Curtain Call: Bella Ramsey


From the first moment she appeared on screen, Bella Ramsey seemed to be a natural fit in the world of Game of Thrones. She was a young woman who commanded respect, loyalty, and had a fierce commitment to the North that no other Northerner could match.

It is almost impossible to believe that Lady Lyanna was supposed to be a one-scene character. But Bella stole the episode with such a ferocious on-screen presence that showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss decided to substantially increase her role. That ferocity is made all the more impressive since Bella’s performance in “A Broken Man” was her first performance as a professional actress!

I can’t even imagine what it must be like, on your first performance, to so thoroughly slip into a character as if you had been her your entire life. That’s what it felt like when Bella addressed Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, and Liam Cunningham in that great stone hall. She wasn’t simply playing Lyanna Mormont. She was Lyanna Mormont through and through.


Bella brought to Lyanna an incredible amount of strength, courage, and bravery. From her first appearance on Bear Island to her heroic sacrifice in the courtyards of Winterfell, Bella imbued Lyanna with a sense of what a true leader does. A true leader knows when to lead and when to follow and when to stand up for what is right even if those who say they are older and wiser than you have lost their way. Her performance was all the more remarkable that we simply do not see enough young women leaders depicted in the stories that form our cultural tapestry.

When Lyanna sees the dead giant wight crashing through the gates of Winterfell, Bella brings a complex facet of bravery, fear, and surprise to her performance. She reminds us that Lyanna is a human being, after all. But even in a weakened state, Lyanna raises her axe and utters a battle cry that in its tone doesn’t display a blank sense of wanting to fight for the sake of fighting or an empty desire to prove something she doesn’t need to. Her battle cry evoked a leader who was willing and ready to sacrifice herself by using the rest of her energy to take down a being who would no doubt destroy countless others. She was a true and noble leader to her very end and Lyanna’s impact would not have been possible without Bella’s incredible performance.

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Lyanna Mormont Season 8 803 The Long Night

As Bella notes in her interview with Entertainment Weekly, when you’re on Game of Thrones, you either want the Iron Throne or a great death. She may not have won the Iron Throne, but she had one of the most memorable death scenes in Thrones history and gave us a hell of a character to remember on her way out.

Bella has been in a number of projects, most notably in the CBBC series The Worst Witch and the upcoming Hilda on Netflix. We know that her star, having burned so brightly in Westeros, will only increase as her career rightfully continues to grow. Thank you, Bella, for bringing the ferocious giant known as Lyanna Mormont to such incredible life. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Bella Ramsey


  1. Hodor!

    Loved this young actor, loved the spirit that she was able to give little bear. Wish she had more of a chance to expand her character, but in the end, the end was just perfect – killing a giant before she dies!

    Suspect we will be hearing a great deal from Ramsey, she literally has her whole career before her! Good luck in all you do, and hope to see you on the screen soon!

  2. I thought her turn as Lyanna Mormont was among the best in the show. She was what I have always imagined most of the Northern Lords to be like or should have been like. Fiercely loyal and brave, she showed the rest of the North how to do it. When I told my son Mildred Hubble was in Thrones he couldn’t believe it. Watching the Worst Witch with him made me chuckle this week as I just imagine that every single time she is on screen that she is going to open up a Northern can of whoopass on her fellow witches.

    Here we stand!

  3. Lyanna is the day dream of many girls – to be a smart and brave leader. To see it play out so believably was excellent!

  4. Game of Thrones has introduced many fantastic young actors, from Maisie Williams, to Jack Gleeson, to Kerry Ingram. Bella Ramsey more than earned her place among these shining new stars. From her very first scene, meeting with Jon, Sansa, and Davos, it was very clear what a great actress she was. Showing strength, intelligence, and determination beyond her years, but still retaining a sort of childlike demeanor (like when she had to ask her Maester and Master-at-Arms about things she didn’t understand).

