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Game of Thrones Wiki

"You must be ready to defend us, Rodrik. Your body may be damaged, but your spirit must be like iron. You let nothing stand in your way. Do you understand? If you have to murder every last Whitehill down to the babes in their beds... No matter what, you must do it."
―Elissa Forrester to her son, Rodrik[src]

Elissa Forrester, née Branfield, was the widow of Gregor Forrester and matriarch of House Forrester.



Elissa Forrester was born into House Branfield, a minor Southron house that was destroyed when the Targaryen dynasty fell. She had been married to Gregor for many years when Robert's Rebellion signaled her family's demise; yet she nonetheless felt conflicted between her father's loyalties and her husband's. In time, Elissa came to feel that Ironrath, and she embraced her role as the Forrester matriarch. She silently sworn that she'll never see her family destroyed again.[1]

They had several children together: Rodrik, Asher and Mira. During her fourth pregnancy, she dreamed she would birth a daughter with a voice like summer rain. But as destiny would have it, she gave birth to a boy. The infant, Ethan, wailed for hours - until Lady Elissa entered a second labor, this time birthing a girl. She named the girl Talia, after her own mother, and from then on Ethan never cried again. She gave birth to one more son a few years later, Ryon.[2][3]

Her son, Asher, later went into self-exile in Essos to stop a war being started over his love for Gwyn Whitehill.[4] Lady Elissa wanted her eldest daughter - Mira - to learn the ways of a southern court, so arranged for her to serve as a handmaiden for Margaery Tyrell.[5]

"Iron From Ice"

Gared Tuttle, Gregor's squire returns from the Twins, bearing news that Gregor and Rodrik have been slain in the Red Wedding. He returns Gregor's Greatsword. Her son, Ethan is made the new Lord of Ironrath and Elissa attends his council meetings, giving him advice and helping to keep Ser Royland Degore and Duncan Tuttle from bickering.

They soon encounter problems from House Whitehill, who desire their Ironwood forests.Lord Whitehill had been a childhood friend of Roose Bolton and plans to take all of House Forresters Ironwood, robbing them of their greatest asset. Lord Whitehill is received by Ethan in the Great Hall and quickly begins antagonizing the young boy. Lady Elissa arrives and reminds him to show her son some respect as they are in his home.

She writes to her daughter, Mira, in King's Landing asking her to try and convince Lady Margaery to use her influence in court to convince King Joffrey to let House Forrester keep their Ironwood forests, overruling whatever House Bolton would decide, as Lord Whitehill planned to go to them, as House Forrester's new liege lords, so they could relinquish House Forrester's rights to the Ironwood forests and hand them over to House Whitehill.

Behind her son's back she arranges for her brother, Malcolm, to sail to Essos to find Asher and bring him back. She claims Asher has no interest in becoming lord, but could lead men in battle should a war begin between the Forresters and the Whitehills. Ethan can either agree with this plan or refuse it.

When Ramsay Snow arrives with Lord Whitehill to discuss distributing control over the Ironwood forests, Elissa is present alongside Talia and Ryon. Ramsay takes glee in first taunting Ryon and then seems keen to take Talia on "a hunt". Due to Ethan's response to this, Ramsay stabs him in the throat. Elissa runs to her son's side and he bleeds out as she cradles his body. She calls out for her son as Lord Whitehill drags Ryon away as his captive.[6]

"The Lost Lords"

She is informed that Rodrik was found alive and rolled in on a corpse cart alongside the dead body of her husband, Gregor. She visits Rodrik as Maester Ortengryn works on healing him, but Rodrik passes out shortly after she arrives.

While Rodrik is passed out, Elissa tells Talia to write a song for Ethan and Gregor, to sing at their upcoming funeral. Elissa then quickly sends a letter to Mira in King's Landing, asking for help in ensuring Elaena Glenmore and Rodrik's marriage remains intact, wanting Mira to convince Lady Margaery to send a letter to House Glenmore and "encourage" the marriage.

Once Rodrik begins to recover and is able to walk again, she sees him in the Great Hall, where she informs him that she has invited his betrothed - Lady Elaena Glenmore - to visit him. When Lady Elaena arrives, Elissa gives Rodrik some advice on how to convince her to honor the betrothal despite the undesirable state Rodrik and House Forrester is in. She returns to the Great Hall after Lady Elaena has made her decision and Lord Whitehill makes an unexpected and unwelcome arrival. He demands Rodrik shows him some respect by kneeling and kissing his ring, only agreeing to release Ryon temporarily to attend the funeral of Ethan and Gregor if he does. Desperate to see her youngest son, Elissa advises Rodrik to swallow his pride and kiss Whitehill's ring. Whitehill then overrules, Rodrik by taking all the Ironwood forests, defying House Bolton in the process as well.

