Curled Finger

Let's Figure Out The Mormonts

78 posts in this topic

We all know Winter is Coming (has in fact arrived if you are in the USA) and that the Royces Remember.  The Mormont house motto is “Here We Stand”.   Hmm…The Mormonts are a mysterious bunch.   We know they raise brave fighters of both genders and that they were gifted Bear Island at the northwest extreme of the North south of the wall.  Their women claim bears father their children and they have no fear of supporting their Lord in battle or leaving a young child in command of their lands.  

“Here We Stand” is a fierce statement for a relatively modest house.   500 years ago these proud fierce people attained Longclaw, a Valyrian Steel  sword.  This is a house which boasts of a great hall made of logs.   Yet, “Here We Stand” and a rare nearly priceless weapon. 

Like many other readers I suspect there is a story we have not yet been told about the Mormonts and Longclaw.   The Wiki calls their house “rather poor”, but I think modest is a better descriptor.   There was enough money to keep Lynesse Hightower’s attention for a while.   So no, the Mormonts were not poor.   Much is made about Tywin attempting to purchase a named VS sword 3 times from impoverished houses.  My search only produced 1 result of “impoverished house” and that house is Payne, not Mormont or Drumm or Corbray.   I don’t think Mormont or Drumm were approached as I’m not convinced they are poor.    I think it’s likely that Corbray was and 2 others we don’t yet know have Valyrian Steel Swords.  

I think it’s possible that the Mormont motto is ancient, or at least part of it is, another indication of a family that participated in the fight for Dawn.  I have to throw in the Royces and I think we all agree the Starks were players in ending the Long Night.  Because their words are thus far hidden I think it’s safe to assume The Tarlys, Corbrays and Daynes were players as well.  

How do you think the Mormonts obtained Longclaw or developed their house motto? 

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The most likely scenario to me, is that an Ironborn reaver stole the blade elsewhere, and lost it to the Mormonts.  We know the Ironborn have stolen at least 2 others.

As for the house words, all houses try to make bold/scary sounding words, I don't think we can really read anything from that.

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2 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

The most likely scenario to me, is that an Ironborn reaver stole the blade elsewhere, and lost it to the Mormonts.  We know the Ironborn have stolen at least 2 others.

As for the house words, all houses try to make bold/scary sounding words, I don't think we can really read anything from that.

What's the Lannisters'?  Hear Me Roar?   I agree that a lot of these mottos do sound like battle cries.   I read an SSM where GRRM said he wouldn't reveal the Dayne's words because it would give too much of the story away.   That's what I was thinking with these house words we don't know.   You know me, it's not much a jump to narrow those motto-less houses down to Valyrian Steel holders.  I do think there is something to the Royce words, "We Remember" and I'm really beginning to think "Here We Stand" may signal something much more grand than a homestead claim.  

Your scenario with the Iron Born only occurred to me earlier today.   Along with possibly winning Longclaw in a contest or as a reward of some type.    There are a million ways Longclaw could have found its way to the Mormonts.  

As always, thanks for chiming in.   I always enjoy your contributions.  

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All the information that we have would support that the Mormonts are, if not poor, amongst the most modest houses in Westeros. Besides what Jorah tells us, there's the fact that their keep is made of wood with only an earth palisade. Their location in the far North ensures very harsh winters and keeps them away from any trade route.  Even their own name (moor-mountain) doesn't suggest much fertile land

14 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

“Here We Stand” is a fierce statement for a relatively modest house. 

There are plenty of relatively minor houses with overtly proud mottos: the Follards claim "None so wise", the Footly threaten "Tread lightly here", the Serrets boast "I have no rival",...

I'd guess that the Mormont's words take pride in the fact that while they live in one of the shitiest places in Westeros, subject to cruel winters and frequent raids from ironborn and wildlings, they have managed to keep it for themselves.

As for Longclaw, I agree that it's unlikely that it was purchased.

