Tormund Thunderfist’s Funeral Oration for Jon Snow
Scene 2. (In front of Castle Black, an enormous, as yet unlit, funeral pyre prepared for the Lord Commander’s body. A distressed crowd of men of the Night’s Watch, free folk, king and queensmen, and others. Tormund enters after Bowen Marsh speaks; Marsh explains ‘reasonably’ why he and others killed Jon Snow: “For the Watch.”)
(Enter Tormund Thunderfist, carrying the shrouded corpse of Jon Snow. The crowd gasps as he places the body on the funeral pyre; then the wasps start buzzing as Tormund prepares to speak.)
Tormund: Free folk, crows, bearded queen, and the rest o’ you,
(Tormund pauses to blow his horn loudly to quiet the unruly group)
Hush up and listen so your ears may hear!
I am here to speak o’ Lord Commander Jon Snow, not to sing his praises, Har.
The treasons that the Lord Crow has done lives after him;
Any good he did will burn with his bones;
So be it with Jon Snow.
Steward Bowen Marsh says Jon Snow was a turncloak.
If this lie is true, it is a dreadful mistake, and gravely has Jon Snow paid for it.
Here, with permission of Marsh and the rest o’ his Crows,
Am I allowed to speak at Jon Snow’s funeral.
He was my friend, loyal and true.
But Bowen Marsh and his crows call Jon Snow an oathbreaker and a turncloak,
a warg and a beastling, an upstart and a black-hearted bastard,
And Marsh and his crows are, as we know, all honorable men.
Commander Snow spoke in the Shieldhall, with me at his side.
Do you remember? He asked for volunteers
to march with him against the Flaying Bastard of Bolton?
(Wildlings and brothers shake their heads, cross arms, mutter to one another in angry tones)
Was this treason? He gave no orders to the Night’s Watch to march with him!
If you all remember, none o’ the crows even volunteered!
Not one offered to protect the bearded queen, her gray faced daughter,
the red bitch [cough] witch, the Wildling Princess Val, and Mance Rayder’s babe.
Yet the Lord o’ Crows did not force his men to join –
Har! Did this in Jon Snow mark him as a turncloak?
When the free folk crossed the Wall, some sick, injured, and crippled,
Lord Snow wept for them.
Treason needs be made o’ sterner stuff.
Yet Steward Marsh names him a turncloak,
And this black brother is a courageous, honorable man.
Har! The red sorceress told me in secret that thrice (holds up three fingers and waves them about dramatically)
I repeat three times
Commander Crow refused the Kingly King
who offered to forgive Snow’s Crow words,
to give him Winterfell, to name him Lord Jon Stark,
trueborn son and heir of Lord Eddard Stark, Warden of the North.
Aye, to sweeten the pot, he even offered Snow
The Wilding Princess Val to wife!
And Thrice did Jon Snow refuse. Was this a turncloak?
Yet Ides of Marsh says Snow was doing treason;
And, sure, you bet, he is an honorable man o’ the Watch.
I am speaking not to turn you against the steward and his Crows –
I am but a man of few words
who speaks no falsehoods, just salts the truth with a stretcher now and then.
Har, ‘twas you Crows who voted Jon Snow your Lord Commander –
So once upon a time you had faith in him, and not without good reasons.
I ask you why now, that he is dead and gone,
No one weeps for him?
Arg! I hope the Others and their soldier corpses take you dry-eyed,
black hearted folk with your empty heads.
Hold up! (Tormund retrieves a handkerchief from his sleeve. He is overcome with emotion, and he roars through his nose into the cloth. He then dabs the corners of his eyes).
Forgive me -
My heart is broken and bleeding beside Jon Snow’s,
There on the funeral pyre.
I t’was a second father to the boy,
and many a time he called me “father” on accident,
mistaking me for his own dear sire the honorable Lord Ned Stark, [ blubbers melodramatically]
just as once he mistook me for the-king-beyond-the wall Mance Rayder. Har!
Tormund is always getting mistaken for Lords and Kings.
Arg. Give me a moment to dry my eyes
before my tears soak the wood on the pyre.
(Tormund turns, his back to the crowd; beneath the shadow across his face a smile of satisfaction, maybe even pride, tugs at the corners of his lips. The crowd at his back whisper loudly in defense of Snow, and Tormund’s smugness shows he is pleased by the results of his funeral oration).
