Characters / Game of Thrones - House Greyjoy

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House Greyjoy
"We do not sow."

"We are ironborn. We're not subjects, we're not slaves. We do not plow the field or toil in the mine. We take what is ours."
Balon Greyjoy

The Great House of the Iron Islands, a poor, unforgiving archipelago to the west of the continent of Westeros. Iron Islanders (or ironborn) periodically raided the Seven Kingdoms for resources until the Targaryen invasion put an end to it, something that they didn't take well. The ironborn have contempt for the continental lifestyle and their rule (which they call "southern oppression") and have risen in rebellion several times throughout their history.

    In General 
  • Adapted Out: In the show, the Iron Fleet hasn't seen action since Stannis destroyed it at Fair Isle. Both Yara and Euron cite rebuilding the Fleet as one of their policy goals. In the novels, Balon had been rebuilding the Fleet well before Theon's return and the Fleet is back to full strength. Apparently, the TV series has been playing this a little loose, as at other points Tyrion says that Yara and Theon brought "the Iron Fleet" to Meereen, etc., but then says they only brought part of it. In the books, strictly speaking the Iron Fleet is the "national" fleet of the Iron Islands sworn directly to their ruler, but each vassal has their own fleets — the TV show just calls any ships from the Iron Islands part of "the Iron Fleet". Either way, it seems that Yara and Euron in the TV version were talking about expanding the Iron Fleet to have even more ships in it.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: The Greyjoys are considered handsome and attractive in the books. Here they are all much more plain-looking - even Yara and Euron, who aren't exactly unpleasant on the eyes here, don't stack up to their original counterparts. Euron even says that his family are unattractive people.
  • Animal Motifs: Their sigil is the Kraken. The Greyjoys think its intimidating and even Olenna thinks it's an impressive sigil. Ramsay Snow however, notes that it's a bit less impressive than they would wish to believe.
    Ramsay Snow: Kraken. Mmm. Strong — as long as they're in the sea. When you take them out of the water... No bones. They collapse under their proud weight and slump into a heap of nothing. You'd think they'd know that. Unfortunately, they're not very bright.
  • Badass Boast: Their motto "We do not sow" — they are not content to live menial lives as laborers or slaves, they are conquerors and they will take what is theirs with iron and strength. "What is dead may never die!" is also often used as such.
  • Badass Longcoat: The clothing worn by Balon, Yara, and some of their men are heavily reminiscent of this, making them look less like Vikings and more like pirates. The costume department put a lot of thought into this (Michele Clapton said the Ironborn were probably her favorite region she designed for), rationalizing that the Ironborn spend most of their time on cold wind-swept ship decks at sea, so they need to wear heavy long coats water-sealed with wax and fish oil to protect against the bone-freezing winds (they are not operating in warm Caribbean waters).
  • Badass Creed: "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger."
  • Blue and Orange Morality: They consider raiding and pillaging to be outright pious acts in their religion.
  • Born Under the Sail: Their entire shtick is that they're the best sailors (and in particular, raiders) of the entire Westerosi continent, and perhaps of the entire world.
  • Butt-Monkey: Everyone hates them, and they're always making incredibly poor decisions that lead to them getting their asses kicked in one way or another. From the books... 
  • Catch-Phrase: "Pay the iron price" has been said more times than their actual motto, "We do not sow".
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: In-universe they have this reputation due to attempts to rebel whenever they think the have the slightest chance of winning (and even when they really don't).
  • Crippling Overspecialization: As long as they are at sea, they're formidable. On terrain combat, their individual competence varies, but they're largely ineffective due to a lack of numbers and poor discipline.
  • Cool Boat: The Greyjoys are known for their badass fleet in addition to their prowess in maritime combat.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: Although the show made it even more obvious than in the books that the power will stay in the hand of the Feudal Overlord family (one of the perk of being an overlord, power and influence are hard to lose) as no one propose themselves once Theon backed up Yara's claim but another Greyjoy. And of course the fact that the common people of the Iron Islands, and the thralls and salt wives, don't get a vote.
    • In the books they make it more explicit that any ship captain can put themselves forward as a candidate — it's just that the main families like the Greyjoys tend to be the most famous and successful, so they usually win. In turn, this means they will probably continue to have opportunities to be successful, so power does tend to be concentrated in a few families (they only tend to get voted out of power if they really screw up). In the book version three other minor fringe candidates try to run against Yara and Euron but they don't even make it through the first round of voting and quickly give up.
    • Democracy is Flawed also applies in the sense that the ship captains voting at the Kingsmoot tend to be easily swayed by grandstanding and empty promises — in the books, it was considered unusual that a few of the smarter lords actually support Yara, based on her appeal to reason and logic ("What the hell do you think will happen if we keep harassing the mainlanders?")
  • Demoted to Extra: A significant portion of their subplots and screen-time were removed from the first four seasons. Namely, Aeron and Victarion Greyjoy are entirely absent. Season 6 brings them back into the limelight with the introduction of Euron and later Aeron.
  • Determinator: Invoked by their aforementioned Badass Creed. They keep on warring despite failed campaigns in continental Westeros during The War of The Five Kings. Their appetite for war does not become lessened with a new leadership, because their home territories and most of their military are completely intact.
  • Dysfunctional Family: They pretty much all hate each other, and if Balon despised Theon before he was castrated, as of the Season 3 finale, he wouldn't piss on Theon if his heart were on fire. That said, Balon is fond of Yara, and Yara is surprisingly protective of Theon.
    • Turning into an Enemy Civil War after the Kingsmoot in mid-Season 6. Euron is crowned king and promptly orders the deaths of his niece and nephew who stood against him in the election, but they flee with a sizable portion of the fleet which is still loyal to them. In the books... 
    • Subverted in so much as at least Yara and Theon give a shit about each other, despite starting out on antagonistic terms, and they eventually manage to mend their relationship.
  • Elective Monarchy: They're the only one of the Seven Kingdoms that, back when they were independent, chose their own rulers through a form of limited democracy. All of the lords and ship captains gather together at an assembly known as a "Kingsmoot", where anyone can present themself as a candidate, not just the previous king's family. Candidates give stump speeches, and whoever wins over the crowd to get the most votes becomes the new king. They revive this after declaring independence again during the War of the Five Kings (though according to the "Histories and Lore" extras of Season 6, in the intervening period when their ruler was just a "Lord Paramount" under the Targaryens and Baratheons, the Kingsmoot still existed but only as a formality, always "choosing" the eldest Greyjoy heir). The only other group in Westeros that has formal elections like this is the Night's Watch. The Watch has even more formal elections, in which literally every member gets to cast a vote — though that isn't really a fair comparison, given that while the Watch does control territory and castles they're not really a "kingdom" but a monastic knightly order.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Since Aegon's conquest they've had to eke out a living on the small and inhospitable islands, supplemented by raiding. They are, without doubt, the poorest of the Lords Paramount. From the books... 
  • Informed Ability:
    • The Greyjoys and the Iron Islanders are supposed to be feared badass vikings who once humiliated Tywin Lannister by torching his fleet at Lannisport. But aside from isolated stealth raids and easy targets against small garrisons, we hardly see any display of their vaunted ferocity and battle prowess. Even Yara Greyjoy, despite her skill in battle and having conscripted the "best killers" in the Iron Islands to aid her quest to rescue Theon, is outfought by a grinning shirtless maniac and is promptly chased away by said maniac's pack of hounds. Weirdly, Theon is the only Greyjoy who has shown decent skill in battle (in particular being an expert archer and one of Robb's best soldiers) and yet he is the hated Butt-Monkey of the Iron Islands and the North.
    • This is explained in Seasons 6 and 7 with their successes in the first rebellion, such as burning the Lannister fleet at anchor, belonged to Euron rather than his older brother Balon. Euron is a cunning strategist in all the ways Balon is not, but then he was gone from the islands, and the ironborn lost their most dangerous commander.
  • Jerkass: Befitting of their piratical tradition, the Greyjoys are rough, callous, and ruthless as a general rule. That being said, Theon has the lion's share of his unpleasantness beaten, tortured, and abused out of him by a far worse person than he ever was, and Yara's honor and affection for her family cast her in a much better light than the rest of her house. Euron is the worst by far.
  • Meaningful Name: They're not a very happy bunch.
  • Modest Royalty: Ironborns aren't flashy about their status compared to other noble. Even when they become king the crown is simply a piece oif driftwood. That's because pirate is the emphasis in the term pirate king.
  • Pirate: A whole family of them.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: A deconstruction; they have the prowess, but their uncompromising pride carries poor strategic thinking, which makes this house the Iron Butt-Monkey of Westeros. Stannis Baratheon notes in the History and Lore videos that even the Greyjoy's naval superiority is let down by their lack of discipline which allowed him to destroy their proud Iron Fleet at Fair Isle during the Greyjoy Rebellion.
    Theon: Known for their skills in archery, navigation and lovemaking.
    Maester Luwin: And failed rebellions.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Their specialty.
  • Shout-Out: With their banner being a squid, their populace degenerate and violent, and their religion's motto being "What is dead may never die," the Greyjoys invoke many of the tertiary elements of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Stupid Evil: They tend to attack whenever they think they can gain anything from it, even if they can't actually hold onto it because they aren't very effective on land against trained soldiers. If you have other enemies to deal with this can actually makes them dangerous to be around because though they may be doomed to fail and are too short sighted to be initially reasoned with they could still end up taking you down with them in the process.
  • Thicker Than Water: Usually averted, but then zig-zagged. Among the Ironborn in general, they constantly fight civil wars against their own brothers to seize power...yet will also fight civil wars to avenge their own brother's death at the hands of someone else. In the older generation, there isn't much familial honor: Balon sees his own son Theon as a failure that was lost to the Starks anyway, while Balon's brother Euron is a psychopath who would gleefully kill any of his other family members. Balon is sort of proud of Yara, whom he raised as a surrogate son, but even she says that she "survived" her father and didn't exactly have a warm relationship with him (albeit Balon never disinherited her, the way he basically did to Theon). Balon's other brother Aeron is a priest and he doesn't like to pick political sides. A major part of Theon's storyarc which comes to a head in Season 2 is picking between Balon as his biological father, and staying loyal to his adoptive brother Robb Stark to avenge the death of his adopted father Ned. Theon picks Balon (blood thicker than water) — but then fails miserably, breaks down sobbing that he was given a choice and he chose wrong, and Ned was his real father. On the other hand, it turns out that Yara has a Big Sister Instinct for Theon, and he reciprocates this loyalty (she cares about him more than Balon ever did); in Season 6 they reunite and form a Brother-Sister Team, with Theon even voluntarily setting aside any claim to rule ahead of her and saying all he wants is to help her rule over the Iron Islands.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Neither Jaime nor Tyrion will forgive the Ironborn, and the Greyjoys, for their attack on Lannisport. Tyrion brings up seeing sailors drown in ships at anchor in his childhood to Theon when the latter gloats in Season 1 about how awesome that attack was, while Jaime apparently went berserk during the Siege of Pyke.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Prior to Season 6, the Greyjoys were largely seen as the Butt-Monkey of Westeros, even after declaring their independence. They only attacked castles which were easy to take because their home armies were away, not really having a long-term plan for holding them once the armies came back. Even Theon's surprising capture of Winterfell itself was short lived. All of this due to the fact that Balon was a bitter, vengeful old man unwilling to enter into political alliances with anyone else and with no large-scale sense of military grand strategy. Enter King Euron, who is none of these things: he's an insane but cunning pirate who is both deeply threatening and actually has a better long-term strategic goal of allying with House Targaryen to conquer all of Westeros, playing to the strengths of the Greyjoys by sticking to their naval experience while House Targaryen provides the competent land-based army. It remains to be seen if Euron's ambition will outweigh his ability, given his plan hinges on an alliance with Daenerys. Unfortunately for them, this falls through, so he has to stick with Cersei, and oh boy, does he prove himself as the best naval commander in all Westeros.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Their invasion of the North and Theon's raid of Winterfell not only disrupted the Stark supply lines in the War of the Five Kings, but demoralized Robb and helped convince Roose to betray him. If the Ironborns had stayed out of things, the war may have gone quite differently.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: Being pirates and all.

    King Balon Greyjoy
"No man gives me a crown. I pay the iron price. I will take my crown. That is who I am. That is who we have always been."
Played By: Patrick Malahide

"The ironborn will reave and pillage as it was in the old days all along the northern coast. We'll spread out dominion across the green lands securing the Neck and everything above. Every stronghold will fall to us one by one."

