, he might well have become a smoking outline on the ground, leaving the seven kingdoms doomed to suffer under The Mad Queen and her dragon.

A swift, unexpected stroke was his best — possibly only — chance of success.

  • 1
    Not to mention that it was a very hard decision for him. Give her a few more seconds when she fully realizes the mortal danger, and she might actually convince Jon not to do it (and then probably execute him and droves of other people). Jon doesn't know what's the good thing to do - he just knows that it definitely isn't someone who claims to know what's good for everyone else, and willing to enforce it.
    – Luaan
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 7:09

He didn't stab her in the back. He did it discreetly, not in order to hide that he did it but too remove the weirdness if he just took a dagger and came running to her to get a kill - that would have been funny lol and last minutes of Danys would have been where he saw Jon came like a lunatic and kill her.

But this is very opinion based. Even if it was 1 bit not honorable then he have been through enough to say "Fuck honor" and do something for the greater good.

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    " if he just took a dagger and came running to her to get a kill" - I imagined him running holding dagger above his head, screaming and her face... It made me laugh so hard :D
    – Mzia
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 8:10
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    That's exactly my friend is how I imagined it as well. xD Commented May 21, 2019 at 9:10
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    Exactly: cue the chase around the Throne, and the Benny Hill music
    – mungflesh
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 16:57
  • We need someone to do a parody of this scene. Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 13:10

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