‘Game of Thrones’ Obituary: Honoring the Dead from Season 8’s ‘The Long Night’

Donna Dickens
TV Fantasy
TV Fantasy HBO Game of Thrones

WARNING: FULL SPOILERS FOR THE THIRD EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8, “THE LONG NIGHT,” FOLLOW.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BY RAVENS ACROSS THE LAND…

THEON GREYJOY

Prince Theon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands has returned to the watery halls of The Drowned God. Cut down during the final battle with the Night King, Prince Theon acquitted himself with honor, living his final moments as a man of valor. Defending the innermost sanctum of Winterfell,  Prince Theon was the last man standing in defense of Brandon Stark, the son of Lord Eddard Stark. If not for Prince Theon’s heroic act to buy the living more time, perhaps right now the entirety of the Seven Kingdoms would be in the Night King’s thrall.

The youngest child of the late Lord Balon Greyjoy, Prince Theon was born at Castle Pyke, though he would not live there long. When Lord Balon failed in his rebellion to free the Ironborn from the rule of King Robert Baratheon, Theon was given to Lord Eddard Stark as a hostage. Prince Theon was only eight years old when he left his ancestral home, and would not set eyes upon his homeland again for over a decade. The situation would leave an indelible mark upon the young Prince that would follow him into adulthood.

Living as a ward of the Stark family for most of his life left Prince Theon with conflicting loyalties. Far from the harsh conditions of the Iron Islands, the young lord was swayed by the landlocked ways of the North. Theon even went so far as to befriend the children of Lord Stark, becoming particularly close to Lord Robb Stark. The boys would prove inseparable until Prince Theon’s house loyalty reasserted itself in the wake of King Robert’s death, in a misguided attempt to prove himself a worthy heir to his father, Lord Balon. The plan failed, but not before Theon committed acts he would spend the rest of his life regretting and striving to redeem himself for.

Instead of returning triumphantly to the Iron Islands, he was captured by House Bolton. Theon was then infamously tortured to near madness. As Ramsay Bolton’s prisoner, Theon was subjected to physical, psychological, and emotional torment designed to break even the strongest mind. Robbed of his manhood, his dignity, and even his very name, Prince Theon, under Ramsay’s cruel orders, subsumed himself into the entity of Reek in order to survive. Theon would eventually overcome these unimaginable traumas and break free of the captivity Ramsay held him under, both mental and physical.

While his prior actions had him frequently labeled as dishonorable, Prince Theon will be remembered fondly for several pivotal moments of bravery, even before his final moments, including risking his life to rescue Lady Sansa Stark from her own brutal captivity at the hands of Ramsay Bolton and their subsequent escape together. This act forged a strong bond between the two that would last for the remainder of Theon’s life. Prince Theon also showed political savvy when he agreed to put aside his claim to the Iron Islands in favor of his sister, Princess Yara Greyjoy, and would later risk his life again to save her after she was captured. Content to see the Iron Islands in good hands, Prince Theon set sail for Winterfell, where he would find his place in the annals of history.

Prince Theon is preceded in death by his father and his older brothers Rodrik and Maron. He is survived by his elder sister Yara and his uncle Euron.

JORAH MORMONT

Ser Jorah Mormont, former Lord of House Mormont of Bear Island, has died. The last living son of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont of the Night’s Watch lost his life in the Battle of Winterfell against the forces of the Night King. Despite being banished from the Seven Kingdoms, Ser Jorah returned at the side of Queen Daenerys Targaryen as her Queensgard. He died in her service, sacrificing his life so that she may live after the Night King’s forces dismounted her from her dragon, Drogon.

Ser Jorah spent his youth on Bear Island, learning how to be a knight and Lord. As a young man, he married into House Glover at the urging of his father. Sadly, Lady Mormont would die in childbed after ten years of marriage. If not for her untimely death, the fate of the Seven Kingdoms may have looked very different.

Without his father’s guiding hand — Ser Jeor having joined the Night’s Watch — Ser Jorah put off finding another wife until after both Robert’s Rebellion and the Greyjoy Rebellion. During a tourney at Lanisport, Ser Jorah would meet the woman who would be his undoing: his second wife, a Lady Lynesse Hightower. Lady Lynesse’s exotic tastes would lead to Ser Jorah selling his own people into slavery, a crime punishable by exile. Yet without that exile, Ser Jorah never would have met Daenerys Stormborn.

