Jorah, son of Jeor, of House Mormont lost his life fighting to protect his one true queen, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, in the Battle of Winterfell. Game of Thrones has killed many a character over the years, but none has or will ever be harder for me to stomach than this one. Many of you will have seen my Avatar whenever I post in the comments, or perhaps you’ve seen my profile picture on Twitter. I’ve often struggled with peoples’ reactions to this character, who often elicits a polite nod, a shrug, or even disdain from some in the fandom. But I know exactly what drives me to love him so much: The spectacular once-in-a-lifetime talent that is Iain Glen, whose portrayal will go down in the annals of TV history.
I’d like to revisit 8 scenes – one per season – that highlight how Iain Glen made the character of Ser Jorah Mormont explode in his transition from book to screen. Join me, as we celebrate this incredible actor, won’t you?
Jorah met Dany on her wedding night to Khal Drogo, under the assumption that he’d be entering Viserys’ service in his bid to reclaim the throne from the usurper Robert Baratheon: “Gods be good, I hope to always serve the rightful king.” Yes, yes, he was a spy for Varys, but I’m able to look past that – people change, OK?! Case in point, he was already changing within the first season. As Jorah observed Viserys’ inherent weakness and cruelty, he catches Viserys trying to steal Dany’s dragon eggs, realizing he has been backing the wrong horse:
Viserys: “Does loyalty mean nothing to you?”
Jorah: “It means everything to me.”
Viserys: “And yet here you stand.”
Jorah: “And yet here I stand.”
Can’t you just hear Iain Glen’s velvety voice in that exchange? When he first came to Daenerys’ wedding night, he had anticipated hiding himself among them out of shame for his slave-bartering past, and awaiting the moment Lord Varys would secure him his journey home to Westeros. But Jorah’s transition towards affection and the loyalist protection of Dany wouldn’t work without Iain Glen at the helm. Just watch as he counsels Dany and, yes, even Viserys in the first few episodes. There’s a shift in Jorah’s gaze (no, not the romantic one from the books) that takes a fine actor to attempt, and a better actor to achieve. By season’s end, Jorah finally had found his purpose for the rest of his life: Get this woman on her throne.
Daenerys: “What do you want? Tell me.”
Jorah: “To see you on the Iron Throne.”
Jorah: “You have a good claim, a title, a birthright. But you have something more than that. You may cover it up and deny it, but you have a gentle heart. You would not only be respected and feared – you would be loved. Someone who can rule, and should rule – centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times when I look at you and…I still can’t believe you’re real.”
There’s something that gets me every time I hear this exchange. Season 2 is, to say the least, a downer of a season for the Dany and Jorah plotline. They wander in the desert aimlessly for the first half of the season, wander around Qarth for a good chunk of the middle, and then race to the House of the Undying to reclaim Dany’s dragons…eventually. But through it all, Jorah, and by extension, Iain, remains steadfast and true. Trying ever harder to shed his shameful past behind him, the character does what he can to keep Daenerys’ spirits up, and most importantly give her good counsel. And I dare you to not get a warm fuzzy feeling when you hear Iain recite the above monologue. I always hated that the Internet made fun of Jorah and called him Lord Friendzone because Iain made him SO much more than that. As we’ve learned over the years, Emilia Clarke’s (Daenerys) and Iain’s friendship and his mentorship of her has been a constant over 8 seasons. This was only season 2 but you can see the real human people they are beneath the surface of the acting. The connection is so real.
Jorah: “There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”
This one I would put in one of the all-time great GOT quotes, as I’m sure you have all seen the season 3 trailer as many times as I have. As Jorah, Barristan Selmy, and Dany traverse Slaver’s Bay and see the collateral damage, it’s hard to imagine Jorah wasn’t slightly talking about himself at this moment and his own misdeeds. But it’s so iconic in its own way – I’m deadly serious when I say I could listen to Iain Glen read my shopping list back to me. Season 3 offers many quiet, good Iain Glen moments for all those wishing to revisit it, but this is the true standout for me.
Season 4 is my favorite season of Game of Thrones, an enjoyment to which Iain naturally made valued contributions. And Iain once again delivers one of the lines that is most strongly indicative of the motif of the entire show: “It’s tempting to see your enemies as evil – all of them. But there is good and evil on both sides of every war ever fought.” If Game of Thrones is an examination of power, this helps explain that. But while his smooth jazz lips move mountains with this quote, it’s not the strongest indicator of his exceptional acting ability. That would go to the scene where Daenerys dismisses Jorah:
Jorah: “Forgive me. I never meant–please, Khaleesi, forgive me.”
Daenerys: “You sold my secrets to the man who killed my father and stole my brother’s throne…”
Jorah: “I have protected you, fought for you, killed for you…”
Daenerys: “…and you want me to forgive you!?”
Jorah: “I have loved you.”
