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Theon Greyjoy

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Theon Greyjoy: "Reek! My name is Reek!"
Sansa Stark: "Your name is Theon Greyjoy, last surviving son of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, do you hear me?"
Sansa Stark to Theon Greyjoy.[src]

Theon Greyjoy is a major character in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth seasons. He is played by starring cast member Alfie Allen and debuts in the series premiere. Theon is the only living son and heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, and younger brother of Yara Greyjoy.

Biography

Background

Theon is the youngest son of Lord Balon and Lady Alannys Greyjoy. Balon is the head of House Greyjoy and Lord of the Iron Islands. The Iron Islands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Greyjoy is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Greyjoy rule the region from their seat at Pyke and Balon also holds the title Lord Reaper of Pyke.

Young Theon

Theon becomes Ned Stark's ward after his father's failed rebellion.

Theon was born at Pyke. He is Balon and Alannys' fourth child after Rodrik, Maron, and Yara. Eight years before the start of the series Balon rose in rebellion against the Iron Throne. The ironborn were crushed in a war led by King Robert Baratheon and Lord Eddard Stark. Theon's brothers were both killed in the fighting. Balon surrendered and was allowed to remain Lord of the Iron Islands on the condition that Theon remain a hostage and ward of Eddard Stark.[1] Theon's sister Yara remained on the Iron Islands.[2] Despite his status as a hostage at Winterfell, Theon was treated well by the Starks, and he came to see Eddard as a surrogate father, while becoming best friends with Robb Stark. Theon is a skilled archer. His cocky arrogance and cavalier actions contrast with the staid ways of the North.[3]

Season 1

Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy passing the greatsword Ice to Lord Eddard Stark.

Theon is present during the execution of Will, a deserter from the Night's Watch. He holds the scabbard of Ice, the greatsword of House Stark, as Lord Eddard Stark draws it to behead the condemned man. On the way back to Winterfell, the party finds a disemboweled stag dead in the road. Looking for the killer, they find a dead female direwolf and five pups huddled by the corpse for warmth. A broken piece of the dead stag's antler is embedded in the direwolf's neck. Eddard initially insists the pups be given a quick death, which Theon cavalierly moves to carry out himself, upsetting Bran and angering Robb. However, Jon Snow tells his father that this is an omen as there are five pups and five Stark children. Eddard consents to allowing his children to adopt the pups. Just as the party leaves, Jon finds a sixth pup, an albino. Theon mockingly declares him the runt of the litter and that he belongs to Jon. Later, Robb, Jon, and Theon get shaves and haircuts, as they ponder the impending arrival of the royal party, notably the reputation of Queen Cersei Lannister as a great beauty and the poor reputation of Prince Joffrey Baratheon.[4]

Jon, Robb and Theon 1x01

Theon, Jon and Robb talk about Queen Cersei as they prepare for the royal party in "Winter is Coming".

After the royal party's departure, an assassin attempts to kill Bran, who had fallen during one of his climbs and remained comatose. Theon learns that Catelyn has found evidence implicating the Lannisters in Bran's 'accident' and the failed assassination. Theon and Robb suggest taking revenge through military action, but Maester Luwin counsels patience. Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel depart for King's Landing, leaving Robb in command of the castle.[5] Theon is present when Robb frostily receives Tyrion Lannister on his way back from the Wall. Afterwards, as Tyrion is leaving to stay in a brothel, Theon condescendingly tells him to ask for Ros. Tyrion ridicules Theon for his family's failed uprising, calling it "a stupid rebellion", and ponders how Balon Greyjoy would feel about his last living son being the Starks' "lackey".[6] While boasting about his family's exploits and heritage, he is put down by Maester Luwin. He reacts angrily to a further insult from his favorite prostitute, Ros, after sneaking her into the castle to engage her services.[7]

Theon attacks Osha

Theon prepares to kill Osha.

Theon and Robb exchange views over the matter of Jory Cassel's death and the growing Stark-Lannister animosity in King's Landing. Robb brusquely reminds Theon that he is not a Stark. Bran is taken prisoner by wildlings in the forest near Winterfell and Theon saves him by shooting Stiv, the wildling leader, in the back with an arrow. Robb is angry at him, as Bran could have been hurt. Theon counters that he just saved Bran's life, and Robb was too hesitant to kill. Taking pride in his action, Theon says that you're "only considered a real man in the Iron Islands once you've killed your first enemy."[8] With the departure of Ros for King's Landing, Theon is left at the castle and is bored. He accosts the surviving wildling prisoner, the spearwife Osha, as she is now a servant at Winterfell. Theon throws his weight around, insisting that she call him "my lord", even though his father still holds the title. He is warned off by Maester Luwin who reminds Theon that he of all people should know that being a guest and a prisoner are not necessarily mutually exclusive.[9]
Theon-fealty

Theon swears fealty to Robb.

Robb summons his banners to war when word comes of Lord Eddard's arrest. Theon tells Robb that it is good that he is afraid because it shows he is not stupid. As Theon dines with Robb and his bannermen later after they arrive at Winterfell, he witnesses Jon Umber threatening to withdraw his men from the host when Robb refuses to let him lead the vanguard. Robb counters the Greatjon by saying he is welcome to do so but as soon as he is finished with the Lannisters, he will march back North to route the Greatjon from his keep and hang him for an oathbreaker. As the Greatjon moves to draw a weapon, Theon rises from his chair to defend Robb but Grey Wind darts down the table and bites off two of the Greatjon's fingers. When Robb mercifully offers the Greatjon drew his weapon to cut his meat for him, the Greatjon calls his meat "bloody tough", which draws laughter from the rest of the men including Theon. As the northern army marches south, Theon advises Robb at strategy meetings and greets Catelyn when the army meets her on the road. When a Lannister scout is captured, Theon obscures their maps and battle plans, to Jon Umber's amusement.[10] Reaching the Twins, Theon shoots down several ravens leaving the castle bearing messages from Lord Walder Frey, allowing Catelyn to negotiate an alliance. Theon fights alongside Robb at the Battle of the Whispering Wood, where Jaime Lannister is taken prisoner. When Robb laments the loss of 2,000 of his men in the feint at the Battle of the Green Fork, Theon assures him that songs will be sung of their bravery. Robb responds that they will not hear them.[11] After news arrives of Eddard's execution, Robb Stark is proclaimed the King in the North by his lords bannermen. Theon asks first if they are brothers, now and always. When Robb's answer is yes, Theon swears his sword and fealty to Robb's service, proclaiming Robb as his King.[12]

Season 2

Yara

Theon unknowingly attempts to seduce his own sister in "The Night Lands".

