The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones brought the story to a breakneck ending — and, ahem, broke a few necks in the process. But at least one of those major deaths almost didn't happen.
**Warning: There are spoilers below for the Game of Thrones series finale**
Of all the ignoble fates suffered by characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones, that of Ser Jorah Mormont was one of the better ones. Killed by wights as he defended his queen/unrequited crush Daenerys Targaryen during the Battle of Winterfell. But things originally weren’t supposed to end there for Jorah. In fact, he was supposed to head back up north, far north, alongside Jon Snow.
According to EW, Tormund was supposed to greet both Snow and the son of ex-Lord Commander of the Night's Watch Jeor Mormont during the series finale. Writer Dave Hill explained that the plan was for Jorah to head back beyond the Wall, back to where he once sought to capture a wight and restore his family name in the eyes of the wildlings.
“For a long time we wanted Ser Jorah to be there at the Wall in the end,” Hill said. “The three coming out of the tunnel would be Jon and Jorah and Tormund. But the amount to logic we’d have to bend to get Jorah up to the Wall and get him to leave Dany’s side right before [the events in the finale] … there’s no way to do that blithely. And Jorah should have the noble death he craves defending the woman he loves.”
That logic bending Hill refers to comes equally from Dany’s eventual city-burning descent as a leader and Jorah’s near-blind devotion. It was a much easier decision to martyr him early and rob Dany of a close friend and ally.
Iain Glen, the actor behind Jorah, is pleased the character didn’t live to see Dany’s quick turn. “There’s a sweetness in that, because Jorah will never know what she did,” Glen says. “That’s probably best. It’s a blessing for him that he never found out what happened to her. And from a pragmatic story point of view, his death served a greater purpose. Where could we have taken Jorah from there? F*** if I know.”
Oh, Jorah, you definitely would’ve pulled a Grey Worm. However, we’d totally watch a spin-off of Jon, Jorah, and Tormund exploring beyond the Wall. How about you?