Photo: Helen Sloan (HBO)

Not everyone on Game Of Thrones got the satisfying conclusion they probably deserved, but it’s tough to argue with the way that Ser Jorah Mormont went out. After eight seasons of pining for Daenerys and then revealing he was actually there to spy on her, catching Greyscale, getting cured of Greyscale, surviving Jon Snow’s Suicide Squad, and then making it to Winterfell in time for the fight against the Army Of The Dead (and in time to meet up with the little girl entrusted with running his family’s house), Jorah went out defending his beloved Queen Daenerys from a horde of zombies just about five minutes before Arya shut the whole thing down. It was, essentially, the perfect way for Jorah Mormont to die. According to writer Dave Hill, though, the original plans for the show’s final season involved Jorah making it all the way to the end.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Hill says that “for a long time” the writers “wanted Ser Jorah to be there at The Wall in the end,” with him coming out of the tunnel and going off to live in the wilderness along with Jon and Tormund in those very final moments. However, in what may be seen as a rare moment of foresight for the Thrones writers, Hill says they recognized that there’d be no way to easily justify the amount of narrative logic they’d have to “bend” in order to have Jorah be at The Wall when Jon gets there, especially since it would’ve probably required Jorah leaving Dany’s side at some point, either before or after her death, and aligning himself with the guy who killed her.

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Entertainment Weekly, having unfettered access to all famous people, actually asked Jorah’s actor Iain Glen about this, and he seems happy to have gone out the way he did—if only because Jorah never had to see Daenerys destroy an entire city. “It’s a blessing for him that he never found out what happened to her,” Glen said, and it’s better that he died defending Winterfell because “his death served a greater purpose” than his survival would have. As for where Jorah’s story could have gone if he hadn’t died, Glen’s answer seems like the kind of take we would’ve actually expected from the Game Of Thrones writers: “Fuck if I know.”