Theon appeals to Robb to seek an alliance with his father, Balon Greyjoy, reasoning that Robb needs a fleet to attack King's Landing, and confident that Balon will listen to him. Despite Catelyn's reservations that Balon Greyjoy cannot be trusted, Robb sends Theon home to Pyke as his envoy.[13] Theon seduces the daughter of the ship's captain and tells her about how he will be welcomed home. He is deflated at the lack of a reception for his return. His sister Yara poses as a stranger and offers to give him a ride to the castle. She wants to see what Theon has grown up to be. He flirts with her relentlessly and brags about his own importance. Balon greets Theon coolly, believing that he has forgotten his roots and become loyal to the Starks in his time away. He insults Theon's fine clothes given to him by the Starks, and is furious when Theon tells him that Robb thinks of him as a brother. Yara reveals her deception and Balon compares Theon to his sister unfavorably. Balon rejects the alliance Theon suggests and is insulted that Theon thought he would accept being given a crown. He reminds Theon that they pay the iron price and take what they want.[14]

Balon reveals that he plans to attack the North while it is poorly defended. Balon gives Yara a fleet of thirty ships to take Deepwood Motte and insults Theon by assigning him a single vessel to raid fishing villages on the Stony Shore. Theon considers informing Robb of the plot but decides that his loyalty lies with his family. Having decided to betray House Stark he is baptised in the name of the Drowned God as Balon and Yara watch.[15] He takes command of the Sea Bitch but finds his crew unruly. His first mate Dagmer tells him that he must prove himself to the men and that ironborn do not follow orders. Theon senses the opportunity to attack Torrhen's Square to lure the Stark garrison away from Winterfell. His plan is successful.[16]

Theon and Bran

Theon tells Bran to yield Winterfell

Theon has his men seize the poorly defended Winterfell. He forces Bran Stark to yield to him by threatening his people. His men capture Ser Rodrik Cassel coming back from Torrhen's Square, and Rodrik is openly defiant, calling Theon a traitor. Ser Rodrik regrets that he gave him weapon training and even spits in Theon's face. Dagmer insists that Rodrik must be killed to maintain the respect of the men. Rodrik baits Theon into performing the execution himself. Theon botches the beheading, taking three swings and a kick to accomplish it.

Osha sneaks

Theon is seduced by Osha in her plan to escape in "The Old Gods and the New".

Theon is seduced by Osha, who then frees Bran and Rickon.[17] When Theon wakes the next day, he is told that Bran and Rickon have escaped. He is angry at his men for allowing children and the simpleminded Hodor to escape. Lorren implies that Theon is actually to blame for their escape by allowing himself to be seduced by Osha. Theon, in turn, responds to this insolence by publicly striking Lorren repeatedly. Despite his attempts, Theon is unable to find the escapees.[18] Unwilling to appear weak, he has Dagmer murder two boys, Jack and Billy, from a farm and burn their bodies.[19] He displays the corpses at Winterfell and claims they were Bran and Rickon.[18] Theon sends word to Yara to bring him 500 men as reinforcements.[17] She arrives with just twenty men and warns him that everyone in the North wants him dead because of his killing of the Stark boys, and he is too far from the sea to supply or reinforce his position. Yara tells him about how she remembers him as a child, demanding but sweet. She urges him to abandon Winterfell, return to the Iron Islands, and not to die so far from his home, but he refuses to give up his prize.[19]

Theon & Dagmer 2x10

Dagmer prepares to strike as Theon finishes his speech

Winterfell is later surrounded by Northmen under the command of Ramsay Snow, who infuriates Theon by blowing a horn all through the night. Besieged with no hope for relief, Theon tearfully vents his frustration to Luwin at being constantly reminded by everyone, including Luwin himself, how fortunate he was to be a prisoner of the Starks. Assuming a more sympathetic tone, Luwin advises Theon to flee to the Wall and join the Night's Watch so that he might save his life and attempt to redeem himself, adding he knows Theon is not the ruthless man he is pretending to be. Theon owes to Luwin that he has done terrible things in his futile attempts to gain power and respect but he refuses to deviate from the course he has set, saying he has gone too far to ever pretend to be anyone else, and also adds that Jon Snow will likely kill him in revenge for allegedly killing Bran and Rickon. He readies his men for a glorious death in battle, giving a rousing speech, but is betrayed and knocked out by Dagmer, who plans to turn him over to the northern forces so the rest of them can go home. Luwin attempts to aid Theon but is stabbed in the abdomen by Dagmer, who then has Theon dragged away with his head covered by a cloth bag.[20]

Season 3

TheonS3x02

Theon being tortured.

Roose Bolton's bastard son Ramsay Snow has been sent to secure Winterfell from the ironborn and bring Theon back to Robb Stark alive.[20][21] Roose is double-crossing Robb and after the ironborn turn on Theon and surrender themselves to Snow's forces, he kills them all and secretly captures Theon.[21]

Theon is kept prisoner in the Dreadfort, although Theon is unaware where he is. He's repeatedly tortured by a group of men, some of whom are dressed in the garb of Greyjoy men. One of them pries off Theon's fingernails with a knife while the others drive a screw through his foot. After enduring extensive torture Theon is given some reprieve. Ramsay Snow deceives Theon, claiming he is a servant and approaches him and claims he's been sent by Yara to rescue him.[22] Before dawn Ramsay returns and cuts Theon free and provides him with water and a mount. Ramsay advises Theon to keep heading east where Yara is waiting for him. Theon says he'll make the boy a lord of the Iron Islands for his actions. The boy replies by saying "We're not in the Iron Islands".

Theon Rape Skinner S303

The lead torturer intent on raping Theon.

As Theon rides east, an arrow narrowly misses his head, and Theon sees that his captors are following him. After a harrowing chase the former Prince of Winterfell is knocked from his horse by a blow from a flail. The men hold Theon in place as the leading torturer prepares to rape him. Theon's pleas for them to stop fall on deaf ears but then the leader is pierced by an arrow. Ramsay has returned and swiftly kills all his men. Ramsay helps Theon to his feet and tells him to come with him, because he is far from home and winter is coming.[23]

After rescuing him the boy promises Theon to take him to Deepwood Motte to see Yara. When Theon questions his savior, Ramsay lies that he is ironborn as well, growing up on Saltcliffe, and he witnessed Theon being shipped off to Winterfell. Some time later the men reach a holdfast, and Theon questions why they have to sneak inside when surely Yara's men are loyal to her. Ramsay warns Theon that some of the men belong to his father Balon who wants him dead. As Ramsay struggles to open a locked gate Theon confesses his sins. He wanted desperately to impress his father but he knows now that Eddard Stark was his true father. After opening the gate Theon and Ramsay enter a darkened room. The youth lights a torch and much to Theon's horror he's back in the same torture chamber in the Dreadfort. Armed men enter and Ramsay claims that Theon killed their comrades and escaped but he has brought their captive back. Kicking and screaming, a heartbroken Theon is refastened to the rack.[24]

Screenshot-the-bastard-tortures-theon

Theon is held a prisoner of the Boltons.