If ever there were a time he deserved his long-overdue Emmy, it was Iain’s delivery of the realization that all his years of lying finally caught up to him. As an actor, he pushes Jorah through every tactic to get back into Daenerys’ good graces, but as we all know it does not work. The saddest moment of season 4 wasn’t Oberyn Martell dying; it was Ser Jorah Mormont being dismissed from his Khaleesi’s service. Iain puts me through the ringer every time.
Jorah’s season 5 journey through the kidnapping of Tyrion has its ups and downs, but their journey was largely in service of giving Jorah greyscale, and getting him back into Daenerys’ good graces. For me, the largest standout is when it was when Iain Glen finally popped up in season 5 (took long enough). At the end of episode 3, ‘High Sparrow,’ I remember the huge sigh of relief on my face when I heard Iain Glen’s voice come to the ‘rescue’ with “I’m taking you to the queen.” I had chills then, and I do now.
Unfortunately there wasn’t too much Jorah in season 6 because he leaves to find a cure for greyscale halfway through, but Iain’s best work is definitely the scene where he where confesses his feelings to Daenerys and departs. Iain stops talking and lets his face do all the work – never was there a more expressive actor on Game of Thrones:
Jorah: “All I’ve ever wanted was to serve you. Tyrion Lannister was right. I love you. I’ve always loved you…Goodbye, Khaleesi.”
Daenerys: “Do not walk away from your queen, Jorah the Andal. You have not been dismissed you. You pledged yourself to me. You swore to obey my commands for the rest of your life. When I command you to find the cure, wherever it is in this world, I command you to heal yourself. And then return to me. When I take the seven kingdoms, I need you by my side.”
In season 7, the bear returned to his queen in a scene for which I waited all season. In the span of one episode, ‘Eastwatch,’ Jorah had reunited with and then departed from his queen. But it gave us this utterly iconic picture on the right. I know I’ve said this over and over but Iain Glen doesn’t need to talk to express his feelings. He walks into a room (or on to a beach) and his heart tells you everything you need to know: “I will return to you.” That’s not the quote, but it’s what he’s saying.
This brings us to season 8, or as Friends would call it, ‘The One Where He Goes Out Like a Damn Hero.’ ‘The Long Night’ only aired this week, yet I’ve rewatched his death scene three times already. One, because I hate myself and two because it’s too beautiful to get over. Jorah died doing what he loved: protecting his beloved Khaleesi. And Iain Glen got to experience his final moments doing what he loved: sharing the screen with his best friend of the last 10 years. Emilia and Iain have often waxed poetic about their kinship, and I truly am here for it:
Iain’s an accomplished stage actor, Shakespearean and otherwise, prolific film and TV actor (Sir Richard Carlisle anyone?), and will soon be portraying Batman/Bruce Wayne (?!?!?!) in DC Universe’s Titans season 2. His resume and body of consistent work over the last 10 years is impressive, considering he’s been a main cast member since season 1. And with that, one of our true original main cast members who appeared in the pilot, someone who gained the ‘With’ status in the title sequence in season 4 and beyond has finally moved on. Jorah may be gone, but Iain Glen thankfully lives on, amassing a truly staggering body of work.
Iain Glen brought Jorah Mormont to life on the screen in a way he never came alive in the books. While some may suggest it was the writing who toned down his more uncomfortable book character, I’d remind those people that writing can only give dialogue to a character, but it takes the right actor to give that character their voice. Iain surpassed all expectations and then some. Having read the books first, I’d always thought Sansa and Jaime were going to be my two favorites once the show aired, but Jorah threw me for a real loop. Iain’s acting prowess and natural instinct to take the temperature of whatever scene he was in and inject exactly the right amount of chutzpah into it was unparalleled. I can’t think of two actors other than Emilia and Iain who have shared more scenes together over the entire 8 seasons. Other characters parted ways, or went off in scenes on their own, but those two were almost always together scene after scene, season after season. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
RIP Ser Jorah Mormont, the Andal of Bear Island. And long live Iain Glen.
The actor made the role. Can you imagine anyone else as Jorah? The subtlety of his expression, physically and verbally, said everything.
1. Amazing actor. Easily in my Top 5 for the show. When I did my rewatch of the entire series before Season 8, his scenes were always some of my favorites. He could do so much with just basic scenes.
2. From a character point of view, Jorah dying means Dany has no protector. It is a sign she is going to die.
I’m not crying you’re crying
Goodbye, my Bear.
And thank you, Iain.
Thank you for such a beautifully written article on my favorite character in GoT and my favorite actor, Iain Glen. I totally agree with everything you said. Iain can say 1,000 words with just one look. He is that amazing. I miss Ser Jorah already and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop missing him.
Hats off for Iain Glen. Losing both Jorah and Beric in the same episode has left us without two of the best voices of the show.
What about the scene in which he learns from Tyrion that his father Jeor died? The way his expression changes is a masterclass in acting.