Lord Balon Greyjoy is Lord of the Iron Isles, and the Lord Reaper of Pyke — capital of the Isles. More than a decade ago, Lord Balon claimed the title of Iron King and rose in rebellion against King Robert. Robert, Eddard, and Jon Arryn put an end to it, destroying his army and killing his eldest sons. Ned Stark then took Balon's youngest surviving son Theon as a hostage to keep Balon loyal to the Iron Throne. Balon has been itching for revenge and another shot at independence ever since, and the great houses' distraction with the War of the Five Kings has given him the opportunity to crown himself Iron King once again. Instead of attacking the traditional Ironborn enemies (Tullys/Mallisters, Lannisters, and Tyrells), Balon unleashed his forces on the North, which was largely undefended due to Robb's campaign in the south.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Unlike in the books, Euron openly admits to murdering him at the kingsmoot. Nobody is especially bothered by this.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • To Theon. In "Mhysa", he refuses to save Theon from the Boltons because Theon disobeyed him by attacking Winterfell and because Theon is — according to Balon — "no longer a man."
    • Yara didn't have it much better. While he doesn't abuse her like he does Theon, he's still a Jerkass to her and only sees her as an heir he could replace if he needed to. Even then, Yara implies that Balon treated them like dirt more or less equally when they were children.
      Yara: We both loved our mother. We both... endured our father...
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • He isn't quite as nasty to Theon in the books: Balon still insults him and plans to disinherit him in favor of his daughter, but he actually compliments Theon's guts for standing up to him, saying "Well, at the least you are no craven", and Theon's mission to the Stony Shore is actually strategically valuable, giving him far more ships and soldiers and is treated as less of an embarrassingly unimportant task to get him out of the way. Furthermore he doesn't completely ignore Theon's return to Pyke and sends his uncle Aeron to greet him, and his refusal to negotiate and save Theon from Ramsay is entirely original to the show — Book!Balon never actually finds out if Theon survived the Bolton attack on Winterfell.
    • Him insulting Yara when she questions his plans results in a death threat, in the books Balon's only redeeming virtue was that he was a genuinely decent father to Asha/Yara. In the show, it's left ambiguous if Yara was going to truly be Balon's heir, but in the books he repeatedly made his intentions clear that he wanted her to inherit the Throne after his death and it was his brother Aeron who revived a custom no one had seen for three hundred years solely to stall her claim.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, he's revered for bringing back the Ironborn way despite his bad track record with the whole rebellion thing, to the point where most of the kingsmoot hopefuls are trying to ride his legacy. Here the Ironborn see him as a General Failure who did nothing for them.
  • Armour Piercing Question: The look on his face when Theon calls him out, throwing back his own declaration that as Greyjoys, "We take what is ours", right back in his face.
    Theon: 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?!
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Enough to throw Theon almost to the other side of the room. Somehow...
  • Asshole Victim: He's an Abusive Father and Sore Loser who recklessly led his people on a pointless rebellion twice. Euron, his murderer, even got elected as King of the Salt Throne by playing up his 0% Approval Rating.
  • Back for the Dead: Finally returns in Season 6 after a two season absence, only to get killed in the same episode.
  • Badass Longcoat: It makes him look like the pirate he is.
  • Badass Boast: See the quote above.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Balon is one of the Five Kings contending for the Iron Throne, but none of his fellow potential kings give him the same consideration as they do each other. They have good reason to consider him an irritation as opposed to a Worthy Opponent:
    • His warriors might be vicious, but they're raiders as opposed to conquerors and regularly insubordinate with little sense of loyalty.
    • The Iron Islands are largely isolated and Balon himself lurks alone in his keep taking no advice from anyone. The biggest threat the Greyjoys ever pose was the taking of Winterfell, which was entirely due to Theon and Dagmer going rogue as opposed to any direction from Balon. Even though he hasn't been incapacitated, nobody beyond the Boltons (who see the Greyjoys as a nuisance at best) consider him a danger, and why would they? He's an isolated old man who occasionally throws out his tentacles only to get them repeatedly lopped off.
    • On the other hand, he can technically be considered the winner of the War of Five Kings, being the only one of the titular five still alive by the end of Season 5. Naturally, not long after bringing this fact up himself in Season 6, he's effortlessly killed by his brother Euron, who wants Balon's position for himself.
  • Berserk Button: Bringing up how his last rebellion ended seems to be this for him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns in Season 6 after having been absent since the Season 3 finale. It turns out to be a case of Back for the Dead.
  • Butt-Monkey: A bit more formidable than the usual type. Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon utterly destroyed Balon's rebellion, and nobody seems to have considered the Ironmen to be much more than a nuisance ever since. Come Season 6, he's rather unceremoniously killed off by his own brother.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Abel to Euron's Cain...which says a lot about Euron.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Euron kicked his ass, but Balon managed to slash his face and give Euron a scar to remember him by.
  • Determinator: You can remind him about the massive failure that was his first rebellion, the deaths of the majority of his sons, his humiliation at the hands of Robert Baratheon, his multitudes of personal tragedy or how he can never hope to hold any land he may conquer as a result of his rebellion. Balon's gonna do it anyway.
  • Didn't Think This Through: His main flaw as a ruler. In the first Greyjoy Rebellion, he had assumed (not without cause) that Robert's rule over the Iron Throne was still not widely accepted and hoped to capitalize on the instability and secede from the seven kingdoms. However, his refusal to court allies and build alliances meant that the Greyjoys could never find support from the mainland and furthermore by attacking the Riverlands and burning Lord Tywin's ships at Lannisport, he made himself a threat to all of Westeros which allowed Robert to strengthen his regime by invading the Iron Islands. His second rebellion fares little better: Balon had no real strategy except for killing Starks and their bannerman, so when the War of Five Kings ends, the Ironborn prove unable to hold the castles they've taken. By Season 6, his invasion has failed completely and the Ironborn have gained nothing at all.
  • Disney Villain Death: Euron kills him by tossing him off a bridge.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Or, if you prefer, Dropped Him Off A Bridge. Balon is positioned early on as a potentially major player in the War of the Five Kings, only to sit out several seasons offscreen; then he returns for all of two scenes before being abruptly killed off by a character previously unknown to show watchers.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Balon is a real piece of work, but he's still repulsed by his brother Euron's unhinged behavior and casual blasphemy.
  • General Failure: The Ironborn are a naval power, but own little land and have few numbers, and they're raiders and pirates, not trained knights. The best thing to do (and what Robb offered) in the War of the Five Kings would be to declare for one of the other four, help them secure the seas, and in doing so get richly rewarded for the Ironborn's part in the victory. What does Balon opt for? Side with himself and try to invade the North. Due to the Ironborn's inferior numbers, inferior training for fighting on land, and difficulty in supplying and reinforcing their troops the further inland they go, this ends with spectacular failure. In Season 6, Yara calls him out on how all of his plans for the Ironborn have ended in ruin for them.
  • The Ghost: Like Stannis, he never appears in the first season, and is talked about by other characters. Patrick Malahide portrays him in Season 2.
  • Grumpy Old Man: You'd be hard pressed to find one scene of Balon that doesn't rub in your face what an angry, bitter, joyless, cantankerous sack of crap he is.
  • Hate Sink: He's bigoted, spiteful, uncharismatic, and indirectly responsible for turning Theon's life into a living hell. When faced with the latter, he doesn't give a shit because his son is no longer capable of bearing children, and his murder at the hands of the more vicious Euron doesn't really garner him much sympathy.
  • Honor Before Reason: Of a sort. Balon is so dedicated to his vision of the Iron Price that he spurns Robb Stark's alliance, Theon's allegiance, and trade in general, despite those things potentially granting him his old lands and full title, an heir, and the ability for his kingdom to prosper, respectively.
  • Hypocrite: Balon is quick to point out the flaws of others and is especially critical of Theon for not paying the 'iron price' and being raised by the Starks... when Balon himself is the man who gave Theon away after being utterly destroyed when he got too big for his watery boots. He also resents his losses and shames before Westeros, when by all rights his own belief in the Iron Price means everything was taken from him fair and square, and through nobody's fault but his own for not being stronger.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 2.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After Theon pointed out that everything and everyone Balon resents is Balon's own fault, Balon hesitates, clearly shaken by Theon's comments. He then roundly rejects them.
  • I Have No Son: He wrote Theon off the family tree when he was taken by the Starks and acts as if it was Theon's fault, rather than his own. In "Mysha", he disowns Theon again, when it's revealed he's been castrated by Ramsay Snow, thus making him unable to produce any heirs. He's even willing to simply let Theon rot in Ramsay's dungeon for all he cares.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Long after the War of Five Kings is over, Balon is still sending his men to try and conquer land on the North even though they repeatedly get repelled. When Yara points out how fruitless his endeavors has been, Balon shuts her down reasoning that since he is technically the last remaining King of the war, it's by his rights that the land should be his for the taking..
  • Irony: He disdains Theon for being weak and unmanly. Theon, who has been a senior commander in an Army which has regularly defeated regime forces, something he singularly failed to do himself. Moreover, Theon fought against and helped capture Jaime Lannister, widely regarded as the single most dangerous swordsman in the world, while Balon bent the knee to Robert. His accusations strike the audience as rather hollow. Unfortunately, Theon takes them to heart.
  • Jerkass: He impugns Theon's masculinity close to half a dozen times within the first five minutes, after not having seen him for over a decade. He also shows contempt for the idea of either buying or negotiating for things from people, believing that it is more desirable to murder them and then rob their corpses instead. This man is an asshole in Dennis Leary's sense of the word. In Season 3, it is revealed just how much of a scumbag he truly is when he abandons Theon to a life of unspeakable torture at the hands of Ramsay Snow after receiving Theon's castrated penis in the mail, and repeatedly insults him as an idiot who "isn't a man anymore" despite the fact that Theon sacrificed everything to make him proud and was only captured by Ramsay due to his attempt to bring honour to his family.
  • Karmic Death: Spent almost every second onscreen insulting and belittling his family members. He ends up getting killed by a family member.
  • Moral Myopia: He rebelled against Robert Baratheon because of his 'oppressive' rule. Which, in Balon's case, meant denying his 'right' to Rape, Pillage, and Burn the mainland with impunity. His declaration of independence and his attack on the Starks during the War of the Five Kings is rooted in the same vicious idiocy, and equally doomed to miserable failure.
  • Never My Fault: Balon seems to avoid mentioning the fact that he began a rebellion against Robert, was utterly defeated (resulting in the deaths of his sons), bent the knee and sold his only living heir as a hostage.
  • Orcus on His Throne: For all his talk about "I take what is mine", he hasn't actually left Pyke in his campaign to conquer the North. So far only his children have done any actual fighting and conquering.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His two eldest sons were killed during the Greyjoy Rebellion. This made Theon his heir by default.
  • Papa Wolf: Comprehensively averted. When Ramsay sends a part of Theon with a letter threatening him to back off else he will send more organs, he pretty much tells Yara that since Theon can't advance the bloodline, he is dispensable. Even Yara pretty much tells him to fuck off.
  • Perilous Old Fool: His forces are far too inadequate to take on any of the various armies he's choosing to stand against, but he insists on striking it out by himself because he's too proud, selfish and stubborn to even consider allying with anyone else.
  • Perma-Stubble Of Evil: He's an abusive, hypocritical, self-serving asshole who's badly in need of a shave.
  • Pet the Dog: Subverted. At the start, Balon almost seems to have a measure of legitimate affection for Yara, considering her his rightful heir and treating her with relative respect. As the series goes on, however, he makes it clear that she's just as expendable to him as Theon was.
  • Pirate: As a proud Ironborn, to the point their family words basically amount to "We steal your shit and rape anyone we don't murder!"
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Ironborn traditions and cultural predisposition towards naval raiding makes them look like one of these.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Balon believes this pretty strongly.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He passes up a golden opportunity not only to become a King of the Iron Islands again and gain complete independence for his people, and to become both fabulously wealthy and feared throughout all of Westeros by joining forces with the North solely for the sake of getting back at the family that was part of the force that put down his rebellion. From the Books... 
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Balon detests the very idea of buying something with money. To him, the only price worth paying is 'the iron price' — i.e. to take it from someone you have killed yourself... Note that the words of House Greyjoy are, "We do not sow"—as in, Why be a farmer when you could be a huge bully instead and steal what other people have built? But as Balon found out the hard way, being a bully only works until you run up against someone strong enough to fight back, as evidenced by the brutal ass-kicking he received from Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Introduced to the series during the second episode of Season 2.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Declared himself the King of the Iron Islands shortly after Robert's Rebellion, but had his own dreams of rebellion quickly crushed under the heel of Robert Baratheon.
  • Sore Loser: He bitches and moans incessantly about his losses, even though his belief in the Iron Price means everything he lost was taken fairly because he wasn't strong enough to keep it. He's also fond of referring to northerners as a bunch of soft girly weaklings, even though they've repeatedly whooped his ass and taken his stuff, which should, according to his own fucked up belief system, prove that they're stronger than him.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Of the "died later than in the source material" type. He died in the third book, which was around Seasons 3 and 4 in the show. He's still alive as of Season 6 and brags about being the last surviving original King of the War of the Five Kings, whereas in the books, Stannis is the last of the five standing. Then in the second episode he is murdered.
  • Stupid Evil: Evident from his very first appearance. Balon always does the stupidest, most evil thing he can think of. He could have joined the Starks (as Theon advises) or (probably, since they were still nominally loyal to the Iron Throne before attacking the North) the Lannisters and achieve his objectives of independence for the Iron Isles — but his insistence on acting independently means his uprising is doomed to failure once the War of the Five Kings is resolved. Then again, given his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, few people would be prepared to deal with him anyway.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: A darker take on the trope, judging from the way Balon treats Theon and his rather gaudy choice of dress, which is nevertheless positively understated compared to some of the styles we see in King's Landing.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: He likes to think of his rebellion nine years ago as an attempt to free himself from the southern tyranny. Most non-Ironborn aren't very convinced about this, since the main form of oppression by the "southern tyranny" was to keep his people from indulging in looting and plundering their neighbors.

    King Euron Greyjoy
"I am the storm, brother. The first storm, and the last."
Played By: Pilou Asbæk

"From Oldtown to Qarth, when men see my sails, they pray."

