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Jorah Mormont: To Whom "Loyalty" Means Everything


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#1

kieran555

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 12:17 PM

ETA: Just to reemphasize for bookwalkers, such as myself, not to leave unspoiled even vague hints of what we know of Jorah that has not been expressed in the show. The unsullied must be preserved if that is their desire!

Now that we've gotten [almost] to episode 8, I feel Ser Jorah has gotten enough screentime and characterization to warrant his own thread separate to that of general Targaryens (not least because he had been passing information to the Usurper) or indeed the Dothraki (though he seems to have been with them for some time).

I'm truly enjoying Jorah at this time. He's had to serve the role of Mr Exposition about the Dothraki on several occasions but has always managed to keep it interesting (helped by his awesome voice to be honest), and he's shown an interesting amount of depth. His past conflicts with Ned Stark, his tricky family history with his wife and his father, he's given Dany some wise advice and not been afraid to joke at her expense, he's interacted in a familiar and friendly way with Rakharo of the Dothraki, sided with Dany over Viserys while spying on her for the Spider and yet saved her from an assassin. In a word: intriguing. In several words: he's had some juicy character moments to digest.

What I like best about him is how ambiguous he is still coming across, while not being so obviously shifty and creepy as, say, Littlefinger or Varys. He talks a good game about loyalty and honour, and he seems so sincere about it, but his actions are quite diverse and do not always seem to coincide with all his words about honour or loyalty. What is he up to? Who's side is he on? Discuss.

Edited: Came close to naming a thread once but just missed out - hope this one fits.

Edited by kieran555, Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:42 PM.


#2

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

Well, he is obviously a spy for Varys and he wants to be able to go home. I think really that's his only objective. He doesn't want to betray anyone or hurt anyone. As shown by him saving Dany and destroying his chance to go home because he's grown attached to her. I like him. He seemingly tells it like it is. Which might be because he's been marked as an outlaw and doesn't give a damn anymore. He can be as open about Westeros as he wants.

Which is why he's fun. He can say the Targs are loony, Roberts a fat old drunk, Cersei's a witch, Ned's an idiot, and on and on in universe. That always makes for a fun character.

#3

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:21 PM

What I like best about him is how ambiguous he is still coming across, while not being so obviously shifty and creepy as, say, Littlefinger or Varys. He talks a good game about loyalty and honour, and he seems so sincere about it, but his actions are quite diverse and do not always seem to coincide with all his words about honour or loyalty. What is he up to? Who's side is he on?

Thanks for this thread kieran555, Jorah has gotten quite a bit of discussion this past week in the Completely Unspoiled Thread as well. Your description above is bang on.

At this point in the show he is my second favourite character (poor, apparently doomed, Ned being the first). He started out mainly as a source of exposition about the Dothraki. If that's what he remained, he still would have been head and shoulders over Ros in that department (to me) because he seemed to integrate less jarringly (or maybe less contrived).

However, we've been fed tidbits about his past that you have outlined above, so with him so far, What You See/Hear is not necessarily What You've Got.

Before last episode (#7) I was convinced that his motivation for everything we saw him do was to get back to living in Westeros with his head still attached to his body. Now I'm not so sure.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about this character. For instance, is his attitude towards Ned similar to Jaime's (which I see as competitive tinged with respect) or does he hate Ned with a passion that extends to all Starks. He has definitely moved out of the minor character role into someone who may be able to influence future events by how he shapes Dany's views (which I'd argue he already has.)

Oh, and I love listening to the actor's voice as well.

Edited by anothermi, Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:23 PM.


#4

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:46 PM

I'm thinking he hates Ned completely and blames him for everything, including the fact that his 'expensive' wife now lives with 'someone else'.

His growing respect for Dany and his ease with the Dothraki - and the skill of the actor - go a long way towards keeping me interested in the character, and I think he'll show his mettle more than once as we move forward. I do hope - at least for the time being - that he keeps his head.

#5

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 1:57 PM

including the fact that his 'expensive' wife now lives with 'someone else'.