Agreed, no one could have done the part better, love this man he is a fantastic actor. I am so sad Jorah died I wanted him to survive so much. (sniff) He earned his right to survive he redeemed his past with honour.
And now his watch is ended.
One look at the photo and I was in tears. Haven’t read the article yet.
One of my favorite scenes with Ser Jorah was very early on when he defended Khaleesi as she was giving birth.
“You better put your armor on”
He fought bravely, took an arakh to the side and then did what must be done. He slew Drogo’s bloodrider.
That’s when I knew they cast the right guy for the part. He showed that- aside from the voice and the gruff/handsome looks, Jorah was indeed a badass. For a character with a complicated history, who eventually finds and lives for his singular motivation, this was a superb casting.
Best luck in the future Mr. Glen
One of my very favorite GoT characters and also one of my favorite TV characters overall. Funny how I never paid much attention to him in novels but I absolutely loved his presence on TV. His death in recent episode was one of the many highlights for me.
Like I described his death in my review: The war is over. The Night King is dead… but there are some loose ends to be tied. More exactly, this episode was a closing chapter for two more major character. As soon as the living dead collapsed to dust, so did ser Jorah. The wounds were too severe, there was no way of him surviving. And that was the second time when I was brought to tears. I never ever saw Dany cry as much as she did in this scene and when I see something like that and have to say goodbye to one of my favorite characters, I cry myself. I can easily label Jorah’s death as the most emotional so far for me, despite many deaths already being so effective. Rest in peace, ser Jorah Mormont, forever loyal friend!
I need to check my character appearances list but I think he’s also the deceased character with most episode appearances so far and tied with Theon in terms of being longest living character in terms of episode span.
Iain glen is Jorah..no one can replace him..
He has one of my top 10 favourite voices in the world..
Coming to the character of Jorah I love how Glen portrayed him..Jn a way his dead makes me feel afraid for dany in the coming episodes because he is the one true good advisor and protector dany had with her..
He was the one who had been with dany from the start ..he knows who dany really is and he doesn’t worry about who her father was because he knows she is not like that..
He has always given the best advice to dany even in the episode 2 unlike the other advisors..
Most important thing about him is he doesn’t act morally superior to dany or treat dany as dumb and stupid..
He will be surely missed…If only he was alive i would have been very confident of dany coming out of all the conspiracies and treasons that she may very well face in the upcoming episodes..
We had lost two of the characters that we had been travelling from the start of the series…Theon and Jorah..both will be hugely missed and great performers..
At least Iam happy that he died in Dany’s arms and how Drogon along with dany mourned his death..
Iain’s performance was so moving and perfect. I get teary eyed reading this! I will miss his beautiful voice and presence in the show. ❤️
Jorah’s always been one of my favorite characters, even in the books, but Glen’s performance and the writers writing has really elevated the character to another level. To me, he humanizes Daenerys, and helps keep her grounded, in addition to being one of the best-informed characters! In some ways Mr. Exposition in the early seasons, but it never felt forced.
We’ll miss you Jorah. And now, what will Dany do, without her bear? While she never desired Jorah, Dany did love him like a father – it was possibly the strongest and best developed relationship in the show. I think it will be very difficult for her, especially given Jon’s gone cold (and btw f- you Jon: Dany gave up everything for you – killing the asshole-Tarlys IN WAR does not negate that).
P.S. For those who are lovers of Iain’s voice, be sure to check out his audiobook reading of GRRM’s novella “The princess and the queen” which is about the dance of the dragons!
You should check it out. The author is pretty sexy. Almost as sexy as Iain Glen.
I got teary eyed reading your response! Thank you. 🙂 Iain is a treasure.
I always thought Jorah’ s betrayal was the thing that affected dany most in the series…it affected her ruling in Meereen..
If only Jorah was with dany during Meereen..dany would have come out of top..
Others can take tyrion..Jorah is the Hand that dany needed..
What can I even say that David hasn’t already? I’ve always loved Jorah’s character – one of the many who I prefer to their book counterpart – and Iain was simply incredible in the role.
Jorah’s journey throughout the series was an interesting one. He started as a spy for Robert, thinking he was going to serve Viserys. We then saw him gradually fall in love with Daenerys, causing him to not only switch his loyalties from Viserys to her, but also to stop passing information to Varys. His loyalty to her was solidified in the season finale, upon seeing the dragons being born.
Throughout the next 3 seasons, Jorah gave everything he had to protet Daenerys, both out of his genuine love and loyalty to her, as well as to make up for his past mistakes. His advice was always wise and practical, and Iain’s silver voice really helped it all sink in. As David says, Jorah being dismissed by Dany for his past crimes is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the series (especially since I don’t think she did it because she legitimately didn’t trust him anymore, but rather to punish him for the hurt she was feeling).
