alysane mormont

tungstensmith  asked:

How do the Mormont women get away with not only being unmarried, but the fathers of their children unknown? And those children are still somehow "legitimate" with regards to succession? Granted, the North is slightly different, both culturally and religiously, and the Bear Islanders probably slightly different even from other Northerners due to their literal insularity, but the Mormont women are still extraordinary. Why and how?

Thanks for the question, tungstensmith.

A couple reasons.

Maege Mormont, for one. The woman is a force of personality: a hardened warrior whose first appearance sees her “dressed in mail like a man” and telling Robb that he “had no business giving her commands”, the sister Jeor describes as “a hoary old snark, stubborn, short-tempered, and willful”. She is hardly the sort of woman to give much thought to properly ladylike conduct; hell, she mocks Jorah’s estranged wife Lynesse Hightower as “a proper lady” whom Jorah “won in a tourney”. (Not that she is completely ignorant of dynastic politics: in AGOT she notes that she has a granddaughter she would be willing to have Robb wed, although given that her only known granddaughter would have been seven at the time, I don’t know how serious she was.) She is Lady Mormont, and she says her daughters are Mormonts, so her daughters are Mormonts. Anyone who would say they have no business ruling Bear Island as bastards would probably answer immediately to her favored spiked mace. She’s raised her daughters the same as well: Dacey (the one given a morningstar at the age when other girls are given dolls) comments that she loves the carving on Bear Island of the lady with a child in one arm and a battleaxe in the other (despite the fact that the carved woman is “no proper lady”), and Alysane denies that she is wed, claiming that “everyone knows” the women of House Mormont turn into bears to find mates. The Mormont ladies keep their own counsel when it comes to who fathered their children; all that matters is that they are Mormonts.

Of course, the status of House Mormont facilitates that sort of attitude. House Mormont is old and proud, but hardly the richest even among its fellow northern Houses, with a seat on the edge of civilization. On an island “rich in bears and trees but poor in aught else”, described by its liege as “cold and distant and poor”, there can be little time or patience for dynastic snobbery (again, why Lynesse Hightower fit in so terribly poorly). Life on Bear Island is about survival, against the elements and against the ironborn raiders who have proven the historical bane of Bear Island’s existence; a Mormont woman’s pedigree has little bearing (heh) on how well she can defend the hearth. Additionally, being trained as warriors and expected to defend the home and family while the men are away, the Mormont women enjoy (at least in part) a sort of empowerment rare for women in Westeros. Consequently, as woman are not relegated to the role of mere marriage pawns, marriage-making between noble families is given much less weight (though not totally abandoned; Jorah married a Glover first, after all).

Nor does it hurt that House Mormont doesn’t seem to have heirs outside of Maege and her descendants. Being rather poor, House Mormont likely cannot support too many cadet branches on or around Bear Island; in a real war, then, Maege Mormont and her daughters may well represent the only remaining heirs of the House. Continuing Mormont rule means accepting Maege and her children as they are - and if Maege asserts her daughters are Mormonts and Alysane does the same for her daughter and young son, then that’s the way of it.

So, while we don’t know how much this has held up historically (we know literally no named Mormonts before Jeor and Maege’s generation), the current women of House Mormont certainly put far less emphasis on needing to be married, especially to men of noble families. It’s not an attitude many noble Houses could get away with, given the strong tradition of patriarchal rule prevalent through much of Westeros (and the likewise emphasis on dynasty), but with the cultural setup of Bear Island’s female warriors, the lack of other heirs, and Maege’s own personal forcefulness (passed down to her daughters), having Maege’s daughters and Alysane’s children be virtually fatherless does not rise to the level of scandal (certainly not, at least, among their northern neighbors).

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

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❄  N O R T H E R N  L A D I E S  O F  T H E  N E W  C E N T U R Y  ❄

Before I am your daughter, your sister, your aunt, niece, or cousin, I am my own person, and I will not set fire to myself to keep you warm. 

Important Female Characters that have been cut out of Game of Thrones

Arianne Martell: The female heir to Dorne who demands recognition and acknowledgement and refuses to be passed over.

“You will not rob me of my birthright!”

Wylla Manderly: Grandaughter of Wyman Manderly, insults the Freys in front of a hall full of people and refuses to be married off. And she has green hair which is pretty sick.

“He was our king! He was brave and good, and the Freys murdered him. If Lord Stannis will avenge him, we should join Lord Stannis”

Val: Sister of mance Rayder’s wife Dalla (who has also been cut) said to be extremely beautiful yet is fiercely independent and strong.

“I am no southron lady but a woman of the free folk. I know the forest better than all your black cloaked rangers. It holds no ghosts for me.”

Mya Stone: One of Robert Baratheon’s bastards, lives in the vale and is in charge of helping people up to the Eyrie.

