Following her introduction in “The Broken Man,” feisty Lady Lyanna Mormont has quickly become a GoT fan-favorite. Bella Ramsey, the 12-year-old actress who portrays the formidable leader of Bear Island, chats for the first time about her role.
What did you first think of Lyanna when you read the script?
I thought, “This is a character to really get my teeth into.” Lyanna is strong about what she believes, and wants to keep her family and island protected; she wants to be treated like an adult. She's strong, and firm when she needs to be, and wants the best for her house and the North.
Fans love Lyanna! What do you think about their reaction?
It's crazy really. I didn't expect anything like it. I am very, very happy that people like Lyanna Mormont. We had to keep it quiet that I had a part in GoT so now it's out, my family have had lots of people they know contacting them, really excited they have seen me.
Had you seen the show before filming your scenes?
When I knew I got the part, I was allowed to watch a few suitable snippets. I was interested to see the bit in Season 5 when Stannis [Baratheon] received Lyanna's letter.
How do you approach your scenes?
I read through the whole scene first, not necessarily focusing on my lines, but on the scene as a whole. I think it's important to have an understanding for it before I start approaching actually learning my lines.
Did you realize how important your character was going to be?
It took me a while to realize it. I actually woke up one morning and the first thing I thought was, “Wow, I really am integral to the storyline.”
What was it like playing such a fierce character? Was that easy for you?
It was good, really good, being fierce. It all kind of comes naturally when I become Lyanna because it's in her nature; it's just who she is. I loved the script for Episode 10 ["The Winds of Winter"] – how she doesn't care that she is the youngest person in the room, and proceeds to shame the three leaders.
Why do you think Ser Davos changed Lyanna’s mind about helping the Starks?
I think Lyanna realized she was named after a Stark, and her house should be supporting them. Davos spoke to her as a leader of a house, rather than a child, which she was grateful for. He empathized with her, without babying her, which she respected. I think that influenced her decision.
Did they tell you about the character you are named after?
Not really. I knew that Lyanna was named after her, but that's all I needed to know, I think. Lyanna Mormont is very much her own person.
What inspires Lyanna to declare Jon Snow her king? Why does she believe in him?
She wants to get the other houses to follow him. She believes that Stark blood runs through his veins … and she believes he is the only one that can make a difference.
How do you imagine life on Bear Island?
I think it's pretty calm and relaxed, no stress, no rush. I think the food would be good and Lyanna would probably love the waterfall. It would be serene and peaceful. I'd like to live there!
Which scene was your favorite to shoot?
I loved them all, as it was my first experience of filming. I loved Episode 10, but the room we were filming in was like an overheated sauna, so probably Episode 7 ["The Broken Man"]. Although, I also loved riding Iggy the horse, too.
What do you think of the costumes?
They're amazing; I would wear Lyanna's costume every day. The bear around her neck just made it. I called him Boris.
What animal would be on your house banner?
A tiger, or an elephant, or a monkey. Actually, a lion! I hate decisions!
If you could pick an area from Westeros to live in, would it be the North?
Would you rather have a pet dragon or direwolf?
Dragon, by a mile.