ByElise Jost, writer at
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!" Twitter @elisejost
Elise Jost

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3, "Oathbreaker."

Season 6 of Game of Thrones hasn't been holding back: We're only three episodes in and the Night's Watch alone has taken a severe toll. Its Lord Commander returned from the dead, only to hand over his role to Dolorous Edd, but not before punishing those who had turned against him.

That's right: Resurrected Jon Snow executed the Night Watch's mutineers, including young Olly and Ser Alliser Thorne, who had been serving Castle Black for most of his lifetime. While Thorne was far from the most beloved character on the show, he was certainly a man of strong belief and dedication. He's what you would call a great bad guy, so here are five reasons why he's admirable.

1. We All Hate Him

When Jon Snow joins the Night's Watch, Ser Alliser Thorne wastes no time in making his life a living hell. His strategy: Turn the rest of the black brothers against the one who was "brought up in a castle." His attitude towards Sam, who he nicknamed Lord Piggy, wasn't the kind of move that would make him likable, either.

2. But He, Too, Can Acknowledge His Mistakes


When Snow returned from his infiltration of the wildlings to warn the Castle of Mancy's impending attack, he advised the Night's Watch to seal the tunnel — but Thorne refused. As the wildling army approaches, however, he's quick to realize his mistake and he admits it. He's been opposing Snow ever since his first day at the Wall, and yet he knows when to give him credit.

"We should have sealed the tunnel when we had the chance, like you suggested."

3. He's A Great Leader

During the Battle of Castle Black, Thorne showed he had what it takes to lead a team into a battle, however uncertain the outcome may be. Surrounded by wildlings assaulting the castle from every angle, he gives an impassioned speech that just goes to show the extent of his dedication to the Night's Watch.

"Brothers! A hundred generations have defended this castle. She has never fallen before and she will not fall tonight. Those are Thenns on our walls, they eat the flesh of the men they kill! Do you want to fill the belly of a Thenn tonight? Tonight we fight! And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand! The Night's Watch will stand! With me now, now with me!"

Even when he's wounded and has to be dragged away by his black brothers, he continues to yell orders to get his team going.

4. He's A Man Who Sticks To His Decisions


Many killers would have been paralyzed by fear if they saw their victim come back from the dead as if it was just the most normal thing in the world. Not Thorne. As Owen Teale, who played Thorne, put it in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Thorne isn't the kind of guy to struggle with regret.

"He won't shirk the responsibility of what he's done. That's not Alliser Thorne. He's solid like that, ultimately. He's a solid guy. He's done what he's done."

It's already clear when he defends his choice to kill Snow in the first episode of Season 6: He's able to understand Snow's reasoning while defending his ground at the same time.

"We've committed treason, all of us. Jon Snow was my Lord Commander. I had no love for him, that was no secret, but I never once disobeyed an order. Loyalty is the foundation on which the Night's Watch is built, and the Watch means everything to me. I've given my life, we've all given our lives to the Night's Watch. Jon Snow was going to destroy the Night's Watch. He led the wildlings through our gates as no Lord Commander has ever done before. He gave them the very land on which they reaved and raped and murdered. Lord Commander Snow did what he thought was right, I've no doubt about that, and what he thought was right would have been the end of us. He thrust a terrible choice upon us, and we made it."

5. He Genuinely Believes He's Doing The Right Thing


The strength of his belief in the Night's Watch — or at least, a certain version of the Night's Watch that probably no longer is — didn't only shine through when it came to his ultimate conflict with Jon Snow. He's always been entirely committed to his duties, as he explains to Snow before the big Battle:

"Do you know what leadership means, Lord Snow? It means that the person in charge gets second guessed by every clever little twat with a mouth. But if he starts second guessing himself, that’s the end. For him, for the clever little twats, for everyone. This is not the end. Not for us. Not if you lot do your duty for however long it takes to beat them back. And then you get to go on hating me, and I get to go on wishing your wildling whore had finished the job."


And then in this week's episode, he admits that he's lost, but he would do it again if he was asked to.

"I had a choice, Lord Commander. I fought, and I lost. Now, I rest...but you, Lord Snow, will be fighting those battles forever."

In his own grumpy, cold-hearted way, he's taught so much to Snow. As Teale puts it in his interview:

"Thorne, in his mind, was justified in what he did, because Jon Snow was putting everyone at risk. In the last season, he does warn him: 'You have a good heart, Jon Snow, but it'll get us killed.'"

Are you sad to see Ser Alliser Thorne go?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Latest from our Creators