“Men come and go. They lie, or die, or leave you. A mountain is not a man, though, and stone is a mountain’s daughter. I trust my father, and I trust my mules. I won’t fall.”

Lady Stoneheart: *spoiler alert or not really because she won’t be in the show* Catelyn Stark resurrected seeking revenge on the Frey’s and leading the Brotherhood without banners (there’s your revenge plot D&D)

“She don’t speak. You bloody bastards cut her throat too deep for that. But she remembers.”

Asha Greyjoy: not to be confused with whoever “Yara” Greyjoy is, Asha does not believe in flippantly calling people “cunts” and is not scared of dogs.

“My mother raised me to be bold”

Alysane Mormont: Fights with Stannis’ army and guards Asha when she is captured (oops not really spoilers again) and don’t tell me that they don’t become best friends because they do.

“Mormont women are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods.”

Barbrey Dustin: The widow of Lord Dustin, hates the Starks because she blames Ned for the death of her husband. She is cunning, intelligent and one of Roose Bolton’s biggest supporters in Winterfell (but you know in the show no northern lords are in Winterfell because logic)

The bride weeps … Dressing her in grey and white serves no good if the girl is left to sob. The Freys might not care, but the northmen … they fear the Dreadfort, but they love the Starks.“

All these women are unique, different and complicated, even though some of them do not fit into d&d’s “strong women” or “sexually empowered” archetypes they are important and interesting parts of the story. All of these amazing characters were axed in favor of a storyline depicting a violent rape and that is truly unforgivable and disgusting.

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“My children were fathered by a bear. Mormont women are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods. Everyone knows.”

Fancasting Meme | 9 Family Members Who Aren’t Portrayed (4/9)
Hayley Atwell as Alysane Mormont

the axe doesn’t kill her instantly.  it kills her quick, but not instantly.  it hurts, it’s agony but it’s not the only pain her gut has ever known.  i won’t see jorah again.  part of her had hoped that he’d come back, that girlish part of her that had played with him in the rain, even though he was older than she and his father frowned at such childish antics.  dacey had no brothers, but she had a big cousin and his name was jorah and she won’t see him again.


is this what you felt, dacey? alysane takes her sword in hand and is ready to run, ready to fight, ready to defend.  so long as dacey had lived, she’d never thought she’d be the heir to bear island, but here she stands, with her own children to protect yet she is so far from home.  they’re not safe so long as deepwood is captured, she thinks.  she tightens her grip on her sword, and grimaces.

she does not want to think of jorah.  she does not.  not his smile, or his laugh, or the way he wept with desperation when he learned that ned stark was coming, when her mother had thundered at him for his dishonor.  she does not want to think of being eight and holding a sword and jorah crouching down next to her and correcting her grip.  she does not.  she does not she does not she does not.


her mother’s face is hard, and lyra straightens.  i must be dacey, she thinks.  i must be strong.  she would have wanted that.  i must try, at least.

“be your own woman,” her mother had barked when she’d tried to tell her that, though “the gods only know catastrophe comes when you try to be someone else.”

it stung.  it stung plenty, for lyra had meant it well, had meant it as a comfort to her mother who missed dacey as much as she did.  until it hits her one night as she is sitting watch, refusing to let her eyes laze in the mists. “i tried to do what my father would have done,” jorah had said.

and how you failed,” her mother had bellowed.

i must not fail.  but with the young wolf…with dacey dead, what came next?  what were they supposed to do?


she thinks they all forget, but she was named for jorah.  she knows lyra barely thinks of him, that mother never mentions his name, that dacey missed him, that aly is still angry with him.  but she’s the one that’s named for him, for him and for ellyn.

jorah and ellyn, married ten years without a babe.  jorah and ellyn, who loved each other, but their love brought forth no sons, while her mother had plenty of daughters.  jorah and ellyn.  jorelle.

when he’d gone, aly’d tried to get them to call her “ellie,” but that hadn’t stuck.  it was too unnatural, after years of jory. 

jory is a she-bear.  she’s made of muscle, and is not so much lithe and quick the way dacey was but stout and strong like aly.  she’d been so young when jorah had left.  she barely remembers his face.  she doesn’t remember his voice.  she can’t remember whether he was lithe and quick, or stout and strong.  but she does remember calling him “jory” before anyone called her that.


lyanna remembers thunder.  she remembers shouting.  she remembers sudden silence.  she remembers the rain, and her cousin jorah gone.  she remembers him gone more than she remembers him there. 

Awesome Westerosi Characters You Don’t Know Because You Only Watch Game of Thrones: #5 The Mormont Ladies

You know who is cool? The Mormonts. On Game of Thrones, we have seen two: Jeor–the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch–and his son Jorah. But did you know that there are others?

