Lucky Jon has a marvellous knack of escaping certain death over and over. He may be stabbed repeatedly, buried under a pile of Ramsay Bolton’s soldiers or facing the gaping jaws of the Night King’s ice dragon and then an enraged Drogon – but he survives every single time. Clearly not even killing their queen in a city held by violent Dothraki and Unsullied is enough to guarantee his immediate doom. Grey Worm and his men were seen killing Lannister soldiers even after they had surrendered. So it is not a point of principle or following Westerosi law. Grey Worm’s hatred for Jon is clear in their final scene as the Unsullied leader boards his ship at the King’s Landing docks and refuses to even look at Jon, let alone speak to him. Tyrion has already revealed that the Unsullied wanted Jon dead. So why isn’t he?
If Grey Worm had wanted to do it, he clearly could have before any sort of trial. After all, he showed no such mercy to Lannister soldiers he has no connection to or personal grievance with.
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con Anderson said: “I think he thought enough was enough. There was a sense he was willing for there to be a trial. He (Grey Worm) doesn’t want to kill him (Jon Snow) but he doesn’t want him alive.”
But is this right? Many fans disagree. Grey Worm surely does want to kill Jon – his fury and hatred are very clear but there were two major factors which outweighed his own most personal desires – as they always have.
The first part of the answer is as simple as the Unsullied code.
When Jon passes Grey Worm on the docks at King’s Landing the script notes say: “They make eye contact. Jon doesn’t say or do anything; he knows Grey Worm hates him more than any man alive.”
But one thing will always override any Unsullied’s feelings, their training.
Grey Worm was happily slaughtering surrendered Lannisters because those were his orders, ones he was perfectly happy to carry out but the primary drive is to follow orders whatever they may be. He tells Jon and Davos: “I follow my queen’s commands… ‘Kill all those who follow Cersei Lannister.'”
The Unsullied are not programmed to act independently. With Daenerys dead, Grey Worm’s instinct will be find someone to pass judegment on Jon and (in Grey Worm’s mind) execute him. They have been shaped to follow orders from the first moment they killed the puppy they raised as young slaves.
He does want to kill Jon but it is not his place to do so.
Even so, despite that ingrained odedience, it is a mark of how much Grey Worm and his army hate Jon that there is concern they might revolt if Jon is not suitably punished.
However the second factor which stays the Unsulied leader’s hand is much more pragmatic. At the first council he tells Sansa: “We will decide what we do with our prisoners. This is our city now.”
She replies: “If you look outside the walls of your city you’ll find thousands of Northmen who will explain to you why harming Jon Snow is not in your interest.”
Grey Worm knows it is unwinnable. Even if they defeated the Northern army, more and more would come. And this is where Anderson is right, “enough is enough.” Grey Worm is ready to leave this land. He will accept Jon’s exile, he will follow his new ‘orders’ mainly because he wants to leave and not lose any more Unsullied lives.
In memory of Missandei, this is what Grey Worm wants more than anything, even killing Jon.