Jeor Mormont

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House Mormont.svg Lord Commander
Jeor Mormont
the Old Bear
Night's Watch.svg
Jeor Mormont.jpg
Jeor Mormont by Amok ©

  • The Old Bear[1]
  • Old Lord Crow[2]
Culture Northmen
Born 230 AC[3]
Bear Island, the North[4]
Died 299 AC
Craster's Keep, beyond the Wall[5]
Father Lord Mormont
Issue Jorah Mormont

Played by James Cosmo
TV series Game of Thrones:
Season 1 | 2 | 3

Jeor Mormont, also known as the Old Bear, is the 997th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch,[6] which he commands from their headquarters, Castle Black. Jeor, previously head of House Mormont and Lord of Bear Island, abdicated his seat in favor of his son, Ser Jorah Mormont, and joined the Night's Watch.[7] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, Jeor is played by James Cosmo.[8]

Appearance and Character

Jeor has an immense bald head[1][9] with a spotted scalp,[10] and his shaggy grey beard covers much of his chest.[10]

Lord Commander Mormont has a gruff[1][11] and stubborn[12] manner which intimidates Samwell Tarly.[9][10] Ser Denys Mallister considers Jeor to be strong and fierce.[13]

Jeor wears a cloak of thick black fur,[14] and for formal occasions he wears a black wool doublet with silvered bearclaw fastenings.[9] He is always accompanied by his pet raven, which constantly demands corn.[1][15][10] The Lord Commander rides a tough little garron[16] and resides in the Lord Commander's Tower at Castle Black.[16] Jeor's short-hafted battle-axe has gold scrollwork inlaid on black steel.[2] He also has a sword[5] and wears a steel knife on his belt.[17] Jeor possesses Longclaw, the ancestral Valyrian steel bastard sword of House Mormont, although he does not regularly carry it.[18] When on campaign he resides in a big black tent.[14]

Still strong despite his advanced age,[15] Jeor believes he still has his teeth due to his habit of putting lemon in his beer everyday.[19] His favorite wine is a robust red.[20] The Lord Commander is accustomed to rising at first light.[19]


Presumably prior to Robert's Rebellion,[N 1] Jeor abdicated his seat, leaving the lordship of Bear Island to his son, Ser Jorah Mormont, and joined the Night's Watch. Jeor rapidly rose through the ranks and was elected Lord Commander in 288 AC;[4] Ser Denys Mallister removed his name from consideration when Jeor's was offered.[21] Since the Mallisters distrust ironborn, Lord Commander Mormont kept Denys and Cotter Pyke at opposite ends of the Wall.[22]

Jeor was deeply concerned by the declining power of the Watch and the rising threat of the wildlings living beyond the Wall. On the advice of his First Ranger, Benjen Stark, he gave up the regular patrols used by his predecessor, Lord Commander Qorgyle, in favor of a more random system, varying the number of patrols and the days of their departure, to make it more difficult for the wildlings to know their comings and goings. Sometimes a larger force was sent to garrison one of the abandoned castles for a fortnight or a moon's turn as well.[23]

When Lord Jorah fled to the Free Cities to escape Lord Eddard Stark's punishment for selling poachers into slavery, Jeor regained Longclaw, the Valyrian steel sword of House Mormont, which his son left behind. Jeor's sister, Maege Mormont, became Lady of Bear Island with the exile of Jorah.[18]

Jeor has written cautionary notes about problematic brothers of the Watch for his eventual successor.[24]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Commander Mormont and his raven, by Veronica V. Jones ©

When Ser Waymar Royce disappears beyond the Wall, Lord Commander Mormont sends Benjen Stark to search for the missing knight.[15] The First Ranger's party goes missing themselves, however.[25]

Jeor and his officers host Tyrion Lannister during his visit to Castle Black and the Wall. Although he disbelieves Jeor's reports about dangers north of the Wall, Tyrion agrees to inform King Robert I Baratheon, Ser Jaime Lannister, and Lord Tywin Lannister about the growing needs of the Night's Watch when he travels south.[15]

Jon Snow, a recruit of the Watch and Benjen's nephew, occasionally hunts for game for the Lord Commander's table with the aid of Ghost, his direwolf.[25] When Jon and seven other recruits are given a special meat after completing their training, the Lord Commander sends them food from his own table.[26] Jeor personally requests that Jon become his personal steward, but the youth is disappointed he was not assigned to the rangers. Samwell Tarly explains to his friend, however, that the appointment means that Lord Commander Mormont is grooming Jon for command.[9]