Theon is awakened by the ringing of a trumpet. Ramsay 'begs pardon' for rousing his guest. Theon tries to mumble something but fails. Ramsay understands his prisoner requires water but pours it out all over the dungeon floor to further torment him. Ramsay proposes a game to pass the time and he asks the heir to Pyke which body part he does not need. Hearing this Theon vows to tell his captor all he wishes to know. The cruel boy merely mocks him stating that Theon already told him everything of value. Ramsay goes on saying that he realizes Theon wants to know who he is and why he is being tortured. The young man makes a proposal: If Theon guesses correctly who he actually is Theon is the victor, but if Theon begs his tormentor to remove his finger he wins. Theon then asks if winning said game will secure his release. Ramsay the mocks Theon's naîveté stating there is no happy ending in store for him. Theon does guess correctly that he is still in the North. However when the former prince of Winterfell supposes that Ramsay is a son of Rickard Karstark he is revealed to be wrong. Ramsay slowly flays his captive's pinkie stating that Theon first should have asked if he was a liar. Theon begs for the finger to be cut off which delights Ramsay since Ramsay has won the 'game'.[25]

Theon is later released from the cross by two beautiful young women, Myranda and Violet. They put Theon to bed and they then proceed to fondle him sensually. Both have heard that the heir to Pyke is well endowed and are hoping to get firsthand experience. Theon is distrustful at first fearing that this is another of his tormentor's tricks. When they disrobe and straddle him, Theon's resolve to resist weakens. Suddenly the familiar horn sounds and Ramsay enters, revealing that Myranda and Violet are two of his bedwarmers. He too has heard how large his prisoner's penis is and surmises it is Theon's favorite body part. When the sadistic Ramsay brandishes an odd knife Theon realizes Ramsay means to castrate him. Horrified, Theon begs for mercy, but Ramsay quips that this is mercy as he is not killing, but merely altering Theon. Two men restrain Theon as Ramsay proceeds to geld him, knocking him out in the process.[26]

Snow

Ramsay renames Theon "Reek".

Theon later wakes in his strung up position while Ramsay eats a long plump sausage nearby and motions to Theon's blood-stained, badly sewn-up trousers, momentarily tricking Theon into thinking it is his penis he is eating. Ramsay mocks him as he laughs about his severed penis and wonders if Theon will have phantom feelings for his lost body part if he goes near any pretty women. Theon finally begs Ramsay to kill him as an escape from the nightmare, but Ramsay tells him he is much more valuable to him alive. He renames him "Reek" (because he smells bad) and demands that Theon say that his name is Reek. With an angry look, Theon says his name is Theon Greyjoy, prompting Ramsay to punch him and ask again, and again, smirking slightly, he says his name is Theon Greyjoy. Ramsay hits him harder, grabs his head and screams the same question. This time, Theon gives in and says his that name is Reek. As Ramsay returns to his table satisfied, Theon weeps silently over his lost pride.[21]

Maxresdefault (1)

Theon's father receives a package from Ramsay.

Ramsay sends Theon's severed penis to his family in Pyke with a letter detailing his Sack of Winterfell and his demand that the ironborn withdraw from the North or Ramsay will send them more of Theon's body parts. Balon refuses to surrender, saying that Theon was a fool for disobeying his orders and attacking Winterfell and that, as his castration means that he is no longer capable of producing heirs, he has no value whatsoever. However, Yara defies her father and prepares the fastest ship in the fleet and the strongest men on the Iron Islands to sail on the Dreadfort and rescue Theon.[21]

Season 4

Theon, now going by the name Reek, has been freed from his restraints, but is forced to work for Ramsay as a servant. He accompanies Ramsay and Myranda on their hunt for Tansy, however he struggles to keep up with them due to his injuries. When Myranda brings down Tansy with an arrow to the leg Ramsay asks Reek if it was a good shot. Reek calls it a fine shot while addressing Ramsay as "Master" and Myranda as "My Lady". Reek watches in silent horror when Ramsay orders his pack of hounds to maul Tansy to pieces. 

Ramsay brings Reek before Ramsay's father, Roose Bolton. Roose is angered that Ramsay has damaged a valuable hostage, whom he intended to trade for the ironborn-occupied Moat Cailin. To demonstrate their captive's submissiveness, Ramsay orders Reek to shave him. Reek reveals to Roose that he did not murder Bran and Rickon Stark, and that they may be with Jon Snow at the Wall. Ramsay then reveals to Reek that Robb Stark is dead, and was stabbed through the heart by Roose. Reek holds the razor at Ramsay's neck briefly, but continues shaving. When Roose orders Locke to find and kill the Stark boys, the latter asks Ramsay if his "pet rat" has any thoughts on where they went. Reek tells him that Jon Snow is at Castle Black.[27]

Yara, along a group of ironborn, infiltrates the Dreadfort to rescue her brother, only to find him in one of the kennels. Believing that this may be another one of Ramsay's tricks, Reek desperately refuses to abandon his master, refusing to be Theon Greyjoy and screaming to be left alone, insisting that he is Reek. Soon Ramsay arrives with a group of Northmen. As the two sides fight each other, Reek keeps resisting to be taken and bites Yara's hand to return to his cage. Yara escapes after being rejected and Ramsay unleashing his hounds at her. As a reward for his demonstration of loyalty, Ramsay offers Reek a bath, though Reek is hesitant to remove his clothing, due to his earlier castration. After Reek gets into the tub, Ramsay cleans his servant himself and demands a demonstration of Reek's love: his help to get a castle back. Reek's task is to masquerade as Theon Greyjoy.[28]

Reekridingmoat

Reek enters the ruined fortress of Moat Cailin under the guise of his former self.

Outside of Moat Cailin, Ramsay goes over Reek's mission with him one last time: he is to enter Moat Cailin under the guise of Theon Greyjoy, prince of the Iron Islands, and attempt to negotiate with the ironborn garrison holding it in an attempt to convince them to surrender the fortress to the Boltons. Reek rides up to the fortress gate, and almost blows his cover when asked to identify himself, yet manages to regain his composure and convince the ironborn to let him to enter. Upon riding into Moat Cailin, Reek finds it in a state of death and decay, littered with corpses and the few remaining men ravaged by disease and exhaustion. He introduces himself as Prince Theon and truthfully informs the ironborn that he has been a prisoner of House Bolton and has been sent to Moat Cailin as their envoy. He reads the terms that House Bolton has laid out for the ironborn, promising them safe passage home if they peacefully surrender Moat Cailin. However, Ralf Kenning, the garrison commander of the ironborn, decries Reek's words as those of a "whipped dog" and that he is no true ironborn, nearly causing Reek to become unnerved and drop his facade. However, Reek is saved when one of Kenning's men suddenly buries an axe in his head and accepts Reek's terms of surrender. However, the ironborn are promptly massacred and flayed by Ramsay and his men upon surrendering Moat Cailin. Ramsay reveals to Theon that he never intended to let the ironborn go, and congratulates him by patting him.

Reekandramsaymoat

Reek pleases Ramsay by helping the Boltons retake Moat Cailin.