A younger brother of Balon Greyjoy. He is a ruthless and insane pirate who has been gone from the Iron Islands for quite some time.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: The show's version of Euron has both of his eyes in display. In the source material he is wearing an eye patch on his left eye, and it's vague if it is still intact (though it's heavily implied that it is, just something terrible to look upon).
  • Adaptational Badass: Played With. There's no indication that Book!Euron is particularly skilled in combat. TV!Euron seems to have gained the combat prowess of his Adapted Out brother Victarion and retains all of his manipulative intelligence. On the other hand, he seems to have no skills in magic. Though to be fair, we really haven't seen his book counterpart use magic either, it's just been hinted at.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Well, "heroism" is entirely the wrong word, but the show has Victarion being Adapted Out, so as far as we know Euron never raped his brother's wife. Also Aeron seems to not fear him, so Euron likely never sexually abused him as he is revealed to have done in the books. As the rest of Quellon Greyjoy's children excluding Balon, Aeron, and Euron seem to be Adapted Out, it also seems likely he never murdered Harlon and Robin Greyjoy. In addition, his monstrous treatment of Falia Flowers in the books is likely cut, because it could be too horrific even for this show. So far, there is no indication that Flowers exists in the show, or that someone else would replace her role.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Played with. Book!Euron is a handsome man but he has an intimidating, almost ethereal appearance. Show!Euron, while still attractive (especially in Season 7, with his hair and beard cropped down), looks far more plain and normal, if very obviously insane.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Book!Euron is generally despicable, perhaps the one decent thing about him is that he has a soft spot for the deformed and disabled, surrounding himself with dwarfs, giants, cripples, mutes, and freaks, if only to make himself seem more intimidating by their presence. Here, he heavily insinuates that Tyrion should have been killed at birth for being a dwarf.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the book his speech at Kingsmoot is backed by magical items like a horn that can bind dragons to his will (or at least kill the hornblower) and wears a Valyrian steel armor and bribe everyone with his treasures. In the show he just talk about paying the Iron price and reveals a plan to ally with Daenerys.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Euron is one of the few people to observe the undead Gregor Clegane with admiration instead of horror.
  • A God Am I: Proclaims himself to be the Drowned God.
  • An Axe to Grind: Wields a massive bearded axe when he joins the fray.
    • While it's probably coincidental given that the style of axe is centuries old, it's worth pointing out that Euron's axe is essentially a pimped out version of Zombietools' Kraken model, which is a very appropriate choice for a Greyjoy.
  • Armor Is Useless: Absolutely averted. Nymeria is not able to significantly hurt him with her whip or knife because of his armor, even striking at his softer parts. Euron's unconventionally heavy armor allows him to go full offense with little risk of being severely injured.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: That's his thesis. His primary claim is that while Balon was sitting on his ass, Euron was out there, reaving. Which he further solidifies by stating how he killed Balon: If he's the strongest man, why shouldn't he rule?
  • Attention Whore: Euron really enjoys asserting himself on everything everytime there's a large gathering just to show-off. Notable instances are the Kingsmoot, savoring the crowds' cheers when delivering Yara, Elaria, and Tyene to Cersei, and mocking Tyrion during a parley, possibly to impress Cersei and not to be "outdone" by the Clegane brothers who made a scene (well, Sandor did) just a few minutes prior. He even enters the Throne Room on horseback as a sign of authority (similar to Tywin).
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Similar to his book counterpart, Euron Greyjoy is known to be the most dangerous figure in the Iron Islands and gives the Ironborn real menace, showing intelligence, cunning, ambition, combat prowess, and competence. This is further established in the show where Euron is credited with the raid on Lannisport in the first rebellion, then he further cements on this during his assault on Yara's Iron Fleet by killing two of the Sand Snakes, capturing Yara himself, and overall taking out half of Danaerys' alliance in one fell swoop.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: He is elected as the newest King in the Iron Islands following the Kingsmoot. His crowning ceremony involves being literally drowned and later crowned as king after surviving.
  • Ax-Crazy: Loves violence and slaughter, even going so far as to casually declare his intent to murder his own niece and nephew. He absolutely solidifies this in "Stormborn," which sees him board Yara's flagship in full piratical glory as he descends on his gangplank right on top of some Mook, roaring and laughing his head off like Jack Nicholson in The Shining while swinging an actual battleaxe.
    • He also apparently cut the tongues out of all his men after a storm simply because he "needed the silence".
  • Badass Boast: This composes the greater part of his dialogue (see his page quote and the quote below the image). He even caps off his very first command as King with one:
    Euron Greyjoy: Build me a thousand ships, and I will give you this world.
  • Badass Longcoat: He sports one during the Kingsmoot and is a charismatic badass.
  • Beard of Evil: An insane, sinister pirate with a faintly muttonstache-style beard to match.
  • The Berserker: An axe-wielding berserk captain who personally leads his boarding party with an attacking zeal and passing regard at best for actively defending himself (uncommon for a berserker, he wears heavy armor). When he boards Yara's flagship, he takes several hits from the Sand Snakes and Yara during their respective fights, but shrugs them off as easily as mosquito bites.
  • Big Bad: Of the Greyjoy storyline in the final two seasons, joining the ranks of Cersei, Littlefinger, and the Night's King. By the end of Season 7, Euron, Cersei, and the Night's King are the only main antagonists left.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Played with. He is the least effective antagonist when introduced in Season 6 and doesn't initially seem that different from Balon which culminates in Theon and Yara ruining his plans when they decide to steal his best ships and make an alliance with Daenerys before him. In Season 7, though, he finally goes full-steam, making an alliance with Cersei and establishing himself as a very dangerous threat when he attacks Yara's fleet, personally slays Obara and Nym, and defeats Yara in combat. Needless to say, Euron is very underestimated, simply for being a Greyjoy.
    • It could be possible that Euron knew that Theon and Yara would escape and make an alliance with Daenerys before him. Even in the books, Euron doesn't seem to be interested in actually marrying Daenerys but rather bringing her dragons to Westeros so he could utilize their full potential for his own ends. By sending Victarion to court Daenerys, Euron knew the risk that his brother would eventually turn tables on him since none of his brothers trust him.
  • Big Little Brother: He is both taller and bulkier than Balon.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Has a good one that he gives to Balon.
    Euron Greyjoy: I don't mock the Drowned God, I am the Drowned God. From Oldtown to Qarth, when men see my sails, they pray.
  • Blood Knight: Euron loves bloodshed like few things in life.
    Euron: When you rushed through the breach and started cutting people down, it was glorious. Like a dance.
    Jaime: The people I was cutting down were your own kin.
    Euron: Place was getting crowded.
  • Brutal Honesty: Makes no bones about having comitted regicide and Kinslaying. Oddly enough, he calculates the situation so that this works to his favor: The sheer audacity at admitting this makes him win the Iron Islands to his side.
    Euron Greyjoy: I apologize to you all for not killing him years ago.
  • Cain and Abel: He murders his brother Balon so he can take his place as king. And if Balon is the Abel of this relationship, that really speaks volumes about Euron.
  • The Captain: Of a ship called "The Silence", captained by a crew who have their tongues cut out.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He occasionally speaks and behaves in a very bizarre manner.
  • The Charmer: He's very charismatic and magnetic, easily turning the Ironborn crowd to his favor at the Kingsmoot, and he seems to impress Cersei as well.
  • Co-Dragons: With Jaime for Cersei, in terms of military. He leads the navy, Jaime the army.
  • Composite Character:
    • He wields an axe in combat and personally leads his own Boarding Party much like his brother Victarion. From the books 
    • He takes the role of Cersei's untrustworthy naval commander from Aurane Waters, her Master of Ships from the books. Time will tell if he follows the same path.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Euron's insanity shows through his eyes, as blue as icy waters and often wild and unsettlingly wide.
  • Cultural Rebel: Euron puts on the Ironborn Viking act when it suits him (like in his Kingsmoot speeches) but deep down he hates the Ironborn and their culture, openly subscribes and accepts the Greenlander view of the Ironborn as a bunch of morons, and thinks the Drowned God is bunk. He sees being exiled from the Iron Islands after the Greyjoy Rebellion as his blessing since it allowed to be "the greatest captain of the fourteen seas".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He kills his older brother with a Nonchalant Dodge and effortless ease. Also kills Nymeria in a few seconds after killing Obara. In a strategy sense, his destruction of the joint Martell-Greyjoy fleet is rather swift and merciless.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shows quite the dry wit when mocking Yara and Theon.
  • Dissonant Serenity: On the bridge where he kills Balon, contrast their opposing stances. Balon is trying to hang on for dear life to make sure the storm does not throw him off it, Euron on the other hand just calmly stands on the madly-shaking bridge with his hands mellowly clasped together. It is eerie to watch and a further testament to Euron's total lack of sanity.
  • The Dreaded: He is the terror of the 14 seas and the mere sight of his sails make grown men pray for their lives. Even the other Ironborn residents are somewhat afraid of him. Theon and Yara are understandably terrified when they see their mad uncle's sails attacking their fleet.
  • Enemy Mine: He tries to propose a marriage alliance between him and Cersei despite their houses past animosity in order to counter the coming Targaryen invasion. She rebuffs, though Euron has far from given up on his efforts.
  • Evil Uncle: To Theon and Yara. His first order as king is to have them both executed, but they manage to flee successfully. At first.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's all smile and wit whilst murdering everyone in his way.
  • Fake Defector: In "The Dragon and the Wolf" while he doesn't pretend to go over to the heroes side, when everyone is shown a wight and he learns they can't swim, Euron claims he's abandoning Cersei, pulling back his fleet and planning on waiting out the White Walker attack on the Iron Islands. Cersei later reveals the entire thing was a ruse, and that he's really sailing to Essos to recruit the Golden Company to Cersei's side while Daenerys and Jon wage war against the White Walkers. It's more like an evil asshole pretending to be a neutral asshole.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Euron scoffs at the Drowned God and all manner of faith, despite living in a universe where magic is evidently real.
  • The Fundamentalist: Not for any religion, but for "The Old Way". Which means, Rape, Pillage, and Burn as the only guiding purpose in Ironborn life.
    Euron: It was never "the Old Way" for me. It was the only way.
  • Frontline General: Frontline Admiral may be more accurate, but give the man credit, unlike Balon, Euron actually leads his men into battle.
  • Genius Bruiser: Euron is a brutal and amazing fighter. And he's also a smart and competent leader, who has accomplished far more than his relatives have managed to do.
  • The Ghost: Before the casting of Season 5, we didn't hear anything about Euron, only that Theon had 'uncles' during a talk between Tyrion and Theon early in Season 1.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Euron now has a cut on his left cheek from Balon slashing his face with a knife.
  • Guttural Growler: In direct contrast with his smooth and tranquil tone when speaking normally, he switches to a brutal, coarse guttural tone in battle, whether it be to bark commands or just roar like a madman.
  • Hero Killer: He's a terror in battle and, while "hero" is probably the last word most people think of for some of his kills, he still manages to murder Balon effortlessly, slay Obara and Nym in battle, and defeat his badass niece, Yara, in combat, resulting in him taking her hostage.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Among other things, he convinced the Ironborn to back him as king by promising to make a deal with Daenerys so they could conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Theon and Yara, whom he ousted to do this, promptly sail there first and make that deal, warning Daenerys of his intentions and penchant for king/kinslaying.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Euron mocks and belittles all manner of faith.
  • I Am the Noun: Euron is very fond of these proclamations.
    Euron: I am the Drowned God [...] I am the storm, brother. The first storm and the last.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 6.
  • Implacable Man: Despite not giving the first toss about defending himself and subsequently being struck repeatedly by blows during the attack on Yara's fleet, Euron proves borderline unstoppable, not even slowing his pace an inch.
  • Insane Admiral: He's an Ax-Crazy maniac who relishes bloodshed, whether its the blood of his enemies or allies, and he leads the fleet of the Iron Islands, the strongest fleet in all of Westeros.
  • Jerkass: He repeatedly mocks Theon for being a eunuch, and is in general a deranged sociopath capable of killing his own kin without feeling a shred of remorse or guilt.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • His first decree as king is killing his nephew and niece.
    • He frequently shows his discrimination against disabled people. So far, he has gleefully mocked Theon over his castration twice, Jamie over his severed hand, and Tyrion for his dwarfism. This is ironic considering that Euron is possibly blind (see Abled in the Adaptation above) in the books.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • His first scene features him effortlessly killing Balon, who had this fate coming one way or another. And nothing of value was lost.
    • He does this again in Season 7 when he kills two of the Sand Snakes using their own weapons against them. While they were sociopathic kinslayers just like him, their victim in question was their own innocent cousin who didn't deserve to die (unlike Balon), making their deaths very deserving.
  • Large Ham: Euron brings his amused, slightly unsettling theatricality wherever he goes. When battle comes, he quite literally roars into action.
  • Laughably Evil: Can come across as rather over-the-top when he's not trying to intimidate anyone, to the point of cracking macabre jokes and even bluntly asking Jaime for sex tips. It's eminent how Euron doesn't take anyone, including himself, too seriously.
  • Laughing Mad: He cackles maniacally as he cuts people down on the battlefield.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite defying the conventional berserker tendency and wearing head-to-toe halfplate in combat, Euron moves and hits like a storm at sea: hard, implacable, and lightning-fast.
  • Made of Iron: Euron's stamina and pain threshold are as insane as he is. During the raid on Dany's fleet, he tanks dozens of serious hits from Yara and the Sand Snakes, but doesn't even seem to do so much as acknowledge them.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Boasting about his plans to take the Ironborn's fleet and ply Dany's affections with it gives Theon and Yara the idea to do the same before he can get the chance to. They ultimately succeed in this, so Euron changes strategies with brutal efficiency.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: From his strange obsession towards black clothing and bloodlust to admiring undead Gregor Clegane, Euron seems to have a thing for everything that is even remotely creepy.
  • No True Scotsman: Balon notes that Euron always mocked their customs and traditions. Euron then arrives at the Kingsmoot and states that by killing Balon he was a true Ironborn because he "paid the Iron price" rather than wait his turn in the line of succession.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He puts on the act of a brute and a hooligan to charm the Ironborn and convince Cersei he's not a threat, but his confrontation with Balon shows that underneath it all he's every bit the cunning sociopath he is in the books.
  • Obviously Evil: Especially in Season 7 where Euron is dressed in black leather, has pitch-black sails, creepy eyeliners and a somewhat pale skin, giving him a rather threatening appearance. Not to mention that he casually talks about murder and violence in a gleeful manner.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Despite having his fleet stolen from him by Yara and Theon on Season 6, he manages to create a brand new one by the the following season despite the fact the Iron Islands are the poorest region in all the Seven Kingdoms and scarce on resources. He also boasts that this fleet is even more effective than the previous one and he is proven right when he attacks and completely demolishes Yara's fleet when they are escorting Ellaria and the Sand Snakes to Dorne.
  • Older Than They Look: For a man who has to be in his fifties at least, Euron doesn't look a day past 35. As in the books, black magic may or may not be involved.
  • Playing Gertrude: The guy playing Euron is actually a year younger than the actress playing Yara and just four years older than the actor playing Theon. And nearly forty years younger than the actors playing Balon and Aeron, the latter of whom is supposed to be younger than him. In the novels themselves, when Euron returns to the Iron Islands other characters are surprised that he doesn't look like he has aged a day, almost unnaturally so — hinting that this might be due to the black magic he dabbles in. In both the TV show and books, Euron's hair doesn't show even a day of his age, being totally untouched by gray.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Euron considers this his greatest purpose in life.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Not Euron himself, but his personal flag is the Greyjoy kraken sigil but with a red eye emblazoned across it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Invoked. If his murder of Balon in all but broad daylight and subsequent boldfaced admission of it during the Kingsmoot are anything to go by, audacity is how Euron gets along in life. How did he do it? Claimed it was "paying the Iron Price". His alliance proposition to Cersei is full of it and he seems more amused at Robert Strong than afraid.
    • He states an intent to persuade Danaerys into allying with him with his "big cock", even though such an offer presented to her would almost certainly result in him being barbecued on the spot by a dragon.
    • When that one falls through, he offers the same deal to Cersei. He then repeatedly taunts Jaime and asks him how she likes it in bed. One wonders if he realises that getting punched out by a guy with a solid gold hand is probably going to hurt a lot.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: His raid on Lannisport was seen in Season 1 and in Season 7 as the height of Greyjoy perfidy. He led a raid that utterly humiliated Tywin Lannister, destroying his fleet at anchor, killing hundreds of sailors and leaving the Westerlands free to raid until Stannis crushed them at Fair Isle.
  • The Resenter: Euron has some massive resentment issues over Balon being chosen as King rather than him.
    Balon: Move aside for your King!
    Euron: Haven't I always, brother?
  • Rousing Speech: Villainous example, during the Kingsmoot he informs the Ironborn nobles that if they were to ally themselves with Dany, her army and her dragons, it would enable the Ironborn to not just declare independence but claim dominion over all the Seven Kingdoms. It's enough for him to be declared King over Yara's claim.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He becomes King of the Iron Islands, and, unlike Balon, he actually pays the iron price by leading his men into battle.
  • Sanity Slippage: Years ago, it is said he lost his mind during a storm and cut out the tongues of his whole crew. He claims he's better now.
  • Screaming Warrior: He drops his laid back attitude in battle and goes in screaming like a madman.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon seeing a wight in King's Landing he decides to take the Iron Fleet back to the Iron Islands. Except he really didn't, as he was working behind Jaime's back to go to Essos and hire the Golden Company for Cersei.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Introduced to the series during the second episode of Season 6.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He is everything Balon was not. Euron for all his faults is brave, proactive, cunning, willing to make alliances, fight beside his men and actually go out and pay the iron price.
  • Slasher Smile: His preferred expression on the battlefield.
  • The Sociopath: Euron shows characteristics of a classic sociopath, even moreso than the likes of Ramsay and Joffrey. Superficial charisma, lack of conscience, willingness to manipulate others to achieve his own ends...
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He speaks in a surprisingly emaciated tone when outside of the battlefield, but he remains just as sadistic.
  • Spanner in the Works: Daenarys' invasion of Westeros begins with seemingly one-sided odds; with her, the Tyrells, the Dornish, and part of the Greyjoy fleet, along with an army of Dothraki and Unsullied, versus the Lannisters and a small handful of supporting lesser noble houses. Enter Euron's alliance with Cersei, where he destroys Yara and Theon's fleet and abducts Yara, kills or captures Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, and destroys the part of Dany's fleet at Casterly Rock. Euron manages to pretty-much singledhandedly save the Lannisters from losing the war.
  • Stealth Expert: A nautical one. Several characters point out how he managed to outmaneuver and catch by surprise the Lannister fleet at Lannisport, catching them entirely flat-footed in a flanking maneuver. He likewise manages to ambush Yara's fleet without being ever detected until he's already attacking.
  • Take That!: He has no problem mocking his elder brother before killing him off. And again during the Kingsmoot where he talks about how Balon leadership has only lead the Greyjoys to defeat and nothing to gain.
  • The Kingslayer: Euron kills Balon, king of the Iron Islands.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Calls his nephew, "Little Theon" once at the Kingsmoot and then during his attack on the Black Wind, despite the fact that he wants to murder him and Yara.
  • Tongue Trauma: Not for him but it is said that he cut out the tongues of his entire crew.
  • Troll: Is quite sharp with his wit and comments, especially when his goal is to prod and goad whoever he's talking to.
    Euron: And here I am with a thousand ships...and two good hands.
    (Jaime scowls pointedly)
  • Tyrannicide: Euron's defense of killing Balon amounts to this. He points out that Balon was a terrible King, who led the Ironborn into two wars they couldn't win, and made them the laughing stock of Westeros and that the only regret was that Balon was not killed before he did these terrible things. The other Ironborn agree with Euron.
  • Underestimating Badassery: While he himself is a badass, he is seriously overconfident in his plan to woo Daenerys with just his ships and his "big cock". Subverted since Euron just put on the Ironborn act in order to win the Kingsmoot.
  • Villain Has a Point: While killing Balon admittedly is pretty evil, he does have a point that Balon has done nothing but lead the Greyjoys into two wars they can't win, all because of his personal ambition and yet no strategy or plan to back it up.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Despite being admitting to being a kinslayer without any shame, he became king by showing superior aspirations than taking revenge on the North and in Season 7, the people of King's Landing cheer on him after he captured Ellaria, Tyene and Yara and takes them in chains to Cersei. He lampshades this last instance by commenting how unusual of a Greyjoy being praised by the people of Westeros.
  • Villainous Valour: Whatever his faults, Euron has no problem with getting his hands dirty and leads his men into battle from the front.
  • Visionary Villain: He seeks to raise the largest fleet in the world and align with Daenerys Targaryen to rule the Seven Kingdoms. When this fails decisively, he changes queens for Cersei.
  • Walking the Earth: Or rather sailing. When the audience first met him, he just came home from a decade or so journey, apparently sailing as far as the Jade Sea. He uses his reputation as an adventurer to win over the Ironborn.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Played by Danish actor Pilou Asbæk, who doesn't fully hide his accent while playing Euron, even though the ironborn speak with the same accent as the mainland (because they're the same Andal/First Men mix — except Theon, but he spent years living in the North and picked up their accent). This is probably justified in that Euron has been away from both the Iron Islands and Westeros for years, as he says sailing the world oceans from Oldtown to Qarth, even raiding in the distant Jade Sea — logically, he's probably been speaking in a dozen different foreign languages for years and it must have affected his own accent.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Personally kills Obara and Nymeria Sand in battle: He impales Obara with her own spear and throttles Nymeria with her own whip, before hanging their corpses from the prow of his flagship.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Euron has planned on wooing Daenerys, but when Yara and Theon take the best ships with their own plans to join forces with Daenerys, Euron switches to brokering an alliance with Cersei.
  • You Killed My Father: Yara accuses him of this at the Kingsmoot. Euron confesses and somehow wins over the other Ironborn by (successfully) painting Balon as an Asshole Victim. Yara still hates him for this and for stealing her claim to the throne.

