Ser Jorah is, without a doubt, one of the most complicated and nuanced characters to appear in Game of Thrones. While he is, obviously, selflessly devoted to Dany, his relationship with her is, to put it mildly, often fraught and perilous.
Despite the fact that he is often painted as a sympathetic character, inviting audiences to identify with him and his unrequited love for the khaleesi, there are just as many times when he becomes truly insufferable. It’s a measure of his depth as a character that he has invited such differing responses to him.
10 Felt Bad: When He Died On The Long Night
The Long Night will no doubt go down in Westeros history as one of the most important battles in the history of the world, when the forces of light stood against the forces of darkness and prevailed. Of course, no great battle is without sacrifice, and so it proves here. It’s one of those moments that seeks to draw out every ounce of pathos, and Jorah does that, giving his last bit of life for the queen and woman that he has loved and served for so long.
9 Hated Him: When We See How Much His Slaving Hurt His Father
Though the series never shows Jeor and Jorah meeting, there are a few hints about how they feel about one another. One of these is particularly memorable, as it shows how dismayed Jeor is by the fact that his son has engaged in the selling of slaves. It’s a potent reminder of just how much Jorah has given up by going into exile, and it also shows just how much Jeor still loves his son, even as he hasn’t seen him in far too long.
8 Felt Bad: When His Betrayal Is Revealed By Tywin
When the audience first meets Jorah, there is no indication that he is something of a double agent, seeming to serve Dany as her devoted retainer while also remaining in the employ of the throne of Westeros.
At one point, it’s even revealed that he’s been granted a pardon and could return to his home. The fact that he has to choose between the land that he left behind and the woman and queen that he loves is tough.
7 Hated Him: When He Told Robert Dany Was Pregnant
Despite the fact that the series wants the viewer to feel sorry for Jorah at some points, there are others when it focuses on how slippery he can be, inviting a certain amount of condemnation. One of those is when he reveals to King Robert that Dany is pregnant with Drogo’s child. Given that, by this point, Dany has become a key point of audience sympathy, it is especially dismaying, and enraging, to see him so flippantly betray the woman that he supposedly loved.
6 Felt Bad: His Sad Backstory
While it’s true that many of the characters of Game of Thrones have sad backstories, Jorah’s is sadder than most. At heart, he seems to be a man of honor, and also is one of deep emotions, who loves with a passion. Thus, it is gradually revealed that he took many of his most seemingly reprehensible actions in a (vain) effort to impress his wife. It’s a reminder of the essential dignity and goodness at the heart of his character.
5 Hated Him: When He Sulks Over Dany’s Feelings For Daario
Jorah’s undying romantic attachment to Dany is one of the key throughlines of the entire series. While most of the time it comes across as romantic and endearing, at other times it comes off as more than a little irritating, such as when Jorah decides to sulk after Dany begins to show attention to Daario rather than him. It almost makes it seem as if he looks at her as a possession, and that’s never a good look.
4 Felt Bad: When Dany Brushes Off His Feelings
At the same time, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Jorah when Dany rather abruptly brushes aside his feelings. It’s not that she should have felt any sort of obligation to return them, of course. She has her own agency and has the right to decide upon whom she will bestow her favors, but it is true that she could have chosen a rather gentler way to let him down, especially considering how loyally he has served her.
3 Hated Him: When He Tries To Get Dany To Leave The Dragons Behind
One of the truly magical and fascinating parts of this series has been the way that it manages to make CGI dragons seem like living, breathing things. From the first time that they appear, they seem to take on a life of their own.
It’s thus hard not to feel more than a little disappointment in Jorah when he seriously argues that Dany should leave them behind. Aside from being a terrible idea strategically, how could he suggest that she should abandon her children?
2 Felt Bad: When He Gets Greyscale
The revelation that Jorah has been afflicted with greyscale, a disease that leads to disfigurement and ultimately death, is one of the most shocking. Though this doesn’t happen in the books (another character has this happen to them) it makes perfect sense for it to happen to Jorah. It motivates so much of his later actions in the series, and it seems designed to make the viewer feel sorry for him, as it seems as if he will die without being able to help his queen attain her throne.
1 Hated Him: His Incessant Mooning After Dany
While Jorah’s unrequited love for Dany has its charms, there are also times when it comes more than a little irritating to watch. Despite the fact that she makes it repeatedly clear that her feelings for him are strictly platonic, he continues to make eyes at her. There are even times when it almost feels as if the show wants the viewer to reach into the screen and strangle him, or at the very least to slap some sense into him.
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