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Yara Greyjoy

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Yara Greyjoy
Season(s) 2, 3, 4, 6
First seen "The Night Lands"
Appeared in 6 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
"Walk of Punishment"
Titles Princess
Status Alive
Origin Pyke
Allegiance House Greyjoy
Culture Ironborn
Religion Drowned God
Family Balon Greyjoy - father
Alannys Greyjoy - mother
{Rodrik Greyjoy} - brother
{Maron Greyjoy} - brother
Theon Greyjoy - brother
Euron Greyjoy - uncle
Victarion Greyjoy - uncle
Aeron Greyjoy - uncle
Portrayed by Gemma Whelan
"They skinned our countrymen and they mutilated my brother, your prince. YOUR PRINCE! Everything they've done to him, they've also done to you! As long as they can hurt our prince with impunity, the word "ironborn" means nothing!"
―Yara Greyjoy[src]

Princess Yara Greyjoy is a recurring character in the second, third, fourth and sixth seasons. She is played by guest star Gemma Whelan and debuts in "The Night Lands." Yara is an ironborn, Theon Greyjoy's older sister and his only surviving sibling. She was raised at Pyke, the stronghold of House Greyjoy. Yara is a fierce warrior and commands her own longship.



Yara is the only daughter of Lord Balon and his wife, Lady Alannys of House Harlaw. Balon is the head of House Greyjoy and the 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 rules the region from their seat at Pyke and Balon also holds the title Lord Reaper of Pyke.

Yara was born and raised at Pyke. She was Balon and Alannys's third child after Rodrik and Maron. She also has a younger brother, Theon. Eight years before the start of the series, Balon rose in rebellion against the Iron Throne and was defeated in a bloody war. Balon's older two sons were killed and Theon was taken by Lord Eddard Stark as a hostage for Balon's good behavior and obedience.[1] With Yara as Balon's only remaining child in the Iron Islands, he raised her as a surrogate son, encouraging her to become a reaver in her own right, which is unusual for women in the misogynistic culture of the ironborn. She is a fierce warrior and commands her own longship, to the disquiet of some of the ironborn who hold that women should not fight or command men in battle.[2]

Season 2Edit


Yara and Theon riding at Pyke.

Theon has returned to Pyke as an envoy from King Robb Stark. Yara rides out to greet him, posing as a commoner to get the measure of her brother. She offers him a lift on her horse up to the castle Pyke. He does not recognize her and is relentless in his attempts to seduce her. He presents Robb's suggested alliance to their father, Balon Greyjoy. Balon roundly rejects the terms, insisting that he is ironborn and will seize his crown. He compares Theon unfavorably to Yara, revealing her identity. He says that Yara will lead his assault.[3] Balon details a plan to attack the poorly defended north while Robb is distracted by his war with House Lannister. Yara is assigned thirty ships to seize Deepwood Motte, the stronghold of House Glover, while Theon is given a single ship to raid fishing villages along the Stony Shore. Theon is baptized by a Drowned Priest on the shores of Pyke in a show of loyalty to his blood relatives. Balon and Yara watch as he proclaims his faith in the Drowned God.[4]

Yara arrives

Yara arrives at Winterfell

Yara assembles her ships at Red Harbor. She rides to Lordsport to reach her fleet and encounters Theon struggling to command his unruly crew. She seizes the opportunity to mock him again. Her men would wait a year for her if need be, but Theon's crew is not loyal to him.[5] Yara's force takes Deepwood Motte as planned, but Theon ignores his orders and captures Winterfell instead by luring the garrison out to defend Torrhen's Square. He writes to Yara to request reinforcements to hold the castle. He announces to the assembled people of Winterfell that she will be sending him 500 men.[6]

She learns that he has executed Bran Stark and Rickon Stark (who were actually two orphans from the farm) for attempting to escape captivity. She rides to Winterfell with twenty men and tries to convince Theon to return home with her to avoid retribution from Robb Stark, but fails.[7]

Season 3Edit

Yara Season 3 Trailer

Yara Greyjoy assembles her strike force to rescue Theon.