In the aftermath, Ramsay meets with his father and presents him with the Greyjoy banner that was flying over the fortress. In recognition of this, Roose presents Ramsay with a decree of legitimization, making him officially a member of House Bolton. Delighted at the knowledge he will succeed his father as Warden of the North, Ramsay and Reek accompany Roose's army as it approaches the ruins of Winterfell, with Ramsay gleefully informing Reek that he's ready for a hot bath.[29]

Season 5

Reekseessansa

Reek avoiding Sansa.

Reek walks through the partially-repaired Winterfell and is clearly shaken when he sees freshly flayed corpses being hung on the castle walls, which reminds him of the burned corpses of Jack and Billy. Later, while Ramsay and Roose Bolton discuss their delicate position as the new Wardens of the North, Reek serves them their food. When his childhood friend, Sansa Stark, arrives in Winterfell, Reek watches her arrival from a distance. Later, as Sansa explores the courtyard, Reek avoids her, but appears to be struggling not to call out to her.[30]

Later, while sleeping in the kennels, Reek is accosted by Sansa, who had been led there by Myranda. Reek shakes his head at her and tells her she shouldn't be there. Ramsay later confronts Reek about how Sansa approached him and chastises him for keeping it a secret from him. Though he seems like he will punish Reek, he ultimately forgives him.

As the Boltons eat, Ramsay first coerces Reek into apologizing to Sansa for allegedly murdering Bran and Rickon. He then suggests that Reek should walk Sansa down the altar at their coming wedding with the rest of her family allegedly dead, which visibly angers Sansa and discomforts Reek.[31]

Theon 5x06

Reek watches as Ramsay forces himself on Sansa.

On the night of the wedding, Reek, once again assuming his previous identity as Theon Greyjoy, arrives to escort Sansa to Ramsay, though Sansa, still angry with him, refuses to allow Theon to hold her arm, even when Theon claims Ramsay will punish him. Theon walks Sansa through the Godswood to the Heart tree, and gives the bride away. After the wedding, Theon leads Sansa and Ramsay to their new chambers, but Ramsay orders Theon to remain with them to watch what is to come. Having personally been on the receiving end of Ramsay's brutality, Theon tries to look away, but Ramsay repeats the order, and Theon is forced to watch, which he does. Theon is visibly horrified as he watches Ramsay rape his childhood friend, making her cry, and silently cries himself. Though Theon is still too weak to intervene, a brief flash of anger spreads across his face.[32]

A few days later, Reek brings Sansa her breakfast, closing the window when he notices her shivering in bed. When Sansa realizes Reek is there, she tries to talk to him and get him to help her. Reek continues to deny that he is Theon, until Sansa accuses him of betraying her family, and reminds him that he is Theon Greyjoy, son and heir of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, and that he can redeem himself by lighting a candle in the broken tower in order to signal Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne to come and rescue her. Though Reek takes the candle, he reluctantly informs Ramsay of Sansa's plan in order to spare her further pain should it fail, but it is implied during his conversation with Sansa that his original personality of Theon Greyjoy is slowly beginning to resurface.[33]

When Reek next brings Sansa breakfast, she confronts him about why he revealed her plan to Ramsay, and he responds that it was to protect her, since he has found out there is no escape from Ramsay: as Theon Greyjoy, he tried numerous times, but Ramsay always found him and took away pieces of him until there was nothing left of Theon anymore, only Reek. Sansa coldly expresses approval, adding that if she could do what Ramsay did to him all over again, she would. Reek shamefully owes to her that he deserved it as he did terrible things, specifically killing "those boys". Enraged by his reference seemingly to her brothers as "those boys" rather than Bran and Rickon, Sansa vehemently demands to know why they should be dead while he still breathes the air, forcing Reek to finally admit that they were not in fact Bran and Rickon, only two farm boys. In light of this admission, Sansa's anger towards Reek cools but when she presses him as to where they might have gone, calling him Theon again, he breaks down and runs out the room, crying, "Not Theon! Reek!"[34]

Theon-and-Sansa-S05E10

Theon and Sansa prepare to jump.

When Sansa finally succeeds in breaking out of her room and lighting the candle in the tower, she is confronted by Reek and Myranda on the catwalks, with Myranda pointing a bow at her. Reek begs Sansa not to resist, but Sansa welcomes her fate. However, when Myranda claims that she will spare Sansa and merely maim her, Reek remembers the role Myranda played in his castration. Unwilling to let Sansa suffer the same fate, Reek grabs Myranda and pushes her off the catwalk to her death. Now Theon Greyjoy once again, he takes Sansa and they run when the Bolton cavalry arrives after defeating Stannis Baratheon. With no other choice, and aware of what will come when Ramsay finds Myranda's body, Theon and Sansa jump from the parapet to the snow below.[35]

Season 6

Sansa and Theon land uninjured and manage to escape into the nearby woods. Pursued by Ramsay's men and hounds, Theon and Sansa cross the river and take shelter but their scent is picked up by the hounds. Theon urges Sansa to flee to Jon Snow at Castle Black while he holds them off, but they see through his ruse and find Sansa. Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne arrive to fight the Bolton soldiers, and Theon kills the last one, saving Podrick's life. He witnesses Brienne pledge her service to Sansa, which this time she accepts.[36]

As Brienne talks with Sansa, Theon overhears that she crossed paths with Arya, while gathering wood to help Podrick start a fire, though he is wary of it, since it may alert Ramsay or his men. Sansa and Brienne decide to head to Castle Black to get to Jon, who will protect them from Ramsay, and though Sansa promises to tell Jon the truth about Bran and Rickon to stop him from hurting Theon, Theon doubts that Jon will forgive him for betraying Robb, executing Rodrik Cassel, and slaughtering Jack and Billy. Theon claims he does not want to be forgiven, even by joining the Night's Watch, and instead decides to return home, knowing that Sansa will be safer with Brienne and Podrick. Before his departure though, Sansa embraces Theon in gratitude for helping her escape Ramsay.[37]

Theon arrives at the Iron Islands and receives a harsh reception from Yara, who is still angry about the time he refused to be rescued from the Dreadfort, saying that good men were lost that night. Weeping, he apologizes several times, but she doesn't want to hear it. She accuses him of trying to take advantage of their father's murder to become King of Pyke. Incredibly upset, he says he had no idea Balon was dead until he arrived. She demands to know what he wants, and he says she deserves to be ruler of Pyke and he will support her claim to the Salt Throne.[38]

Theon
Theon and yara promo 6x5

Theon and Yara flee from the Iron Islands to evade Euron's mad wrath.

