Literary Mixtape: Jon Snow


If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: George R.R. Martin’s most lovable bastard, Jon Snow.

With the recent premiere of Game of Thrones, we admit we’ve got the book series on the brain. Plus, Tyrion Lannister, our other favorite character (or maybe our other other favorite — there are so very many), got his own mixtape, so we think it’s only fair that Jon should as well. Jon Snow is the son of the Lord of Winterfell, but only a bastard, born out of wedlock. As such, in Westeros, he is a second class citizen, and his character has developed accordingly — his birth brings him both pride and shame in equal measure. Being both an even tough guy who’s pretty quick with a sword and a wounded half-orphan constantly facing the world’s disapproval for the manner of his birth, we think Jon would listen to a combination of sad sack indie rock and typical teenage male chin thumbing music. Here’s what we think he would range with Ghost, stand up for the weak, and defend the wall to.

Stream the mixtape here.

“Fortress” — Pinback

The supremely conflicted Jon would listen to this song of utter frustration a lot when trying to figure out his place in the world and with everyone around him. Plus, we think it might make a good marching song on the way to the wall.

“The Modern Leper” — Frightened Rabbit

As a bastard, Jon is the closest thing to a modern leper there is in Westeros. Sure, he’s accepted by his family and friends, but no one would ever want to marry their daughter to him.

“All Along the Watchtower” — Bob Dylan

All teenage men have at least some Dylan on their iPods, and Jon’s no different — in fact, he probably has even more, since he wants so much to fit in. But we think this uneasy song would particularly appeal to him, especially keeping watch on the wall.

“Frozen Warnings” — Nico

Maybe Jon wouldn’t admit to his brothers that he totally digs Nico, but every young man needs something to secretly listen to in his room with the door shut — and this chilly track by the sexy ’60s Warhol superstar.

“A Wolf at the Door” — Radiohead

We think this song is applicable to pretty much everyone in George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, but especially for our boy wonder defending the wall from the Others.

“Pale Black Eye” — Manchester Orchestra

As teenage boys go, Jon is pretty selfless, and we think this achy song about giving everything to a family who might not love you back is right up his angsty alley.

“Olive Hearts” — Bowerbirds

Jon probably loves Bowerbirds — they’re woodsy and masculine and pretty at the same time, just like him. But we this song, an ode to wandering the world with a band of friends, would be the one he’d sing with the guys at the end of a long day of travelling in the cold beyond the wall.

“Helplessness Blues” — Fleet Foxes

“What’s my name, what’s my station, oh, just tell me what I should do/ I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you/ Or bow down and be grateful and say “sure, take all that you see”/ To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me…” Poor Jon.

“Frontier Psychiatrist” — The Avalanches

For Jon’s weirder moods.

“I’ve Been Riding With the Ghost” — Songs:Ohia

Okay, we put this one on here because we think Jon would totally dig a song about riding with a ghost to sing when he’s riding with Ghost. But we also think it would help him make a change when he needs to.