Bear Island

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The north and the location of Bear Island
The north and the location of Bear Island
Bear Island
The north and the location of Bear Island

Bear Island is a remote island in the north that is home to House Mormont. It lies within the Bay of Ice, north of Deepwood Motte and south of the Frozen Shore.[1] The Mormonts live at Mormont Keep.[2]


Bear Island by Sergey Glushakov © Fantasy Flight Games

The beautiful but remote island contains old gnarled oaks, tall pines, flowering thornbushes, moss-covered grey stones, and steep hills with streams.[3] It is the home to many bears.[3]

According to a semi-canon source, House Hoare added a green tree in the second quarter of their sigil as a reference to their one-time possession of Bear Island.[4]


Aside from a few crofters, the inhabitants of Bear Island live along the coasts and fish the seas.[3] In days past, ironborn and free folk from the Frozen Shore raided Bear Island while the men were fishing, leaving the defense of the island to its women. This created a warrior culture among the women.[5]


Ironmen and Northmen

Bear Island scout by Aleksander Karcz © Fantasy Flight Games

Bear Island has long been disputed by the north and the Iron Islands.[6][7] Thousands of years ago,[8] Bear Island was ruled by House Woodfoot prior to its conquest by the ironborn.[9] The ironmen of antiquity controlled the Sunset Sea from Bear Island and the Frozen Shore as far south as the Arbor.[7]

The island was used as a reaving base by Ravos Hoare, the son of Harrag Hoare, King of the Iron Islands. Theon Stark, a King in the North, drove the ironborn from Bear Island during his reign, slaying Ravos himself.[10]

The driftwood king Loron Greyjoy retook Bear Island, but it was again lost to the ironborn after the Old Kraken's death. King Rodrik Stark is said to have won the island in a wrestling match and granted it to House Mormont,[11] although some scholars are skeptical of the story.[6] This presumably occurred in the century after Gerold Lannister, King of the Rock, raided the Iron Islands, when weaker driftwood kings lost most ironborn possessions along western Westeros.[12]

Lord Torrhen Stark sent a few longships from Bear Island to aid King Aegon I Targaryen in his campaign against the Iron Islands.[13]

Elissa Farman sailed as far as Bear Island and the Arbor by the age of twenty.[14]

Jorah Mormont

Lord Jeor Mormont joined the Night's Watch to allow his son, Jorah Mormont, to rule Bear Island. Jorah ruled the island with his wife, Lynesse Hightower, but she decided that the remote isle was no place for a Hightower of Oldtown. After Jorah was caught selling poachers to a slaver to support Lynesse's lifestyle,[3] Eddard Stark, the liege lord of the north, traveled to Bear Island to execute Jorah or force him to take the black. However, the disgraced Jorah had already taken ship into exile with his wife by the time Ned arrived.[15] Bear Island thus passed to Jeor's sister, Lady Maege Mormont.[16]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Bear Island by Franz Miklis © Fantasy Flight Games

Lady Maege Mormont leads the levy from Bear Island that joins the army of Robb Stark.[17] She is accompanied by three of her daughters, Dacey, Lyra, and Jorelle.[18]

A Clash of Kings

Daenerys Targaryen intends to restore Bear Island to the exiled Ser Jorah Mormont if she gains the Iron Throne.[3]

A Storm of Swords

Robb, King in the North, sends Maege into the Neck to find Lord Howland Reed. In case of capture, Maege is to claim to be returning to Bear Island.[5] Dacey, the heir to Bear Island, is killed alongside Robb in the Red Wedding.[19]

Maester Aemon sends a raven to Bear Island, in a plea for help defending Castle Black from wildlings.[20]

A Dance with Dragons

When King Stannis Baratheon demands allegiance from the northmen, ten-year-old Lyanna Mormont, Maege's youngest daughter, reaffirms Bear Island's support for House Stark.[21] However, Alysane Mormont, the new heir to Bear Island, joins Stannis's army after the fight by Deepwood Motte and the defeat of Asha Greyjoy's longships.[22]


The Mormonts of Bear Island were an old house, proud and honorable, but their lands were cold and distant and poor.[15]

—thoughts of Eddard Stark

Bear Island is rich in bears and trees, and poor in aught else.[3]

She had heard the longing in Ser Jorah's voice when he spoke of his Bear Island. He can never have me, but one day I can give him back his home and honor.[3]

—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen

Dany pictured Jorah moving amongst old gnarled oaks and tall pines, past flowering thornbushes, grey stones bearded with moss, and little creeks running icy down steep hillsides. She saw him entering a hall built of huge logs, where dogs slept by the hearth and the smell of meat and mead hung thick in the smoky air.[23]

—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen

Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK.[21]

Asha: Mormont women are all fighters too.
Alysane: What we are is what you made us. On Bear Island every child learns to fear krakens rising from the sea.[18]

Behind the Scenes

In a 1993 draft of the map of Westeros, Bear Island was not the island in the Bay of Ice, but an island off the Stony Shore which has since not appeared on any maps.[24]


  1. The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  4. The Citadel. Heraldry: Houses on the Iron Islands
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Mountain Clans.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands.
  8. The Night's King might have been a Woodfoot.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  12. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
  13. Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragons - The Wars of King Aegon I.
  14. Fire & Blood, A Surfeit or Rulers.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
  18. 18.0 18.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
  19. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  21. 21.0 21.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
  22. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  24. Clint Stevenson, Updated pic of the original map of Westeros, turned in to George RR Martin's editor in 1993 along with the first manuscript (, Oct 10, 2022