Now that finale has come and gone, members of the cast and crew are slowly revealing some of the ways the season may have worked out had they stuck to previous ideas. Of these plans, writer Dave Hill revealed one that the writers were originally pretty set on. Apparently, the plan wasn’t for Ser Jorah to die in the Battle of Winterfell, but stick it out until the very end to make it to a surprising location.
For a long time we wanted Ser Jorah to be there at The Wall in the end. The three coming out of the tunnel would be Jon and Jonah and Tormund.
As Dave Hill mentioned, the writers were initially pretty keen on putting Jorah Mormont on or beyond the Wall. While he wasn’t incredibly elaborate on the specifics to TVGuide, it seems that Tormund still would’ve ended up heading North, and Jon would’ve still joined the Night’s Watch as punishment for his execution of Dany.
It sounds like a much more pleasant ending for Ser Jorah than being stabbed to death, all in an effort to protect Daenerys during the Battle of Winterfell. So why didn’t it happen? As Hill explained, the writers just couldn’t find a way to twist the narrative in a way that would separate Jorah from Dany ahead of the finale.
The amount to logic we’d have to bend to get Jorah up to The Wall and get him to leave Dany’s side right before [the events in the finale] … there’s no way to do that blithely, and Jorah should have the noble death he craves defending the woman he loves.
That isn’t hard to understand, especially given the whole “Jorah being exiled” bit had already happened twice in the series’ lore at that point. It would’ve been a bit over the top to have it done a third time, and likely done some damage to convincing audiences Dany was on her way to becoming the Mad Queen. It’s possible she could’ve just put him there for security reasons, but with the White Walkers destroyed, why would she?
Plus, sending Jorah to The Wall with or without punishment would’ve assured some tension with Jon Snow when Jon arrived. Even if she’s crazy, Jorah still loved Daenerys deeply and might have drawn his sword on Jon the moment he saw him. As cool as it would’ve been to see his character stick it out, his living would’ve certainly complicated the narrative and potentially opened the season up to some additional criticism if he acted out of character.
For the record, Ser Jorah’s actor Iain Glen was satisfied with his ending. Glen said that if he had to choose between a conclusion or question mark to his story, he wanted a conclusion. He added it was especially great that it happened in the final season, rather than earlier on when Jorah could’ve died of greyscale. That definitely would’ve been a much lamer death, so who can really blame him for liking his dramatic death?
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