    Aeron Greyjoy
"What is dead may never die"
Played By: Michael Feast

"We speak in the presence of the Drowned God!

The youngest of Balon Greyjoy's brothers. He is a Drowned Man, a priest of the Drowned God.

  • Adaptational Villainy: While his book counterpart was hardly a heroic character, he utterly despised Euron and fought tooth and nail to oppose his claim. Here, he seems perfectly happy to accept him as the new king, and doesn't lift a finger to stop his attempt to murder Yara and Theon. Though he doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic about it.
  • Adapted Out: In Season 2, he was replaced by a nameless Drowned Man and his part of greeting Theon upon his arrival to the Iron Islands is given to Yara.
  • Age Lift: Michael Feast is 70. Aeron in the books is in his late 20s.
  • All There in the Manual: His name, confirming it is Aeron and not some nameless priest, is mentioned in the episode recap of the official viewer's guide.
  • Badass Baritone: Michael Feast speaks in a very low and menacing baritone.
  • Badass Beard: He comes from a Badass Family and has a beard.
  • Badass Preacher: It's not very clear, but back in Season 1, Tyrion says Theon's uncles were responsible for the destruction of the Lannister fleet and the burning of Lannisport, the absolute high mark of the First Greyjoy Rebellion. Euron and Aeron are Theon's only uncles, so it stands to reason Aeron is (or was) one Hell of a reaver.From the books... 
  • Barbarian Longhair: As befitting of a Priest of a ravager religion.
  • Brutal Honesty: He bluntly states that Yara's chances of winning the Kingsmoot are slim.
  • Cold Ham: Aeron tends to speak in a very cold and stable tone of voice, but his Badass Baritone combined with his resonating speeches about the drowned god make him a very over-the-top man.
  • The Fundamentalist: Very big on the traditions of the Drowned God.
  • The Ghost: Before the casting of Season 6, we didn't hear anything about Aeron, only that Theon had 'uncles' during a talk between Tyrion and Theon early in Season 1.
  • Heir Club for Men: Aeron is the first to cast doubt on Yara's position as heir to the Salt Throne, giving her a blunt reminder that the Ironborn have never once elected a Queen. The fact that he invoked that Yara should be elected, when Balon was never elected, is further indication of his sexism.From the Books 
  • High Priest: Seems to be the top Priest of the Drowned God faith.From the books... 
  • Loyal to the Position: Aeron doesn't seem to favor any of the candidates in the Kingsmoot. Be it before or afterwards, he is only there to conduct the election and serve whoever is elected.
  • Minor Major Character: Aeron's very slim on screentime, but he's actually a vital cog in Ironborn politics. It is he who calls the Kingsmoot, he who conducts it, and it is he who legitimizes Euron as king (via drowning). As unofficial leader of the Drowned Men, he's basically the nearest thing the Ironborn have to a pope.
  • Number Two: One infers this was his role with Balon, and now is his role to Euron.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Aeron's yet to disloge his expression from a grim, dour frown.
  • Principles Zealot: His very first line is a strong-worded "The law is clear!" when Yara suggests that she rules by default after Balon's death. Aeron is as big on tradition as one would expect from a holy man.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Aeron doesn't really seem to support Euron's batshit insane rulling, but he serves him, because that's what he does.
  • Rousing Speech: He delivers one for Euron when he legitimizes him by drowning.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Euron is a bombastic, arrogant, flamboyant pirate. Aeron is a cold, stoic, solemn Priest.
  • The Stoic: Aeron's expression pretty much doesn't shift from a frown. Ever.
  • Younger Than They Look: Aeron's meant to be several years younger than Balon, but the fully white hair and much more weathered appearance of Aeron, particularly in Season 6, don't make this readily apparent. Although this may be Reality Is Unrealistic as actor-wise the ages more or less sync up (seeing how Michael Feast is nearly two years younger than Patrick Malahide).

    Queen Yara Greyjoy
"So good to see you, brother. This is a homecoming I'll tell my grandchildren about."
Played By: Gemma Whelan

"I'm going to march on the Dreadfort, I'm going to find my little brother, and I'm going to bring him home."

