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Theon (Alfie Allen), born a Greyjoy but raised a Stark, is a controversial character on HBO's Game of Thrones. Is he sympathetic, vile, or both at once? Every viewer has their own take.
In Season 1, we're introduced to Theon as a ward of Ned Stark. He lived at Winterfell and was well by the Starks, but he was technically there as a hostage to keep his once rebellious father, Balon Greyjoy, from rising up again. That background colored his perception of the world, though in Season 1 we mostly saw him acting as a good friend and confidante to Robb Stark. At the end of the season, he swore his loyalty to Robb after Robb is named King in the North.
However, in Season 2 his loyalty was put to the test when Robb sent him back to his home of Pyke to ask Balon for an alliance. Theon's distant father quickly convinced him that the only way he would be a worthy son was if he joined Balon is his own rebellion. However, even after Theon switched sides he was treated as soft and unworthy (especially compared to his sister, Yara) because of his Stark upbringing. He wasn't really one of the "Ironborn" anymore.
To prove his worth, Theon decided to ignore his father's instructions and sack Winterfell. He was successful, but he found holding the castle a challenge. He pretended to kill Bran and Rickon Stark after they ran off — in fact, unable to find them, he had two random farmer's children burned instead — but even that didn't cement his control. To add insult to injury, Yara came by and told him Winterfell wasn't even a useful prize: the Ironborn, who are excellent sailors, live by sacking the coasts. Land bound Winterfell was useless to them. At the end of the season Winterfell was retaken by Ramsay Snow, and Theon was abandoned by his own people.
Season 3 was been torture, torture, and more torture for Theon. Physical, psychological — his vicious, sadistic captor, Ramsay Snow, is cruel for the sake of being cruel, and escape looks unlikely, unless his sister Yara can save him.
Theon was introduced in Season 1, Episode 1: "Winter Is Coming."
Memorable Quotes (and Moments)
- Theon's stirring but ineffectual last stand speech.
- "Do you know what it's like to be told how lucky you are to be someone's prisoner?"
- "You gave me away! Your boy! Your last boy! You gave me away like I was some dog you didn't want anymore. And now you curse me because I've come home."
- "My sword is yours, in victory and defeat, from this day until my last day."