“Husband to Bears”: who is Tormund’s secret lover?

“Husband to Bears”: who is Tormund’s secret lover?

One of the funnier, lighter moments in Game
of Thrones Season 6 is Tormund’s adorable crush on Brienne of Tarth. Brienne doesn’t reciprocate, sadly, but
in the books there are hints of another woman Tormund may have a secret romance with. You know how Daenerys is famous for having
a lot of titles – she’s Daenerys Targaryen, “First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen
of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector
of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea”, Stormborn, the Unburnt, Mother of
Dragons , myhsa and “Breaker of Chains” . Well, in the books, Tormund, too, has many
names. They call him “Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker,
Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice”. “Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears,
the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts” . Tormund’s quite
a different character in the books compared to the show – he’s more funny, always
joking, drinking, telling tall stories. And one tale he tells explains one of his
titles – “Husband to Bears”. The story goes that one cold winter’s night,
Tormund was drinking alone, when he decided to go visit a woman he knew nearby. He went out, got a bit lost, but eventually
found the woman, and, though she fought him, got her out of her furs and had sex with her. When Tormund woke up the next morning, he
found his body ripped and torn, half his penis bitten off, and “a she-bear’s pelt”
lying beside him. Turns out he had sex with a bear, and supposedly
a “bald bear” is later seen in the woods, with “the queerest pair o’ cubs behind
her” . This story obviously isn’t literally true – Tormund’s a notorious “bag of
wind and lies” , called “Tall-talker” after all – but there are hints that the
story might be loosely based in truth, possibly revealing a secret relationship between Tormund
and Lady Maege Mormont. House Mormont is a northern family based on
Bear Island, up near the Wall. They’re led by Jeor Mormont ‘til he joins
the Night’s Watch, then by Jorah Mormont ‘til he flees Westeros after selling slaves
– he ends up serving with Daenerys. So now the leader of House Mormont is Lady
Maege, who’s called “the She-Bear” . So the theory here is that Tormund’s story
of “a she-bear” is not really about an actual bear – it’s about “the She-Bear”
of Bear Island, Maege Mormont. And there are hints supporting this. Tormund describes both the woman he knows
nearby and the she-bear as having a “temper”. Maege is described as “stubborn”, “willful”,
and “short-tempered”. Maege is also described as a “stout” and
“strong” “warrior” which fits with Tormund’s descriptions of “a fine strong
woman”, and of the fighting she-bear. It is a bit confusing whether Maege is more
the woman Tormund knows or the She-Bear in this story, maybe it’s a bit of both. But the point is that Tormund’s she-bear
story does seem to have connections with the She-Bear of Bear Island, Lady Maege. And there’s more, cause Lady Maege has five
daughters, though no one seems to know who the father is, or if Maege has a husband . Maege’s
daughter Alysane, who herself has a couple of kids, also apparently has no husband. She says “Mormont women are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods. Everyone knows” . This, again, is probably
not literally true, but it supports the idea that Mormont women are metaphorically she-bears,
out in the woods mating with men like Tormund. This also could make logistical sense. Bear Island is very close to the wildling
lands beyond the Wall. Maege says that it’s because of the threat
of being “carried off” by ironmen or by wildlings that Mormont women need to be warriors
. So it’d make sense for Tormund and Maege to have met during a wildling raid on Bear
Island. In Tormund’s story he claims to have carried
the “she-bear” back to his home, which, in wildling culture, constitutes a marriage
– thus making Tormund “Husband” to “the She-Bear”. Of course none of this sounds terribly consensual
on Maege’s part, what with the talk of carrying off, and the fighting she-bear. But there’s reason to believe that this
relationship between Tormund and Maege, if it exists, may be consensual and positive
and ongoing, partly because of the positive way Alysane talks about the Mormont she-bears
mating in the woods, and partly because the way Tormund talks about the woman who lives
nearby does sound like an ongoing relationship, but also because an ongoing consensual relationship
could better explain Maege’s daughters. Tormund says that the “she-bear” bears
him “cubs” – children – maybe these are Maege daughters, those of the mysterious
unknown father. Tormund also mentions “sons”, which might
mean that Maege is the mother of some of Tormund’s four sons . It sounds almost as though Maege
chooses to keep her five daughters, but gives her sons to be raised by Tormund beyond the
Wall – though it’s hard to imagine how Maege could do all this secretly. This is a lot of kids to come from a secret
relationship across the Bay of Ice, so maybe only some of the kids are the children of
Tormund with Maege. But even if it’s only some, that’s very
significant. Maege and Tormund may not be the first wildling-non-wildling
relationship in the series – there’s Jon and Ygritte, and Gilly and Sam – but Maege
Mormont is the Lady of Bear Island, a ruler in the north – if her kids have free folk
blood in ’em, if lil’ Lyanna Mormont is half wildling, that could really impact the
attitudes of people in the north, who of course mostly hate wildlings. Bridging this gap between the wildlings and
northmen is becoming more important with white walkers on the way, and any connection between
Tormund and Maege could maybe help with this alliance. The hatred between northmen and wildlings
also adds a layer of tragedy to a relationship between Tormund and Maege – they’re separated
by sides that have been enemies for centuries, star-crossed like Romeo and Juliet with the
Montagues and Capulets. And of course by Dance, Tormund and Maege
are split further apart – Tormund is at Castle Black, while Maege is way down in the
Neck, possibly involved in a northern conspiracy. The lovers are now so far apart. “Would that I could find her again”, Tormund
says. So look there’s no strong evidence for a
relationship between Tormund and Maege. Tormund’s story may be just a story, and
Maege’s daughters may’ve been fathered by some common man on Bear Island or something. Fine. But the hints and connections with “strong”
bad-tempered she-bears are there, and the logistics and timing could work, so it is
at least fairly possible that “Husband to Bears” Tormund and “the She-Bear” Maege
Mormont get together on one cold winter’s night. Thanks for watching this video. If you’d like to help a team of academics
in their study of the Game of Thrones fandom, go take their questionnaire at the link below. Thank you to the Patrons for making this video
possible, including Melissa C Williams, Brett Jensen, Ziggi Fuxman, Gavin Biggs, Tagard
McStone, Neil ‘Roop’ Ramroop, Lori Dallava, and Full a’ Stern. Thanks also to Pauline on Twitter. Cheers.

