We’re now marching firmly towards the end of Fembruary so it’s time to take a look at the latest recruits to my House Stark army for ASOIAF – and this time it’s all about the ladies! In fact the Starks can recruit a whole unit of warrior women, the tough and uncompromising She Bears of House Mormont. I have a unit of these on my “to paint” list, started but currently unfinished, and I did at one time plan to use Fembruary as the encouragement to get them done. Alas, as it turned out I was being a bit ambitious there – small baby to care for and all that – but I’ll get around to them.
Fans of the Game of Thrones TV show will probably be most familiar with Jorah Mormont, the exiled knight who finds himself permanently in Daenerys Targaryen’s “friend-zone” (and count yourself lucky old son – spying on a lady for people who want to assassinate her is no way to win her affections!), Jeor Mormont (the old codger who commands the Nights Watch before Jon Snow) and Lyanna Mormont (the little girl who throws her weight around with the lords of the north in the later series). However those who’ve read the books will know there’s another important Mormont who’s presence in the show is reduced to a blink and you’ll miss it appearance in early episodes; Maege Mormont. With Jeor having packed his bags and gone to the Wall and Jorah gallivanting around Essos with the dragon-queen Maege is left to rule Bear Island. She marches south with Robb Stark’s host, taking four of her daughters with her. Jeor describes his sister as “a hoary old snark, stubborn, short-tempered, and willful” adding “…Truth be told, I can hardly stand to be around the wretched woman”. Oh and the unknown man who fathered her children might just be everyone’s favourite wildling windbag Tormund “Husband of Bears” Giantsbane. In the show she’s killed off early on but in the books she’s still out there somewhere, fighting for the people of the North.
There is a miniature for Maege available in the Stark Heroes 3 box, and to be honest I’m not a fan of it. She’s the one at the top, above Rickard Karstark and Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully.
What exactly is she supposed to be doing? Dance moves? Patting a modestly sized horse? Holding an invisible falcon? Tight-rope walking?
I quite liked the idea of adding Maege to my collection but that model would need a fair bit of converting if I bought it, and ASOIAF models aren’t nearly as easy to work with on that front as GW’s. There was a much better version released as a limited stretch goal as part of the original kickstarter campaign when the game first launched, but rare models like that are hard to get hold of and always eye-wateringly expensive so I didn’t give it much thought – until I spotted one on ebay for a price so reasonable I simply couldn’t turn it down.
Its not all about Mormonts though, as this month I have another lady ready to take her place on the battlefield. Readers might remember that way back in June of last year I painted little Rickon Stark and his loyal direwolf Shaggydog.
What I forgot at the time however was that if you include the little prince of Winterfell in an army you get to take his guardian, the spearwife Osha, for no additional points. Originating amongst the Free Folk from north of the Wall Osha comes south fleeing the Others. Taken captive by the Starks she comes to be a loyal servant and protector of the youngest boys. I’ve been meaning to paint her for ages and this seemed like a perfect moment to get her done as well.
Here she is with her young charge and his fearsome companion.
And there we have it, a pair of kickass ladies ready to celebrate Fembruary by taking the fight to the enemies of House Stark.