Theon's older sister, trained by her father as his actual heir in his son's absence. In Season 6, she declares herself Queen of the Iron Islands, steals most of Euron's fleet, and sets sail for Mereen to make an alliance with Queen Daenerys.
  • Action Girl: She commands her late brother's ship and is about the equivalent to an admiral in the Greyjoy fleet. And she has killed already.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Black hair and dark eyes in the books, light brown hair and blue eyes in the TV series.
  • Adaptation Name Change: From Asha to Yara, because the producers thought viewers would get her confused with Osha.
  • Adaptational Badass: Asha is badass in the books, but not to the point that she is in the show. In the books, she doesn't have the Undying Loyalty of the Ironborn and it's made clear that she wouldn't inherit the Seastone Chair.
  • Adaptational Heroism: At the end of Season 3, she finds out that Theon is Ramsay's prisoner, and against her father's wishes decides to take a ship, 50 good men, and go rescue him. In the books, she does no such thing. In Season 6, after her bid for the Seastone Chair fails at the Kingsmoot, she and Theon steal nearly half the Iron Fleet and sail to Meereen to pledge themselves to Dany's cause before Euron does, knowing that he will most likely use her to conquer Westeros and then kill her once the Iron Throne is his. In the books, Asha just quietly drops out of prominence once Euron is crowned king, and Victarion sails to Meereen to pledge himself to Dany — on Euron's orders.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Although she is quite kinky in the books, she has not been depicted sleeping or having relationships with women. She has thus far only been depicted having sex with a woman in the show, though it's still entirely possible she's bisexual, as Gemma herself suspects. "Stormborn" more or less confirms the bisexual angle.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In line with the rest of the Greyjoys. Her book counterpart is described as being very striking, if boyish, while Yara — while not unattractive, especially during her softer and friendlier moments — is plainer, with harder features.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Because Theon in the show is more sympathetic than his book counterpart was at that point, Yara comes across as more of a jerkass, as opposed to Asha, who comes across as a Karmic Trickster in terms of her baiting him. Yara is also presented as (largely) following in the footsteps of her father, compared to Asha, who while likewise Balon's favorite, has more pronounced White Sheep tendencies. That being said, her crueler tendencies are heavily implied to be an act to force Theon to get his shit together, since she's far more willing to defend Theon to Balon when he's not around, shifting her back into Karmic Trickster territory.
    • Her plan in the Kingsmoot is to revive and rebuild the Iron Fleet to never before seen heights implying designs of conquest on a large scale. In the books, she made it clear that she has different intentions, she wants to seek allies with the mainland, abandon superficial conquest and parlay peace with the North in exchange for some land to settle, and convert the Ironborn from reaving to trade. Her speech gets cut off before the end so it's a little confusing as written, though in context from her prior statements that attacking the mainland is getting them nothing, it appears she meant that she wants to build a defensive fleet to ward off any counter-attack by the mainland. That being said, the fact that Yara eventually agrees to give up piracy and rein her people in under Dany's rule displays that, while more of a traditionalist than her book counterpart, she's still open-minded enough to commit to change.
  • Aloof Big Sister: To Theon.
  • Armor Is Useless: Totally averted in "Stormborn". Yara, who typically does wear the usual Greyjoy halfplate, is caught off-guard and has no time to don her armor when Euron attacks her flagship. If she'd had that opportunity, Yara may actually have stood a chance against her suitably plate-mailed uncle.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Despite the bickering and vicious mocking, she and Theon care about each other deeply. She even defies her father in organizing a rescue mission for Theon immediately after receiving his castrated penis. When Theon returns to Pyke again in Season 6, Yara — already on edge and a bit paranoid after Balon's death — is furious at first, but when Theon tearfully confesses that he's there purely to support her as the new ruler of the Iron Islands, she is stunned and untenses at once. All the bravado leaves her, and she nearly hugs him on the spot.
    • Yara also isn't terribly fond of her father, but still swears gruesome, bloody vengeance when Euron murders him. Even when they're arguing at the beginning of Season 6, Balon never threatens to disinherit Yara, and mentions he expects that she'll rule after he's dead — though in the very angry climax to their last argument he says that if she won't obey he'll make another who will (it's unclear how much he meant that last one).
      • In the books, Balon considers Yara his heir, given that he thinks Theon is outright dead, even though he could easily name his younger brother Victarion (cut from the show) as his heir, or even his other brother Aeron the priest. In fact this was a particular sign of favoritism by Balon, given how shocking the Ironborn consider it for a woman to rule, and he must have known it risked a succession crisis when anti-Yara lords rallied behind her uncles.
  • An Axe to Grind/Dual Wielding: As displayed in "The Laws of Gods and Men", Yara's weapons of choice are a pair of tomahawks, utilized both for melee and for throwing.
  • Badass Boast: See the quote at the top of the page. The end result might have been a total failure, but it's still pretty badass.
  • Badass Gay: A hard-raiding bisexual with a fondness for men and women alike.
  • Badass in Distress: She ends up captured by Euron after he raids her fleet.
  • Badass Longcoat: Yara wears the ubiquitous longcoat and breastplate of the Ironborn. Suffice it to say, she pulls it off with aplomb.
  • Bi the Way: Confirms this about herself in "Stormborn," through the following exchange with Ellaria.
    Ellaria: Have you ever been to Dorne?
    Yara: A few times. Never stayed long.
    Ellaria: A boy in every port?
    Yara: A boy, a girl...depends on the port.
  • Big Sister Bully: The second season sees Yara more or less treat Theon as The Chew Toy. That being said...
  • Big Sister Instinct: Despite everything, Yara does make it clear over the course of the following seasons that she does, in fact, care for her little brother. When Balon leaves Theon to die at the hands of the Boltons, Yara opts to go rogue and run a rescue mission. Though it amounts to little in the end, it does a lot to cast her in a better light.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Daenerys, as strong-willed women looking to make their mark in a patriarchal society. The admiration between the two when they first meet is instant and obvious — and perhaps not entirely platonic, either...
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Theon really should verify who someone is before his fingers start wandering...
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • True to sibling fashion, she finally lets Balon have it in "Mhysa" after he decides to leave Theon to be tortured to death, ceaselessly degrading and dehumanizing him in the process. The result is pretty fantastic.
      Yara: He's your son!
    • She demonstrates this again in the sixth season, giving her father a blunt dressing-down for the outrageous stupidity of their continued involvement in the war.
  • The Captain: Already the de facto commander of the Iron Fleet (well, most of it anyway...), she becomes the commander of Dany's armada after she and Theon swear themselves to support her cause.
  • Cluster C Bomb: After Theon's takeover of Winterfell and killing two boys to pose as the Starks when they escape, Yara let's him absolutely have it. made them prisoners in their home and they ran away. Is that treachery? I call it bravery. The little boy prisoner made you a promise and you got mad because he broke it. Are you the dumbest cunt alive? A cunt. A dumb cunt who killed the only two Starks in Winterfell. You know how valuable those boys were. You are weak. And you are stupid.
  • Composite Character: As her post-Kingsmoot story in the books was wrapped up with Stannis, who'd already been killed on the show, she instead takes over the role of her Adapted Out uncle Victarion.
  • Contralto of Danger: Her voice is deep and quite raspy, basically making her a female Guttural Growler.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Is clearly much more favoured than her brother by their father and is similarly eager to aid his efforts in attacking the North. However, both are awesomely averted in the finale of Season 3 where Balon's disgustingly cruel dismissal of Theon as "not being a man anymore" and his desire to leave him to his nightmarish fate at the hands of Ramsay Snow cause her to openly disobey his command and sail off with her own team to save her brother.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her sarcasm is so dry you can practically hear it snap. Theon's often her target.
    Yara: [to Theon] You're a great warrior. I saw the bodies above your gates. Which one gave you the tougher fight, the cripple or the six year old?
  • Death Glare: Levels one bristling with Tranquil Fury on Balon when the two learn of Theon's capture and torture and Balon refuses to do anything about it.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Season 3, only appearing in the finale. In Season 4 she only appears in one episode as well (though it's a memorable appearance), and is entirely absent from Season 5. However, come Season 6, she reaches POV character status as the star of the Ironborn plotline.
  • The Dragon: Is effectively this to her father's Big Bad in the second season's Stark/Greyjoy storyline.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "Evil" is a stretch when it comes to describing Yara, but she's still ruthless — and still has standards.
    • Yara is disgusted when she finds out that Theon has apparently killed Bran and Rickon in the second season, because it was both morally wrong and robbed them of two valuable hostages.
      Yara: The little boy prisoners made you a promise and you got mad when they broke it? Are you the dumbest cunt alive?
    • Likewise, Balon's disregard for Theon's torture and mutilation at the hands of the Boltons leaves Yara visibly livid, despite her own poor relationship with her brother.
  • Eureka Moment: The moment she sees her uncle Euron Greyjoy at the Kingsmoot, she immediately realizes that he killed her father and openly accuses him of this.
  • Heir Club for Men: Despite having the well-deserved Undying Loyalty of her own men, Yara's claim to the Seastone Chair is immediately thrown into doubt by Euron's sudden reappearance. The Ironborn vote for Euron even after he admits to killing Balon.
  • Hello, Sailor!: A rare female example.
  • Hidden Depths: She shows genuine concern for Theon after his actions at Winterfell put him in serious danger of being killed unless he were to come back to Pyke with her. She's also, as seen above, outraged that Theon would stoop so low as to murder children. Later, in making her alliance with Daenerys Targaryen, she agrees to Dany's condition that the Ironborn forswear their culture of piracy in exchange for the Iron Isles' independence. While she hesitates initially, she acknowledges that the world has moved on and it's time to leave their people's old ways behind if they want to truly prosper.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 2.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Yara has remarkably piercing eyes, particularly when she's angry. This is demonstrated nicely by the Death Glare archived above.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Between her moral boundaries and the loyalty and relative affection she shows for her family, Yara shows enough heart throughout the series to set herself apart from the rest of the Ironborn, despite being a hard and ruthless raider herself.
  • The Lad-ette: Yara dresses as the other Ironborn do and is just as hard a drinker and tough a fighter as any of them.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Pretends to be a common woman on the Iron Islands to gauge what sort of threat Theon is to her position. She isn't impressed.
  • One of the Boys: The other Ironborn consider her to be this, much preferring her companionship to Theon's.
  • One Steve Limit: The character is named Asha in the books. The TV series changed it to avoid possible confusions with Osha.
  • Only Sane Man: Compared to the other Ironborn leaders including her own father, she's seemingly the only one with a basic grasp of large-scale political and military strategy. Balon's "plan" was to opportunistically attack the North purely because they were an easy victory while their army was away — then keep fighting to hold the towns and castles they'd captured long after that war in the south ended. TV-Yara even gives a variation on book-Asha's famous "pinecones and rocks" speech, pointing out that attacking the North of all places has brought them absolutely nothing — as opposed to say, trying to capture the mines of the Westerlands or the farms of the Reach (after all, winter is coming). She outright berates her father for trying to fight mainland armies when their strength is at sea. Only Theon also brought up these concerns — that the North was their natural ally and they should have teamed up against the Lannisters — but he caved because he wanted to impress his father.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Balon's only daughter.
  • Parental Favoritism: Yara has earned her father's favor. She's the only person he seems to show any affection for.
  • Pet the Dog: When she tries to pursuade Theon to come with her instead of foolishly staying in Winterfell
    Yara: Little brother, don't die so far from the sea.
  • Pirate Girl: It comes with being an Ironborn.
  • Put on a Bus: Barely appears after her major introduction in Season 2; only a brief 3 minute scene in Season 3, another brief 3 minute scene in Season 4 (which wasn't well received), then not at all in Season 5.
    • The Bus Came Back: Her primary storyarc from the novels, the Kingsmoot, ultimately wasn't omitted from the TV series but simply pushed back to Season 6. Yara went from being a character casual viewers barely remembered in Season 5 to one of the standout parts of Season 6, widely praised by critics.
  • Replacement Goldfish: With two sons dead and the third one hostage, Balon considers her his heir.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: She sets out to find Theon and kill his captors, but it's quickly subverted. When she finds him, Theon is brainwashed to the point that he doesn't even want to be rescued, and Ramsay shows up and butchers most of her men before forcing her to flee.
  • Rousing Speech: As fantastic a speech Theon gave in "Valar Morghulis", Yara delivers one about ten times more moving and passionate in "The Laws of Gods and Men".
    Yara: 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!
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After Euron wins the Kingsmoot, she and Theon go into exile rather than stay at the mercy of their murderous uncle, and a sizeable portion of dissident Ironborn follow them in taking the best Ironborn ships with them.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Introduced to the series during the second episode of Season 2.
  • She Is the King: She's vying to be the first female Ironborn ruler, and would have done so had it not been for her Evil Uncle Euron. Not to be outdone, she sails to Msereen and allies with Daenerys to take the Salt Throne and remedy the matter.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Theon, although she doesn't consider him a serious rival.
  • Smug Smiler: Yara's default expression is a self-assured, cocksure smirk. Theon is frequently on the receiving end, at least in the second season.
  • Smurfette Breakout: In-Universe. She is Balon's only daughter, but is unquestionably the most successful and competent of all his children, posthumous or otherwise.
  • There Are No Therapists: She truly loves Theon, but when he still has PTSD when they're in Volantis in Season 6, she tells him that if he doesn't want to live he should just kill himself, or he should keep going — though she does apologize for being a little insensitive. This might seem kind of blunt to us, but in the behind-the-scenes videos, the showrunners directly explained that "Yara isn't a trained psychotherapist", most people in Westeros don't really know about PTSD and the Ironborn in particular are more blunt than others, so they felt that it would be untrue to her background if she wasn't kind of blunt in this scene.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She's the only prominent female Ironborn shown onscreen (exactly as in the novels, in which the Ironborn are very misogynistic and her status as a tomboyish warrior is quite unusual).
  • Tomboy: Yara can drink and fight with the best of them.
  • Worthy Opponent: Shows shades of this when calling Theon out on apparently murdering Bran and Rickon, noting that the boys' continued resistance of Theon and his Ironborn was a mark of bravery.
    • Ramsay also considers her as one during their encounter at the Dreadfort.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After the death of her father, Yara loses her bid for the crown to her uncle Euron. Euron's first decree is to have Yara and Theon killed, forcing the two to flee.

    Prince Theon Greyjoy/Reek
"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?"
Click to see Reek 
Played By: Alfie Allen

"I'm a Greyjoy. I can't fight for Robb and my father both."

Ned Stark's hostage and ward. Theon was technically a Stark hostage to guarantee his father Balon's good behavior. Due to his friendship with Robb Stark, his position in the Stark household became significantly more voluntary after Ned Stark's death. Theon betrayed the Starks, however, after Robb sent him to obtain Greyjoy support for the Starks in the War of the Five Kings, when Theon learned that his father intended to attack the North. Theon reluctantly sided with his father and joined the Greyjoy campaign, during which he managed to seize Winterfell with a handful of men. His seizure eventually failed when the Boltons (led by Ramsay Snow) besieged and retook Winterfell (allegedly on behalf of the Starks, though Ramsay actually sacked and burned Winterfell, which they blamed on Theon and the Ironborn), in the course of which Theon was captured. He has two older brothers ("Maron" and "Rodrik" in the books), both slain, and an older sister, Yara. From the books... 

Since his capture, he has been extensively tortured by Ramsay Snow into adopting a second personality called Reek, serving as The Igor to Ramsay. Theon-Reek tells Ramsay and Roose that the two Stark Princes are Not Quite Dead, casting a Spanner in the Works of their plans to usurp the North. Nonetheless, Ramsay keeps him as his personal pet and slave, appearing for all the world like one physical person is in fact two characters. Eventually Theon returns when he and Sansa escape.