When Jeor took the Black and Jorah was exiled, Jeor’s sister, Maege, inherited Bear Island. Maege is an older woman, near in age to her brother, but that doesn’t stop her from being badass. Unlike most ladies, she wears chainmail and fights in King Robb’s army. Robb sends her as an envoy to the crannogmen of Greywater Watch (these are the people of Jojen and Meera Reed). It is not yet revealed what she has been up to; at least two of her daughters accompanied her on this mysterious trip. (Note: I am aware that Maege appeared in season 1 of Game of Thrones, mostly standing in the background during Robb’s council meetings. I did not find her to be particularly memorable though. I can’t remember her ever speaking.)

Maege’s oldest daughter, Dacey, is also a warrior woman and was to inherit Bear Island. She also fought for King Robb and was among those who were killed at the Red Wedding.

Maege has four other daughters: Alysane, Lyra, Jorelle, and Lyanna. 

Alysane becomes heir to Bear Island after her older sister’s death. She’s pretty cool too. She has two children but won’t tell anyone who the father is–she claims she’s a skinchanger (like Bran Stark) and their father is a literal bear. Alysane fights the ironborn. Eventually she swears fealty to Stannis Baratheon, rather than the Boltons. She was among those who marched with Stannis to Winterfell.

But not all Mormonts are so willing to bend the knee to Stannis. When he sends out letters to the Northern lords asking for their reply, a letter comes back from Lyanna Mormont (who is holding down the fort at Bear Island while her sister is off kicking ass) which says, “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North whose name is Stark.”  This scene is in the TV show. However,  it is worth noting that Lyanna is supposed to be about ten years old and still sassin’ off to Stannis. 

Other Awesome ASOIAF characters

Alysane stared at Asha for a moment. “I have a son. He’s only two. My daughter’s nine.”
“You started young.”
“Too young. But better that than wait too late.”
A stab at me, Asha thought, but let it be. “You are wed.”
“No. My children were fathered by a bear.” Alysane smiled. Her teeth were crooked, but there was something ingratiating about that smile. “Mormont women are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods. Everyone knows.”
Asha smiled back. “Mormont women are all fighters too.”
The other woman’s smile faded. “What we are is what you made us. On Bear Island every child learns to fear krakens rising from the sea.”
— 

A Dance With Dragons, The King’s Prize, George R.R. Martin

(You think you found your favorite Mormont lady, but then you meet another. This is all so unfair.)

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Asoiaf meme (minor characters): (10/10) characters ⟶ Alysane Mormont

“Mormont women are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods. Everyone knows.”

Asha smiled back. “Mormont women are all fighters too.”

The other woman’s smile faded. “What we are is what you made us. On Bear Island every child learns to fear krakens rising from the sea.” ― The King’s Prize, A Dance with Dragons.

brat0029  asked:

Do you think the North would have accepted Asha Greyjoy's terms had she won the Queensmoot? I don't see why Bolton would have agreed to those terms since he wants to bleed those holdings anyway but, on the other hand, an alliance with the Greyjoy's (and their naval power) would give him a pretty good ally if he took on the crown, as Lady Dustin suggests. If he wants to be King of the North, an ally on the West might help.

Nope. Because Roose would have to consider what his vassals think, and this is what the Northern nobility thinks of the Greyjoys: 

The She-Bear growled. “Why should we trust the word of any ironman after what your brother did at Winterfell?”

“I am not Theon,” Asha insisted…but the chains remained.

This is what Asha blinds herself to in AFFC, and spends her ADWD chapters realizing: the Northerners have no intention whatsoever of cutting a deal with her, because they don’t deem her a trustworthy negotiating partner, and can you blame them? And Asha’s not just asking for peace, remember; she’s asking to hold onto the conquest and forge an active military alliance. Politically, that’s just not tenable in the shadow of dead Starklings and their ruined castle. The Greyjoys cut out the heart of the north, and then want the Northerners to surrender their land permanently, and then be best friends? That’s not happening. What is happening is that Stannis and the Boltons are competing in terms of who’s the best at kicking the Ironborn out. 

Here’s what Asha’s plan should’ve been IMO: abandon the North entirely, pull back the reavers and raiders, and focus on trade like Grandpa Quellon. Not only is her pitch at the queensmoot almost impossible to imagine working, she refuses to recognize how difficult it would be. That’s the real tell that for Asha to reach her full leadership potential, she needs the education she undergoes in ADWD, thanks in large part (as we see in the quote above) to Alysane Mormont: 

Asha smiled back. “Mormont women are all fighters too.”

The other woman’s smile faded. “What we are is what you made us. On Bear Island every child learns to fear krakens rising from the sea.”

The Old Way. Asha turned away, chains clinking faintly.