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Jorah Mormont is an exile from the Seven Kingdoms for a crime he most definitely did commit. He's Jeor Mormont's son, not that they talk anymore. After he left Westeros, he joined up with Khal Drogo's khalasar. In this book, he becomes Daenerys' loyal companion. Or does he?
We had a big fight at the Shmoop offices (eleven were wounded with rhetoric) over whether Jorah Mormont should be on Daenerys' page or on Varys' page. (Solution: give him his own page.) Let's check out the arguments.
He joins up with Daenerys and helps her transition from powerless exiled princess to powerful khaleesi. He always seems to have one eye out for her safety and happiness, as when he saves her from poisoned wine or makes sure that Viserys doesn't steal her petrified dragon eggs (55 Daenerys 6, 47 Daenerys 5).
But then again, we learn pretty quickly that Jorah is a spy for Varys: he may be keeping one eye on Daenerys for her safety, but he keeps the other eye on her in order to be able to report back to Varys. As Robert tells us, Jorah hopes to earn himself a royal pardon for his crime. We learn that pretty quickly, in Chapter 13, so we spend the remaining sixty chapters knowing that Jorah is pretty much a double agent.
It seems to us as if Jorah makes a decision by the end of the book to stand by Daenerys: he saves her from poison, he fights the khal's bloodriders for her, and he falls to his knees when he sees her with her dragons. Seems pretty clear cut, right? Do you think it will turn out well for him in the next book? Or will his relationship with Daenerys prove what his father has said: "The things we love destroy us every time" (53 Jon 7.89)? After all, according to his dad, what destroyed Jorah the first time was his love for his wife. Could it happen a second time with a new woman?
One of Ser Jorah's most important roles in this book is to tie together these two (or really three) worlds: he's a spy for Varys (so we hear about him when we read some Eddard chapters), he's a companion for Daenerys (and he's all over the Daenerys chapters), and he's also the son of the Night's Watch lord commander (so even the Jon chapters talk about him). So, wherever we are, we might hear about Jorah Mormont. This coherence is especially helpful since these three storylines don't always obviously intersect otherwise. Thanks, Jorah!