  • 0% Approval Rating: When he seizes Winterfell, none of the Northerners are favourably inclined toward him. His subsequent actions pretty much results in every single Northerner wanting to kill him.
  • 2 + Torture = 5: After having broken him completely, Ramsay finally brutally beats him into accepting "Reek" as his new name.
  • Abled in the Adaptation: In the books, Ramsay actually chopped-off Theon's toes and fingers and even plucked most of his teeth, plus his castration is only implied. Here, Theon only got castrated and lost one finger, though he suffers from a limp for a while because of Ramsey's tortures.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The show puts more emphasis on Theon's Conflicting Loyalty to his two families and his desire to be respected. His torture from Ramsay's hands are also showcased directly (and a lot) compared to the books.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Book!Theon had fingers and toes removed, his hair had turned white and since Ramsay tortured him by keeping him in a cell covered in feces, he was constantly filthy as opposed to the more grubby servant garb he wears. He is unrecognizable from the earlier Theon Greyjoy to such an extent that when Asha/Yara sees him she doesn't recognize him at all whereas in Season 4, she easily recognizes Theon at once.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Theon is a much more pleasant person in the show than in the books. He might as well be a different character. He is friends with all the Starks, including Jon, in the show, where in the books he was only really liked by Robb. He also showed regret for his actions long before being captured by Ramsay Snow. He even tells Sansa that he feels that his torture is what he deserved for his actions. In the books he feels that he is innocent and does not deserve the torture he suffered. He also only regrets betraying Robb. In the show he regrets everything he ever did. He takes full responsibility for his crimes instead of blaming them on other people like in the books. He also did not rape a woman who was his bedwarmer.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: All of the Greyjoys look considerably plainer and rougher than their book counterparts, but Theon gets it the hardest. Considered famously handsome in the books, here he looks ratty even before spending time at Ramsay's hands. The show balances this out by significantly toning down the physical damage done to him by the end of the aforementioned torture.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the books, aside from Robb most of the Northmen don't care about him (and the feeling being mutual for the most part) and his position as a hostage is very clear. He certainly isn't part of the family. Therefore the morality of his betrayal is a gray issue. In the show he is accepted as part of their family making the morality of his choice a black and white issue. Being on better terms with the Starks emphasizes the wrongness of his betrayal.
    • When Sansa begs his help in escaping, he betrays her confidence to Ramsay, resulting in Sansa's serving woman ally being flayed to death. Book!Theon never sold out Jeyne Poole in anything like that manner.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Book!Theon actually is attractive, occasionally clever, a good fighter and a ladies man. Show!Theon... not so much.
    • Having said that, when Euron attacks the defecting Greyjoy ships, he shows that he is a decent swordsman and brave enough in battle.
  • Adaptation Expansion: His captivity and torture are only given mention after the fact in the books.
  • A Friend in Need: With Sansa Stark. At the end of Season 5 and the outset of Season 6, he takes several extreme risks just to protect Sansa and help her escape from the Boltons.
  • Agony of the Feet: He has a very severe and noticeable limp, no doubt a permanent reminder of having a drill very slowly cranked through his left foot, and, of course, the castration.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A lech, an oathbreaker, and a murderer of children, but damn if Ramsay Snow's torture doesn't make you pity Theon.
  • And Zoidberg: Bran prays for the safety of his brothers and friends "and Theon too, I suppose."
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Yara.
  • Arch-Enemy: As far as he's concerned, that fucking hornblower. That "fucking hornblower" turns out to be Ramsay Snow, who proves himself to be so very, very much nastier an archenemy than just an irritating musician.
  • The Archer: Makes a point of saying that the Greyjoys are famed for their archery. His skills with bow and arrow are excellent and he puts them to good use saving Bran from the Wildlings and later killing the Ravens at the Twins to ensure that Tywin Lannister would not get any news until a treaty was formed.
    • Really, it's suffice to say that his skill as an archer is the one thing that Theon doesn't screw up. Tragically, given how Ramsay has been treating Theon's fingers, Theon might not even have that anymore.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: On the receiving end of one from Bran: "Did you always hate us?"
  • The Atoner: Sincerely regrets betraying the Starks and officially starts to try and make amends for what he did by saving Sansa's life and helping her escape from the Boltons.
  • Attempted Rape: Saved by Ramsay Snow, of all people. Later becomes Ramsay's victim, who mind rapes, tortures, and castrates Theon.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: While it may have no particular meaning in-universe, the creators would have known that Theon is Greek for God. And Greyjoy is at least a bit foreboding, even without the history attached to it. (Whether or not he's as awesome as his name is another matter...) From the books... 
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Despite the bickering and vicious mocking, he and his sister Yara care about each other deeply. Yara even openly defies their father to set a rescue mission for Theon when they learn Theon is the Boltons' prisoner.
    • Despite his resentment over being a glorified hostage, he cares deeply for the Starks. So much that this affection is what allows him to finally break out of the "Reek" persona that Ramsay's tortures forced upon him.
  • Bad Boss: His employees are not any better.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Theon's decision to betray the Starks haunted him for much of the series. After helping her escape from the Boltons, Theon plans to take Sansa to the gates of Castle Black so she can be reunited with her brother Jon. She then suggests Theon join the Night's Watch so his crimes would be erased. Theon's not having it.
    Sansa: We just have to make it to Castle Black. Once we're with Jon, Ramsay won't be able to touch us.
    Theon: Jon would have me killed the moment I stepped through the gate.
    Sansa: I won't let him. I'll tell him the truth about Bran and Rickon.
    Theon: And the truth about the farm boys I killed in their place? And the truth about Sir Rodrick who I beheaded? And the truth about Robb who I betrayed?
    Sansa: When you take the Black, all your crimes are forgiven.
    Theon: I don't want to be forgiven. I can't even make amends to your family for the things I've done.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In Season 3. Justified, given that his captors haven't allowed him to shave.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Inverted. It's not until after his horrific torture at the hands of Ramsay that he becomes sympathetic again, and starts truly regretting his past actions.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: It's suggested that his feelings for Ros go a little beyond wanting her for her body. Nothing ever comes of this, though, considering Ros is skewered with crossbow bolts and Theon...well, Theon's fate makes Ros look lucky.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Theon manages to easily take over Winterfell but that's because every able-bodied man is out fighting with Robb Stark. It quickly becomes apparent that he's in over his head.
  • Blood Knight: Always smirking when there is the prospect of violence going on.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Sold to the enemy by his fellow Ironborn right after exhorting them to die fighting alongside him.
  • Brain Bleach: After realizing that the woman he was groping and tried to seduce was actually his sister.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: To the point that he denies his very name and identity to his own sister. Mostly as a result of his conditioning from Ramsay's Tricked Into Escaping gambit. It turns out that he remembers perfectly well who he is but it takes Sansa and his own guilt for him to reclaim himself.
  • Break the Haughty: His adult life, basically. In Season 3, however, it gets so very much worse though, with pretty much everything he holds dear being (literally in some horrible, horrible cases) ripped away from him.
    • His skill with the bow is almost certainly taken away from him along with at least one finger.
    • His status as a Lord and his place in the Greyjoy family is taken away in two tragic ways — one, with him being tortured by Ramsay and to accept "Reek" as his new name after Ramsay decides 'Theon' is "too noble" a name for someone like him; and secondly, with his own father utterly disowning him due to him "not being a man anymore" and abandoning him to a horrific fate.
  • Broken Pedestal: Spends most of his life believing that all Ironborn are Proud Warrior Race Guys who fights to the bitter end. He realized how wrong he was the hard way when his men sold him to the Boltons.
  • Butt-Monkey: Distrusted and treated like dirt by pretty much everyone except Robb.
    • This becomes even more pronounced in Season 2, where not only do his own people treat him with contempt, but he manages to make a fool of himself even after taking Winterfell. Remaining a Butt-Monkey while you're the leader of a conquering army is quite an achievement.
    • Nearly all of his scenes in Season 3 are him being tortured. By Season 4, he's utterly broken.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • In "What is Dead May Never Die", after putting up with the constant abuse from his father, for the horrific "crime" of being the price Balon had to pay for losing his sorry little war a decade prior, he snaps with the quote below. He gets a smack across the face for his trouble. Sadly, he still decides to forsake the Starks and join the Greyjoy cause at the end of the episode. That said, it did seem to break through Balon's skull for a short time. That or it just made him think back to the deaths of his other two sons.
      Theon: 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?!
    • It was possibly both, that Theon's words made Balon think about his dead sons, and for like a few seconds he understood the truth: that it was ultimately his own foolish pride and ambition that got his sons killed, not Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. He lashed out at Theon rather than face the unpalatable truth.
  • Career-Ending Injury: It is heavily implied that the injuries he suffered from Ramsay's tortures ended his career as a warrior. His limp in particular permanently damaged his maneuverability. That said, he shows in Season 6 that he's still able to hold and use a sword and in Season 7 it's pretty much subverted completely when he actually fights impressively well against Euron's raiders and kills a decent number, but flees the battle when Euron sets off his PTSD.
  • Character Tics: As a result of his indoctrination, Reek has great difficulty making eye contact; also, perhaps as a physical side-effect of all the torture, he's also prone to twitching during times of stress. Unfortunately, this still remains to some extent after he rediscovers himself as Theon Greyjoy.
  • Child of Two Worlds: A Deconstruction, he's too Northern for the Iron Islands and too Ironborn for the North. His failure to resolve that identity crisis leads to tragedy for him and everyone else. He eventually becomes Reek, a mindless puppet broken of will, neither Ironborn or Northern. He finally snaps out at the end of Season 5.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After being sold out by the Ironborn, he's revealed in Season 3 to be a prisoner being subjected to it by his captors. Despite asking him questions, they don't actually seem to be interested in his answers.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He has shades of this. Though he's not really that pragmatic in other ways, from what we see, Theon actually has a fair measure of success in combat because he's sneaky and doesn't fight fairly.
    • In Season 1, he rescues Bran and ends the standoff between Robb and the wildlings by shooting their leader in the back.
    • In Season 2, he lures Ser Rodrik and the guards remaining in Winterfell away with a feint attack on Torrhen's Square. He then sends his men over the walls and takes the castle as it sleeps. He also successfully unleashes a No Holds Barred Beat Down on Black Lorren by exploiting the element of surprise.
    • Finally, in Season 5, he saves Sansa Stark from a world of hurt by chucking Myranda to her Disney Villain Death, a feat that he accomplishes by attacking from behind and subverting her expectations that he's totally Ramsay's creature (though that may not have factored in his decision to do it).
    • At the start of Season 6, he and Sansa are surrounded by Bolton soldiers and about to be dragged back to Winterfell, but suddenly Brienne and Podrick ambush the soldiers. During the ensuing fight, Pod is knocked off his horse and finds himself outmatched by the soldier he fights on foot. Before the soldier can deliver the killing blow, however, Theon gets his hands on a dropped sword and thrusts it into the back of Pod's attacker.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: His biological family versus the one that raised him. He ultimately chooses his biological family, neatly summed up by his entry and image quotes, above.
  • Covered with Scars: Though Reek's face has been left mostly unmarked, during the bath scene it's revealed that the rest of his body is covered with dozens of painful-looking scars.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In spite of all his other failings, Theon is an amazing archer and helped Robb win several of his initial battles. Everything went downhill for him after his Face–Heel Turn, and thanks to Ramsay Snow, he hasn't even got the archery anymore.
    • Though in Season 6 he is badass enough to try and lead the Bolton soldiers away from Sansa and later stab one in the back whilst Brienne and Pod were temporarily incapacitated. In Season 7, he fights and kill a few of Euron's raider before he absorbs the horror of the scene and starts reliving his trauma.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: He's introduced in Season 3 as bound to an X-shaped cross and being subjected to torture. He spends a lot of time this way.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He's already past this during his torture by Ramsay and the news that Robb Stark is dead and Ramsay's own father murdered him probably killed any bits of hope he had left. He later dives even further when he meets Sansa and admits his guilt into betraying the Starks and outright admits he deserves to be tortured for killing children.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: He betrays Robb and the other Stark's to win the love and respect of his cunt father, (which doesn't happen) when ironically Robb was the one who really gave a shit about him. Theon eventually realizes what a mistake this was. Also, Yara is shown to care about him at the end of the day, meaning even within his own biological family, he was still looking for the approval of the wrong relative.
  • Disability Superpower: Probably the first time in TV history where a previous Groin Attack actually helped someone in a fight. When he gets in an argument with Harrag, the guy makes the mistake of trying to kick him in the balls, forgetting that there's nothing there. This allows Theon to tackle Harrag and beat the shit out of him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Theon kills Myranda when she threatens to torture Sansa out of jealousy, He then grabs Sansa and jumps from Winterfell's walls with her, stealing Ramsay's prize.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • He expects a grand welcome during his homecoming. He doesn't get it.
    • He also expects the people of Winterfell to at least show him a little respect, considering he invaded it with armed soldiers and occupied it. Noooooooope. Everyone from crippled children to helpless old men gives him lip and snark.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Averted. The horrific torture and mind-breaking he suffers alongside castration by Ramsay's hands gets some sympathy he lost when he went off the rails to please his father.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Before his Face–Heel Turn, he appears disgusted that Jaime Lannister acts polite after having put several bannermen to the sword, suggesting they do the same.
    • He's genuinely disgusted when he finds out that the woman he's been hitting on is his sister. Incest seems to be one of the few things he won't do.
  • Evil Former Friend: To the Starks in general and Robb in particular.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He attempts to do this, planning to charge into battle against the Northern forces that have come for him and kill as many men as he can before he dies. Instead, his own men knock him out and sell him to the enemy. He then spends several years in hell...
    • His final desperate to cling to his name — and more than his name, his identity as a Greyjoy, a descendant of kings and warriors — in the face of Ramsay's increasingly brutal beatings has shades of this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Began the series as Robb's best friend, and then betrayed him when he was sent to the Iron Islands to treat with his father. He immensely regrets it.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He probably should have spent more time listening to Maester Luwin about the other Houses and their respective sigils since, despite being flayed on an X-shaped cross, he still doesn't figure out who's responsible for torturing him.
  • Fingore: During his first torture session, a thin blade is slowly forced under one of his fingernails. When Ramsay replaces the torturer and carries on the sessions by himself, his first "game" ends with Theon's pinky finger getting flayed; an experience so painful that Theon is left begging for Ramsay to amputate it altogether. Later, Theon is seen wearing a bandage over much of his right hand, implying that Ramsay has been doing the same for his other fingers.
    • Subsequent episodes show that Theon still has most of the fingers on his right hand at least. He was able to hold the razor with that hand when giving Ramsay a shave, and there's a closeup of a glove being put on his hand before he's sent to Moat Cailin. Most likely because he wouldn't be much use as a slave if he couldn't hold or carry anything.
  • Flaying Alive: Ramsay skinned parts of him, particularly his hands.
  • Foil:
    • To Jon Snow. Both are raised under the House of Stark. Jon, as the illegitimate son of Lord Eddard Stark, wishes to be a legal Stark and Theon — though a trueborn son of House Greyjoy and a hostage/ward of the Starks — wants to be a Stark. Both suffer from "Well Done, Son!" Guy. Both are Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. The difference is Jon maintains his honor while Theon betrays his adopted family for his blood father who treats him poorly. Jon is loved by his father and half-siblings and grows up with his family while Theon grows up away from his family and has a father who doesn't even like him.
    • To Jaime Lannister. Both start off as cocky young men. At least once, Theon winds up in an incestuous situation with his sister while Jaime and his sister Cersei frequently engage in incest. After experiencing dire circumstances, both are captured and lose a vital body part, which initially breaks them, and both manage to escape. Both return home, but find they no longer have the power and influence they expected upon returning home. Both share close relationships with their sisters. However, after Theon returns home, Yara is far more supportive of Theon, while Cersei is less so with Jaime.
  • Forced to Watch: Ramsay forced him to watch as he rapes Sansa on their wedding night.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: By Season 7, the surviving Starks have become sympathetic of him despite his betrayal in Season 2, especially as he saved Sansa from the Boltons. But they (Jon specifically) make it clear to Theon that his betrayal still stings.
  • Glory Hound: He's desperate to make a name for himself somehow.
  • Going Native: A lot of his problems come from the fact that his mindset is far more Northern than Ironborn, but he refuses to admit it. This proves to be his undoing; he's willing to die rather than be "the Greyjoy who ran", not realizing that his Ironborn fighters think defiant last stands when running away with the loot is an option are just stupid.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Maester Luwin and Dagmer are essentially this for him after he captures Winterfell. Dagmer usually wins out, which only serves to accelerate Theon's downfall.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Appears to be quite jealous of Tyrion and the Lannisters due to their wealth and power.
    • Later, of Yara's favorite status with their father.
  • Groin Attack: Ramsay castrates him with a gelding knife.
    • The Season 7 finale finally has him discover an upside to this, as he's now able to No-Sell any further strikes to the area.
  • Handicapped Badass: Downplayed. Despite his torture, he is still able to hold his own with a sword in a fight. However, his experiences had definitely left their mark on him both Physically and Mentally.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Slips into this after being forced to fight with Yara for his position as heir to Balon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With Robb. Seems to hold him in regard out of any other Stark and he is usually the first to stand by any of Robb's decisions.
      Theon: Am I your brother? Now and always?
      Robb: Now and always.
    • Subverted by his betrayal in Season 2. Now Robb wants to kill him.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Late Season 2, Luwin attempts to reason with a desperate Theon that he is in over his head. Theon himself admits as much but then states that he's in too deep. He can't return home because he'd be returning a failure. Robb, the one person who actually respected Theon, would kill him on the spot. He's too scared to join the Night Watch and face Jon Snow after everything he's done. Finally, Theon gets somewhat of a chance of redemption when he is welcomed back by his sister and the two align with Daenerys in Essos.