During the Kingsmoot, Theon openly declares his support for Yara's claim to the Salt Throne; stating that she is a warrior, a reaver, and most importantly an Ironborn. While many declare their support for Yara, her claim is challenged by their uncle Euron Greyjoy, who publicly humiliates Theon for his past defeats and emasculation. Yara then accuses Euron of murdering their father. To their surprise, Euron admits murdering Balon but claims that he did it because he was leading them to defeat. Theon then points out that Euron was gallivanting on the high seas while Yara was leading Ironborn ships and men in battle. When Yara proposes building a massive fleet to conquer the mainland, Euron counters by offering to seal an alliance with Daenerys Targaryen in order to defeat the mainland lords. The crowd then elects Euron to be their next king. While Euron is being baptized by Aeron, Theon, his sister, and their supporters flee on the best ships in the Iron Fleet.[39]

Personality

Before his capture by Ramsay Snow, Theon is shown to be rather arrogant, narcissistic and vain, but fundamentally not malicious. Beneath his confident exterior, however, he is insecure, weak, and unsure of himself. This stems particularly from the fact that he was raised by the Stark family since he was nine years old as their ward/hostage after his father's failed rebellion against Robert Baratheon, and while he grew up with the Stark children and at at their table, he was always reminded in some way that he was not truly part of the family. This subject is shown to irritate Theon greatly, demonstrated when Ros and Tyrion Lannister mention it. His insecurity also leads him to question which is his true family: the Starks or the Greyjoys. Though his father Balon and sister Yara are initially successful at using it to sway Theon to their side when Balon decides to fight the Starks instead of aid them against the Lannisters, this still causes a great deal of conflict in Theon. The ironborn are unapologetic about attacking and stealing from others, "paying the iron price" as they call it, but Ned Stark set the example for Theon that other people should be dealt with according to a basic code of honor and justice. Theon tries to become a ruthless ironborn raider to appease his biological father and find a true home again, but the conscience that he developed living with the Starks makes it difficult for him to live up to these expectations.

It is only after Theon becomes a prisoner of the Boltons and realizes that his father has no intention of rescuing him that he admits, to himself and to Ramsay Snow, that Ned Stark was his "real father", and laments Ned's execution in King's Landing. Even throughout Theon's capture of Winterfell, he is shown to be in a constant battle with himself, implying that he knows deep down that invading his childhood home for his father was far from right. Maester Luwin even points out to Theon that all of this is just an act to live up to his father's expectations, and that Theon himself must know that his betrayal at Winterfell is wrong. Theon resignedly admits to Luwin that he is correct, but that he can't stop because he has already come too far to be forgiven, and refuses to join the Night's Watch, where all of his crimes would be forgiven, out of shame (and partially out of fear that Jon Snow might kill him in retribution for allegedly murdering Bran and Rickon).

After being tortured by Ramsay Snow in the dungeons of the Dreadfort for over a year, Theon's original personality has been seemingly obliterated, and he is little more than a broken and half-insane prisoner. Among various tortures, Ramsay cut off several of his fingers and toes, flayed off sections of his skin, and even cut off his genitals. Ramsay even mockingly renamed him "Reek", physically and psychologically torturing him to accept it as his name, and deny that he ever was "Theon Greyjoy". Ramsay also psychologically tortured him with fake escape attempts or promises of rescue, before recapturing him, so now Reek thinks any possibility of escape or fighting back against Ramsay is simply another ruse. He lives in great fear of Ramsay, desperate to avoid angering him, and is in such a state of traumatic shock that he is very withdrawn and submissive.

However, despite his previous actions, Reek appears to have retained a strong love and loyalty to the remaining Starks, demonstrated on several occasions: he is visibly shocked when Ramsay gloats about Robb's death, briefly holding a razor to Ramsay's neck and appearing on the verge of slitting his throat (though he doesn't because Roose and Locke are present); he appears hesitant about telling them that Bran and Rickon may be sheltering at Castle Black with Jon Snow, knowing that it may lead to their deaths (even though Theon was never as close with Jon as with the other Stark children, there still seemed to be a certain degree of friendship between the two to the point that Theon didn't want Jon to get hurt); he silently cries and briefly looks angry when Ramsay rapes Sansa, and does his best (or what he thinks is the best) to keep Sansa from angering Ramsay and suffering more at his hands, and even goes as far as to confess to Sansa that he deserved what he suffered under Ramsay and that he deserved to be Reek for what he did to the Stark family. However, when pushed too far, Theon ultimately abandons his Reek persona and chooses his loyalty to the Starks over Ramsay, by killing Myranda and helping Sansa escape from Winterfell, though still believing himself unworthy of anyone's forgiveness for betraying the Starks, effectively the only ones who ever treated him like family.

Despite his loyalty to House Stark, Theon still expresses shock after learning of his father's death. Despite falling out of his sister Yara's favor following the failed Dreadfort rescue attempt, brother and sister reconcile when Theon offers to support Yara's claim to the Salt Throne. While initially despondent, Theon regains some of his bravado during the Kingsmoot to select the next ruler of the Iron Islands. Giving a brief rousing speech, he manages to convince many of the gathered Ironborn to join him in supporting his sister's claim to the Salt Throne, his speaking skills demonstrating that "Reek" has all but been obliterated for good and Theon Greyjoy restored, though he and Yara are outmanuevered by Euron, who wins many over by offering to seal an alliance with Daenerys Targaryen.

Appearances

Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter

Behind the scenes

Image gallery

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balon Tree
Balon Greyjoy
Deceased
 
House-Greyjoy-heraldry
Alannys Greyjoy
née Harlaw
 
Euron Greyjoy Promo
Euron Greyjoy
 
House-Greyjoy-heraldry
Victarion Greyjoy
 
Aeron Tree
Aeron Greyjoy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rodrik tree
Rodrik Greyjoy
Deceased
 
House-Greyjoy-heraldry
Maron Greyjoy
Deceased
 
Yara
Yara Greyjoy
 
Theon Tree
Theon Greyjoy
 
 
 
 