I loved Jorah’s relationship with Tyrion. Their travels throughout season 5, getting to know each other, going from captive & captor to, if not friends, then at least relatively cordial travelling companions. Again, Iain nails it with his facial expressions at multiple moments, such as when he learns about his father’s death, and when he looks pleadingly at Dany when Tyrion suggests she exile him. I loved the moment in seasons 7, when Tyrion gives Jorah the coin, both actors doing well in showing their newfound fondness for each other. And of course, I loved when Jorah stood up for Tyrion to Dany in 8×2 – Another fantastic acting moment from Iain.
And of course, there were his interactions with Sam. Their mutual respect for each other was one of my favourite things in these last two seasons. Jorah went from being as hopeless as anyone can be, to feeling (both literally and figuratively) fully healed and hopeful, with a new determination to return and help his Khaleesi – all thanks to this overweight Night’s Watchman. Jorah’s expression of gratitude upon shaking Sam’s hand was so genuine – yet another testament to Iain’s insane acting skills. And I of course, loved the moment in season 8, when Sam gave Jorah Heartsbane – especially Jorah saying he would wield it in his father, Jeor’s memory. Without that sword, Dany may not have survived the battle, so good job, Sam.
Speaking of swords, another of my favourite Jorah moments was in season 7, when Jon offered Longclaw to him, and he refused it, acknowledging that he had no right to it, and that Jon was a more worthy heir to it than he was. Iain did a fantastic job there, protraying that giving up the sword again was painful for Jorah, despite him knowing it was the right thing.
RIP, Jorah. You may have made some mistakes, but you more than made up for them with all the good you did, and you died defending your Khaleesi… and the realms of men. Jeor would be proud.
And THANK YOU to Iain Glenn. You were a large part of why we all loved Jorah so much. Your contribution to this amazing show will never be forgotten. I don’t watch Titans, but I might check out one episode just to see your take on Batman.
Wow… That was longer than I intended, lol. But whatever. Iain and Jorah deserve it.
Beautifully written elegy! Thank you!
My consolation over Jorah’s death is that he wouldn’t have had it any other way: fighting and dying for Dany.
I’m reminded of the scene in which he sold himself back into slavery just to be able to fight (and die?) in front of Dany in the Fighting Pits. I’ll have to rewatch that scene to hear exactly what he said.
Now I want a Jorah tee shirt with the caption: “And yet, here I stand.”
Jorah’s interactions with Sam include my all-time favorite Samwell Tarley moment.
“My name is Samwell Tarley. I’m a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch, training to serve as maester of Castle Black. I knew your father. I was with him when he died. You’re not dying today, Ser Jorah.”
I’ve always loved this actor. And Jorah was… The word epic comes to mind. His voice, his character, his unwavering love for his Khaleesi. He survived grey scale for her. He fought for her.
I honestly can’t imagine a more perfect death for Jorah “Here I Stand” Mormont than using a sword called Heartsbane and his body as an actual shield to protect her until the threat was over.
I’m still broken up about House Mormont disappearing. Jeor, Jorah, even Lyanna. Bear Island raised a few legends.
Well,thanks David, I’ve just started drying my tears from 803 and your beautiful and heartfelt article has me crying again. RIP House Mormont 😭
I’ll get the tissues ready for the Theon Greyjoy article😭
Iain Glen. Every loss of a beloved cast member – especially one of the Originals – hurts, but this one … this one really, really hurts.
I personally feel that among this cast of brilliant and distinguished actors who have blessed us with their presence on Game of Thrones for the past eight seasons, no one performer brought more to their character than Iain Glen did to Jorah Mormont. Without casting unnecessary aspersions, I’ll choose my words very carefully and say this: I do not like Jorah in the books. At all. But I absolutely and unreservedly LOVE Jorah in the show. That’s a testament to the writers, of course, but most of all it’s a testament to Iain Glen. His Jorah was dignified. He was courageous. He was strong. He was proud. He was honorable. And above all, he was selfless. Indeed, he came to embody the ultimate standard of what it means to fully devote oneself to another person, with all of the heartbreak that entails. And there was certainly plenty of heartbreak for Ser Jorah, but Iain never allowed that pain to spill over into anger, resentment, or possessive jealousy that might have turned me against his character the way it did in other versions of the story. His love for Daenerys remained his guiding light, and for eight seasons – from the searing heat of the Red Waste to the darkest hour of The Long Night – that light never wavered.
Speaking of Daenerys, one can’t talk about Iain Glen’s Jorah Mormont without mentioning his connection to Emilia Clarke. In a cast of literally thousands, there are only two actors who have shared at least one scene together in all eight seasons of this show. Those two actors? Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke. Their chemistry, their bond, their affection for one another is real, and it spills over onto every frame that they share together.
Picking an all-time favorite Jorah scene is a near-impossible task, but if I had to choose one and only one – I’d go with the scene that David outlined from Season 6, Episode 5 “The Door”, when Jorah admits his love for her more openly than he ever has before, and Dany tasks him with finding the cure and returning to her side because she can’t bear to see him walk away forever. Both Iain and Emilia did such an outstanding job in that scene that I was reduced to tears the first time I watched it, and now, knowing Jorah’s ultimate fate, I probably always will be.