The relationship with Daenerys would begin with her marriage to Khal Drogo and end only with Ser Jorah’s death. Though not always on good terms with his chosen monarch — his initial mission to spy on her for King Robert was eventually unearthed, albeit long after he had truly and fully pledged his loyalty to her — the two always made amends, even after she had him banished more than once. No man was ever more loyal to his lady than Ser Jorah was to the Queen. He went to the ends of the Earth and cured his “incurable” Greyscale disease for her, and even brought Daenerys one of her most trusted advisors, Lord Tyrion Lannister.

Ser Jorah is preceded into death by his father, his mother, his first wife, and his cousin Lady Lyanna Mormont. He leaves behind no spouse nor heirs.

LYANNA MORMONT 

Lady Lyanna Mormont, the last scion of House Mormont of Bear Island, has died. The Lady of Bear Island met the old gods knowing she was a credit to her house, laying down her life in defense of the North. Lady Lyanna succumbed to her wounds after charging at an undead giant while armed only with dragonglass and her boundless courage. Before she slipped this mortal coil, Lady Lyanna Mormont took down a giant.

The only surviving child of Lady Maege Mormont, Lady Lyanna ascended to the head of Bear Island upon her mother’s death in the service of King Robb Stark, the First of His Name. Growing up in the heavily forested land surrounding House Mormont castle, Lady Lyanna came from a long line of warrior women. The geography of Bear Island meant the women of the First Men needed to learn to be fierce to stave off raiders from the sea while their men were away at war. Through the centuries, Mormont girls have been raised in the same manner as the boys.

Lady Lyanna Mormont was a staunch believer in a free North, and was one of the first to back the claim of King Jon Stark, First of His Name. She was suspicious by nature of southern interlopers, particularly the Dragon Queen from across the Narrow Sea. She was known for her brusque manner, fiery opinions, and ability to stand toe-to-toe in arguments with Lords four times her age.

She is preceded into death by her father, her mother, and her Uncle Jeor Momrmont of the Night’s Watch. She left behind no spouse or heirs and, with her death, the bloodline of House Mormont is extinct.

BERIC DONDARRION

Ser Beric Dondarrion, the Lord of Blackhaven, the head of House Dondarrion, and the founder of the Brotherhood Without Banners, has died. During the great Battle of Winterfell with the forces of the undead, Ser Beric laid down his life to save that of Lady Arya Stark. Coming across Arya in a pitched battle against a superior number of enemies, Ser Beric lept to her defense, yanking the young Stark from certain death. After reaching relative safety, Ser Beric surrendered his life to R’hllor, the Lord of Light.

Born in the Stormlands, Ser Beric grew up in service to House Baratheon. When Lord Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne, House Dondarrion was one of the first to pledge its loyalty. So it was no surprise that Ser Beric was charged by King Robert’s Hand, Lord Eddard Stark, to bring peace back to the Riverlands. Ser Beric was tasked to bring Ser Gregor Clegane to justice, a mission that would forever change the course of his life, his death, his religion, and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms.

When Ser Beric was killed by Ser Gregor at the Battle at the Mummer’s Ford, that should have been the end of his tale. But miraculously, a red priest traveled with Ser Beric’s party. Somehow, Thoros of Myr was able to return Ser Beric to life. From that moment forward, the Brotherhood Without Banners was born. The Brotherhood would spend the next several years defending the smallfolk of the Riverlands from marauding bands of knights as the War of the Five Kings spun into chaos. Along the way, Ser Beric would die another six times, including once at the hand of Ser Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.

Over time, Ser Beric and his men would find themselves called North to fight the forces of darkness. Captured by wildings on route to the Wall, Ser Beric came to be in the service of Jon Snow on his quest to capture a wight alive. Thanks in part to Ser Beric’s fiery sword, Lightbringer, that mission was a success.

Ser Beric’s familial status is unknown. As Lord of House Dondarrion however, he leaves behind no spouse nor heirs. 

MELISANDRE

Melisandre, a Red Priestess of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, has gone to meet her god. Melisandre left this mortal coil the morning after the Battle of Winterfell. The beloved of R’hllor walked into the dawn light, ascending to her reward for a life of unwavering service.

