Lyanna Mormont has achieved more in 13 fictional years than most have in their real lives
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"Well, if they're half as ferocious as their lady... "
You effing well said it Ser Davos.
Lyanna Mormont, 13 years old and swinging heavy metal, went up higher in our already stratospheric estimations after The Battle of Winterfell. The following is a celebration of the biggest teenage badass in Westeros.
As always, spoilers are coming.
“My mother wasn’t a great beauty, or any other kind of beauty. She was a great warrior, though.”
Fire burning on the hearth, trusted lieutenants at her side, that was our introduction to Lyanna Mormont, head of her house.
Calling the shots at Bear Island from the age of 10.
She was always expected to be a leader, but never to lead at such a tender age. Though, whenever Lyanna was involved, tender rarely came into it.
As for the character, that was supposed to be it. One appearance and on with the show, but she left an impression as deep as a thumb in a Viper's eye.
We first bechanced the Young Bear as Jon Snow and Sansa Stark pleaded for House Mormont to come to their aid. It was a tough get. It was looking bleak until salt of the earth Davos Seaworth stepped up and appealed to her in plain-spoken language.
“We're not a large house, but we're a proud one.”
62 fighting men from Bear Island and the backing of that wee, proud house. What the Starks also got, as part of that deal, was a ruthless tigress.
Truth to power
Young Lyanna Mormont decamped to Winterfell and made her presence felt in each and every gathering.
Ramsay Bolton and his mob routed, focus turned to the Great War between the living and the dead.
She may have lived only 13 years heading into that war, but Lady Mormont was making every one count. Big calls, brave decisions and, most importantly, speaking truth to power.
Her loyalty was to the Starks and the North but her house came first and foremost. If she was putting forward any of her men to die, it had better be for a bloody good reason.
And so, with the army of the dead looming a Dothraki’s shriek from the Winterfell gates, Lyanna Mormont geared up and prepared for war. There would be no cowering in the crypt. Not a chance of it.
Many experts predicted Lady Mormont would be one of the first to go at The Battle of Winterfell. That she would be too small and slight to make a difference. That bigger and better warriors had come and perished.
Heedless and headstrong, she placed herself right in the heart of Winterfell – her men all around – and prepared to make a stand in the main courtyard. To guard the crypt.
That was where, swarmed by wights but taking a heap out on the killing floor, Lady Lyanna Mormont went head-to-head with an actual, reanimated-from-death giant.
Four-foot-tall versus all 12 hard-wrought foot of zombie giant terror and no-one else to break it up.
It would have been easy here to follow the lead of The Hound, Jon Snow or Samwell Tarly and turtle up. Find a rock and get behind it. Call blue murder for everyone and anyone to help.
That is not what makes a great warrior, however.
Deep breath. War cry. Come get it.
The vicious, smiting giant was far from fazed. He reached down and plucked her from the courtyard and the situation looked bleak.
With bone after bone being crushed, and life seeping out of Lady Mormont, That gnarled giant was taking sadistic pleasure in claiming another living morsel of resistance to The Night King.
The stricken Mormont appeared to be another in the long, sorrowful list of victims but all was not lost. There was a moment, a glint of the eye. Lyanna steeled herself one last time.
Her head was seconds away from being ripped off but out shot her arm and in plunged a dragonglass dagger.
Straight into the eye. Kill shot.
The last giant left in the ranks taken down by the most no-nonsense 13-year-old left swinging blows.
Maege Mormont would be damn proud. Joer and Jorah too.
Injuries from the courtyard battle, crushed bones and the heavy fall, they all combined to take Lady Lyanna Mormont, the Young Bear, from us. On her way out, though, she had struck a huge blow for the home team.
On JOE's Game of Thrones show, The North Awaits, Carl Kinsella spoke well about the huge moment amidst the all-out gore-fest:
"God almighty, rest in peace Lyanna Mormont... the other deaths didn't have too much resonance with me but when the giant picked her up, I thought, 'This is it. I'm about to have feelings here'... She went out on a good note - fighting the white walkers, stabbing a giant in the eye."
Next week, they will raise a toast at Winterfell as The Great War is quilled into the history books - destined for the Great Citadel - as a win for the good guys.
One hopes they raise the roof when the name of Lady Lyanna is bellowed from the top table.
What a way to go.