Jon begins as something of a permanent outsider, but over the course of the story he finds his place in the Night’s Watch. Because he is not a legitimate son of Ned Stark, he is not fully part of the Stark family. Moreover, because he grew up relatively wealthy and educated, he is considered privileged and different by the other new recruits of the Night’s Watch. As a result, however, Jon is very independent and knows how to fend for himself, traits that ultimately allow him to feel assured enough to differ from his peers when he feels they are in the wrong. Much like Ned and Robb, Jon is surprised to find responsibilities thrust upon him as he becomes a leader among the new recruits at the Wall. Unlike his family, Jon has earned these responsibilities rather than received them as a result of his noble heritage. Jon leads without pride and without thought for himself, and he proves a wise and natural leader from the start of the novel. His argument and self-deprecation persuade Ned to spare the direwolf pups, for example. Later, he persuades his friends and Maester Aemon to be easier on Sam and to see what value he does have rather than focusing on Sam’s shortcomings. His skills with a sword earn him promotion, and his wisdom and devotion to others earns him a place as Commander Mormont’s successor-in-training. Even when Jon considers desertion, it is only for the good of Robb and others, and not for personal gain.