    Her moment calling out the other Northern lords, and naming Jon Snow the King in the North, is yet another amazing example of Bella’s commanding presence and acting ability, and is among my favourite scenes in the whole series. Seeing this little girl standing out among a room of much older people (and more experienced actors) is still freaking awesome to watch!

    When Lyanna insisted to Jorah that she was going to fight, I loved it, but was also scared for her life. Though those fears proved correct, I could not imagine a more fitting way for this character to go out – stabbing an undead Giant in the eye. That might have been some of Bella’s best work. I like that she WAS scared, yet despite that, still charged headlong at the Giant (“That is the only time a man can be brave”, as Ned Stark would say). Bella’s face and yelling in that scene really showed how scared she was, but also her determination to stand her ground (“Here we Stand”).

    RIP to Lyanna, a badass to the end, and best of luck to Bella. I look forward to seeing her in many more things.

  5. One of my favorite characters she played. She told others (and the audience) the hard truth that needed to be heard.

    Hope we see more of her in the future.

  6. Her first scene remains my favorite of hers; I do wish that, having decided to keep her for more than one episode, D&D had managed to make her a more nuanced character. Having said that, Bella Ramsay was great in the part, and I was stunned by her demise. My heart grieves for the people of Bear Island, who lost both their Little Bear and their prodigal son.

  7. Farewell to ferocious young Lyanna, a leader and warrior. I was surprised/horrified at her death and the tears flowed. House Mormont is decimated.

    Bella was perfect for this role and made a wonderful character out of what should have been one scene. She is destined to go far and I wish her well in future endeavours.

  8. Loved her in season 6. Got sooooo bored of her in season 7 and and earlier this season, but she went out with a bang and I really loved what they did with her last scenes.

  9. A wonderful young actress, you’ve given her a beautiful curtain call. I loved her character and I love that grown men listened to her and quaked!
    My fav part of Bella’s GoT journey is her fangirling pics with the rest of the cast. She’s so normal! Love her 🥰

  10. One of my favorite characters – played very well by this mighty little lady. She did very well. She added to the excellent young talent on this show.

    As for her character: It was great to see women in combat. It was great to see women in command. It was great to see women in authority. It was great to see women face death and go out bravely. It was great to see women speak courageously. This character was great on so many levels.


  11. BigMac,

    I agree with you. Lyanna Mormont was a unique character and Bella did her justice. I also agree with you about the group of young actors GOT has shown us, what an impressive group. I am excited to see what they all do, especially Bella. Good luck to the Little Bear!

  12. Great job by such a young actress. Hats off! May she be working and pulling the rug out from everyone else, like Diana Rigg, at the age of 75!

    I don’t think there’s a mother or father in the world who wouldn’t want Lyanna Mormont for their daughter.

  13. Bella Ramsey is an actress possessed of uncommon confidence, and an even more uncommon ferocity. From her first scene – which, as has been widely acknowledged by all involved, was originally supposed to be her only scene – she faced down three of the most established and important actors on the biggest show in the world, and proved herself their equal. It would have been a daunting task for even the most experienced thespian. For a young girl in her first screen role, it should have been impossible. David and Dan were spot-on when they talked about just how fortunate they were to have found Bella for the role of Lyanna Mormont. She rose to that challenge and then some.

    Bella was dynamite in every scene she was involved in, but for me, her best moment will always be her standing up in the halls of Winterfell to face her fellow Northern Lords, shaming them for forsaking their vows, and then leading the declaration for Jon to be crowned The King in the North. It’s a Top 5 scene in all of Game of Thrones for me, and as much as it is deservingly Jon’s moment, the scene truly belongs to Lady Lyanna, and to Bella.

    As gutting as all of the deaths in The Long Night were, Lyanna’s was particularly heartbreaking for me because it was the one that I least expected. We’ve seen young girls die on Game of Thrones before – most notably Shireen and Myrcella Baratheon – and those deaths were particularly devastating for me not only because of their brutality, but because they died alone, when they thought they were safe, unwilling pawns in a cruel game that they had never chosen to play.