Hee! That line of his has given me scope for speculation, but the only character I know of who might fit the bill as "expensive" and who lives with someone else is Cersei and from her descriptions of marrying Robert, it doesn't seem she was married before. Besides, she is far above him in rank. (I just can't rid myself of the idea though, 'cuz it would add plenty of conflict - both for the character and for the events unfolding - and it might explain where his "loyalty" lies. I just can't picture how it could have been true. BUT I am happy to wait and find out as the show unfolds.)

Of course, she could be a character we've haven't met yet.

#6

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 9:36 PM

Jorah is one of my favorite characters so I'm glad to see he has got his own thread.

I've mentioned it in some other threads but I think Iain Glen is doing a bang up job of catching all of Jorah's nuances and complexities. And he's got great chemistry with Emilia Clarke as well. Outside of Sean Bean, he's got the best voice in the cast.

Despite the fact we know he has been spying, you could see why Dany, rightly or wrongly, has grown to trust him.

#7

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Posted Jun 5, 2011 @ 10:13 PM

Barristan and Jorah need to have a 'badass voice'-off, to decide once and for all just who's got the bestest voice in the 7 Kingdoms.

#8

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:08 PM

Although the Dothraki scenes were rushed last night, I liked that we got to see Jorah being badass and taking the Dothraki smack talker down in his armor.

But the look on his face when he saw Dany covered in blood and his "What have you done?" was when he knew that the proverbial shit was about to hit the fan. His look said "I walk away for a minute and this is what you get up to? I should have put your ass on a horse an hour ago"

I know Jorah didn't know what the hell was going on in the tent and no one bothered to tell him not to go in there but I wish they had made it look like more of a last resort than it did on screen.

#9

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:14 PM

Rakharo looked like he was about to cry or puke when he told Jorah that the Dothraki wouldn't have anything to do with Dany because she was involved in the blood magic, and I think that he and the handmaidens sold pretty well that they were torn between GTFOing and helping their mistress.

For someone who apparently doesn't believe in the historicity of Dragons it makes sense for Jorah to see all the Dothraki on the edge of a nervous breakdown/open revolt, Dany in premature labor, and a known healer (and supposed "witch") in a tent shrieking and do what he did. From our privileged outside view it is a terrible no good very bad plan, but it makes sense that he did it.

(Also, I looooove Ian Glen's voice. He's definitely one of the stand-outs in that department for me in the show.)

#10

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:22 PM

Rakharo looked like he was about to cry or puke when he told Jorah that the Dothraki wouldn't have anything to do with Dany because she was involved in the blood magic, and I think that he and the handmaidens sold pretty well that they were torn between GTFOing and helping their mistress.


Was Rakharo in the tent when Mirri said that no one could come in after she started the spell? I can't remember if he was or if it was only something Dany heard.

For someone who apparently doesn't believe in the historicity of Dragons it makes sense for Jorah to see all the Dothraki on the edge of a nervous breakdown/open revolt, Dany in premature labor, and a known healer (and supposed "witch") in a tent shrieking and do what he did


As soon as Jorah saw Dany covered in blood, he looked at the crowd of Dothraki and seemed to realize that he and Dany were in an even more dangerous situation than he suspected before. I just feel like I needed to see a little more about why keeping Dany outside was worse than taking her in the tent. But of course you are right that we had a perspective Jorah didn't.

Edited by Grom, Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:24 PM.


#11

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:32 PM

Rakharo and Irri were in the tent (Dany shoos them out before MMD tells her to leave herself) but it's not entirely certain that they were there for the "the dead will dance tonight, don't come in lest everyone DIE MUAHAHA" part. They were also so obviously freaked out by the blood magic that it's sort of anyone's guess whether they would have distinguished the "don't come in once I start to sing, for seriously" from the theater and general horror of the horse and blood and the wailing.

#12

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:46 PM

Rakharo and Irri were in the tent (Dany shoos them out before MMD tells her to leave herself) but it's not entirely certain that they were there for the "the dead will dance tonight, don't come in lest everyone DIE MUAHAHA" part.


It would make sense if they didn't know that they let Jorah go into the tent.