Quotes

Spoken by Theon

"I'm a Greyjoy. We've been Lords of the Iron Islands for hundreds of years. There's not a family in Westeros that can look down on us. Not even the Lannisters."
―Theon Greyjoy to Ros[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Are you afraid?"
Robb Stark: "I must be."
Theon Greyjoy: "Good."
Robb Stark: "Why is that good?"
Theon Greyjoy: "It means you're not stupid."
— Theon to Robb Stark before their first battle.[src]
"You act as if I volunteered to go. You gave me away if you remember. The day you bent the knee to Robert Baratheon. After he crushed you! Did you take what was yours then?" [Balon slaps Theon and strides away.] 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!?"
―Theon confronts his father Balon Greyjoy.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Ser Rodrik, it grieves me that we meet as foes."
Rodrik Cassel: "It grieves me you've less honor than a back-alley whore!"
— Ser Rodrik Cassel reprimands Theon for his betrayal.[src]
Rodrik Cassel: "King Robb thought of you as a brother!"
Theon Greyjoy: "My brothers are dead! They died fighting Stark men! Men like you!"
Rodrik Cassel: "Aye, they died fighting a war your father started! Lord Stark raised you among his own sons!"
Theon Greyjoy: "Among them, but not one of them! I was his hostage! Taken from my home!"
— Ser Rodrik and Theon continue to spar over his capture of Winterfell.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Any last words, old man?"
Rodrik Cassel: "Gods help you Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost."
— Ser Rodrik's last words to Theon before his execution.[src]
"I'm looking at spending the rest of life being treated like a fool and a eunuch by my own people!"
―Theon to Luwin[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "The first time I saw Winterfell, it looked like something that had been here for thousands of years, and would be here for thousands of years after I was dead. I saw it and I thought, 'Of course Ned Stark crushed our rebellion and killed my brothers.' We never stood a chance against a man who lives here."
Maester Luwin: "Lord Stark went out of his way to make it your home."
Theon Greyjoy: "Yes I know my captors were so very kind to me, you love reminding me of that! Everybody in this frozen pile of shit has loved reminding me of that. You know what it's like to be told how lucky you are to be someone's prisoner? To be told how much you owe them? And then to go back home to your real father..."
— Theon reflects on his time with the Starks.[src]
Maester Luwin: "The Night's Watch is an ancient, honorable order. You'll have opportunities there."
Theon Greyjoy: "The opportunity for Jon Snow to cut my throat in my sleep?!"
Maester Luwin: "The opportunity to make amends for what you've done."
Theon Greyjoy: "I've done a lot, haven't I? Things I never imagined myself doing."
— Theon owes to Luwin that he's done terrible things.[src]
Maester Luwin: "I've known you for many years, Theon Greyjoy. You're not the man you are pretending to be. Not yet."
Theon Greyjoy: "You may be right. I've gone too far to pretend to be anything else."
— Valar Morghulis
Theon Greyjoy: "You hear that? That's the mating call of the Northmen. They want to fuck us! Well, I haven't had a good fuck in weeks, I'm ready for one! They say every Ironborn man is worth a dozen from the mainland. You think they're right?!"
Black Lorren: "Aye."
Theon Greyjoy: "We die today, brothers. We die bleeding from a hundred wounds, with arrows in our necks and spears in our guts...but our war cries will echo through eternity! They will sing about the Battle of Winterfell until the Iron Islands have slipped beneath the waves! Every man, woman and child will know who we were and how long we stood! Aggar and Gelmar, Wex and Urzen, Stygg and Black Lorren! Ironborn warriors will cry out our names as they leap onto the shores of Seagard and Faircastle."
— Theon rallies his men for a fight to the death.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "I could never be a Stark. But ironborn, that's what I was born to be. I paid the iron price for Winterfell. I murdered those boys."
Ramsay Snow: "The Stark boys?"
Theon Greyjoy: "Never found them. Just some poor orphans living with a farmer. I let Dagmer slit their throats and I let him burn the bodies... so I could keep Winterfell... and make my father proud."
Ramsay Snow: "Maybe it's not too late."
Theon Greyjoy: "It is. My real father lost his head in King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong."
— Theon to Ramsay Snow.[src]
Ramsay Snow: "WHAT IS YOUR NAME!?"
Theon Greyjoy: "Reek.....my name.....is Reek."
— Ramsay to Theon[src]
"I'm Reek.......always......forever."
―Theon affirms his new name.[src]
"You shouldn't be here."
―Theon to Sansa Stark.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Sansa of the House Stark comes here to be wed. A woman grown, trueborn and noble. She comes to beg the blessings of the Gods. Who comes to claim her?"
Ramsay Bolton: "Ramsay of House Bolton, heir to the Dreadfort and Winterfell. Who gives her?"
Theon Greyjoy: "Theon of House Greyjoy who was...who was her father's ward."
— Theon briefly resumes his original identity.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Do what he says! Do what he says or he'll hurt you!"
Sansa Stark: "He already hurts me every night! All day I'm locked in this room and every night he comes! It can't be any worse!"
Theon Greyjoy: "It can. It can always be worse."
— Theon and Sansa talk about Ramsay.[src]
"I was helping you. You wanted to escape. There is no escape. Not ever. Theon Greyjoy tried to escape. The master knew. He knows everything. He hunted him. He caught him, strapped him to a cross, cut away piece after piece until there was no Theon left."
―Theon tells Sansa there is no escaping Ramsay.[src]
"I deserved everything. I deserve to be Reek. I did terrible things. Turned on Robb...captured Winterfell...killed those boys."
―Theon admits he deserved being tortured by Ramsay.[src]
Sansa Stark: "Tell me why Bran and Rickon should be gone while you still breath the air! [Grabs Theon by the face and shakes his head.] Tell me to my face, Theon! Tell me they weren't your brothers!"
Theon Greyjoy/Reek: "They weren't Bran and Rickon! I couldn't find them......it was two farm boys....I killed them and burned them so no one would know."
— Sansa forces Theon to confess that he did not in fact kill her brothers.[src]
Sansa Stark: "You didn't? [Theon shakes his head.] Do you know where they went? Bran and Rickon?"
Theon/Reek: "I can't talk to you anymore."
Sansa Stark: "Theon, you have to tell me. Do you have any idea where..."
Theon/Reek: "Not Theon! Reek!"
— Theon regresses to being Reek.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "We have to cross here."
Sansa Stark: "(Briefly steps into the cold water but immediately gets her foot out) I can't!"
Theon Greyjoy: "It's the only way to throw off the hounds!"
Sansa Stark: "It's too cold, I can't. I won't make it, I'll die."
Theon Greyjoy: "I've seen what his hounds do to a person! This way is better!"
— Theon and Sansa while running from Winterfell.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "He's here. I'll lure him away."
Sansa Stark: "No! I won't leave without you!"
Theon Greyjoy: "Yes, you will. Go North, only North. Jon is Lord Commander at Castle Black. He'll help you."
— Theon protects Sansa.[src]
Theon Greyjoy: "Jon will have me killed the moment I step through the gate."
Sansa Stark: "I won't let him. I'll tell him the truth about Bran and Rickon."
Theon Greyjoy: "And the truth about the farm boys I killed in their place? And the truth about Ser Rodrik, who I beheaded? And the truth about Robb, who I betrayed?"
Sansa Stark: "When you take the black, all your crimes are forgiven."
Theon Greyjoy: "I don't want to be forgiven. I can never make amends to your family for the things I've done."
— Theon on his crimes.[src]
"I would have taken you all the way to the Wall. I would have died to get you there."
―Theon parts ways with Sansa.[src]
Euron Greyjoy: "I did. I killed him. Threw him right over rope bridge and watched him fall. He was leading us nowhere, and we would still be heading there if it weren't for me. No one loved him. No one wanted to follow him. He led us into two wars we couldn't win. I apologize to you all for not killing him years ago."
Theon Greyjoy: "That would have been hard to do: you weren't here. Last I heard, you were gallivanting around the world, having a grand old time."
Euron Greyjoy: "Gallivanting! That the sort of thing you start to say when your dick gets chopped off? Did the great lords of Westeros teach you words like that?"
Theon Greyjoy: "You were gone! Yara was here, being Ironborn, leading Ironborn, getting ready to bring us back to glory!"
— Theon stands up to his uncle Euron.[src]