Following the events of the Red Wedding and Roose Bolton's ascent to Warden of the North, Ramsay Snow sends a letter and a box containing Theon's genitals to Pyke. In the letter, Ramsay demands that Yara's father order all ironborn to leave the North by the first night of the full moon under threat of flaying all of them alive and further torture and mutilation to Theon. Balon refuses to yield the lands and castles taken by the ironborn and dismisses Theon for having disobeyed him and for no longer "being a man" and unable to continue the Greyjoy line with children of his own. Yara, however decides to take the fastest ship of the Iron Fleet along with the 50 best killers of the Isles, sail up the Narrow Sea and into the Weeping Water, with the intention of marching against the Dreadfort to rescue her brother and bring him home.[8]

Season 4Edit

Yara in the dreadfort

Yara enters the Dreadfort.

Yara carries out her intentions of sailing to rescue Theon. She utilizes longboats and canoes to get upriver and approach the Dreadfort, and she and the ironborn soldiers use grappling hooks to scale the walls and find out where Theon is being held. However, when they enter the kennels where he is sleeping, Theon claims he is Reek and refuses to go. Ramsay enters with some guards, and in the ensuing fight most of both sides are killed. Ramsay moves to release his hounds, questioning Yara "How fast can you run?", and the Ironborn are forced to retreat without Theon. Once back to the boats, Yara claims her brother is dead.[9]


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

Image galleryEdit

Family treeEdit

Balon Tree
Balon Greyjoy
Alannys Greyjoy
née Harlaw
Euron Greyjoy
Victarion Greyjoy
Aeron Greyjoy
Rodrik tree
Rodrik Greyjoy
Maron Greyjoy
Yara Greyjoy
Theon Tree
Theon Greyjoy


Spoken by Yara
"You were a terrible baby, do you know that? Bawling all the time, never sleeping. And one night you just wouldn't shut up, screaming like a dying pig. I walked over to your crib, I looked down at you. I wanted to strangle you. And you looked up at me and you stopped screaming. You smiled at me. Don't die so far from the sea."
Yara Greyjoy to her brother Theon Greyjoy.[src]
"I'm going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet. I'm going to choose the 50 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 vows to save her brother from Ramsay Snow.[src]
"My brother is dead."
Yara realizes that Ramsay has all but destroyed Theon.[src]
Spoken about Yara
"She's commanded men. She's killed men. She knows who she is."
Balon Greyjoy expresses his delight with Yara.[src]
"You've got bigger balls than he ever did. But with those... big balls of fast can you run?!"
Ramsay to Yara[src]

Behind the scenes Edit

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels Yara is called Asha Greyjoy, but her name was changed in the TV series; possibly to prevent confusion with Osha the wildling. Ironically, as the daughter of a Great House and one of Balon Greyjoy's only two surviving children, Asha Greyjoy is actually a much more prominent character than Osha the wildling; Asha Greyjoy is even a POV character in several chapters. Thus it is curious why they changed Asha's name and not the other way around. It is probably because Osha was already introduced in Season 1 and the similarity with Asha Greyjoy's name wasn't realized until production on Season 2 began.

In the German dub of the TV series, however, the character is still called "Asha" as in the books.

Another small change is that in the books, "Asha Greyjoy" has short black hair, a lean build, and a sharp beak of a nose. In the TV series, "Yara Greyjoy" has blonde hair. Other than these minor naming and cosmetic differences, Gemma Whelan's portrayal is actually quite faithful to Asha Greyjoy's behavior and actions in the books.

Balon is greatly proud of his wild headstrong daughter, and believes she can succeed him, although it is doubtful the other ironborn would accept her as their queen. He wishes Theon dead so he would not stand in Asha's way, though this resentment has been cut from the television series, where Balon appears to be genuinely saddened after "losing" Theon to the Starks.

Asha's uncles Victarion, Aeron, and Rodrik "the Reader" Harlaw respect her and acknowledge her power, but do not believe she can rule the ironborn due to her gender. Other ironborn often mock Asha ribaldy. However, Asha is confident and strong-willed enough to dismiss such attitude scornfully, and she always talks back sharply and make fun of those who taunt her.

Asha's crew adore her devotedly. Half of them love her as their daughter, the other half want to have sex with her, and all of them would die for her.

Asha becomes a POV narrator starting in the fourth novel, A Feast for Crows.

See alsoEdit


v  d  e
Lord: King Balon Greyjoy Heir: Princess Yara Greyjoy/Prince Theon Greyjoy (disputed)
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 · Queen Alannys Greyjoy · Euron Greyjoy · Victarion Greyjoy
Deceased members:Rodrik Greyjoy · Maron Greyjoy
Household:{Dagmer} · {Lorren} · {Drennan} · {Gelmarr} · {Stygg} · {Aggar} · {Wex} · {Urzen}

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