100 thoughts on ““Husband to Bears”: who is Tormund’s secret lover?

  1. In season 6 Tormund says he has 2 daughters. He says Jon Snow is "Prettier than both" in the episode where Tormund and Jon go to convince the Wildlings to get on the boats to go back to the wall.

  2. Who is Tormund's secret lover? I'm going with no one, I think he was full of shit when he talked about the bear just like he is full of shit when he talked to The Hound about Brienne. She is not that into him. Tormund is a big talk no action guy.

  3. Wouldn't it make more sense for the she bear to be alysane? Alysane has two children, and tormund mentioned two cubs.

  4. I think Tormund's title is pretty good evidence because you don't get titles from yourself, you get them from what other people call you. Presumably some of his drinking/raiding buddies knew about the affair, started calling him that, and he was forced to make up the bear story to shut them up.

  5. You know the channel is good when you find too many interesting videos you want to watch that you then got 8 videos qued back to back ……

  6. So Tormund is technically part of the "Mormont's family"?That would make the family even cooler than before.
    And I really like the cynicals,the tall-talkers,the ones which don't give a shit about making a good "noble impression" like the Hound,Tyrion,Tormund,Euron and Bronn.

  7. It's probably just a sly reference to the full story in the books but in season 4 of the show Tormund does mention a story of how he "fucked a bear" but then ygritte shuts him down

  8. I don't necessarily think if Maege hooked up with Tormund that it was more then one or two times. She could've had only one or two daughters by Tormund and her other children fathered by other men.

  9. he did mislead I think he ment Jora but said The mind that would make more since if Lord Camsnder Momont or his son new the oldest Mormont daughter was having kids with this willing that kept getting past the wall.