  • Heel Realisation: In Series 3, long after his antics have caused every member of his adopted family to despise him. In Season 5, he outright tells Sansa he deserves being tortured into Reek for killing those miller's boys and betraying Robb.
  • He's Back: In the Season 5 finale, Theon begins to break free from his Reek persona, killing Myranda and saving Sansa while the Greyjoy theme plays. At the end of Season 6, the sight of the flag of the (dissident) Greyjoys as part of the Targaryen armada brings a smile to his face, signalling that he's well on the path to recovering from his ordeal. By the end of Season 7, it's safe to say Reek has been put to rest, as Theon demonstrates with his determination to rescue his sister and his No Holds Barred Beat Down of the Ironborn captain, complete with one of his trademark smirks.
  • I Have Your Wife: Theon was raised by Ned Stark as insurance for Balon Greyjoy's good behavior.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: Theon throws his dad's name around quite a few times to boast about his status. Most people have no idea who he's talking about.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: He begs Ramsay to kill him in 'Mhysa.' Ramsay doesn't oblige, partly because his father still needs Theon as a bargaining chip, but mostly because he's having too much fun in making Theon's life a living hell.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: A reoccuring theme in Theon's early character arc. Despite being raised by the Starks, he was never truly considered one of them. When returning to his homeland, Theon was hit with the cold hard reality that he was not missed. He overthrows Winterfell in a gambit to win his father's affection but ends putting himself in an unwinnable situation when the rest of the North wants him dead. This all ultimately leads to his his capture by Ramsay.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Starts out as this in Season 2. He acts out on his anger at his father for sending him off, and his disdain for the Starks for running his chance at becoming a ruler when he was made to be a squire for them, by forcibly taking control of their castle. Becomes a Butt-Monkey quickly after his takeover, as Bran (a crippled eleven year old boy) flat-out tells him that he rejects his bid for power and acts bored when he makes his demands, gets told off by the people and servants in Winterfell, and even spit on by one of them. Theon quickly becomes a Villain Protagonist after the last incident, brutally hacking the head off the person who spit on him and having two children killed then burning their bodies just to make Winterfell believe the Stark children were dead. Theon's received a horrific dose of Laser-Guided Karma by Ramsay Snow later and even Sansa realizes he's far too pathetic and miserable to truly hate.
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    • Theon acknowledges the truth of Maester Luwin telling him that he's not the evil man he's been acting as, and can make amends for his treachery by joining the Night's Watch. However, Theon feels that he has already gone too far.
    • Earlier, Tyrion calls Theon out on how he's joined House Stark in all but name. He quickly moves on, but had he listened, he'd have either put more thought into his visit with his father or rejected the Greyjoys outright. Instead, he just assumed everything would be fine, to the detriment of all.
  • The Igor: To Ramsay, complete with slow gait and low-bent head. Going with the Ramsay = Dracula parallelism, Reek is also The Renfield, or a deconstruction of this trope.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Theon's arrogance has a whole lot to do with the fact that he grew up as a Stark ward/glorified Stark prisoner and was constantly reminded of how he should feel grateful to his adoptive family/captors.
  • Insistent Terminology: Insists on being referred to as "Lord Greyjoy" on account of his heritage. When he takes Winterfell, he takes the title 'Prince of Winterfell,' and insists that people refer to him as "Prince Theon." This, like so many, many other examples of his faults is used to horrifying effect by Ramsay Snow whom after torturing and mutilating him to near insanity, playing sick mind games to break him down to a sobbing wreck whenever he sees him and personally castrating him, decides that "Theon" is too much a "lord's name" for him — there was even a King in the North called Theon Stark — as he is nothing but "stinking meat" now and thus his name should reflect that.
  • Ironic Hell: His attempt to resolve his identity crisis (Northman/Stark or Iron Islander/Greyjoy) in the first couple of seasons, results in his capture and torture by Ramsay Bolton, where he struggles between his born identity as Theon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, and the 'Reek' identity Ramsay Bolton forced upon him. He eventually becomes Theon Greyjoy again, but still not the same guy he'd had in mind — rather, he's a mentally and physically mutilated version of Theon Greyjoy that still can't shake some of Reek's mannerisms.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: After Ramsay demonstrates just how harmless Theon is now, Locke refers to him as "your pet rat", and Roose Bolton calls him "your creature".
  • It's All About Me: He doesn't take much consideration for anything but his own immediate gratification and how other people view him. Even as Reek, he's mainly concerned about preventing Ramsay from torturing him more than usual and knowingly finks Sansa's rescue plans and gets her friend killed, even saying that he's doing this to stop Ramsay from hurting her. Sansa however gives him "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead which starts his Heel Realization. The first outright selfless action he's ever done, either as Theon or Reek, is when he kills Myranda and stops her from torturing Sansa and chooses to escape with her over the walls of the castle. In the sixth season, however, this appears to have changed; when he and Sansa hear the Bolton men approaching, Theon tells her to hide while he goes to lure them away, and then to head for Castle Black where she'll be safe with her brother Jon Snow. When they corner Theon and demand to know where Sansa is, he lies and tells them that Sansa broke both legs in the fall and he left her behind to die. Unfortunately, they don't believe him and their dogs easily pick up Sansa's scent. But he tried, knowing that he was facing capture and even worse torture at Ramsay's hands.
  • Jerkass: Theon is a bit of an asshole, even before his Face–Heel Turn. Significantly less of one following his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While his betrayal of the Stark is bad he does say to Luwin how terrible it was to have people calling him lucky to have such admirable jailers.
    • Balon & Yara refuse to listen to his warnings about the North not being so easy to conquer. They are convinced he is only trying to dissuade from the attack them due to his loyalty to the Starks. This is actually true but Theon turns out to be correct about the North being well defended. In the end the Ironborn are only able to take three castles. They later surrender two of these without a fight when a Northern army actually arrives to take them back.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being a bit of an asshole at first, he is also a good person at times. He saved Bran's life, gave Robb some good advice, told Jon that he gets to keep Ghost, and even tried to make conversation with Tyrion Lannister. Even when he betrays the Starks he still tries at first to be kind and gentle with Bran.
  • Kick the Dog: He has behaved abusively toward Ros and Osha and other characters don't seem to trust or like him. In Season 2, his capture of Winterfell and subsequent actions are basically one long exercise in this trope. Notably his killing of Ser Rodrik and two innocent peasant boys.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: A literal example when he beats and then kicks Lorren for letting Bran and Rickon escape and then imply it was Theon's fault because he took Osha into his bed.
    • Initially subjected to this himself when held captive and tortured by the Boltons. However, Ramsay's torture of him is so over-the-top and cruel that eventually it actually makes the viewer start to sympathize with Theon again.
  • The Lancer: To Robb's The Hero in Season 1.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: He's seen this way in-universe. The Greyjoys have become the punchline to a joke in Westeros after Balon's failed rebellion.
    Jaime: I saw the youngest Greyjoy boy at Winterfell. It was like seeing a shark on a mountaintop.
    Jory: Theon. He's a good lad.
    Jaime: I doubt it.
  • Loss of Identity: His time under Ramsay where he's forced to take on the Reek personality and name nearly does this to him. He completely follows Ramsay's slightest whim and command, ratting out anyone who tries to appeal or meet him, and even Ramsay is convinced that Reek is entirely his. Turns out he's not. Theon still remembers and feels guilty about killing those miller's boys and betraying Robb and finally rescues Sansa and kills Myranda when the latter points out that Sansa will likely meet the same Fate Worse than Death him, though it is very possibly Myranda was saying this out of pure jealous of Sansa cause of Rasmay's attraction to her.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: In "The Wolf and the Lion".
  • Madness Mantra: When it appears his mission to trick the Ironborn is failing, Reek begins to mutter to himself quietly "Reek, Reek, it rhymes with weak".
  • Meaningful Rename: Ramsay renames him "Reek" in "Mhysa", mostly because he stinks.
  • Mind Rape: Ramsay's physical and mental torture warps his personality into something called "Reeks".
  • Misplaced Accent: Despite being from the Iron Islands, Theon sounds Northern, likely due to his time with the Stark family.
    • It's particularly noticable in Season 2 where the Ironborn characters sound vastly different than Theon does.
    • Yara also pronounces his name as "Tee-on", not "They-on". This implies that even he has forgotten how to say his own name.
    • Hilariously, when one looks at the background, one finds that the name Theon is in fact a given name in the North. With one of the Kings of Winter (Theon Stark the Hungry Wolf, mentioned in chapter 69 and 66 of GoT and ACCK respectively), so it may not be forgetting as much as it is he just doesn't care which he says it. This is fitting, considering the Ironborn and the Northmen have the same basic cultural origin, with both being the last descendants of the First Men.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The taking of Winterfell and execution of Ser Rodrik are treated this way in-universe. The execution of the two orphans to pass them as Bran and Rickon also counts in and out of the series, with Theon himself remaining stricken with guilt and regret over these murders in Season 3. In Season 5, he admits that being tortured into Reek is punishment for those crimes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • It's subtle, but when Theon kills Ser Rodrik, he's shown standing and staring in the rain, and you can see this etched on his face. Later, when he hoists the corpses of two children he claims were Bran and Rickon, he immediately looks down in regret and guilt.
    • In Season 3, Theon begins to voice his regrets over betraying the Starks after he realizes Balon Greyjoy will never truly love him as a son like Ned Stark did. Important to note is that all of these revelations come while he is free from captivity and under the impression that he is about to be reunited with his sister.
      Theon: My real father lost his head at King's Landing.
  • No Holds Barred Beat Down: Unleashes a surprising one on Lorren.
  • No-Sell: His castration means that a Groin Attack is now useless against him in a fight, as we discover at the end of Season 7 when one of his men tries it on him repeatedly. Theon just smiles and proceeds to win the fight.
  • The Oathbreaker: He broke his oath to fight by Robb's side until his dying day.
  • Parental Substitute: Ned Stark for him. He finally realizes and admits it in Season 3, long after his actions have caused most of his adopted family to despise him and want him dead.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Despite his faults, he seems to be a loyal friend to Robb and one of his most ready supporters, until he betrays him.
    • He still makes the effort to gently persuade Bran to hand over the castle, and promises to treat the people as well as their previous lord did, in clear attempt to justify his own actions. He doesn't take it well when they don't show him an inkling of respect in spite of this.
      • When Ser Rodrik gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech, Theon's more forgiving than many other villains in the series; his first response is to basically tell Ser Rodrik that he should be quiet, or else. That's when Ser Rodrik spits in his face with everybody watching. Theon's response to that is to order Ser Rodrik imprisoned, but before he finishes the sentence he is interrupted by Dagmer, who tells him that if Theon does anything less than execute Ser Rodrik after an insult like that, nobody will respect him. The whole reason Theon took Winterfell in the first place was because he wanted his men to start respecting him, so this finally convinces him to do it. Even so, he still has a My God, What Have I Done? reaction as described above, and if Dagmer hadn't poked that particular sore spot then Ser Rodrik would have been spared.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • He's trying his damnedest to be this.
      Theon: You're not a man in the Iron Islands 'till you've killed your first enemy!
    • Theon assumes that his men, being proud Ironborn warriors, would willingly brave certain death to go out in a blaze of brutal glory. Noooooooooope.
  • Really Gets Around: Mostly with women he pays or complete idiots who are easily taken advantage of. He also fancies himself a ladykiller and The Casanova, but his onscreen relationship pursuits have so far consisted of: visiting Ros (a prostitute), attempting to force himself on Osha (who just tells him off before they're interrupted and later seduces him in a Batman Gambit Honey Trap way), seducing the captain's teenage daughter on a ship, and (unknowingly) groping his sister.
    • This reputation came back to haunt him in the worst possible way when Ramsay Snow heard of it and was thus inspired to violently castrate Theon in order to utterly break him.
  • The Resenter: On so many levels. More or less justified, too.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • A pretty nice one in "Valar Morghulis". Shame he gets knocked out right after by Dagmer.
      Dagmer: It was a good speech, didn't want to interrupt.
    • He gets another fantastic one in in "The Door" while vouching for Yara at the Kingsmoot.
  • Sanity Slippage: His mental health has clearly deteriorated during Season 2. Not surprising, given his father's treatment, his less-than-stellar attempts at earning his men's respect, the Northerners' hatred when he takes Winterfell and losing Bran and Rickon. Another major reason for this, is that his behavior at Winterfell was really inconsistent with his personality, as his hesitation and ambivalence demonstrates. Theon might have been a contemptible, womanizing Butt-Monkey who could never get any respect, but that was mostly due to insecurity. He wasn't genuinely evil.
    • His torture at the hands of Ramsay Snow has seen him turn into a wreck of a person, completely consumed by fear of Ramsay. He finally gets over that fear by helping Sansa escape. But Euron triggers his fears again, causing Theon to abandon Yara.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After Euron wins the Kingsmoot, he and Yara go into exile rather than stay at the mercy of their murderous uncle, and a sizeable portion of dissident Ironborn follow them in taking the best Ironborn ships with them.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With his sister Yara, for the respect of his father.
    • Also with Ned Stark's illegitimate son, Jon Snow, as they are both raised under the same roof and share a close relationships with Robb. Theon considers himself the better one for being a trueborn son of House Greyjoy.
  • Slave to PR: Increasingly becomes this over the course of Season 2. Yara eventually calls him out on it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks he's pretty damn awesome in battle and lovemaking among other things, but no one else is buying it. This is perhaps best demonstrated when he can't even take off Ser Rodrik's head until after several strokes, and in the end is simply hacking away and actually has to kick the head off in the end. When Ned did the same thing in the first episode he actually used a proper heavy sword (so heavy, in fact, that Ned hardly swung it, just let it fall), demonstrating that Theon literally doesn't have the right tools for the job and is too arrogant to ask for them.
  • Spanner in the Works: He somehow manages to be this for three different factions:
    • To Robb Stark. His father wants to take over Moat Cailin, Deepwood Moote and villages on the coast, believing that Winterfell could wait a year or two. Theon however takes the seat of the Starks by subterfuge, an action which deals a critical blow to Robb's campaign and costs him the loyalty of the Boltons.
    • Likewise to Balon and Yara Greyjoy, his breakdown under torture ends up making him a Bolton puppet which makes her effort to rescue her brother a doomed effort that costs the lives of several good Ironborn fighters. Later, he becomes a go-between that negotiates the surrender of Moat Cailin, starting the beginning of the end of the Ironborn campaign in the north.
    • To the Boltons, the fact that he did not kill Bran and Rickon Stark but two farmer's children instead, means that the Princes could turn up later under the guidance of some other Northern Lord or the other and upset their hegemony in its nascent stage. Later Ramsay's insistent on keeping Theon as Reek leads to Sansa deprogramming him to the extent that he snaps and kills Myranda and escapes with her when Ramsay fights Stannis.
    • He later throws a spanner into his uncle Euron's plans when he and Yara take the Iron Fleet's best longships with them into exile, forcing Euron to build a new fleet from scratch and delaying his plans to ally with Dany and conquer the Seven Kingdoms.
    • In the end, Theon starts the chain of events that finally culminates in the Boltons downfall during Season 6.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Towards Ramsay. The torture at his hands has worked that he abandons and refuses to recognize his sister, willingly rats out Sansa's plans to him and generally does what he says. Ultimately averted when he snaps out and escapes with Sansa out of Winterfell.
  • Stupid Evil: Displays poor leadership and favours unnecesary violence. He's shortsighted and doesn't seem to grasp the concept of Pragmatic Villainy , being more interested in seeming tough. Luwin is unable to convince him that Ser Rodrick is more valuable alive than dead, and Theon repeats this mistake again with the Stark boys, as Yara points out. A rare example in which his Stupid Evil comes from trying to adhere to PR where the Ironborn are concerned.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • He insists he has always been "Reek", making it clear that any trace of the man he once was is gone.
      Reek: Theon Greyjoy tried to escape. The master knew. He knows everything. He hunted him and caught him and strapped him to a cross and cut away piece after piece until there was no Theon left.
    • The Season 5 finale resurrects Theon again.
  • Thicker Than Water: The reason for his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: His default expression nowadays. Comprehensibly if you're forced to spend your days alongside and at the mercy of Ramsay Bolton, your face eventually gets permanently stuck in an empty, horrified look.
  • Tragic Villain: Despite his rather unpleasant personality, he becomes one of these due to the degree to which his jerkassery and later villainy is fueled by never being accepted by anyone, as well as his upbringing. His nightmarish fate in Season 3 makes this all the more pronounced.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After at least three years of bad fortune, torture, and abuse, Season 6 sees Theon reestablish his identity as a Greyjoy, finally bond and mend fences with Yara, and find a proud place in Daenerys Targaryen's armada, firmly setting him on a road to recovery.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • To Ramsay for most of Seasons 4 and 5, averted finally when he kills Myranda and runs away with Sansa.
    • To Yara after Season 6 finale, being her right-hand man.
  • The Unfavorite: His father clearly does not think of him highly, instead preferring Yara.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: How the Northerners view him after his siege of Winterfell.
  • Villain Protagonist: Becomes one in Season 2.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A big part of his personality and issues stem from this. It isn't until "The Ghost of Harrenhal" that he realizes just how little respect people really have for him due to this, as the Ironmen don't respect those who just blindly do as they're told. When he disregards Balon's orders to raid small fishing villages and chooses to hit a larger, harder target with more plunder, the men begin to respect him more. And then his sister shows up and continues to berate him (though, in that case, it's a little justified, since it's about killing fake Bran and Rickon). In Season 3, he finally admits that his true father was Ned.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He was treated with familiarity by the Starks and was a close friend of Robb's.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The two orphan boys he had murdered and burned to take the place of Bran and Rickon. Theon doesn't quite have it in him to do it himself, however, letting Dagmer do so. However he fully accepts responsibility and later admits to Sansa that he deserves being tortured by Ramsay for what he had done.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Theon's lifelong problem since he was taken hostage by the Starks after his father's first rebellion. He's never truly home at Winterfell and he becomes a Stranger in a Familiar Land in both the Iron Islands (as the returning Prodigal Son) and in Winterfell (as the traitorous former ward). In Season 5, he decisively breaks from Ramsay by killing Myranda, knowing there's no way he can ever return to him now, and so he and Sansa run for it. In Season 6, his uncle Euron murders his father and is appointed the new King of the Iron Islands, so now even there is no longer safe for Theon.

