Greyscale is a disease in the world of Game of Thrones that essentially turns the afflicted person into a rock zombie — but according to Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, the cure might play a key role in Season 7.
On Friday, Glen told Entertainment Weekly that Jorah’s Season 7 plot line involves “whether he will survive this horrendous sickness he’s contracted.” He also noted that, in his opinion, the abbreviated seven-episode season is the best that creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss have written thus far.
When Jorah last appeared in Season 6, Daenerys Targaryen commanded him to go find the cure to Greyscale. Easier said than done, since there is no known cure. References to the disease have become increasingly more prominent in the show’s fifth and sixth seasons. Shireen Baratheon was one of the only known survivors, though her experience left half her face permanently disfigured.
Generally, Gresycale is far more prominent in Essos than Westeros. After making a person’s skin — you guessed it — grey and scaly, it kills them slowly. Those afflicted are known as Stone Men, and they typically leave society to live in ruined corners of the world, like Valyria. Unfortunately for Jorah, his path in Season 5 took him through the ruined city, where he was infected during a run-in with some Stone Men.
While Greyscale has been an interesting side detail, it hasn’t seemed crucial to the overall plot, so far. But if the final two seasons are spending time on Jorah’s search for the cure, this suggests it has a larger significance. Glen’s pleasure with Season 7 also hints that Jorah has significant screen time.
The fact that Stone Men dwell in Valyria means that Greyscale could connect to the mysterious centuries-old disaster known as the Doom of Valyria. Perhaps Jorah will uncover the true source of the doom, and use that information to fight the current onslaught of White Walkers.
Alternately, in his quest for the cure, perhaps Jorah will meet up with Sam Tarly at the Citadel — and Sam will be able to pass on other crucial information about Jon Snow’s parents. Either way, Jorah’s quest suggests that Greyscale has more significance than Game of Thrones has revealed so far.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16.