Bear Island is in the far north, in the Bay of Ice. Heavily wooded, the hall of the Mormonts is made of logs. Legend has it that King Rodrik Stark won Bear Island in a wrestling match (presumably from the ironborn king who controlled it at the time) and gave it to the Mormonts. Their motto is, “Here We Stand.”
Lady Maege Mormont rules after her brother Jeor Mormont joined the Night’s Watch and his son Ser Jorah fled with his wife Lynesse of House Hightower to the Free Cities after having been found out when he sold some poachers to a Tyroshi slaver. Lady Mormont’s heir is Dacey Mormont, a tall, lanky warrior-woman.
Lady Mormont and her heir Dacey rode south against the Lannisters with Robb Stark, with Dacey being numbered among Robb’s battle companions and guards. Lord Commander Jeor had decided upon making a great ranging beyond the Wall, to seek out Mance Rayder and whatever dark secrets may be held there, but was murdered by his own men at Craster’s keep after the disaster at the Fist of the First Men. Dacey in turn was killed during the Red Wedding while Lady Maege was sent by King Robb on a Mallister longship to the Neck to contact the crannogmen.
Jeor’s son, Ser Jorah, became a companion and advisor to Viserys and Danaerys Targaryen in the east. With the deaths of Viserys and Drogo, he had been guarding Danaerys vigilantly and she had named him first of her Queensguard. However, Ser Jorah’s spying on behalf of Varys was revealed by Ser Barristan Selmy and he was dismissed by Queen Danaerys, whom he had confessed his love for.
Ser Jorah proceeds to take ship west, and wanders aimlessly, drowning his sorrows in wine and prostitutes until he stumbles across Tyrion Lannister in the Volantene town of Selhorys. Seizing him, he takes him to Volantis and finds passage to carry him east to Meereen with the hopes that presenting him to Daenerys will restore him to her side. However, their ship is left adrift after a storm and Jorah, Tyrion, and the dwarf girl Penny are all enslaved. Tyrion manages to effect Jorah’s purchase along with his and Penny’s, promising that Jorah plays the bear in a mummer’s act that they perform. Jorah is uncooperative and regularly beaten, and his face is branded with a demon’s mask to reveal him as a dangerous and disobedient slave. However, Tyrion arranges their escape, and Jorah follows him into the Second Sons.
In the North, young Lyanna Mormont replies defiantly when King Stannis commands the fealty of Bear Island, despite the fact that she has older sisters. One of them, Alysane Mormont, called the She-Bear, led fighters in a surprise attack against the ironborn on the strand near Deepwood Motte, where they had kept their ships. She proceeds to follow Lord Stannis as he marches on Winterfell, and becomes something of a companion to the hostage Asha Greyjoy.