Season 3, Episode 10: The Rains of Castamere
Jon Snow can’t call Orell’s bluff because he gets dealt a crap hand.
The Rains of Castamere is notorious for a certain wedding gone seriously awry, but upon rewatch, this episode saw some shit hitting the fan elsewhere. When Jon, Wildling, & Co continue their attempt at a hostile takeover south of The Wall, they come upon a lone farmer and raid his house. Because Wildlings. Tormund is about to kill the farmer when Orrell decides to be an epic douche and make Jon’s situation WAY more complicated by suggesting that Jon do the honors to prove his loyalty. As we all know, Jon is still not down at all with the killing of innocent civilians south of The Wall, and was only pretending to be cool with it to keep an eye on the Wildling army. So, when it comes to this moment, the life of one innocent man was worth more to him than that of the lives that could potentially have been saved had he just sacrificed this one. Not only that, but he must have known in this moment that by not taking action, he would be effectively killing his relationship with Ygritte, and with it any chance of retaining the trust of the Wildlings. That’s a lot to lose for the life of one lonely farmer that Jon doesn’t even know, but Jon knows he can’t kill an innocent man for the sake of continuing a lie that was going to be very difficult to maintain anyways.
Ygritte winds up shooting the poor farmer dead with an arrow, and in the ensuing skirmish, Jon rides off, and abandons Ygritte. That’s kind of a punk move by relationship standards, but considering the circumstances, he had no choice but to book it for Castle Black or get an arrow to the heart.