Dolorous Edd Tollet: Methinks he has a strong argument with much and more truth. But most people lie about the truth, especially the people who are my friends; but if they lie about the truth, they are liars, deceivers, betrayers, certainly not friends. Maybe I should jump on that pyre when it is lit because with my luck that dream I had about becoming Lord Commander will come to pass, and I will be surrounded with non-friends. But if I dive into the flames, the red witch might glamor me into a worm; or I might not fully cook and die a long, painful death. Alas, Alack! Jon Snow has been wronged!
Leathers: He’s been wronged.
Queen: Has he, savage? If I were you, I would pray that a worse Lord Commander may NOT replace him?
Mormont’s Raven: Corn, Corn, Corn.
Val: Heed Thunderfist’s words. Jon Snow refused ME, the Stark name and Winterfell to stay true to the Watch and his Crow vows. Therefore, ‘tis false that he is a turncloak.
Toregg: Aye! Any man to refuse Val must be a loyal brother – or blind.
Borroq: If this is true, then some will pay a blood price. Vengeance for the boy! (Borroq returns to sharpening the tusks of his boar.)
Melisandre: (A mist rises from the pores of her skin not concealed beneath yards and yards of the mysteriously swirling red fabric of her garments, even though no wind blows.)
Only life can pay for death.
(Her ruby glows at her throat. Tormund turns back to the audience, and Melisandre gasps).
Gasp! Look! (Mel points at Tormund)
Poor soul. His eyes are red as R’hollor’s fires with his weeping.
Toregg: There’s not a nobler Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch than Jon Snow!
Mormont’s Raven: Snow. Snow. Jon Snow.
Leathers: Shut your hole. Thunderfist speaks.
Tormund: Only yesterday Jon Snow’s wisdom might
Have held the Wall against the foes beyond. Look at him now!
There he lies with no one to pray for him.
Oh! If I had the powers of the red witch, or Bowen Marsh,
I would stir up your emotions, calling you to mutiny and rage.
But if I incite a riot at the Wall,
I should wrong Steward Marsh and Wick Littledick,
who, you all know, are honorable men: I vow I will not do them wrong;
I’d rather wrong the Dead, to wrong you, and maybe me –
But I will not wrong such honorable men.
(Mormont’s Raven quorks, as if on cue, strutting out from Jon Snow’s funeral shroud. In his beak he carries a sealed scroll, which he drops to speak).
Mormont’s Raven: Snow. Jon Snow. Snow.
(The bird steadies beady black eyes on Tormund. Tormand slams his palm onto his forehead so hard his neck jerks back, his bottom lip drops open, and his eyes widen).
‘Tis Lord Crow’s tricksy bird! And look what he has!
(Tormund emotes recognition as false as a Kingslayer who is sworn to protect the King).
It is Jon Snow’s will! I near forgot!
Mormont’s Raven: King. Jon Snow. King. Jon Snow.
Tormund: No – I am not a King, although I am oft mistaken for such.
Now, bring me the parchment with the seal o’ Jon Snow,
and I will give you corn.
(Mormont’s Raven eagerly snatches up the scroll, flies to Tormund’s shoulder, and Tormund reverently takes the will from the bird’s beak.)
Mormont’s Raven: Corn! Corn! Corn! (Tormund finds a handful of corn).
Tormund: Looky here!
(Tormund displays the seal and cracks it to unroll the scroll, his eyes devouring the grammatically correct, comprehensive last wishes of Lord Commander Snow … even though we all know Tormund never learned to read. Tormund moans as if in pain, rolling up the parchment, hanging his head low and shaking it back and forth.)
This tricksy bird, you all know, once sat on Mormont’s shoulder,
Then Jon Snow’s. And now to me he flies with what he found
in the Lord Crow’s pocket;
‘Tis his will!
Allow me to share this testament - - Which, pardon me,
I do not intend to read – for if you knew the contents herein written,
you would kneel before Jon Snow,
you would kiss dead Jon Snow’s wounds, aye.
Take a drop o’ his blood, and unroot a hank o’ his hair
– get a piece o’ Snow as a token to help you remember
the greatest Crow that ever walked the Wall.
[Tormund rambles off track a few lines]
And when, and even if you pre-plan your own funeral
and think up words to speak your legacy,
and even if you have a horse, or piece o’ armor, or golden dragons,
and even if you get it writ before you pass on –
which could be any day, for even those who pretend to be a friend
might stab you in the back.
Or, someone nearby may secretly envy you;
jealous of your fine Valyrian steel, o’ your woman, o’ your name.
As for me, I suffered jealousies o’ men who coveted my big …er … weapon. (The tricksy, bossy bird cuts off Tormund’s all-too-familiar boast, screeching in his ear from his death grip on Tormund’s shoulder.)
Mormont’s Raven: Will! Read will! Will. Read Tor Mund.
