31 Things We Learned from the Game of Thrones Women

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21. Love isn’t always enough to sustain a relationship.


Jon and Ygritte had quite the star-cross’d romance. Both had their loyalties and values, and in the end they didn’t mesh. While Jon integrated himself into wildling culture and would come to champion them, at the time his allegiance remained with the Night’s Watch. He has that notorious Stark honor, and couldn’t abandon his vows entirely.

On the whole, the ageless feud between the Free Folk and the Night’s Watch kept Jon and Ygritte apart. No matter their love for one another, they both had lives before they came together. The values they held outside of their relationship proved stronger and perhaps insurmountable. Had Ygritte lived past the battle of Castle Black, their ending might have taken a happier turn.

Tragic as it is, Ygritte’s conviction to her own life is so admirable. She wouldn’t give up on herself or her lifestyle to suit someone else. As much as she loved Jon, she loved herself and her people more. A whirlwind romance, no matter how real it would become, could take her away from her own ideologies. Love can change a person, but a person shouldn’t change who they are for love’s sake. Jon would have had to leave her no matter what, and she had no control over that. Ygritte took charge of herself, and at least part of her understood that Jon had to do the same.