Across the final three seasons, Jorah ultimately received the absolution that he had been seeking ever since the beginning – not only from Dany, but in every aspect of his life. Indeed, his character arc was resolved in such a perfect way that I really couldn’t ask for anything more. Once that final loop closed, I knew that Jorah’s death was inevitable … but I could not have scripted or envisioned a more fitting end for his character, bravely defending his Khaleesi against impossible odds until he could no longer stand. There was no other way for Jorah to go, and Dany’s devastated sobs over his broken body as Drogon protectively curled up around them is an image that will stay with me for a long, long time.
Thank you, Iain, for all that you gave to both Ser Jorah and to Game of Thrones – there has truly been no more loyal and dedicated solider for this show than you. From the bottom of my heart, you will be deeply missed.
Such an amazing character and actor! His death is felt. Also one of the few moments we see Dany break like that.
And now his watch is ended.
RIP Ser Jorah!
Loved his performance and love his voice. Great actor! One of my favourites on the show! Everyone needs a Jorah in his life.
“lets his face do all the work – never was there a more expressive actor on Game of Thrones”
To my mind, that’s a description more fitted to Alfie Allen. But his Curtain Call is yet to come. Meanwhile, Iain Glen was no slouch in the acting department. And his mellifluous voice was always a pleasure to listen to, lending gravitas to the dialogue even when the writing of his lines leaned toward the cheesy. He will certainly be missed.
Awww thank you – Very obviously, Petra will be writing that one. I look forward to it as well! Get the tissues ready.
“Long sullen silences and the occasional punch in the face…”
I knew the character first from the books, and Iain Glen felt just perfect for the role in the show, though he did an excellent job in bringing the character to life on the screen.
We lost two epic, velvet voices in the battle for the dawn – Jorah and Beric. I could listen to them read the phone book.
Iain Glen is the one actor — the ONLY actor on Game of Thrones that I predict will continue to be deeply involved in the series long after Game of Thrones finishes its final episode this month.
The purest and deepest method of enjoying A Song of Ice and Fire is to listen to every word of it via audio book.
We have the amazing voice work of Roy Dotrice as narrator of the currently released novels. As most of you know, Dotrice died at the age of 94 a few years ago. so we will never have him complete the audio book series.
Which brings me back to Iain Glen. Many of you are probably not aware how amazing a voice actor Iain Glen is. The voice of Ser Jorah Mormon is exactly that — merely a voice adopted by the actor. That’s not Glen’s normal speaking voice – not even close. Iain Glen has a dozen others I have heard and they are all excellent.
He has narrated one of GRRM’s short stories set in Westeros as well as another novel from GRRM, Dying of the Light. They are very well done.
While I would have preferred Roy Dotrice to finish the audio books – if we can’t have him, I hope we have Iain Glen finish the tale for us. I expect that is what GRRM wants as well.
All by way of saying, I do not think Ser Jorah is really gone. Through Iain Glen as narrator, he will return to us before the true end of the series. And the last words spoken in Westeros will be his.
What else can I say that hasn’t already been said so much more eloquently than I ever could?
Ser Jorah, you died fighting bravely to keep your Queen safe. She is alive because of your strength and courage.
Iain Glen, you are a delight to watch and listen to. I will miss your presence. Thank you for a brilliant portrayal.
Thank you David for this wonderful walk through the Jorah memory lane! I absolutely loved watching the HBO featurette where both Iain and Emilia seemed so emotional talking about each other and particularly THAT scene. I don’t usually get emotional when watching GoT but I got teary eyed watching Jorah protect and die for Dany in The Long Night. Thank you, Iain!
Oh, I hope you’re right about Glen picking up the torch for Dotrice on the audiobooks. That would be splendid.
Thank you Mr. Glen for the wonderful performance. You will not be forgotten.
David I think you wrote the perfect curtain call, one only a true fan could write.
We were privileged indeed to have Mr. Glen as Jorah Mormont.
“I’m still broken up about House Mormont disappearing. Jeor, Jorah, even Lyanna. Bear Island raised a few legends.”
Me too. 😩.
House Mormont itself deserves its own Curtain Call. Steadfast and loyal to the end.
Words to live by:
“Here We Stand”
“We Will Not Break Faith Today”
I would have loved Ser Baristan fighting with Jorah defending their Queen and (only) Ser Baristan dying here and not in Meeren.
These curtain calls are killing us – and it’s going to get worse.
Poor Jorah trying to have last words and unable – but she knew, she knew – “I love you, I’ve always loved you’. The Bear and the Maiden Fair.
She wanted him by her side when she took her throne – even after Tyrion advised her that she should not (why was that?)