Val: We’ll hear Snow’s will! Read it, Tormund Giantsbane!
All: The will, the will! We will hear Jon Snow’s will!
(In the distance, a direwolf howls, his ear-splitting cry echoes the keening of the Old Gods who watch carefully the affairs of men through the weirnet that prides itself on a thousand and one eyes.)
Tormund: Patience, all of you. (Tormund speaks a bit softer, sighing strategically, giving the impression that the will has sucked out his spirit and left him riddled with guilt and pain).
I strongly advise you, I must not read the will.
Trust me, please. If you could see inside my mind,
you might learn the painful truth –
‘Tis a good thing you have no clue that the Bastard Jon Snow has made US
– you and me - his heirs.
O, if you ever found out what’s safely guarded in my brain,
I will tremble like a bride on her first wedding night –
so afeared of what may come of it.
O! You will be enraged! It will make you go mad!
All: Read the will; read the will; read the will.
You shall read it to us, Jon Snow’s will.
Tormund: Enough! You force me to read the will?
But, oh dear, I have talked too much.
May the old gods forgive me. And the Others take me.
I fear I wrong those honorable men, the Crows and queen’s men,
whose daggers stabbed Lord Snow. O – I do fear it.
Melisandre: They were the traitors: honorable men!
All: The will! The Will! What’d he leave us!
Borroq: They are villains, murderers! Read the will!
We’ll burn the traitors later. First, the will!
Tormund: You really want me to read the will?
Then come closer – make a ring around the corpse of Snow,
and let me show him that writ the will.
Move! Out of my way, Bearded Queen.
(Tormund lifts Queen in air and moves her aside. He winks at her slyly and whispers so softly she cannot tell if Tormund Thunderfist speaks or the raven bobbing drunkenly on his thick, bulging shoulder).
Tormund: I never had me a woman with a mustache.
And you have never had a man like me
with a weapon unlike any other in size and width.
Queen: O dear. [Blushes coyly] My husband’s weapon is Lightbringer.
Tormund: I never thought of lighten the way. Never got lost, myself.
But if you be liking things on fire … er …
Leathers: Get back!
Toregg: Make room for Tormund Thunderfist, most valiant!
Tormund: Watch it! Nay – do not press upon me – stand far off!
A few voices: Get Over. Back. Don’t touch me!
He said to make a ring. Get out of the pyre, Stupid.
Tormund: If any of you have held back your tears,
prepare to let them fall.
(Tormund gently removes Jon Snow’s funeral shroud, once his cloak, which Tormund shakes out dramatically; this garment is peppered with gaping holes, stained with dry, and wet blood still dripping from fabric)
You all recognize the Lord Crow’s cloak:
I recall the first time I saw Snow in these black wings
when he did fly down from the Wall
to live with the free folk.
Looky here – note this blood splatter,
a crusty ring around the collar:
In this place Wick Whittlestick ran his dagger through.
See this big hole? Devious Alf of Runnymudd made this tear.
Through this [Tormund looks through a large jagged opening, impressed with the reaction of horror his words has had on his attentive audience].
Bowen Marsh, who Jon Snow loved
as if he were his own beloved father, stabb’d.
Har! And as Jon Snow plucked Marsh’s cursed steel from his stomach,
Mark you how Jon Snow’s blood did follow it.
For Bowen Marsh, as you know,
was Jon Snow’s idol –[ aside - in my absence] –
Judge all o’ you and the gods how dearly
Jon Snow loved him.
Bowen Marsh’s cut was the most deepest and most hurtful o’ them all.
For when the Lord Crow did see this traitor,
whom Jon Snow loved as if he were his own long lost-beyond-the wall
Uncle Benjen, or as his now dead true-born brothers
the Young Wolf, Bran, and Rickon o’ House Stark.
Upon the vision o’ his own dear brother of the Night’s Watch
who stuck him in the gut –well-
Jon Snow dropped to his knees, his wounds smoking,
and then he toppled over, burying his face in the snow.
O, what a racket assaulted our ears as Jon Snow fell,
Him masked by snow, his cuts running boiling blood.
With him we too fell, whilst bloody traitors flourish
like weeds to strangle us.
Har! Now you weep! Do you feel pity?
O. Now I hear you sniffle and cry –
Feel o’bit of pity, you do?
These are precious drops.
Prepare, tender o’ heart, sob when you behold
Our Lord Commander Snow maimed by traitors’ daggers.
Look – Now!
Here is himself, marr’d, as you all do witness,
(Tormund reveals Jon’s corpse to expose a bloody spectacle. At the same time, Jon Snow’s wounds bleed anew, a thin curtain of mist rises slowly from his body.)
