Here’s a scene breakdown.

First, a summary would go something like this: Opening: Jon inside, fire burning, a knock on his door. He’s gazing distantly in the fire, likely looking for answers to why he was brought back to life. He’s holding his vest that was pierced with the traditor’s daggers. “It’s time,” his friend says, meaning it’s time to hang the traitors. Without hesitancy, he stands. A crowd of his men waits for him to give the sentence. “If you have any last words, now is the time,” he says. “You shouldn’t be alive, it’s not right,” one man says. Jon doesn’t deny that it’s not right. The old commander who led the attack on Jon says, “I fought. I lost. Now I rest. But you lord Snow, you will be fighting their battles forever.” Jon pauses and prepares himself before looking into Ollie’s face, a boy he had taken under his wing, who he now has to hang. Ollie says nothing. Jon walks to the fires. Again gazes. After some time, he swings the sword, dropping the three men to their deaths. He turns to Ollie, watches him die. After watching Ollie squirm until he has no breath, Jon gives up lord commander to his friend. “You have Castle Black.” “My watch has ended.” And without saying anything else marches out, something strictly forbade as he took an oath to stay.

But let’s look at the scene foundation, the layers that are at work here. Questions are originally written in Studying Scenes on the Fly

What do they want in this scene? On the surface, it’s to execute the traitors. The deeper meaning, Jon is wondering about is why is he alive. What is his purpose? Many of the men’s last words are information that serves that question.

What is the first truly unexpected thing? What is the first thing they must choose how they will respond to? The old commander says, “I fought. I lost. Now I rest. But you lord Snow, you will be fighting their battles forever.” Jon is forced to face the reality that he might be immortal, and how much of a nightmare it would be living forever, fighting battles at castle black.

How did they choose to respond? Jon marches out, quits, breaks his oath, a crime punishable by death.

What are the consequences of this choice? He’s no longer lord commander. And his new journey starts, the journey to unite the 7 kingdoms to fight the war verse the white walkers.

What did they learn from this scene? He has a greater purpose than remaining at castle black. The old lord commander confirmed this when he said indirectly you’ll remain here forever fighting battles at the wall. So although Jon still doesn’t know what his greater purpose is, he knows it’s not here. And so he leaves.

You can do this with any scene, in any show. Next time, I’ll look at a comedy.