I kinda wish they had show the entire battle between the bloodriders, Jorah and Rakharo that was in the book. I remember that being pretty kickass.

#13

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Posted Jun 13, 2011 @ 1:25 PM

Although that's a little bit show-vs-book (I only notice because I have to work so hard not to do it myself) I think that they're saving their Rakharo kicking ass for next week, since the huge KL drama happened in this episode.

#14

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 6:05 PM

I FINALLY figured out who it is that Ian Glenn reminds me of.

It's James Franciscus from the 2nd Planet of the Apes movie.

http://cache2.allpos...-franciscus.jpg

Edited by Blourd, Jun 14, 2011 @ 6:08 PM.


#15

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 7:42 PM

Oh, and I love listening to the actor's voice as well.

It's the disguised Scottish burr, I think. Richard Madden is another "stealth" Scottish actor, who's trying to "de-Scotify" his accent for the role of Robb. So the Scottish accent, even though it's covered up somewhat, adds a distinct character to their voices, and it's awesome.

Iain Glen is so attractive in this. Note to costume department: keep putting him in those deep-plunging shirts, thanks.

#16

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Posted Jun 15, 2011 @ 10:42 AM

I think we should title this thread after that Dos Equis commercials:

Jorah Mormont: The Most Interesting Man in the Universe!

"I don't always kick ass, but when I do I wear armor. Stay armored my friends!"

#17

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Posted Jun 15, 2011 @ 4:27 PM

It's the disguised Scottish burr, I think. Richard Madden is another "stealth" Scottish actor, who's trying to "de-Scotify" his accent for the role of Robb. So the Scottish accent, even though it's covered up somewhat, adds a distinct character to their voices, and it's awesome.


The first thing I remember seeing Glen in was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, where he was playing Hamlet and it's funny but I don't remember his voice being so rich or deep in that. He must have been in his late 20s or so and his voice was distinctive but it was a lot brighter sounding.

I have to say that the discussion of his attractiveness in the episode thread was amusing because I imagine when HBO was going through the casting and guessing who the potential female fan favorites would be, Jorah flew completely under the radar. But I've seen more than one web site where he's mentioned as one of the main scene stealers.

#18

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 9:19 AM

I'm loving Iain Glen in this role too -- he has such a kind face. And if Jorah has been "watching" Dany as Viserys thought, he manages to keep those intentions entirely hidden from her (and me). I think that was more Viserys projecting his own creepy desire than anything. Not that Jorah couldn't or wouldn't find Dany attractive, but he's always been very honorable in the way he interacts with her.

And I find Glen much more attractive here than he was in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- he was so skinny back then!

Edited by Uranium, Jun 16, 2011 @ 9:20 AM.


#19

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 6:37 PM

I don't think he's "watching" Dany with unbridled lust that's trying to stay hidden, but I think as time goes along, his feelings for her have gotten more complicated, and sexual attraction is part of the mix. Originally, he seemed to think of her as the Drogo's sweet little child bride and that his job was to look out after her, though he couldn't help but notice that this semi-naked nubile thing was a hottie. Now, as her personality has grown, he's become attracted to her, in her entirety, and I sometimes hear a little longing in his voice when he talks to her, and he seems a little unsettled by her in some of their interactions. I can't imagine Viserys thinking of Dany in such mature terms, so he was wrong in that, but I do think there's a little something boiling under the surface.

If you get a chance, watch this past season of Spooks. Iain Glenn has a recurring and important role. He was also in a pretty decent historical mystery series a while back called City of Vice, where he played novelist Henry Fielding's blind crime-fighting brother, John,* and he played Octavian in last year's Weeping Angels two-parter on Doctor Who. (Honestly, I don't go looking for him; he just keeps popping up in these good shows I'd watch anyway.)

*That's not as far-fetched as it may sound. The real Henry Fielding served as a reforming London magistrate and his brother, John, was both blind and considered a legal genius. They're credited with creating the predecessor of the London police force.

Edited by D.C., Jun 16, 2011 @ 6:46 PM.


#20

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 7:56 PM

he played Octavian in last year's Weeping Angels two-parter on Doctor Who.