    That was not how Lyanna Mormont fell. She chose her moment, and fell on the battlefield, surrounded by her people, dying in the service of her house, her homeland, and of life itself. It’s all the more agonizing because she died in the same episode as her cousin Jorah, just one episode after he begged her not to risk herself because she was the future of their house … and now, as painful as it is to acknowledge, House Mormont is essentially gone. It’s still hard for me to accept, though accept it I must.

    Of course Lyanna didn’t listen to Jorah – she wouldn’t have been the character that we loved so dearly if she had. She promised to defend Winterfell and the Starks until her last day, and the Army of the Dead care nothing for youth or innocence or bravery or loyalty … they’re an unstoppable force that only halts when they meet something or someone equally immovable. For an undead giant, that was a teenage girl endowed with a remarkable spirit and without an ounce of fear in her heart. That was Lyanna … and that was Bella, through and through.

    I hope that Ms. Ramsey appreciates just how indelible her portrayal of the Lady of Bear Island has become among the millions of us who love Game of Thrones. She’s a remarkable talent with an incredibly promising career ahead of her, and a legion of fans from her amazing performance on the world’s biggest show. In recognition of all that she brought to the character of Lyanna Mormont and to Game of Thrones … Here We Stand. Now and always.

  14. “I wish you good fortune, cousin.”

    And that’s when I knew they were both doomed.

    Bella’s first appearance as Lyanna will always be my favourite – toe to toe with actors who have been in this game far longer, and you’d never know it was her first role. 62 men. 😆

    Lyanna’s death was gut-wrenching but I was so proud of her. Mainly because, let’s face it – I’d likely be shivering in a closet somewhere like Janos Slynt. She stayed true. Bella has a huge future.

  15. Wonderful young actress with an incredible future ahead of her. Bella has the gift of presence that can’t be taught. Thank you, Bella, for embodying the tough cookie spirit of the Mormont women so well, even when you were so so young. No one could have done that better, regardless of age.

  16. Did warriors actually listen to children on the battle field in mideval times just because they happened to be the head of a powerful house?

  17. I loved the look she gave to Ramsey on the battlefield before the BOTB. Badass lil bear. RIP

  18. Little Bear seemed to have grown some since the last time we saw her, and one can’t help grieving for what might have been. A beautiful and honorable death. Good fortune to Miss Ramsey!

  19. A great performance from Bella Ramsey. She must now be around the same age as Maisie Williams was in S1? Perhaps even younger – I think Maisie was 12 then.

    She’ll do well in the future that’s for sure. To be a part of GoT for any young actor will set them up for life. Kit, Emilia, Sophie and Maisie have appeared in several films since and sure Bella will also.

    Lady Lyanna had an honorable death and took down a wight giant in the process. What a way to bow out of GoT – RIP.

  20. “I dreamt of a maid […] slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.”

    All the best to this very promising young actress.

  21. With her dying thrust, the fierce little bear killed the undead giant, Macumber, by stabbing it in it’s sky-blue eyes. She didn’t end the long night but she changed a cursed world…

    (I’m sure Old Nan will find a way to properly insert her into a legendary Westeros tale)

    (We’ll forget the part about her wightification)

    Thanks, Bella, for keeping the bar high for both the Mormonts and Lyannas of this tale. Another great performance by a youngster in this show.

  22. ‘Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK.’

    That’s not much to build a character from, but although Lyanna Mormont wasn’t the most nuanced of characters she seem to be apt for the world and the times she was growing up in. And she died a hero’s death, what a fitting end (we’ll ignore the wight bit!).

    Bella did a fine job,could anyone anyone ever given the words “Sixty-two” more gravitas, and that look of disgust and contempt that she gave Ramsay was pure gold that will live on forever.

  23. Bella did a fine job,could anyone anyone ever given the words “Sixty-two” more gravitas, and that look of disgust and contempt that she gave Ramsay was pure gold that will live on forever.

