The Battle of Winterfell has come to a close, and a heavy price was paid — at least as far as Westerosi history is concerned.
[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3.]
Many soldiers died in the third episode of the show’s final season, but one house felt the effects of the battle more than any other: House Mormont.
The ancient house of Bear Island is one of the oldest in Westeros. It’s long stood as one of house Stark’s strongest allies, and one of the most respected houses in the North. Its last two surviving members, Lyanna Mormont and Jorah Mormont, both heroically fell in defense of Winterfell in the fight to protect the living.
Lyanna may have only been in the show since season 6, but she quickly grew to be a fan favorite for viewers and one of the North’s most respected leaders. She may have only been 10 years old, but she served her small house with dignity and honor. Her support was key in helping Jon become King in the North in the first place, and she helped rally the other Northern houses before the Battle of the Bastards. During the Battle of Winterfell, Lyanna fought bravely, and in her final moments she managed to kill an undead giant that was wreaking havoc inside Winterfell.
Jorah Mormont was one of the longest-standing Game of Thrones characters to die during the battle against the dead. A major player since the show’s first season, Jorah was the closest ally of Daenerys Targaryen, despite only coming into her service when he had originally been instructed to assassinate her. He first crossed the Narrow Sea to find Dany after King Robert Baratheon promised him a full pardon if he killed her. His crime of slave trading had gotten him banished from the Seven Kingdoms and disowned by House Mormont, but since committing those past sins, he had spent his life trying to help Dany win the Iron Throne in hopes that she would make Westeros a better place in the end.
In season 8’s second episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, Jorah received Heartsbane, the family sword of House Tarly, from Samwell Tarly. During the battle, Jorah puts the sword to good use, killing dozens of wights and even saving Dany’s life. Ultimately, though, Jorah is overwhelmed by the hundreds of wights swarming Winterfell’s courtyard, and he falls with Dany by his side.
While House Mormont might be the latest one to fall on Game of Thrones, it certainly isn’t the only one that’s gone extinct over the course of the show. House Bolton, which helped orchestrate the Red Wedding and the capture of Winterfell, has no remaining heirs. House Tyrell was wiped out by Cersei Lannister in a power move in King’s Landing. A few other houses only have a few remaining members, like the Freys, the Baratheons (with only Gendry), the Greyjoys (who have just Yara and Euron), and even the Starks (who now only have Arya, Sansa, and Bran — with Jon being half-Targaryen).
In an episode full of sacrifices, House Mormont will go down as the only house to sacrifice itself fully in defense of the living. A fitting end to a house that was always known for its bravery, and whose motto was “Here We Stand.”
Correction: A previous version of this article included incorrect wording that indicated that Bran Stark had died. We’ve edited the post to reflect that he’s very much alive at the end of the Battle of Winterfell.