A Brief History of Death Watch, Clan Kryze, and Mando’s Group of Mandalorians

The Mandalorian’s third episode, “Chapter 11: The Heiress,” was action-packed, per usual, but also gave so much insight into Mando’s culture. And not just that, but it introduced new fans to an old favorite who has a complicated history. And now, viewers know that Mando’s history as a Mandalorian is a bit elaborate as well. So here’s a rundown. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2, “Chapter 11”].

Bo-Katan comes from Clan Kryze

Ursa Wren (Sabine Wren's mother) and Bo-Katan during the Clone Wars in 'The Clone Wars'
Ursa Wren (Sabine Wren’s mother) and Bo-Katan during the Clone Wars in ‘The Clone Wars’ | Disney+ / Lucasfilm Ltd.

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As soon as Mando, Frog Lady, and The Child land on the planet where Frog Lady’s husband is, there’s a hooded figure there watching. When the trailer came out, a lot of fans thought that would end up being Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian from Star Wars Rebels, the animated series. However, it wasn’t. It was Koska Reeves, who turns out to be a member of the Nite Owls. 

The leader here is Bo-Katan, with Axe Woves making up the third member. They’re Mandalorians, but different than Mando’s type of Mandalorian. They save him and Baby Yoda after the Quarren throw The Child into danger. 

He’s grateful at first, happy that he found more Mandalorians; he thought that they’d be able to help him find the Jedi to take The Child to. However, they take their helmets off, which — to him — is a sign that they’re not actually Mandalorians. 

However, Bo-Katan explains that she’s from Clan Kryze, from Mandalore. Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will remember that she’s sisters with the late Duchess Satine Kryze. However, Bo-Katan disassociated from her family when her sister chose to steer Mandalore on a pacifist stance. Instead, Bo-Katan joined Death Watch, a terrorist group of Mandalorians who believed that their people should stay on the path of warriors.

Death Watch is the group that went on to found Mando’s version of Mandalorian 

Again, in The Clone Wars, Death Watch has a major role. In addition to terrorizing Mandalore at times, people also came to them for assassination missions or things of the sort. At least that’s what Lux Bonteri tried to do in Season 4, and that didn’t turn out too well for him since they weren’t the most trustworthy. 

However, by Season 7, Bo-Katan defected from Death Watch. Their leader, Pre Vizsla, struck a deal with Maul so that they’d join forces to take over Mandalore from Duchess Satine. Of course, Maul doublecrossed them, killed Pre Vizsla, and took the Darksaber. This is when Bo-Katan left. 

This led to the Siege of Mandalore, which is when Bo-Katan worked alongside Ahsoka Tano to gain control of her homeworld. Maul and the rest of Death Watch were defeated. Some stayed loyal to Maul, while others went off and created the faction of Mandalorians that saved Din Djarin (Mando) as a child. 

And it’s is why she called him Child of the Watch. 

What is a Child of the Watch?

The Child and Mando in 'The Mandalorian'
The Child and Mando in ‘The Mandalorian’ | Disney+ / Lucasfilm Ltd.

It sounds like Death Watch — who didn’t go by Death Watch any longer — made it a mission of theirs to save children in need. Foundlings, as Mando calls them. This is a Child of the Watch. Din Djarin was saved as an orphan and then raised in this religious part of the Mandalorian culture. 

This version of the culture made it a rule to not take your helmet off, which is why Mando is so scandalized when Bo-Katan and the other two Nite Owls do so. It’s also why Mando and his Mandalorians say “This is the way,” but the other Mandalorians fans have known thus far don’t.

Bo-Katan calls them religious zealots, which is interesting just because Death Watch was deemed a terrorist group. But as she was once a part of Death Watch, she’s not that far removed from Mando. Even though they peacefully went their separate ways, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be the last we see of Bo-Katan. 

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