You know I totally missed that it was him when I watched that episode last year. I kept thinking he looked familiar but didn't realize it was him until like a month ago. I was so excited to see River Song again that I wasn't paying attention to anyone else in the episode.

Is he on Spooks at the same time as Richard Armitage? Because then that gives me two good reasons to watch it.

I don't think he's "watching" Dany with unbridled lust that's trying to stay hidden, but I think as time goes along, his feelings for her have gotten more complicated, and sexual attraction is part of the mix. Originally, he seemed to think of her as the Drogo's sweet little child bride and that his job was to look out after her, though he couldn't help but notice that this semi-naked nubile thing was a hottie. Now, as her personality has grown, he's become attracted to her, in her entirety, and I sometimes hear a little longing in his voice when he talks to her, and he seems a little unsettled by her in some of their interactions.


He definitely seemed unsettled when she was covered in horse blood! That definitely looked like a holy crap moment for him.

But I agree that there has been a slow build for him in regards to Dany. If you go back to the second episode when he pulls alongside Dany as they are both on horseback and she seems just awash in misery, you can tell he feels enormous sympathy for her and he's very tender with her later when she almost collapses getting off her horse. You can tell he likes her and cares about her more than he does Viserys at that point.

I think by the time of the stallion heart incident, he has really started to respect and admire her and he looks almost as proud as Drogo does. Both the dragon egg scene and the scene with the wineseller showed that he sees himself as her main protector now.

But I think the one scene that tipped his hand in regards to his true feelings was the one where Drogo makes his Iron Throne speech. Drogo is all "moon of my life, are you hurt?" and there is a quick cut to Jorah who just looks pissed and uncomfortable at realizing he's been friendzoned. That's when you realize that Viserys really did see that there was something else going on beneath the surface for Jorah.

Edited by Grom, Jun 16, 2011 @ 7:59 PM.


#21

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 8:50 PM

Is he on Spooks at the same time as Richard Armitage? Because then that gives me two good reasons to watch it.

Yep. In fact, just about all of his scenes are with Richard Armitage. But he's only in this most recent season.

#22

swguardswoman

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Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 9:55 AM

Oh, yay! Jorah has his own thread now! Awesome!!

Musings on TV vs book Jorah, no real spoilers but just in case I've tagged it:
I must say, the award for "character most improved by the TV adaptation" must go to Jorah. For lots of reasons (I swear, not just because he is such estrogen brigade bait). My husband agrees - he loves the character much more after watching the show. His mannerisms and manner of speaking are very kind and quiet - he's much gentler than book Jorah. He also seems much more conflicted, as well he should be. And then he whips out the badass - much more impactful when he's so much more subdued otherwise!
Also, a (male) newbie friend of mine brought him up in conversation as a favorite character without bring prompted!

People mentioned the actor's voice a bit, and how it sounds kind of deeper than in other things he is in. It's true, he is definitely disguising his voice, putting on some kind of "Bear Island Brogue". There's a very short behind the scenes video I found (doesn't spoil anything) where Iain is interviewed a bit at the end, and his voice is a lot brighter in tone. I can't seem to find it on youtube now though... Probably will be in the DVD's.

Have to say, I too was rather confused when Jorah says "Loyalty means everything to me". Maybe that's because he seems to be rather bad at it? So therefore he respects it even more?

As for his feelings for Dany... there's a bit I noticed at the end of episode 7 when I rewatched it. Right after gifting Jorah's a horse, Drogo goes to embrace Dany saying "Moon of my Life", the camera shifts to Jorah face for a split second and he decidedly does not look pleased, then back to Drogo+Dany. I don't know why they would show that if not to give us a clue. So yeah, I think he's definitely got a crush by that point.

Edited by swguardswoman, Jun 17, 2011 @ 9:57 AM.


#23

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Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:06 AM

Have to say, I too was rather confused when Jorah says "Loyalty means everything to me". Maybe that's because he seems to be rather bad at it? So therefore he respects it even more?


