- "She's commanded men. She's killed men. And she knows who she is."
- ―Balon Greyjoy
Princess Yara Greyjoy is a recurring character in the second season. She is played by guest star Gemma Whelan and debuts in "The Night Lands." Yara Greyjoy is an ironborn, Theon Greyjoy's older sister and his only surviving sibling. Yara was raised at the House Greyjoy stronghold of Pyke. She 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' 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. 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.
- Main: Yara Greyjoy Season 2
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 attempting 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. 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 while Theon is given a single ship to raid 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.
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. Yara's force takes Deepwood Motte as planned. Theon ignores his orders and captures Winterfell 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. 
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 but fails.
|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|
|Balon Greyjoy||Alannys Greyjoy|
|Euron Greyjoy||Victarion Greyjoy||Aeron Greyjoy|
Behind the scenes
On an interview with Thronecast, Gemma Whelan specified that "Yara" is pronounced "yah-ruh", not "yeah-ruh".
In the books
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.
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.
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Greyjoy - Balon Greyjoy entry
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Greyjoy - Yara Greyjoy entry
- ↑ "The Night Lands"
- ↑ "What is Dead May Never Die"
- ↑ "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ Gemma Whelan Thronecast Interview
- ↑ WinterIsComing.net, "Asha Renamed and Cast?", July 7th, 2011.
|Lord:||Balon Greyjoy||Heir:||Theon Greyjoy · Yara 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:||Alannys Greyjoy · Euron Greyjoy · Victarion Greyjoy · Aeron Greyjoy|
|Deceased members:||Rodrik Greyjoy · Maron Greyjoy|
|Household:||Dagmer · Lorren · Drennan · Gelmarr · Stygg · Aggar · Wex · Urzen|