ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

You know what it's like. You wait six seasons for a young girl called Lyanna to show up and change the game, and then two come along at once.

In many ways, Game of Thrones Season 6 has been one of triumph, a series of victories for the good guys, a confirmation that revenge — served hot or cold, in a palace lit with wildfire or with starved hounds in the dungeons — can be the most satisfying dish of all.

The biggest (perhaps the only) contingent of fundamentally good characters exists in the North, where the reunion of Sansa and Jon has, with a helping hand from Littlefinger (whatever the cost of that help may be), strengthened the House Stark.

Lady Lyanna Mormont: The North remembers.
Lady Lyanna Mormont: The North remembers.

It wasn't just the intervention of Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale that helped win the battle of Winterfell. The soldiers of Lady Lyanna Mormont, small in number (just 62, as Sansa so drolly observed) but armed with the fighting spirit of an army ten times larger, were as important for what they represented as what they actually contributed on the battlefield.

In the words of the young Lady herself in this week's epic season finale, "The Winds of Winter":

So who exactly is the pint-sized head of House Mormont, and what kind of badassery can we expect from her as the show moves forward?

Well, who she's not is Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned who we finally witnessed give birth to Jon Snow in the Tower of Joy in "The Winds of Winter," halfway-confirming the R+L=J theory (unless, that is, there's a twist in the tale).

She was, however, named after Ned's sister, the House Mormont always having displayed absolute loyalty to the House Stark. Her uncle, Ser Jeor Mormont, was the fearsome (but, you suspect, probably quite cuddly) Lord Commander of the Night's Watch until murdered by his own men in Season 3, and his son, Ser Jorah, is currently taking a break from being Daenerys Targaryen's pet dog to find a cure for his fast-spreading greyscale.

Her mother, Maege, is also dead, all of which probably explains just how this girl whose age is barely into double figures came to be a hardened, cynical Lady of Bear Island. Recall the way in which Sansa attempted to flatter Lyanna during their first meeting ("[Your mother] was a great beauty. I'm sure you will be too."), and how Lyanna saw through that flattery immediately: "My mother wasn't a great beauty, or any other kind of beauty."

The importance of Lyanna's role in "The Winds of Winter," shaming those of her neighbors who failed to give their men to Jon Snow, cannot be understated. Relive the scene from the finale above. It takes major balls to face a grown man and coldly remind him that he failed the House he had pledged allegiance too.

These are not the words of a girl. These are the words of a young woman forced into a maturity beyond her years, who, like Sansa, has a strong moral core and an excellent knowledge of the nuances of war and family loyalty.

That makes Lyanna Mormont a valuable ally and a dangerous enemy. She may only have 62 men (if we're being honest, it's probably more like 26 at this point), but she does possess something far more valuable in warfare: the ability to cut straight through the bullshit and tell it like it is, which is more than can often be said for Jon Snow.

In notable contrast with the spoiled and utterly hateful Robin Arryn of the Eyrie, also orphaned at a young age and entrusted with a great responsibility, Lyanna takes her duties deadly seriously. She will serve the King in the North until his last breath, and for that, Jon Snow ought to be very grateful indeed.

Is Lady Lyanna Mormont the hero the North deserves?


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