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I don't think Tywin not asking the Mormonts to sell their sword proves much. The Mormonts live in the far north & idk if they're even that well known outside the North. Does Tywin even know they have Longclaw? And even if he does he doesn't have access to them like he does the Paynes. So it would make sense to me if he never asked them just bc of accessibility. 

Notwithstanding the above, I'm not convinced Longclaw was ever the Mormonts. Something with that story is not making sense. A sword was in your family for 500 years and you give it to a random unrelated boy you've known for a few months. Yeah I know Jon saved his life but that's still a lot. Why not leave it with Maege. Since women fighting from Bear Island is no big deal she could've given it to one of her daughters or it's not too much of a stretch to think one of the daughters could have a son and be passed to him  and the sword could stay in the family. Just giving a family heirloom to Jon just doesn't add up. Also, I don't think Jorah ever mentions which is weird if he ever had it. When he tells Dany the story of being exiled you'd think the fact he had to leave the sword that was his birthright would at least be mentioned. Especially since he still seems very bitter about the whole thing.

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The loyalty the Mormonts have for the Starks is almost the same as the Manderleys . My guess the Mormonts was either squids who wanted to stay or thralls

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another great topic!

first thing that popped into my head is that all time classic song "the bear & the maiden fair" ...

(as in The hairy bear's signature:
"A bear, there was, a bear, a bear! All black and brown and covered with hair!")


it could be that this song was a result of some sort of great Mormont deed.

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20 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

  I read an SSM where GRRM said he wouldn't reveal the Dayne's words because it would give too much of the story away.

sorry to get off topic but here's a prediction for you: "now it begins" ... this could be the house words.

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9 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

All the information that we have would support that the Mormonts are, if not poor, amongst the most modest houses in Westeros. Besides what Jorah tells us, there's the fact that their keep is made of wood with only an earth palisade. Their location in the far North ensures very harsh winters and keeps them away from any trade route.  Even their own name (moor-mountain) doesn't suggest much fertile land

There are plenty of relatively minor houses with overtly proud mottos: the Follards claim "None so wise", the Footly threaten "Tread lightly here", the Serrets boast "I have no rival",...

I'd guess that the Mormont's words take pride in the fact that while they live in one of the shitiest places in Westeros, subject to cruel winters and frequent raids from ironborn and wildlings, they have managed to keep it for themselves.

As for Longclaw, I agree that it's unlikely that it was purchased.

Yes, Mormont is a modest house.   However, it does pique my curiosity that Lynesse Hightower, with her voracious appetite for a more opulent life did hang around for a while.   There had to have been some money at some point.  There is more to this story than we are being let in on. The Footly motto is "Tread Lightly Here"--that's great, I like the little play on words as associated to the family name.    However, if the Dayne words are likely to give too much of the game away I have to take a closer look at all the families who we know had or have VS.  There may be a connection and maybe not, but I am of a mind that Longclaw was given, awarded, sold to this Mormont family for a particular reason.   Now if I could only substantiate my feelings about this.   

Thank you for your thoughts!

 

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6 hours ago, Maxxine said:

I don't think Tywin not asking the Mormonts to sell their sword proves much. The Mormonts live in the far north & idk if they're even that well known outside the North. Does Tywin even know they have Longclaw? And even if he does he doesn't have access to them like he does the Paynes. So it would make sense to me if he never asked them just bc of accessibility. 

Notwithstanding the above, I'm not convinced Longclaw was ever the Mormonts. Something with that story is not making sense. A sword was in your family for 500 years and you give it to a random unrelated boy you've known for a few months. Yeah I know Jon saved his life but that's still a lot. Why not leave it with Maege. Since women fighting from Bear Island is no big deal she could've given it to one of her daughters or it's not too much of a stretch to think one of the daughters could have a son and be passed to him  and the sword could stay in the family. Just giving a family heirloom to Jon just doesn't add up. Also, I don't think Jorah ever mentions which is weird if he ever had it. When he tells Dany the story of being exiled you'd think the fact he had to leave the sword that was his birthright would at least be mentioned. Especially since he still seems very bitter about the whole thing.

