We know from the fact that Benjen periodically visited Winterfell that the sons of high lords were allowed to visit their families.

However, Jeor Mormont's home on Bear Island is (I think) a little closer to Castle Black than Winterfell is. Yet he seemingly never visited. From what I can tell, he was quite close with his sister, Maege and surely would have expressed some desire to meet her daughters, his nieces. It is possible that he visited Bear Island when Jorah was exiled and that is how he obtained Longclaw but still, if Officers were allowed to come and go I'm sure Jeor would have visited his sister and nieces.

Is there any particular reason for Jeor never visiting home?

  • 1
    I thought he didn't get on with Maege?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 11:03
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    @Randal'Thor You might be right, I'm not entirely sure, it was just the impression I got, I could very easily be wrong though. Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


Here's what Jeor says about visiting family in A Game of Thrones:

The young ones need to forget the lives they left behind them, the brothers and mothers and all that. A visit home would only stir up feelings best left alone. I know these things. My own blood kin … my sister Maege rules Bear Island now, since my son’s dishonor. I have nieces I have never seen.

Jeor obviously feels that for some reason it's not a good idea to visit home.

Below is an assumption, but I believe a good one based on what we know of the Mormonts.

I think it's telling that Jorah came up in a discussion of visiting home. Jeor abdicated Bear Island and went to The Wall so that Jorah could inherit. I'd have to think it'd be difficult visiting a home that your son lost, even if it was just lost to your sister. Jeor doesn't have a legitimate heir with Jorah in disgrace and so his descendants will not inherit Bear Island.


All the example visits we've seen have had business reasons.

Benjen's visit to Winterfell wasn't a social call. As discussed further in Why was Benjen Stark visiting Winterfell?, Ned invited Ben when he heard Robert was coming, to help make the case that the Wall needed more men. From A Game of Thrones:

“We should send word to your brother on the Wall.”

“Yes, of course,” he agreed. “Ben will want to be here. I shall tell Maester Luwin to send his swiftest bird.”

...after earlier mentioning Ben being particularly worried about numbers:

"...Ben writes that the strength of the Night’s Watch is down below a thousand"

As discussed further in How do Southern people discern Night's Watch deserters from truthful brothers sent south?, members of the Night's Watch can leave the wall with special permission of the Lord Commander when on special business, like Yoren and Sam's travelling companions.

Presumably, there wasn't any business reason to visit Bear Island.

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