Spoken about Theon

Jaime Lannister: "I saw the youngest of the Greyjoy lads at Winterfell. It was like seeing a shark on a mountaintop."
Jory Cassel: "Theon? He's a good lad."
Jaime Lannister: "I doubt it."
— Jaime Lannister and Jory Cassel about Theon.[src]
Roose Bolton: "Theon holds the castle with a skeleton crew. Let me send word to my bastard at the Dreadfort. He can raise a few hundred men and retake Winterfell before the new moon. We have the Lannisters on the run. If you march all the way back north now, you'll lose what you gained. My boy would be honored to bring you Prince Theon's head."
Robb Stark: "Tell your son Bran and Rickon's safety is paramount. And Theon, I want him brought to me alive. I want to look him in the eye and ask him why. And then I'll take his head myself."
— Roose Bolton and Robb Stark discuss Theon.[src]
Black Lorren: "Thought he'd never shut up."
Dagmer Cleftjaw: "It was a good speech. Didn't want to interrupt."
— Theon is betrayed by his fellow Ironborn.[src]
"You don't look like a Theon Greyjoy anymore. That's a name for a lord, but you're not a lord, are you? You're just... meat; stinking meat. You reek! Reek! That's a good name for you."
―Ramsay to Theon[src]
Yara Greyjoy: "He's your son!"
Balon Greyjoy: "Son? (Points at the box containing Theon's penis) He's not a man anymore."
Yara Greyjoy: "He's your son. He's my brother. He's a Greyjoy"
Balon Greyjoy: "Watch yourself. I've made my decision."
Yara Greyjoy: "And I've made mine. I'm going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet. I'm going to choose the fifty best killers on the Iron Islands. I'm going to sail up the Narrow Sea all the way to the Weeping Water. I'm going to march on the Dreadfort. I'm going to find my little brother, and I'm going to bring him home"
Yara Greyjoy and Balon Greyjoy[src]
Roose Bolton: "Where is your prize?"
Ramsay Snow: "With the hounds."
— Ramsay tells his father where Theon is kept.[src]
Roose Bolton: "What did you do to him?"
Ramsay Snow: "I trained him. He was a slow learner, but he learned."
Roose Bolton: "You flayed him."
Ramsay Snow: "Peeled a few bits. Removed a few others."
— Ramsay introduces Theon, now Reek, to his father.[src]
Roose Bolton: "I had to smuggle myself into my own lands thanks to the Greyjoys. I needed Theon. I needed him whole."
Ramsay Snow: "Theon was our enemy. But Reek? Reek will never betray us."
— Ramsay tells his father just how deeply he broke Theon.[src]
"If it weren't for you, I'd still have a family. If I could do to you what Ramsay did right here, right now, I would."
―Sansa reprimands Theon for everything he has done.[src]
"Reek! Please....STOP!!"
Myranda's final words as Theon throws her to her death to save Sansa.[src]
"Niece...Nephew...little Theon. Heard you managed to fuck things right into the ground. Captured a castle you couldn't keep. Got yourself taken prisoner. Even heard you have no cock. Explains why you think a woman can be king."
Euron Greyjoy, antagonizing Theon and Yara[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Theon was a young boy when his father's rebellion was crushed and his two brothers were killed. He has been raised at Winterfell for the nine years since and has become close friends with Robb Stark. He is cordial to the rest of the family, but more distant, and he has a bitter rivalry with Jon Snow (Theon resents Jon due to Jon's bastard status but higher regard from Ned than him, and Jon remains jealous of Theon for his higher birth), unlike in the show where Theon appears to be friends with both Robb and Jon. Theon is known for his arrogance, as he is the heir to House Greyjoy, one of the Great Houses of Westeros, despite not having seen home in a long time. He is said to smirk a lot, as if everything in the world amuses him.

At one point Theon notices a statue of a past Stark king from centuries ago in the crypts of Winterfell named Theon Stark, and remarks that he was his namesake - though it isn't clear if this was specifically true or if he was just speaking generally ("Theon" is not an uncommon name in history).

Theon's initial raid at Stony Shore is the start of the overall ironborn invasion. The outcome is luridly described: bodies have been looted and mutilated. Of the fishing village, nothing remained but cold ashes that stank when it rained. The men had been put to the sword, all but a handful that Theon had allowed to flee to bring the word to Torrhen's Square. Their wives and daughters had been claimed for salt wives, those who were young enough and fair. The crones and the ugly ones had simply been raped and killed, or taken for thralls if they had useful skills and did not seem likely to cause trouble. After this victory, Theon proceeds to capture Winterfell.

When Theon took Winterfell, he freed a prisoner named Reek - actually Ramsay Snow in disguise. Theon accepted Ramsay at his service, unaware of his true identity. It was Ramsay, not Dagmer, who advised Theon to kill two unnamed miller's sons as a cover-up for the escape of the Stark boys. After Asha left Winterfell, Ramsay suggested to bring reinforcements, and Theon reluctantly agreed, though he did not fully trust him. While Ser Rodrik besieged Winterfell, Ramsay returned with 600 Bolton men - they were welcomed by the other Northerners, but promptly turned on their allies. What followed was not a true battle but a massacre as Rodrik and his army were killed in their own camp. Having broken the siege, Ramsay rode into Winterfell - only then did he reveal his true identity to Theon. Without provocation Ramsay punched Theon with a mailed fist so hard that it broke his jaw, then ordered his men to kill the remaining ironborn, as well as the Stark servants and commoners of the castle, and to burn everything. As he faded out of consciousness, Theon watched helplessly as the Dreadfort soldiers killed Black Lorren and Maester Luwin. The last thing he saw was his horse Smiler, screaming and rearing, his mane caught in fire.

Due to his actions, mainly the alleged killing of Bran and Rickon, Theon earned the hatred of the people of the North, and put himself to shame and disgrace in the eyes of the ironborn. Ever since he is referred to as Theon Turncloak.

Theon does not appear at all in the third and fourth novels, only mentioned briefly. His fate is kept in dark till the fifth novel. In A Storm of Swords, Roose Bolton tells Robb and Catelyn that Theon is held prisoner at the Dreadfort, and is being tortured by Ramsay. Roose shows them a piece of skin, claiming it is from the little finger of Theon's left hand, which Ramsay enclosed to the letter Roose received from him. Robb says sharply that he wants Theon's head, not his skin. Roose suggests to keep Theon alive till the North is liberated from the ironborn in order to demand concessions from them, and Robb reluctantly agrees. Since Roose turns to be a traitor and most of his report is revealed to be false, it is unclear to the readers if he lied about Theon too.