When Ghost finds a severed hand near the weirwood grove in the haunted forest,[9] Jeor is part of the search party which finds the corpses of Othor and Jafer Flowers, who had been with Benjen Stark. Lord Commander Mormont has their dead bodies brought back to Castle Black so they can be inspected by Maester Aemon. Jeor and Jon learn of the death of King Robert I Baratheon and the arrest of Eddard Stark when they return to the castle.[16] During the night, the corpses, which are actually reanimated wights, attack the Night's Watch, killing several men, including Ser Jaremy Rykker. Only the timely intervention of Jon and Ghost prevent the undead Othor from assassinating Jeor, though his residence in the Lord Commander's Tower catches fire.[16]

Since the interior of his tower's top two floors are gutted from the fire, Jeor moves his residence to the King's Tower.[18] He also hacks off his singed beard and begins to regrow it. For having saved his life, Jeor gives Jon the Valyrian steel bastard sword Longclaw, ancestral weapon of House Mormont.[18] The Lord Commander has Maester Aemon send letters to Grand Maester Pycelle at the Red Keep, but they receive no response. Jeor then sends Ser Alliser Thorne to King's Landing to show Jafer's severed hand to King Joffrey I Baratheon.[18]

Intending to support his half-brother, Robb Stark, against the Lannisters, after the execution of their father, Jon deserts from the Night's Watch and leaves Longclaw behind at Castle Black. Jon's friends ride south after him and convince him to return, however. Jon agrees to loyally serve as Jeor's steward again, and the Lord Commander announces his intention to lead an expedition to learn about threats beyond the Wall, such as Mance Rayder and the Others.[19]

A Clash of Kings

Jeor speaks to the Night's Watch, by Brittmartin ©

Jeor has Samwell Tarly look for maps in the library of Castle Black, and he sends Ser Arnell as an envoy to Renly Baratheon, a claimant of the Iron Throne as war breaks out. With Robb having been declared King in the North, Jeor informs Jon about the history of Maester Aemon, who had once been in the Targaryen line of succession.[10]

The Lord Commander leads two hundred men from Castle Black north of the Wall in a great ranging,[27] and the first seven wildling villages they pass have all been abandoned.[2] At Craster's Keep, however, Jeor learns that Mance is gathering his people at the Frostfangs, preparing to launch an assault on the Wall. In return, Jeor gives Craster his fine axe as a gift.[2] Jeor admits to Jon that he and all of the rangers know that Craster's sons are given to the woods.[2]

Jeor leads the expedition to the Fist of the First Men, a good defensive position located on Mance's only route to the Wall, and waits for the arrival of Qhorin Halfhand with a hundred men from the Shadow Tower. Jeor hopes that the missing Benjen Stark will be able to find the large encampment.[20] Jon Snow finds a cache of dragonglass buried near the Fist,[20] and the steward makes a dagger for the Lord Commander.[17] Once the Shadow Tower men arrive, Qhorin informs Jeor that Mance and his wildling host intend to somehow break the Wall. The Lord Commander agrees with the Halfhand's suggestion to send scouting parties to the Milkwater, the Skirling Pass, and the Giant's Stair, and he allows Jon to join Qhorin's group.[17]

Qhorin's party is hunted by wildings in the Skirling Pass, and Qhorin instructs Jon to join Rattleshirt's band as a spy and learn what he can from the wildlings so that the Lord Commander can later be informed. When they are eventually overtaken, Qhorin attacks Jon and forces the youth to kill him to ensure that Jon will be accepted by the wildlings.[28]

A Storm of Swords

Bowen Marsh hold Castle Black as castellan in Jeor's absence.[29]

At the Fist of the First Men, Jeor and his men await the return of the scouting parties. A small group of men led by Chett plan to desert and head south, with Softfoot and Small Paul tasked with assassinating Lord Commander Mormont. Before the plot can be put into action, however, the encampment is attacked by wights.[14] Jeor tries to organize the defense, and Samwell Tarly releases some ravens to inform the Wall of the battle. The ranging party is broken in the fight at the Fist, however, and Jeor leads the survivors on a grim march back to Craster's Keep. During the journey, Samwell kills a lone Other with an obsidian dagger given to him by Jon Snow.[30]

Craster reluctantly hosts the survivors at his keep. Jeor discusses dragonglass daggers with Sam and the need to supply the Watch with dragonglass weaponry, and he leads a eulogy for Bannen after the ranger succumbs to his wounds.[5]

Craster holds a feast for the Watch the night before they are to depart his home, but several of the black brothers feel that Craster's offerings are meager. When they come to blows, Dirk slits Craster's throat and takes hostage one of his wives. The outraged Lord Commander advances toward Dirk, but he is held back by Garth of Greenaway and then stabbed in the stomach by Ollo Lophand during the mutiny at Craster's Keep. As Jeor lies dying, he orders Sam to head for the Wall to inform the remaining Watch of all that has happened. Jeor's last wish is for Sam to tell his exiled son, Ser Jorah Mormont, to take the black.[5] Sam takes Jeor's dagger before fleeing with Gilly and her child.[31]