Thank you Iain and thank you Jorah.
Damn we lost 2 of the best voices in one episode. Glenn and Dormer.
And we shall never see his like again 🙁
Great work through all seasons by Mr. Glen. He will do much more in the years to come whether he plays villains or heroes or men of mixed motives with arcs that make you want to root for them.
I was hoping that his character, Jorah, survived to the end, invented golf, improved the lands of Bear Island, used his wealth to improve the skills of the Maesters at the Citadel, and got to be a doting uncle to whatever children Jon and Danaerys had.
Jorah accepted Heartsbane and said “To Guard the Realms of Men” to honor his father Jeor. Jorah bravely saved Daenerys life once again and they all worked together to end the Long Night.
I was surprised when Jorah told Daenerys to trust Tyrion… the opposite of the advice the Queen of Thorns gave Daenerys. I thought Jorah would see Tyrion betray Daenerys…. Who’s advice will be right… Jorah or Lady Olenna?
The next 3 episode should be epic.
I hope Sandor Clegane finally sees and talks to Sansa… maybe Sandor will Save Sansa from Cersei… I wouldn’t be surprised if Cersie somehow kidnaps Sansa foreshadowed when Cersei kidnapped Ros.
“if it were true it would make you the last male heir of the House Targaryen – You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne… seconds later
Sandor saved Arya in the Long Night – I think Arya will save Sandor from being killed by the Mountain and finish Gregor Clegane for good.
I was just telling one of my co-workers this!!! He loves the show and just started listening to the audiobooks.
On that note, I highly recommend the Netflix documentary about the wild cats of Scotland, narrated by Iain Glen.
Jorah and Iain will be terribly missed as we end our watch.
Years ago, I was dissmissing those claims of “wonderful” voices as inconsequential fanboyism. But the more time passes, the clearer I hear the old lines spoken by the likes of Beric Dondarrion or Jorah Mormont. Those are the ones that stick in my head the most.
All that to say, Iain Glen did leave a mark. A surprisingly lasting mark. I’m not sure an actor can do much better than that.
I wish Iain Glen good fortune in the projects to come.
He did a great job of playing a world-weary man who found new purpose in life. His character also did a really good job of putting Daenerys in situations where she could do no right concerning Jorah. I was 45% hoping that he’d die saving Lyanna Mormant, and thus redeeming himself for his house; but I was 55% hoping for something like this. The first would have been really good, but what they did was still better.
I wanted to keep the illusion that somehow Ser Jorah didn’t die, obviously still in denial!😢
One of my most favourite characters, loved every scene he had. And his love for Dany probably one of the purest kinds of love we have seen on the show. I refuse to cry again!I will greatly miss Ser Jorah.
And what to say about Iain, he is such an excellent actor! Your article says it all. I’m so glad he was there for Emilia; I’m grateful for his presence in this show, which wouldn’t be the same without him. I look forward to his future plans and wish all the best! ❤️
Man, fandoms can be so toxic.
I just saw a youtube video of D&D on Kimmel and literally every comment is filled with hate saying how the show is ruined because of episode 3.
The main argument is that winter only lasted for 1 episode…would people really feel better if there was another (arguably smaller) battle against the dead for them to be defeated then. Wouldn’t winter have lasted not that long too then? Do they think the books are going to focus on winter when there are only two more coming and Daenerys isn’t even on her way to Westeros and Jon is still dead?
I’ve been feeling so bummed out since I watched the episode because of all the trash talk that it’s really tainting my enjoyment now.
Oh, Ser Jorah, you will be sorely missed. I cried, again, reading your article, and every time I’ve re-watched epi 3. His death was everything, it was classic, respectful, genuine. And when Drogon came back to console Daeny, I think he was mourning Ser Jorah’s death too. Iain Glen was just brilliant.
Your’s would be a perfect ending, if GOT had happy endings.
I know, Lyanna, the fearless bear cub, it wrecked me when she died. Makes me wonder how many Houses in the North have we lost?
David, Thank you for that wonderful curtain call. I have not done a whole series re-watch yet for awhile so your Jorah highlights over the past seasons was moving and well written.
I’ll miss Jorah but take comfort in the fact he died knowing the Dead had fallen and Dany was safe (for now) and there with him. Ian Glen is a great actor and I’ve seen him in a couple of Masterpiece productions over the years and he always exceptional. Thanks to Mr. Glen!
Thank you David for such a heartfelt and fitting curtain call for Iain Glen. I’m applauding on this keyboard 👏👏👏
Iain is an actor I’ve watched on screen many times, being fortunate enough to live in the UK. He has such gravitas on screen and he brought that to the role of Ser Jorah. I know he’s a favourite too amongst many people I know who watch GOT and don’t post online. His demise was heartbreaking to watch and although I wasn’t surprised, it didn’t make it any easier.
I saw the interview of Iain and Emilia and it clearly got to Iain too. One of the best actors we have and he nailed that character in every scene he appeared in!