Born many seasons ago in Essos, Melisandre’s youth is shrouded in mystery. Either she was born in the land of dark magic known as Asshai or she was born a slave on the streets named Melony. Regardless of her origin, at some point in her long-ago youth, Melisandre was sold into the service of the Red God and committed herself to R’hllor instead of a man of flesh-and-blood. For the rest of her long life, Melisandre would use her considerable sorcery in his name.

Her story in Westeros began when she crossed the Narrow Sea to join the service of Lord Stannis Baratheon during the War of the Five Kings. Consulting the visions she had seen in the fire, the Red Priestess believed Stannis would save the world from the inevitable battle with the Night King. Through trials and tribulations, eventually the Red Woman would come to see the error of her ways. Visions are made of wisps and shadows, easy to misinterpret. Only after Stannis’ defeat on the battlefield did Melisandre realize Jon Snow had been her intended focus all along.

Without Melisandre, the Seven Kingdoms would be overrun with the dead. Using her magic, the Red Priestess was able to resurrect Jon Snow following his death at the Wall, allowing him to play a crucial role in the events that followed. More directly, her magic lit the swords of the Dothraki horseriders in the Battle of Winterfell and ignited the flaming pits that bought the armies of the living precious minutes. With the forces of the Night King defeated, Melisandre had completed her task. Finally, after centuries, she could rest.

Melisandre leaves behind no known spouse nor heirs.

DOLOROUS EDD

Eddison Tollett’s watch has ended. Eddison Tollett of House Tollett — known to his friends and peers as Dolorous Edd — has died.  A proud member of the Night’s Watch, and acting Lord Commander, Dolorous Edd was felled in the battlefield by the army of the undead whilst in the defense of his brother-in-arms, Lord Samwell Tarly of House Tarly.

Little was known of Dolorous Edd’s upbringing by his brothers in the Night’s Watch, other than the poverty of his family indicated he came from a distant part of House Tollett. Edd joined the Night’s Watch under the mistaken idea that women couldn’t resist a man in uniform.

Dolorous Edd entered the historical record when he accompanied the Night’s Watch on a ranging beyond the Wall that would end in tragedy. Set upon first by a contingent of undead, the Night’s Watch was then betrayed by mutiny after those  still alive after that dark encounter began to lose hope in surviving the journey back. Edd sided with future Lord Commander Jon Snow in trying to maintain order.

Standing with Jon Snow would lead Dolorous Edd to quickly rise in the military ranks. He was given command of the wall during the Battle of Castle Black, successfully repelling the wildling incursion. He was one of Jon Snow’s lieutenants during the ambush at Hardhome. He commanded the incursion that took Castle Black from the traitorous Black Brothers. He was on the Winterfell war council and went on the final ranging to Last Hearth. These actions and more made him an obvious choice to become acting Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch when the position was vacated by Jon Snow.

By the time of his valorous death on the battlefield, Eddison Tollett had earned his place in the history books.

NIGHT KING

The Night King, First of His Name, Leader of the Undead Hordes, has died. The enigma known as the Night King lost his life in the final moments of the Battle of Winterfell. Despite a strong offensive, the Night King was laid low in his moment of triumph by Lady Arya Stark of House Stark. The loss of the Night King immediately also laid waste to his subjects who derived power directly from his dark magic. Without their liege lord to sustain them, the tens of thousands of soldiers dropped lifeless on the spot.

Little is known of the Night King’s childhood. He first appears in history as a human man. Captured by the Children of the Forest — or volunteering in some versions of the story — the Night King was part of a magic ritual. Using a dragonglass dagger, the Children were able to pierce the man’s heart, converting him into the demigod known to us only as the Night King.

From there, he disappears from the historical record, only to reappear during The Long Night. A mythical time period for the people of Westeros, the Long Night was a winter without end, where the dead rose from their graves and people died by the droves. Only through the intervention of Azor Ahai was the darkness defeated. But it would seem the Night King was only delayed, spending the next ten millennia building up his power base before marching south to The Wall.

In theory, the Night King’s plan was flawless. His seemingly limitless number of troops made him infinitely more powerful than even the largest alliance of men. He had giants. He had a dragon. He had magic strong enough to snuff out dragonflame. He himself was immune to dragonflame. If not for his methodical victory walk toward Brandon Sark of Winterfell, even now the entirety of the North would be marching on King’s Landing

Donna Dickens
Donna has been covering genre entertainment for nearly a decade. She is a mom, a wife, a Slytherin, a Magical Girl, a Rebel, and a fan of House Tyrell.
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