Lady Elissa attends the funeral of her son, Ethan, and husband, Gregor. If Gwyn Whitehill attends the funeral, Elissa will exhibit her distaste for her in secret to Rodrik. In private, she and Rodrik discuss what to do about the Whitehills. Lady Elissa tells her son that he mustn't let anything stand in his way, even if he has to "murder ever last Whitehill, down to the babes in their bed". She then listens to Talia's song for the fallen family members.[7]

"The Sword in the Darkness"

Elissa first appears when Gryff arrives at Ironrath. Like the rest of the Forresters she is distraught and tries to stop him from overtaking the Great Hall to no avail. Later on she talks with the council about expelling Gryff or saving Ryon from Highpoint, acting as the council member most in favour of saving the youngest Forrester child while Ortengryn and Royland are more vocal about smashing the figurehead of House Whitehill.

When Rodrik returns from his meeting with Gwyn, he has the opportunity to discuss Lord Whitehill's plans with Elissa, who is clearing up the great hall. If he reveals that there is a traitor and names a suspect, Elissa will point the finger at whoever Ethan did not elect as Sentinel. When Rodrik faces off with the Whitehill soldiers that arrive in the hall, Harys instructs Elissa to get her son out alive before things get ugly.

Elissa is last seen when Gryff confronts Rodrik in the courtyard. She is relatively quiet during the seen, but helps Rodrik up and comments on the choices he made before leading him away.[8]

"Sons of Winter"

When Rodrik, Elaena, Arthur and the Elite Guard arrive in the courtyard, Elissa appears and tells Rodrik that Gryff Whitehill is harming Maester Ortengryn. They all head for the Great Hall, Elissa helping Ortengryn up and watching as Gryff is captured. She says that they need to keep Gryff alive so he can be traded for Ryon, and stops Rodrik if he takes things too far when punishing Gryff. She says that word of his capture cannot reach Highpoint and orders the death of the ravens.

She later appears when Talia and Rodrik speak at the tower. She discusses the issue of the traitor if she was told about it, and speaks about the invitation to Highpoint when Duncan and Royland show up. She accompanies Rodrik to Highpoint and says that his Sentinel should come too.

At Highpoint, Elissa takes a step back and allows Rodrik to handle most of the negotiations. When Ryon is brought out and Ludd threatens to kill him, however, she begins to panic until a trade - a son for a son - is proposed.

Royland/Duncan, The Elite Guard(depending on if you brought them with to Highpoint), Elissa and Rodrik return from Ironrath to find it pretty much deserted. Rodrik hears laughter coming from the Great Hall. He enters it and sees Ramsay Snow talking with Talia Forrester. Ramsay stands up and tells Rodrik that men have said he's a man that can't be broken, and that he's decided to come see for himself.[9]

"A Nest of Vipers"

Elissa appears when Talia goes to get the guards as ordered by Rodrik after speaking to the traitor. She asks, "Duncan/Royland, how could you?" She is also a part of the discussion after the player makes the choice to kill or imprison the traitor, speaking of Asher's safety when he hits land.[10]

"The Ice Dragon"

If Rodrik survived the ambush

Rodrik informs Elissa that Asher was killed upon arrival in Westeros to which she shouts 'No!' and collapses in Elaena Glenmore's arms. She remains in shock for much of the rest of the scene, distraught at the loss of another child.

Later, when Ludd arrives, Elissa joins Rodrik, Beskha and the Sentinel atop Ironrath's walls. She is furious when Ludd forces Ryon to hold up Asher's head on a pike and questions whether the rival House Lord is without limits.

When Rodrik returns from Ludd's camp, he encounters Talia who questions where Elissa is. Elissa appears midway through the Battle of Ironrath, saving Rodrik's life by stabbing Harys Whitehill. Unfortunately, this costs Elissa her life, as Harys stabs her with a sword in retaliation. She dies soon after.

If Asher survived the ambush

Asher informs Elissa of Rodrik's sacrifice but warns her that there isn't time to mourn, because the Whitehills are on the move. Elissa is somewhat doubtful that the pit fighters who have travelled with Asher will be sufficient to fight against the Whitehills, but the Sentinel reassures her that they will be a match for the rival army.