It helps when he has a voice I could listen to for hours, rather like Richard Burton did, lol.
Thank you Iain for enriching the series with your talent. Bravo!
And I think you wrote the perfect comment, one only a true fan writer could appreciate. Thank you for being you. 🙂
My article said most, but you helped with the rest. Thank you. 🙂
I hope it tides you over until your inevitable rewatch. My writeup of his dialogue can only do so much; his actual voice will take you the whole nine.
Thank you for the kind words. It’s nice to know Iain means so much to so many!
I’m unclear what aspersions would be cast here. Book Jorah isn’t supposed to be likable, so you not liking him is pretty much just the desired reaction to the text.
Jorah on the show, conversely, was definitely supposed to be likable, and Glen played that very well. And as others have said, he had one of the best voices on the show.
Oh Pigeon, I actually thought of you when Jorah went. I miss him too.
I can’t say more about my love of Jorah and Iain than I have done numerous times over the years. His character had my heart. I can’t rewatch that part of Episode 3, and I am not looking forward to seeing him on the pyre in Episode 4 (even if he did fall asleep doing that, ha!) One of my all time favourite moments:
I never paid Jorah too much attention but the actor did have a fabulous voice. On the occasions that I noticed him, he was usually doing an excellent job.
I will forever wonder what Ian thought when he read that Jorah would ride back from the dark after the Dothraki disappears and not say a word to anyone. Even without instructions, I would have yelled, OMG, OMG, did you see that?..just to add something to the script.
Jorah died in the arms of the woman he loved.
In a series that has had many deaths and subsequent curtain calls, this has to be one of the most articulate, thorough and, dare I say, loving of them all. You touched on so many excellent scenes and did such a lovely job of reminding us what a talent Iain is. You went above and beyond in going through each season to pinpoint some of his most entertaining scenes. Thank you for that.
I can’t think of any scene with Jorah that was anything but entertaining, enlightening and memorable. Humor, pathos, patience, intense pain, it didn’t matter, Iain got to the heart of it all. I liked his scenes with Daario, when the two were hunting and trying to rescue Dany from the Dothraki. Daario was throwing shade about Jorah’s age; Jorah turns to him with “You didn’t get much discipline as a child, did you?” I laughed out loud.
One of my favorites is when Tyrion and Jorah were sailing through Old Valyria, and Tyrion starts to recite the poem about the Doom. Jorah, in that melt-inducing voice, finishes it, much to Tyrion’s surprise.
When Sam was removing the gray scale from Jorah’s body, he made Jorah bite down on a leather strap to keep him from crying out in agony. There was no dialog, but Iain’s groans and whimpers were so convincing I was in total awe.
Iain Glen brought skill and nuance to the part of Jorah Mormont, and he’s made a well-deserved impact on fans of Game of Thrones. I was sorry to see that Jorah’s death is the end of House Mormont. Luckily, the actor is still with us, and I look forward to seeing what future pleasures Mr. Glen will bring to our lives.
Great minds think alike! I hadn’t seen that you posted this already. But so glad you found a way to post that scene. I LOVED that whole section, right up to the end of the episode, when Jorah pulls back his sleeve to show he’s been infected. Yikes, I’m realizing just how much I really did like this guy. This is getting sadder and sadder.
. I did not know about this but am not surprised – probably my fave scene was when he joined tyrion reciting the doom. Two powerful voices making that history come alive. I’d listen to him read, that is for sure.
My poor Bear! Iain Glen is just spectacular and truely made Jorah his own. You picked out some of my favorite scenes, but I really love the beautiful boat trip through Old Valyria with Tyrion. It was lyrical. And at the end of the “Making of” for 8.3 when he’s talking about his time on the show and gets all verklempt. I just love him! I will truely watch (and listen to!) him in anything. Thanks, David!
Iain Glen is the business! Check him out in “Jack Taylor”, streaming on Ntflx in the US – every moment he’s onscreen is pure gold. One can only hope he finds roles that are truly worthy of him.
My favourite Ser Jorah scene also was when they sailed through Valyria and along with Tyrion reciting ‘The Doom’ and especially the look on his and Tyrion faces when they saw Drogon fly over.
HBO couldn’t have chosen a better actor with Iain Glen playing Ser Jorah Mormont. He really nailed the part. I guess it was inevitable he wouldn’t last to the final episode, but he went out like a hero dying in the arms of his Khalissi.
RIP Ser Jorah – and long live Iain Glen.
A beautiful curtain call, and an unexpected one.
Why unexpected? Because there is no mention of THE SHIRT. Oh, the shirt.