    I think THAT, meeting may have been the first time that the little bear was ever given an appreciation for what sansa may have been put through. I can not imagine that anyone would have ever behaved like ramsey did in front of her in her entire short life.
    excellent work little bear. You even look medieval, i mean, your visage looks similar to portraits of medieval nobles, particularly the eyes. i think your best work will be in period pieces. 62 men. classic 🙂

  24. Ms Ramsey took a small role and created an iconic character that shall always be fondly remembered. It was a testament not only to her talent but also her personality, kudos!

  25. Tormund: “when i was ten years old i killed a giant…”
    Lyanna: “oh really?”

    goood bye, brave Lady Snot-Bear! and a toast to Bella Ramsey who delivered an outstanding performance.

  26. Brandon,

    I think they might if the leader gave good orders and has proven herself gradually. I guess usually a ward was appointed until they came of age. In the case of house Mormont, there seems to have been a lack of older family members so it’s not inconceivable that they followed the last young Mormont, especially if she was doing a good job. However, in Tywin’s words, a good king knows when to listen to his advisors, and in S7E7 (?) she did seem to listen to them/Davos before making her decision.

    On the other hand, no general fights on the front lines either (extra points to Ramsey Bolton here) and that doesn’t mean they are not willing to give their life. Someone has to keep the overview. And it’s also common that a high lord has an experienced general in command to take care of military operations (say Sansa or Littlefinger delegating to Royce). Lord = general looks like early middle ages to me, and general = best fighter is more something for wildlings. But I understand the complications of tv.

  27. Ms. Ramsey did amazing work for an actor of any age or gender. Lyanna Mormont as a heroic female character will have impacts well into the future of the fantasy/sword and sorcerer genres. I fully expect that Ms. Ramsey’s career honors will include the formal title of Dame Commander.

  28. And many thanks to Bella Ramsey of course for her strong performance!

    Btw, I’ve kind of rationalized some of the wight’s actions. When the NK has his hands free, he can control them rather well, and give them directions, leading to more casualties (especially for raising them he needs his hands literally free ;-)). When he was occupied with Jon/Dany/Bran, he controls them less strongly and they become slower, so the wights are easier to beat. Add to that that having more wights is also harder to control, and it becomes more plausible that many of the heroes survived. And Sam seems to be a special case, even in S2E10. Maybe they can go after the skinny ones more easily.

  29. The most ferocious performance you will ever see. Hope to see baby bear nab a supporting actress nom at the Emmy’s this year.

  30. Jack Bauer 24: Hope to see baby bear nab a supporting actress nom at the Emmy’s this year.

    I know you’re being optimistic but there is just about zero chance that happens. Far, FAR too small and minor a role for that.

  31. Brandon,

    Ummm. Warriors followed Joan of Arc in the 15th century, and she was a peasant.

    Thank you Bella, for a fantastic job in this role. You sold it, for me. Wishing your cousin good fortune showed just a bit of Lyanna’s softer side- a pity there was no time to flush out more of her character, but you did so well with what you were given.
    I cheered loudly when you killed the giant- only to quietly back off and shed a tear when you both fell to the ground.
    Amazing sendoff. Best of luck Bella Ramsey. Also/ tht pic in Belfast airport is perfect.

  32. Here we stand.
    The Little Bear was the embodiment of her House´s words. Fierce, proud, stubborn.
    When she took the giant down with her, I cheered and cried at the same time.

    All the best to Miss Ramsey, may she have a bright future ahead of her.

  33. Best of luck to a remarkable young lady and RIP Little Bear! You were the best of them.

  34. I must say Little Lyanna was like the Hound a great wise cracking bad ass secondary character. Bella was superb and richly deserved an extension to another wise one scene appearance.

    As an side did anyone see the video of Bella break dancing on social media? She was fantastic and clearly very talented.

  35. A truly memorable character… and a memorable character death, well done Bella Ramsey.

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