In A Feast for Crows, Theon is mentioned several times. Most of the ironborn, including his sister Asha (called Yara in the TV series) presume he is dead, but are uncertain since his body was never found. Ramsay never sends a taunting letter to Balon in the books, so no one knows if he is even alive, or if he is, where he is being held. Ramsay does send a warning message to Asha, to which he encloses piece of Theon's skin (not any body part) without specifying Theon's status, but it happens much later. Neither Asha nor anyone else ever intend to try to rescue him. Asha herself actually did return to Winterfell with a few soldiers after the Bolton army withdrew, in the hope that Theon may have survived by hiding, but all they found were badly mutilated bodies, which convinced Asha that Theon was probably dead. Even if she knew that he was alive, and specifically at the Dreadfort, the Boltons' castle is so strong (and located on the other side of the entire continent) that it was actually logistically impossible to mount an assault upon it with a few longships.

Ramsay's torture of Theon serves no real logical purpose, and he is only doing it out of pure sadism. He basically just picked Theon at random - indeed, part of Ramsay's sadistic glee in torturing people is outright gloating that it isn't happening for any reason whatsoever. The only possible reason to keep Theon alive instead of simply killing him, but not inform the ironborn that he was held captive, might have been to throw the ironborn into internal conflict over who exactly Balon's heir was (as both Asha and Theon's uncles felt they were actually Balon's heirs, due to the unusual succession laws in the Iron Islands). It wasn't even clear to readers if Theon was alive or dead by the end of the third novel, released in 2000, and he wasn't revealed to be alive again until the fifth novel, released in 2011 - thus a large portion of readers spent eleven years assuming that he was simply dead.

In A Dance with Dragons, it is finally revealed Theon is alive and has been imprisoned in the Dreadfort since the Sack of Winterfell. Theon's torture by Ramsay is only revealed in flashbacks throughout the fifth novel, but the TV series chose to present these events in the chronological order that they happened. Had they done it in the order that the books did, Theon would have disappeared after the Season 2 finale, and only reappeared again in the Season 5 premiere. The books don't directly state that Ramsay castrated Theon, though it was vaguely implied that he had. In the book, Theon's story is identical to the fifth season, with the only differences being that he aids Jeyne Poole (disguised as Arya Stark) in escaping from Winterfell (instead of Sansa) and is aided by a disguised Mance Rayder, who infiltrates Winterfell to help rescue Jeyne. During the escape, Jeyne screams and accidentally gives away their position. Mance stays behind to buy them time, and Theon and Jeyne jump off the castle walls. They survive the fall and manage to reach the approaching army of Stannis Baratheon, and Theon is re-united with his sister Asha. For the first time in years, he introduces himself as Theon Greyjoy rather than Reek. In a sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, Theon has been taken prisoner by Stannis, who questions him about the Boltons' strength and numbers. Theon provides as much information as he can, and warns Stannis not to underestimate Ramsay. Stannis also plans to execute Theon eventually, in order to placate the remaining Northern lords who are furious at Theon for allegedly murdering Bran and Rickon, hoping to win him their allegiance in return. Theon reacts indifferently, actually hoping that Stannis will kill him and end his suffering, and partially out of guilt for betraying Robb (to the point that in A Dance with Dragons, Theon's inner thoughts reveal that he believes he should have been at the Red Wedding, where he would have died valiantly at Robb's side and not ended up living as Ramsay's broken slave).

Even if Ramsay emasculated Theon in the books, this doesn't necessarily mean that he cannot "further the Greyjoy line". Unlike the honorable Robb Stark or Jon Snow, Theon greatly enjoyed having sex with prostitutes (as also seen in the TV continuity when he has sex with Ros); Theon has at times mockingly remarked that he may have bastard children that he doesn't know about. He also had sex with the Captain's daughter in the books (who outright wanted him to take her as his salt wife), and specifically joked to her that if she became pregnant, it would be an honor to have a future king's bastard. So far in the books, however, there has been no mention of Theon fathering any known bastards.

In the novels, "Reek" was actually the name of Ramsay Snow's servant. His real name might have been "Heke", but he was called "Reek" because he stank like rotting fish, apparently from some kind of medical condition, as the smell lingered no matter how much he bathed. When Ser Rodrik attempted to arrest Ramsay, he quickly switched clothes with his servant, so Rodrik ended up killing the servant while Ramsay passed himself off as Reek, and went back with them to Winterfell just before Theon's ironborn captured it. Ramsay later mockingly tortured Theon physically and psychologically until he was brainwashed into thinking he actually was Reek, and denying he was ever Theon. Or rather, Theon constantly reminds himself in his inner POV that "I am Reek", because when he showed any hint during his torture that he still considered himself "Theon" Ramsay would flay him again (Ramsay didn't just want him to say the words "I am Reek", but wanted him to even stop consciously thinking of himself as "Theon Greyjoy"). This subplot was cut from the TV series for screentime, and instead has Ramsay simply come up with the name "Reek" on a whim to demean and dehumanize Theon, noting that he stinks from being in the dungeons for so long, but Theon comes to insist that his name is Reek partly out of regret for the atrocities he committed against the Starks as Theon Greyjoy.

In A Dance with Dragons, Theon's reunion with his sister Asha occurs under different circumstances. Instead of returning to the Iron Islands, Theon and the "false Arya Stark" (actually Jeyne Poole) are brought to King Stannis Baratheon's camp. Asha has been taken captive by King Stannis following the retaking of Deepwood Motte. By that stage, the Kingsmoot has already occurred and Euron is already leading the Ironborn invasion of the Reach. In a reversal of their encounter in the books, Asha does not recognize her brother, who has been battered and disfigured by Ramsay Bolton. In the Winds of Winter, King Stannis places Theon in chains and intends to have him executed for the alleged murders of Bran and Rickon in order to secure the support of the Northern lords. Asha pleads with Stannis to spare her brother's life. When that fails, she petitions Stannis to spare him an agonising death through fire by beheading him instead.

See also

References

v  d  e
Lord: King Euron Heir:
House-Greyjoy-Main-Shield
Seat: Pyke, Pyke Lands: The Iron Islands
Title(s): King of the Iron Islands · Lord Reaper of Pyke · King of Salt and Rock · Son of the Sea Wind · Lord of the Iron Islands
Ancestors:The Grey King · Vickon Greyjoy
Current members:Aeron Greyjoy · Alannys Greyjoy · Euron Greyjoy · Theon Greyjoy · Victarion Greyjoy · Yara Greyjoy
Deceased members:Balon Greyjoy · Rodrik Greyjoy · Maron Greyjoy
Household:{Dagmer} · {Lorren} · {Drennan} · {Gelmarr} · {Stygg} · {Aggar} · {Wex} · {Urzen}
v  d  e
Lord: Lord Ramsay Bolton Heir: House-Bolton-Main-Shield
Seat: Winterfell
The Dreadfort
Lands: The North
Title(s): Red King (former) · Lord of the Dreadfort · Warden of the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell
Ancestors:Rogar Bolton
Current members:Sansa Stark
Deceased members:Domeric Bolton · Roose Bolton · Walda Bolton
Household:{Locke} · Steelshanks · {Myranda} · {Tansy} · {Violet} · {Master Torturer} · Maester Wolkan
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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