Elissa is present when Ludd arrives and attempts to talk Asher into marrying Gwyn, which she is firmly against doing. However, she or Asher suggests that they pretend to go along with the offer in order to take out Ludd while his guard is down, setting the stage for the White Engagement. Elissa is against the Sentinel's idea to ambush the Whitehills using the pit fighters, arguing that Ludd could escape in the ensuing chaos, but supports Beskha's idea to use poisoned wine. It is up to the player which method to use. Elissa is present in the Great Hall when Gwyn arrives to speak to Asher. When the rest of the Whitehill family arrived, Lord Ludd Whitehill apologized to her and said "But at least it's over" but then she immediately demands to see Ryon and is briefly reunited before he is moved to the opposite end of the room. Elissa then seats herself at the head table. What happens next is determined by the player's choice on how (if at all) to deal with Ludd.

If Asher chose to poison Ludd

The Forresters suggest a toast to celebrate Asher and Gwyn's betrothal. Just as Ludd is about to drink the poisoned wine, however, he suggests he and Asher drink from the same cup, in the way of the North, with Asher drinking first. As Asher reaches for the cup, Elissa takes it first and suggests she drinks the wine with Ludd instead, as she and Ludd are the surviving parents of their respective Houses. As Elissa makes to drink from the cup, the player is faced with a choice.

Let Elissa drink the poisoned wine

Elissa says the House words, 'Iron From Ice', and drinks. Right after she drinks some of the wine, she gave the wine to Ludd then drinks the poisoned wine as well. Elissa begins to succumb to the effects of the poison, and dies, having sacrificed herself to ensure Ludd's death. But Ludd dies first even though Elissa was the first one to drink the poisoned wine.

Stop Elissa from drinking the poisoned wine

Asher bats the cup out of Elissa's hand, exposing the poison plan to Ludd. A fight breaks out, Ludd escapes, and Elissa is escorted to safety.

If Asher chose to ambush Ludd

Ludd becomes suspicious immediately and a fight soon breaks out between the pit fighters and the Whitehills. Elissa is escorted to safety along with Talia by the Sentinel.

If Asher chose to marry Gwyn

Elissa notices that events are not progressing as planned and decided to go to the sentinel to ask what was going on. Gwyn Whitehill looked at Asher and wondered what was going on. But Asher waved his head and raised his arms letting Gwyn know that he doesn't know what Elissa might do. When she learns that Asher intends to marry Gwyn, Gwyn asks her "Is everything alright?" and then Elissa replied "Fine! Thank you...". Apparently Ludd started getting suspicious and asked "What are you tow on about? I tought this was a celebration, but there you are bickering like children, over what!" Gwyn attempted to calm Ludd down and asked Asher if everything's alright. But even if you choose to say that Asher will marry Gwyn or say that his mother isn't feeling well, she will always cry out that it will bring ruin to their house, making the Whitehills suspicious of the Forrester's intentions. Asher looked at Elissa telling her "That's enough, mother!". Elissa runs over to Ludd and cuts his face with a dagger, making him fall on the ground with a surprised face. A fight then breaks out and Elissa is escorted to safety.

The Battle of Ironrath begins, and though Elissa wishes to fight, she is told to flee to safety. However, when Asher is about to be burned by Harys, she stabbed Harys in his back demmanding him to let go of her son (which he did after getting stabbed). Harys then soon gets mad and stabbed her in her stomach. Elissa then weakened and was soon dropped to the ground. Then Asher killed Harys and held Elissa's hand. Eliissa's last words were "My son..." then dies.


Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series appearances
Iron From Ice The Lost Lords The Sword in the Darkness
Sons of Winter A Nest of Vipers The Ice Dragon

Family tree

Lord Branfield

Branfield sons
Malcolm Branfield Tree.png

Gregor Forrester Tree.png
Elissa Forrester Tree.png

Rodrik Tree.png

Elaena Tree.png
(player-determined betrothal)
Asher Tree.png

Rickard Morgryn Tree.png

(player-determined betrothal)
Mira Forrester Tree.png

Ethan Forrester Tree.png

Talia Forrester Tree.png

Ryon Forrester Tree.png



Behind the scenes

Elissa Forrester is the first character of the game with a determinant state in which if she didn't die before, she dies anyway later.


  1. Elissa Forrester - Game Codex Entry
  2. Ethan Forrester - Game Codex Entry
  3. Talia Forrester - Game Codex Entry
  4. Asher Forrester - Game Codex Entry
  5. Mira Forrester - Game Codex Entry
  6. "Iron From Ice"
  7. "The Lost Lords"
  8. "The Sword in the Darkness"
  9. "Sons of Winter
  10. "A Nest of Vipers"