No, I don't know that Tywin didn't approach the Mormonts about Longclaw, I only suspect this.    I've been investigating for a while.   All of our VS swords are listed in the Maester's inventories--there is no way Tywin didn't know who had what.  Only 5 of the named VS swords were specifically named to belong to a particular house, Ice, Lady Forlorn, Nightfall, Red Rain and Longclaw.   He wanted a sword.  The Mormonts may not be famous, but Longclaw is.   You mentioned the Paynes!  I don't know if they have a sword or not, only that they are the only house defined as impoverished in the same terms Tyrion used to describe Tywin's mission to get a VS Sword.   I'm sure Tywin, with his great wealth and influence, sent others to procure a sword for him.    There is no reason he wouldn't have a contact in the North.   I just don't think the Mormonts were among those 3 houses he approached.   And I think Tywin knew things that we don't know, like who else has 2 of the other 5 swords and I will even narrow those swords down to Orphan-Maker and possibly Truth.   This of course, supposes that Vigilance is still with the Hightowers, which we just don't know.   I just can't imagine anyone would be fool enough to claim to have either Blackfyre or Dark Sister once the Targs fell from grace.  

Heck yeah the story doesn't add up.  Still, all we have is Longclaw listed as the Ancestral Sword of House Mormont dating back 500 years. How would it serve the Citadel to lie about this in their inventories?   As to passing the sword to Jon...a couple of thoughts: Jeor had no heir and genuinely felt Jon deserved it; Longclaw was only the Mormont's in trust for a savior to come;  Jeor knew precisely who Jon is.   I'm sure those creative minds out in the forum can come up with many more.   You remember the story about Azor Ahai and Lightbringer?  There was a recipe to AA forging Lightbringer.   How could he possibly know he was the hero or really know all these steps to forging Lightbringer would actually work?   He knew something, that's how.  He had a dream or a prophesy and there you have it.   I wonder if it wasn't like that with Longclaw and Jon Snow?   The Mormonts only held the sword for the time the hero would come.   Or something along those lines.   Jorah's not mentioning Longclaw was never a fly in the ointment for me.   I mean, if I was a Lord and had a badass VS Sword and I lost it all I would be too ashamed to tell the tale to anyone.   

You made good points all the way around and I'm glad you took the time to share them here.  

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5 hours ago, BRANDON GREYSTARK said:

The loyalty the Mormonts have for the Starks is almost the same as the Manderleys . My guess the Mormonts was either squids who wanted to stay or thralls

what?

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21 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Heck yeah the story doesn't add up.  Still, all we have is Longclaw listed as the Ancestral Sword of House Mormont dating back 500 years. How would it serve the Citadel to lie about this in their inventories?  

That part had not entered into my line of reasoning. Do you have a reference for it?

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2 hours ago, Raisin(g) Bran 2 Greenseer said:

That part had not entered into my line of reasoning. Do you have a reference for it?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question.

The Valyrian steel blades that remain in the world might number in the thousands, but in the Seven Kingdoms there are only 227 such weapons according to Archmaester Thurgood's Inventories, some of which have since been lost or have disappeared from the annals of history.   AWOIAF Ancient Histories:Valyria's Children

I was asking the poster how the Citadel or Maesters would benefit from lying about Longclaw being the Mormont ancestral sword.   There are a lot of people who don't buy the story as set forth in the inventories and even more who don't buy Longclaw as simply Longclaw.   I hope that answered your question.    

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On 11/13/2016 at 9:01 PM, Curled Finger said:

How do you think the Mormonts obtained Longclaw or developed their house motto? 

