Lyanna Mormont Is The People’s Champ Of Game Of Thrones

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO
In a season that gave us Briemund and other new obsessions, the person with the smallest role and the shortest stature might well have been our favorite. While the Starks were the winners of season six, the undercover champion — the People’s Champ — if you will, is someone in a very minor role. She’s 10 years old, she commands a force of only 62 men, but she’s basically always the smartest person in the room. That’s right, Lyanna Mormont. We first found out about her when she initially refused troops to Jon Snow but quickly changed her mind when presented with good advice. That’s something the male rulers of Westeros could learn from, including Snow himself. But they’re too busy flinging themselves out of windows or having their throats slit by teenage assassins. (Put a #TeaLizard meme here.) Just check out her speech from the season six finale. "Your son was butchered at the Red Wedding, Lord Manderly, but you refused the call," she says, as tall standing as the men are sitting. "You swore allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover, but in their hour of greatest need, you refused the call. And you, Lord Cerwyn, your father was skinned alive by Ramsay Bolton. Still you refused the call. But House Mormont remembers. The North remembers. We know no king but the King in the North whose name is Stark. I don't care if he's a bastard. Ned Stark's blood runs through his veins. He's my king from this day until his last day." It's even better when she says it:
In the books, the line “The North remembers” belongs to Lord Manderly. In the show, the line and Lord Manderly’s balls belong to Lyanna Mormont. This is what we mean when we say this season is all about the women. To be fair, we should have seen this coming when she gave Stannis the Heisman last season, writing that Bear Island will only pledge loyalty to House Stark. But we couldn't have seen it coming; she was offscreen. Bella Ramsey, the powerhouse who gives life to Lyanna and therefore to all of us, was a relative unknown being cast on the show. "We were excited about the prospect of the character, because she's mentioned in passing in the previous season," co-showrunner D.B. Weiss says in post-episode commentary. "The more we thought about it, Jon is gonna come up against so many old guys with beards in the North, that, like, what if she was a tougher audience?" Weiss goes on to praise Ramsey’s acting. “It also was terrifying because it's putting a lot of dramatic weight on the shoulders of somebody who needs to be very young, and we're very lucky to have found Bella because she is doing such a great job of just talking smack to these guys who are used to being the heroes who make proclamations." Ramsey also wowed her costars and the writer of her first episode, "Battle of the Bastards." “The Lyanna scene was a lot of fun,” episode writer and Thrones producer Bryan Cogman tells Entertainment Weekly. “Bella is a terrific young actress – the whole cast and crew were very impressed. I think, much like the character does with Jon, Sansa, and Davos, Bella kept Kit, Sophie, and Liam on their toes!” So what’s this pint-sized powerhouse doing next? Starring in a CBBC adaptation of The Worst Witch, a TV remake of a 1986 cult classic, filming now. That seems like a minor role but remember: There are no small parts, only small actors. Don’t believe she’s the People’s Champ? Check out these memes.

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