After the battle beneath the Wall, King Stannis Baratheon takes up residence in the King's Tower at Castle Black and the Night's Watch holds a choosing to pick the next Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.[32] Sam offers Jon Snow's name to Ser Denys Mallister, reminding him that Jon had been trusted by Jeor.[21] Mormont's raven later emerges from the voting kettle and repeatedly says "Snow", and the amazed black brothers select Jon as their new leader.[13]

A Dance with Dragons

Mormont's raven remains by Jon's side.[33][34] According to Jon, the bird ate Jeor's face after he died.[33]

Quotes by Jeor

James Cosmo as Jeor in Game of Thrones

The cold winds are rising. Summer is at an end, and a winter is coming such as this world has never seen.[18]

—Jeor to Jon Snow

Jeor: Doubtless you loved your father. The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember when I told you that?

Jon: I remember.

Jeor: See that you never forget it. The hard truths are the ones to hold tight.[19]

—Jeor and Jon Snow

Jeor: Do you think they chose me Lord Commander of the Night's Watch because I'm dumb as a stump, Snow? Aemon told me you'd go. I told him you'd be back. I know my men ... and my boys too. Honor set you on the kingsroad ... and honor brought you back.

Jon: My friends brought me back.

Jeor: Did I say it was your honor?[19]

—Jeor to Jon Snow

When dead men come hunting in the night, do you think it matters who sits the Iron Throne?[19]

—Jeor to Jon Snow

Tarly, when I was a lad half your age, my lady mother told me that if I stood about with my mouth open, a weasel was like to mistake it for his lair and run down my throat. If you have something to say, say it. Otherwise, beware of weasels.[10]

—Jeor to Samwell Tarly

We never knew! But we must have known once. The Night's Watch has forgotten its true purpose, Tarly. You don't build a wall seven hundred feet high to keep savages in skins from stealing women. The Wall was made to guard the realms of men … and not against other men, which is all the wildlings are when you come right down to it. Too many years, Tarly, too many hundreds and thousands of years. We lost sight of the true enemy. And now he's here, but we don't know how to fight him.[5]

—Jeor to Samwell Tarly

Samwell: Tell them what, my lord?
Jeor: All. The Fist. The wildlings. Dragonglass. This. All. Tell my son. Jorah. Tell him, take the black. My wish. Dying wish.[5]

Samwell Tarly and Jeor

Quotes about Jeor

Old as he was, the Lord Commander still had the strength of a bear.[15]

—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

He was in deadly earnest, Tyrion realized. He felt faintly embarrassed for the old man. Lord Mormont had spent a good part of his life on the Wall, and he needed to believe if those years were to have any meaning.[15]

—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

Jon: Do you think I want to spend the rest of my life washing an old man's smallclothes?
Samwell: The old man is Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. You'll be with him day and night. Yes, you'll pour his wine and see that his bed linen is fresh, but you'll also take his letters, attend him at meetings, squire for him in battle. You'll be as close to him as his shadow. You'll know everything, be a part of everything ... and the Lord Steward said Mormont asked for you himself![9]

Tyrion had rather liked old Jeor Mormont, with his gruff manner and talking bird.[35]

—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

Stannis: Noye made my first sword for me, and Robert's warhammer as well. Had the god seen fit to spare him, he would have made a better Lord Commander for your order than any of these fools who are squabbling over it now.

Jon: Cotter Pyke and Ser Denys Mallister are no fools, sire. They're good men, and capable. Othell Yarwyck as well, in his own way. Lord Mormont trusted each of them.

Stannis: Your Lord Mormont trusted too easily. Else he would not have died as he did.[36]


[Note 1]
[Note 1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 It is currently unknown whether Alysane's children are trueborn, or bastard-born.


  1. Jeor states that he has been in the Night's Watch longer than Alliser Thorne (A Game of Thrones, Tyrion III), who joined the Night's Watch at the conclusion of Robert's Rebellion, implying that Jeor had joined prior to the war's start. While Jeor states that he had been Lord Commander at the time Alliser joined, more recent sources, both canon (A Storm of Swords, Jon I & Jon VIII) and semi-canon (George R.R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire) contradict this statement, making at least the fact that he was Lord Commander at the time invalid. It is still likely, however, that Jeor had already joined the Night's Watch at the time.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
  3. See the Jeor Mormont calculation.
  4. 4.0 4.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jeor Mormont.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
  6. A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
  7. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  8. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  12. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Storm of Swords, Prologue.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70, Jon IX.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 34, Jon IV.
  21. 21.0 21.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
  24. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39, Jon VIII.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  27. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon II.
  28. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 18, Samwell I.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 46, Samwell III.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
  33. 33.0 33.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
  34. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 21, Jon V.
  35. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
  36. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.

Unknown Lord of Bear Island Succeeded by
Preceded by 997th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
288299 AC
Succeeded by