I think it depends on what Jorah means by loyalty and the reasons why he would give loyalty to someone. Someone in the Unsullied thread thought that loyalty for Jorah might come from love and that if he loves you, he's loyal to you above all else, even oaths and duties. I hadn't really thought of Jorah's statement that way but since he was shown to be a spy, what he said does kind of read as odd when you think of loyalty in the strict, Starkian sense.

But when you go back to when Jorah said that, Viserys was questioning Jorah's loyalty to him. But I think by that time, Jorah no longer felt any loyalty to Viserys even though he was supposed to be acting as a bodyguard and advisor to both Targs. And Viserys points out in that moment that he's seen the way Jorah looks at his sister so he's obviously started to invest something more in his dealings with Dany. So I think until Jorah really internally commits, who or what he feels loyal to is sort of a changeable thing. And considering he was urging Dany to skedaddle with him when Drogo got ill, his loyalty right now seems to begin and end with Dany.

Edited by Grom, Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:07 AM.


#24

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Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 12:04 PM

Jorah Mormont: The Most Interesting Man in the Universe!

"I don't always kick ass, but when I do I wear armor. Stay armored my friends!"


"I don't often drink Arbor wine, but when I do, I prefer it not to be poisoned."

#25

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Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 1:10 PM

I think it depends on what Jorah means by loyalty and the reasons why he would give loyalty to someone. Someone in the Unsullied thread thought that loyalty for Jorah might come from love and that if he loves you, he's loyal to you above all else, even oaths and duties. I hadn't really thought of Jorah's statement that way but since he was shown to be a spy, what he said does kind of read as odd when you think of loyalty in the strict, Starkian sense.


That's fair, and probably what he is thinking - it seems clear that all those emotions are pretty mixed up in the character, he probably doesn't know himself where loyalty starts and love begins. But I still don't really think that's what "Loyalty" is. Loyalty means staying true to your word, and to the person you swore your oath to... which Jorah really clearly doesn't re: Viserys, Varys/Robert, his dad I guess.

"I don't always kick ass, but when I do I wear armor. Stay armored my friends!"
"I don't often drink Arbor wine, but when I do, I prefer it not to be poisoned."


Brilliant!

Edited by swguardswoman, Jun 17, 2011 @ 1:11 PM.


#26

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Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 1:33 PM

But I still don't really think that's what "Loyalty" is. Loyalty means staying true to your word, and to the person you swore your oath to... which Jorah really clearly doesn't re: Viserys, Varys/Robert, his dad I guess.


I agree. To steal a Princess Bride quote, it's very "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Whatever definition of loyalty Jorah is working from is not what I would say is a commonly held version of it. But he said it with such conviction that he either really believes he is loyal or he was just completely bullshitting Viserys. But I think that is what makes Jorah kind of an enigma.

He wants to go home so he sells information to Robert/ Varys but when push comes to shove and it looks like he can, he trashes that option to stay with Dany. He just kinda keeps fucking himself over. No wonder he messed up so bad he had to leave Westeros.

Edited by Grom, Jun 17, 2011 @ 1:35 PM.


#27

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Posted Jun 19, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

Jorah has become one of my favorite characters in this first seasons. I have not read the books and haven't figured out what he's about yet. He has this intriguing backstory and interesting chemistry with Daenerys, which I find a delight to watch.

#28

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:23 PM

I really like Jorah, almost as much as I like his father, who's so awesome On the Wall, but I do hope that if he does have a crush on Dany (and I agree that it seems as if he does), nothing comes of it.

#29

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:37 PM

Jorah has become one of my favorite characters in this first seasons. I have not read the books and haven't figured out what he's about yet. He has this intriguing backstory and interesting chemistry with Daenerys, which I find a delight to watch.

I'm thinking he'll make a move now that Dany is a widow. Those baby dragons need a stepdad, in my opinion.

Edited by Badrobot92, Jun 20, 2011 @ 8:37 PM.


#30

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Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 10:23 PM

I need to say that the fact that the sentence "Those baby dragons need a stepdad" is an actual legit thing to say, is a huge reason why I love this show.

On to the topic, I am really interested in where Jorah is going from here. With Dany of course, but how will he fit into the story? Excited to find out!