Now you’ve done it, I was so proud of myself for my self control, yet I’m glad you brought it up. That fucking yellow raggedy shirt he wore for what? almost six seasons? That a dignified, worldly man would wear such a thing for so long, especially when Khaleesi was changing clothes, styles and hairdos with joyous regularity, is such an oddity. There was only one good thing about his getting gray scale – that he had to finally abandon that ugly piece of s… and came back to his lady dressed as he should be. ok, done. RIP Jorah, be well Iain, don’t ever wear a yellow shirt again though.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said in David’s excellent and moving Curtain Call and the many comments. I’m tearing up reading them.
Like many others, I’m not a big fan of book-Jorah but Iain Glen made me love the Bear. In a show so chock-full of acting talent, Iain Glen stood out. Thank you.
About Jorah’s last words… I first watched the episode with no subtitles. I didn’t hear any last words. On my second watch, I had the susbtitles on in my language. Right before Dany cradles him, his lips move and the subtitles read “Sattuu.”, which translates into “It hurts.”
You bet it hurt! I was crying like a fountain. I’m tearing up again.
OK, now I’m crying for Jorah’s yellow shirt. Over the seasons, it became a beloved character itself.
i love this. thank you. quite a character investment for 10yrs. and now it came crashing down with the last episode and it’s hard not to grieve for him now and then. i’m in tears every night. this is a wonderful read to get through another day. again, thank you.
Great actor playing a great character, one of my favorites. Jorah will be missed these last few episodes.
Have to say I’m a little disappointed that he died in the same episode as so many others so he didn’t get his own ‘beautiful death’ poster. It could have been epic. And disappointed that his tribute on this week’s poster is just a crying Daenerys embracing Heartsbane. Meh. Jorah deserved better.
I don’t watch much TV, but this show grabbed me, and when I saw Iain Glen I thought, “How do I not know about this guy?” He was amazing. Even in a stand out cast and a with a relatively small part, he made an impression. He infused a potentially one-dimensional character with dignity and class, and I’ve been rooting for Dany mostly for Jorah’s sake. He was my favorite and I barely have the heart to watch the rest. If he had to go down, I don’t mind the way they did it; just hoped it would have been in a later episode.
I checked out Iain Glen’s CV and thanks to him, I’m blowing through the works of Ken Bruen (brutal!) and Chekov and I finally watched Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Thanks to Iain Glen for turning me on to some great stuff and thanks for his pitch-perfect contribution to GoT. I wish him the best of luck in whatever the future brings.
I think Tyrion suspected that Jorah had grayscale but wouldn’t admit it openly, so he would be a liability (something along the lines “has had opportunity to confess in the past but didn’t”) so it was safer to get him away. In S6 Ser Jorah admits the grayscale, which makes him more trustworthy than before.
And many thanks to Iain Glen for his wonderful performance all these seasons!
Here the subtitles translated as “I’m hurt.” Either way, it’s heartbreaking, and nobody heard it. It looked as if he were trying to say something to Dany but was totally spent and couldn’t get any words out. At least he had already told her he loved her.
I….I love that shirt. So did Iain! 😆😭
Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I am still in shock over the episode and Jorah’s demise in such a brutal but honourable way……defending his queen until the end. Iain Glen – what can I say….he brought Jorah to life in the most amazing way and I salute his outstanding performances over the last 8 seasons. Thank you!
Jorah in the books is far more of a creepy old letch yet Iain manages to turn him into a much more likeable character in the show, so full kudos and respect for that. Like I wrote in the Theon article despite my criticisms of the low body count in the Long Night this was one death that played out well and in fitting with his arc.
Also worth noting that Iain and Emilia clearly have wonderful chemistry and friendship.
I really adored him and dug deep for this one. Thanks for appreciating it. It means a lot.
I live to serve [and write about Iain Glen/Jorah!]
I prefer to talk about things that matter. If the Internet wants make fun of him for loving his queen and insulting his unironed but otherwise perfect yellow shirt, that’s on them.
Thank you for the kind words! My goal was to move mountains but I’ll settle for moving you.
He lives on through our mutual love of Jorah. If you print it out and put it on your wall to cherish forever, I understand. <3
Viva la Jorah!
I can’t imagine anyone else as Jorah Mormont. RIP Jorah! And thank God for Iain Glen. He was fantastic.
I have tried to post a tribute to Jorah, but it disappeared twice. Is is too late for that?
What an impressive essay following the evolution of a beloved character you wrote! You should be granted an honorary citizenship of Bear Island!
Jorah has grown on me, I have gradually discovered his courage, quiet strength, loyalty, capacity to love. It was only natural for him to die for his beloved Khaleesi (what a painful shout when she disappeared in the HOTU, in season 2), but it didn’t make his death any easier to watch and accept. He was loved, both by Dany (her friendship was pure and sincere) and by his fans.
Lots of luck for Iain in his future career!
Thank you! I went to school with Professor Glen. He taught me well, and he did Jorah good.
I love this curtain call so much! All the feels!
I love your comment so much! <3 All the feels!!
Thank you! I will see you at the 5-year reunion on Bear Island. Meet me by the conservatory.
Comments are closed.