Random Spearwife: O! Hideous sight!
Mully: O honorable Lord Snow!
Iron Emmett: Butcher’s work!
Queen: O most bloody sight! (Queen faints)
Shireen: Is he dead? What happened to his face?
Leathers: Traitors! Villains.
PatchFace: Oh, oh, oh, no! Poor Jon Snow.
Toregg: We will be avenged!
All: Revenge! Burn! Kill! Slay! Castrate! Blind!
Let not a traitor live.
Tormund: Wait a minute! (Blows horn to call to order angry mob bent on destruction and vengeance)
Dolorous Edd: Hear the Thunderfist.
Flea: We’ll hear him; we’ll follow him. We’ll die with him!
Tormund: Good friends – loyal friends – I did not speak to get you all fired up
so that you mutiny.
Them Crows who done this deed are honorable.
I am near convinced none o’ them had personal griefs with Jon Snow (eye roll):
they are too wise and loyal,
and will no doubt answer you with this reason:
“For the Watch! For the Watch!”
I am here not to win your hearts –
For I am no mummer, no twister o’ words and lies – like Bowen Marsh.
But, as most o’ you know me, a simple, blunt man
who loved my friend; and the Ides o’ Marsh knew this well, and
they still gave me permission to speak o’ Snow.
For I lack the wit, the talent, the tricksy moves,
the speaking power to stir men’s blood.
I call it as I see it.
I will tell you a secret wish o’ mine own:
Take a hard look at Jon Snow’s wounds.
They are like poor, dumb mouths,
but if I could conjure a spell, I would give tongues to Jon Snow’s wounds –
And I would ask these bloody mouths to speak on my behalf –
There would be a Voice that would anger your spirits.
With mine own words and Jon Snow’s wounds talking with me –
All together we will move the stones and ice and snow to rise and mutiny!
All: We’ll mutiny?
Shireen: What’s a mutiny?
Satin: Come away, then. Come, tie up the conspirators.
Tormund: Hear me, good folk. Hear me till I finish.
(Blows horn to recall angry mob ready to rape and pillage and kill.)
Tormund: Why, friends, you are running about like chickens with your heads cut off.
You know not what you do.
You forgot the will I mentioned.
All: Most true. The will. Let’s stay to hear the will.
Tormund: Here is Jon Snow’s will, under his personal seal –
It says here –
To Tormund Thunderfist, that’s me,
Jon Snow does leave me his tricksy bird so long as I don’t eat him;
his Ghost; and his Longclaw.
[General complaints of unfair labor practices and favoritism]
To every free folk, and to some Crows not traitors,
he gives a golden dragon.
Shireen: A golden dragon? With wings?
Mormont’s Raven: Dragon Jon Snow. Dragon! Dragon!
Mully: Most noble Commander Crow!
Iron Emmett: We’ll revenge his death!
Random Spearwife: O woe is me. No more handsome Jon Snow!
Tormund: Patience. I’m not done!
Moreover, Jon Snow has left the free folk
the land he calls the Gift, on this side o’ the Wall.
He has left this boon to you,
And to your heirs forever. Land for all.
You can walk about and recreate yourselves.
Here lies Lord Commander Jon Snow! When comes such another?
Dolorous Edd: Never, Never. He is the only Jon Snow I know, but I only ever knew one. And Snow’s a bastard name and bad luck …
Leathers: [cuts off Edd] Burn his body in the red witch’s fires –
Iron Emmett: Tie the Conspirators to stakes – and with brands of fire lit from Jon Snow’s funeral pyre, cook them!
We’ll burn their bodies justly.
Wun Wun: Fire!
Mully: Pull the bindings tighter.
Mormont’s Raven: Burn! Burn! Burn!
Melisandre: If you wish, but at great risk,
If I feed these honorable men to my flames,
The Lord of Light may cast them from the warmth of his fire.
I cannot disguise hearts made of black ice from Rh’ller
(Melisandre lights Jon Snow’s funeral pyre, and once the flames taste the King’s blood from the dagger rents, the flames shoot into the sky like rockets, then explode. Sparks of blazing color burst, sending bands of light that magically form a bouquet of roses, turning red, then yellow, and blue. The billowing petals flashed and winked and then fell away, spent ash darkening the layer of powdery snow.)
Tormund: (an aside) Aye! I planted trouble –
which will like as not cause great damage
to these traitorous crows flapping about their Wall!
Payback! Take whatever form you will! Be off!
Har! I need a drink. All this tall talking has left me parched.
by evita mgfs