Please Don’t Turn The Mandalorian Into a Jon Snow Narrative
We have some concerns about Din Djarin's future.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses the events of the finale of S2 of The Mandalorian. And also the final season of Game of Thrones, but that was a million years ago, right? (Edit: It was last year.)
The season finale of The Mandalorian dropped just three days ago, but fans are already speculating what season three has in store for Mando and his tiny green boy Grogu. The finale saw Din Djarin aka Mando (Pedro Pascal) team up with his fellow Mandalorians, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks) as well as Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) to rescue Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).
Bo-Katan and Koska joined the mission in part to help Mando retrieve his boy, but it also served Bo-Katan’s larger mission to reclaim the Darksaber and use it to take back Mandalore. But when Mando defeats Moff Gideon, he becomes the de facto owner of the Darksaber. And while Mando has zero desire for the weapon, Bo-Katan refuses to take it from him, stating that it can only be won via combat.
The season ends with Mando still in possession of the Darksaber, which could be an indicator of where season three will take him. With Grogu off to Jedi training with Luke Skywalker, Mando will have to find a new mission. And while I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Grogu (Disney’s not going to shelve their most popular character in years), Mando will undoubtedly face a new mission. And his possession of the Darksaber gives him a directive: retake Mandalore as its new king.
Mando has, of course, never expressed interest in retaking or ruling Mandalore, but the situation sets him up for a reluctant king narrative. You know, the young knight that is destined for the throne, not because he wants it but because it is foretold. Ruling from a sense of duty is seen as more noble than ruling in service of a greedy power grab. It’s a trope most recently seen in Game of Thrones, which spent several seasons priming Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to rule Westeros, despite his protestations.
Snow was primed to rule, not only due to his bravery and goodness, but due to his clandestine origins as the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, giving him hereditary claim to the throne. The final episodes of the series see Snow face off against his former lover/secret aunt Daenerys Targaryen, eventually murdering her after she burns King’s Landing to the ground. In a deeply unsatisfying ending, the leaders of Westeros name Bran Stark as King, while Jon is exiled back to the Wall.
I will be deeply disappointed if The Mandalorian pits Din Djarin as the “rightful” king of Mandalore against Bo-Katan, who has legitimate claim and actually wants the job. If the show pivots to villifying Bo-Katan and her followers, it will be playing right into the trope.
And it’s completely unnecessary. As Star Wars Rebels fans have reminded us, fellow Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren gave the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, who she deemed to be the right person to lead the Mandalorians against the Empire. And despite Moff Gideon’s claim that the power of the Darksaber lies in believing the legend, he’s part of the Empire! No one should be letting him set the rules.
Let’s hope that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni don’t try to shoehorn this reluctant king narrative onto Mando. Din Djarin has plenty more adventures in him.
(featured image: Disney+)
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