  10. I'm now picturing the Greyjoys landing on bear island trying to take 'salt wives' and getting smacked down by the Mormonts in their bear forms. 😛

  11. The reason they aren't called snow is because when they married Jeor Mormont found out and said that she's not to see him anymore she keeps the girls he keeps the boys when Jorah is caught selling poachers Jeor has no choice to take the black he doesn't want anyone finding out about Maege and a Wildling and that's why jeor joins the night watch gets some of his info from her daughter's Thormund wrote the letter to Stannis not Lyanna in books anyway
    I dont think she didn't go into the NECK eighter she's gone north to ask for Thormunds help to fight the BOLTONS that's what I think anyway

  12. tormund clearly talks of having a daughter in the books when the wildlings are giving their treasure to pass the wall.

  13. Ewwwwwwww…… since nobody will tell me what’s going on and I am being set up by fuck pussy men etc… and I am being followed around … I turn u in !!

  14. Your lucky I am a Rasists now ..!!!!! Must be Paul or Dave Vankomen in there somewhere … Hitler lovers .. nazi lovers …. racist as hell …!!!! Yeah u r ..!!!
    Look … Troy … leave her and be with me
    …., exwxxwwwww

  15. Or is Tormund really Gerald Hightower sworn Gold Cloak gone to the Wall with his Brothers Arthur Dayne & Oswald Whent to prepare for the fight against the Others to come after the Targaryen Kings were killed?

  16. With the fighting, drinking, boasting, etc., Tormund sounds analogous to Thor of Norse myth (not necessarily the Marvel version).
    At this time of year, as we approach the winter solstice, remember: Keep the Thor in Thursday!

  17. Of all the game of thrones videos. Of all the topics. Of all the wars, deaths, resurections, magic and mysterious inky black stones
    Here i am learning about the time tormund fucked a bear

  18. I love writing and reading about titles for my characters. It’s fun creating a sense of Legend, high status or Renown. My brother, whom is named Concrete Assassin, given to him from my mum and dad as my brother works with wall cutting, skates stair sets and ledges. That stuff I find pretty rad

  19. When Turmond returns to Heathome with John Swon He said the Elder that John is prettier then both of His Daughters

  20. Great vid, love your theories! I'm thinking that with Bear Island somewhat isolated in terms of newcomers, the addition of wildling genes to the Mormont gene pool might have been important for the health of the lineage, sort of the opposite of the inbred Targaryens. Liked & sub'd!

  21. "The Mormont women are she-bears that go into the forest and mate with men like Tormund – this could make logistical sense"


  22. GoT is actually “showing” on racism in way. Mixed blood? Oh goodness.

    Lannister solution: incest.

  23. The link in the description to the research project now links to some kind of anti-got blog so you may want to remove that now.

  24. "Secret relationship" SOUNDS LIKE RAPE TO ME, maybe I've just been doing it wrong this whole time but I find nothing erotic about having half your member bitten off. That said – it makes no sense to be Maege – more like Alysane Mormont given the description "biggest pair o' teats" and all that – Alysane is a big gal and (gasp) is also known as the 'she-bear' – in fact I'd imagine all of the Mormont gals are known as 'she-bears'. She's also in her twenties and has two young children – Tormund's perhaps – seems like a better fit to me than old dusty Maege.

  25. Did Tormund fuck a Yiff-con attendee? I mean with what wildlings wear I won't be surprised if a few of them wore fursuits

  26. You know Father to Hosts was one of Odian's titles. He also had conditions to Thunder and Bears. So Tormand is a secret god

  27. It could also be Alysane Mormonth though.
    She has a pair of cubs=two children one of which is a boy.
    (Although he mentions "sons" not a son)
    And hopefully that would be a better match for him :-p

  28. Isn't the evidence stronger for Alysane to be the bear? She has both a daughter and a son and she has very big breats as well, like Tormund describes, she is also described as a "taciturn She-Bear" by Asha and seems just as quick tempered as her mother.

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