Game of Thrones‘ Ser Jorah was, above all else, a clear-eyed pragmatist. So as the disappointment of House Mormont went into what would turn out to be his final battle, he was well aware that Daenerys would never love him the way he loved her. But we have it on pretty good authority that the knight didn’t mind.
“I spoke to Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff], the showrunners, about this in the season previous,” series star Iain Glen told TVLine ahead of Season 8. “The betrayal that was discovered, the initial betrayal, was such a shock for Daenerys. And he spent most of Season 5 trying to get back inside her circle. Having finally won forgiveness, which was a long, long process, I think he’s just really happy to be truly forgiven by her and for her to know [he loves her].”
As longtime viewers of the HBO drama are aware, Glen was referring to Jorah’s role as Robert Baratheon’s spy, a function he served when he first met Daenerys in Season 1. Though the king wanted all Targaryens expunged from the planet, Jorah became enamored of the khaleesi. He eventually voiced his love for her and was rebuffed, but he continued to serve as her confidante and protector… until she learned of his initial treachery and banished him from her sight.
Mormont set out to get back in his queen’s good graces and nearly died a few times in the process. When he and Daenerys reunited in Season 7, all was forgiven.
“He needed to put himself, his life on the line as much as he did for her to really realize, ‘No, he’s always wanted what’s best for me,'” Glen said. “So having won her favor, he’s very happy with that.” He smiled ruefully. “Which doesn’t mean you don’t get a pang of hurt if you see the woman that you still love with somebody else. But he’s not looking for a physical or sexually reciprocated relationship.”
Jorah died on the battlefield during Sunday’s epic episode, “The Long Night.” He went to his death protecting Daenerys, who fought the army of the dead alongside him until he succumbed to his injuries. After he took his last breath, Dany fell upon his chest and sobbed.
The death was fitting: Glen said Jorah always knew that he’d likely meet his end in service of his khaleesi. “He’s always been willing to put his life on the line,” he said. “I think he’s got a very clear goal now, which is to fight for her and to try to win her cause. He’s always done it, but now he can do it with abandon, if you like, because she’s getting closer to her goals.”