In the season's finale Sam finally reaches the Citadel announcing he came by order of Lord Commander Jon Snow. The guy at the Citadel was unaware that Jeor Mormont wasn't Lord Commander anymore. The news of Jon Snow becoming Lord Commander seemed to spread to other parts to Westeros I believe probably because of ravens and/or messengers and judging by all the events that happened after Mormont's death many months would have passed, maybe even more than a year. Therefore I find it very hard to believe that that news hadn't reached the Citadel yet. Is there an explanation for this?

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    Another flaw in writing. Maester Aemon specifically mentioned demise of Lord Mormont in the letters he sent to all the realm for aid against Mance Rayder. One of those letters found Stannis and he came. It is logical that one must have been sent to Citadel or Lord Hightower as well.
    – Aegon
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:56
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    However it is possible that the guy at Citadel (A receptionist I assume since I haven't watched the episode yet) had not known about the letter because a receptionist is not important enough
    – Aegon
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:57
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    @Aegon it was a receptionist, however he was looking in the official records of the Citadel. So it's safe to assume the Citadel wasn't aware of Jeor.
    – kuhl
    Jun 27, 2016 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


I think the answer comes from the interaction they show and with the fact that Sam telling the person looking at the books that news causes that individual to be very non-plussed because the notification is "irregular." He does not even write in the new Lord Commander, just crossing out the old ones because they are dead, leaving it to someone at the top of the bureaucracy food chain to figure out how to deal with events that aren't exactly in order.

It looks like the citadel has a very specific way of updating their official records, so "word on the street" would not be sufficient for them to change their records.

Maester Aemon mentioning the demise of Lord Mormont in the letters would not be a flaw, necessarily, because he wouldn't have sent one of those letters to the citadel, because they wouldn't have troops/bodies to send to the Watch, and it is the sending of these missives that occupied his time between the new Lord Commander taking over and his untimely demise, as referenced by Sam. It also seems like the citadel is a bit removed from the real world, looking like they literally live in an isolated "ivory tower."

  • This is how I read it as well, "Form 209-B section 12" wasn't submitted properly so they (the Maesters) were just being obstinate. I find it hard to believe they line out names though, as that would make the book unusable as a record. Maybe he crossed out the "Current" in "Current Lord Commander " or something.
    – Jason K
    Jun 27, 2016 at 19:39
  • The Citadel is in Old Town. Lord Hightower of Old Town is one of the most powerful and Richest lords in the Reach. And if Lord Hightower got such a raven, Citadel would have known by his Maester or by Lord Hightower himself
    – Aegon
    Jun 28, 2016 at 6:34
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    @Aegon - that, in no way, contradicts what I wrote about their desire for pedantic adherence to protocol. My talking about Aemon dying was about him not sending official, formal notification of the new Lord Commander. Also, while geographically in Old Town, they are an independent, self-governed institution considered to be more prestigious and influential than the city, itself. There's no reason to think Lord Hightower has any especially close bond with the maesters that they would ignore their formal protocols to historical recordkeeping. Jun 28, 2016 at 7:04
  • @AndrewMattson Not saying it contradicts your answer. Just adding it as a possible scenario. Titles of Lord Hightower include Voice of Oldtown, Lord of the Port, Lord of the Hightower, Defender of the Citadel, and Beacon of the South so yup House Hightower and citadel have shared close bonds.
    – Aegon
    Jun 28, 2016 at 7:07
  • cool, got it...., though "Defender of the Citadel" seems more like a duty. I'd guess the same kind of bond was assumed with the Sept in King's Landing Jun 28, 2016 at 7:10

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