 

What's interesting is that the current Ice was only said to be about 400 years old, while Longclaw has been in Mormont possession for around 500 years.  That would mean the Mormonts had a Valyrian steel sword for about a century while their liege lords did not, which seems odd.  This comes in a dead period of Westerosi history, about 4 centuries after the Starks subjugated the Boltons and helped the Manderlys, and there isn't much info about what the heck was going on.  It was right around the time of the founding of Dragonstone, migration of the Targs, and the subsequent Doom of Valyria.  Incidentally Ice has to have been one of the last swords forged in Valyria, because Cat says its 400 years old, despite the fact that it really cannot be younger than 417 or so years old, since that's when the Doom happened.  I do find it curious that House Mormont obtained a Valyrian steel sword shortly before House Stark obtained a new Valyrian steel sword; it certainly does nothing to quell the crackpot theory that House Stark gave Longclaw to House Mormont and had a newer, bigger sword forged for themselves.

We also don't have anything approaching dates for when Bear Island was given to the Mormonts, but it had to have been more than 4,000 years ago, and thus doesn't really enter into the story.

I personally don't take much significance from the motto, other than that the Mormonts are stubbornly loyal - which is something that we certainly see personified in Lyanna Mormont's letter to Stannis, Maege's loyalty to Robb, and Jorah's stubborn devotion to Daenerys.   

I think the Bear and the Maiden Fair is intended to be more applicable to Jorah individually than House Mormont generally.  Between his relationship with Dany (no analysis needed) to his second marriage to Lynesse Hightower (the Hightowers being Lords of Oldtown, which sits at the mouth of the Honeywine river, the parallels are obvious, as are the parallels with Jaime and Brienne.  I also can't help but think of the relationship between that song and GRRM's career writing on the Beauty and the Beast tv show.

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I'd like to know why the F did Jeor enter the NW. I can't find anything on it. Trouble, honor, boredom, shame, I have not a clue. 

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51 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

I'd like to know why the F did Jeor enter the NW. I can't find anything on it. Trouble, honor, boredom, shame, I have not a clue. 

You and me both.  The nearest explanation I could find is that Jeor was extremely worried about the wildling threat, but that's a pretty lame reason.  It's assumed that he joined the NW before Robert's Rebellion, I guess because he doesn't seem to have fought in it, although Jorah did.  It's kind of weird to me that Jorah wasn't even a knight yet - he earned his knighthood the year after Jeor became LC.  I honestly think this is just kind of an imperfect plot hole that will never be resolved.

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14 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I'm sorry I don't understand the question.

The Valyrian steel blades that remain in the world might number in the thousands, but in the Seven Kingdoms there are only 227 such weapons according to Archmaester Thurgood's Inventories, some of which have since been lost or have disappeared from the annals of history.   AWOIAF Ancient Histories:Valyria's Children

I was asking the poster how the Citadel or Maesters would benefit from lying about Longclaw being the Mormont ancestral sword.   There are a lot of people who don't buy the story as set forth in the inventories and even more who don't buy Longclaw as simply Longclaw.   I hope that answered your question.    

I meant, where does it say in the inventories that the Mormonts had a VS sword named Longclaw. Is there a specific entry about that?

40 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

I'd like to know why the F did Jeor enter the NW. I can't find anything on it. Trouble, honor, boredom, shame, I have not a clue. 

Does Jorah not talk to Dany about this in ACoK. Jeor was getting old and wanted Jorah to have his shot at being Lord before Jorah was a bit too old.

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23 minutes ago, Raisin(g) Bran 2 Greenseer said:

 

Does Jorah not talk to Dany about this in ACoK. Jeor was getting old and wanted Jorah to have his shot at being Lord before Jorah was a bit too old.

Not that I am aware of. I'd have to go through and re read the Dany chapters in CoK to be sure but I don't recall this conversation. If you find it could you post it on here please?

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3 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Not that I am aware of. I'd have to go through and re read the Dany chapters in CoK to be sure but I don't recall this conversation. If you find it could you post it on here please?

It seems that I had filled in the blanks on my own with no text to back it up. Though it seems quite probable that Jeor left the lordship to Jorah as he felt that Jorah was ready and the NW needed more good men to keep the rogues in check.

 

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