Greyjoy household and retainers

    Dagmer "Cleftjaw"
"They're all Iron Islanders. Do they do as they're told or do they do as they like?"
Played By: Ralph Ineson

A veteran Ironborn raider assigned as Theon's second at the Sea Bitch. He acts as a mentor of sorts to Theon reminding him that the Ironborn follow men, not orders, and he must earn their respect if he wants to lead them.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, his nickname "Cleftjaw" is descriptive of his appearance, as he was horribly disfigured after taking an ax to the face, leaving him with lips stretched apart. In the TV series, he has some minor facial scars.
  • Adaptational Villainy: A far cry from an Evil Mentor, Dagmer is actually an honorary uncle to Theon and one of the few kind to him in his youth. He remains at Torrhen's Square and returns to the Stony Shore after being driven out by Ser Rodrik. However in the show he's the one with the idea of executing Ser Rodrik and killing two kids to display as Bran and Rickon to Winterfell. You can also add handing Theon over to their enemies and mortally wounding Maester Luwin to that list, too.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: His first scene with Theon.
  • Asshole Victim: Flayed by Ramsay Snow. A terrible death but given who he was, no one is going to mourn for him.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: To Theon.
  • Composite Character: Takes on much of "Reek's" — actually a disguised Ramsay Snow — role from the book. Telling Theon to execute Ser Rodrik for spitting at him comes from Aeron Greyjoy telling Theon to kill Benfred Tallhart for the same reason.
  • Death by Adaptation: In "Mhysa", we learn that Ramsay Snow had him and the other Ironborn flayed alive. Dagmer is still alive in the books.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He's Theon's main henchman for the siege of Winterfell, but he's pretty much in charge without it being blatant. He manages Theon like he was made of plasticine. There are times when Dagmer straight-up tells Theon what to do, and Theon does it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dagmer goes missing for an entire season until it's off-handedly mentioned that Ramsay flayed the Ironborn at Winterfell alive. He isn't even mentioned by name and we don't see his actual death, despite being a driving force in Theon's storyline.
  • Evil Mentor: He initially acts as a mentor for Theon, seeming to genuinely want him to rise up in the esteem of his men — evidenced by his smile of approval when Theon beats the shit out of Black Lorren. Climaxes in "The Old Gods and the New" when he convinces Theon to murder his former good mentor, Ser Rodrik.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is magnificent.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars : Considering he's a bloodthirsty psychopath, the deep scar across his face is most certainly of the evil kind.
  • Guttural Growler: He has a bit of this, too.
  • He Knows Too Much: Apparently, a believer in this kind of secrecy; when Theon attempted to compensate the farmer whose children were murdered and passed off as the Stark children, Dagmer gives the bluntest explanation for why this is now impossible:
    Dagmer: He's feedin' the crows; his wife too. You want to keep a man silent, you silence him.
  • Karmic Death: Turns out Ramsay gave him exactly what he deserved for betraying Theon and killing Maester Luwin.
  • Killed Offscreen: Ramsay has him and the other Ironborn raiders flayed alive between Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Number Two: To Theon.
  • Older Sidekick: He's older and more experienced than Theon, yet he serves as the latter's Number Two during the siege of Winterfell.
  • Only Sane Employee: Is quickly established as this, taking on a mentor role to Theon. This is similar, but different than his role in the books, wherein he is an Honorary Uncle who knew Theon since childhood.
  • Pirate: He's an Ironborn; being a pirate is his whole life.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Has a grin everytime an Ironborn kicks a dog.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In "Mhysa", it is revealed that Ramsay had him flayed after he betrayed Theon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: What he and the rest of the Ironborn do in the Season 2 finale.
  • The Starscream: Dagmer serves Theon pretty faithfully...except when things start to go south. He abandons him, taking leadership of the Ironborn.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Theon is certainly responsible for his own acts, but Dagmer is constantly the devil on his shoulder pushing him to go further. It's at Dagmer's insistence that Ser Rodrik is executed.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Once it becomes clear that there's no way they can withstand the coming Northern counterattack, he knocks Theon out after his Rousing Speech, takes command of the Ironborn crew and leads home, leaving him for the Northmen. Or at least, he tried to.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Theon confides in Ramsay that Dagmer was the one who personally killed two Winterfell boys.

    "Black" Lorren
"I've been reaving and raping since before you left Balon's balls, Captain."
Played By: Forbes KB

A veteran Ironborn raider assigned to the Sea Bitch.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Lorren does not abandon Theon despite having the chance and actually wants to go down in one last blaze of glory.
  • Asshole Victim: He is flayed by Ramsay Snow.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers one to Theon when they first meet.
    Black Lorren: I've been reaving and raping since before you left Balon's balls, Captain. Don't reckon I've got much use for your ideas on how to do it. Don't reckon I've got much use for a Captain at all.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald and evil.
  • Beard of Evil: A white one.
  • The Brute: Of the Ironborn that Theon takes to Winterfell.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Unlike Dagmer, he did not enjoy Theon's speech.
    Lorren: [upon seeing Theon knocked out by Dagmer] I thought he'd never shut up.
  • Fat Bastard: He's a hefty guy who boasts about the rapes he's committed.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Theon gives him a long deserved No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in "A Man Without Honor".
  • Pirate: Like the other Ironborn Raiders.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Unsurprising, given that he's a veteran Ironborn raider.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In "Mhysa", it is revealed that Ramsay flayed him after he betrayed Theon.
  • The Starscream: To Theon, which he makes clear from the outset.
  • Tap on the Head: Knocks out Theon with the shaft of a spear at the end of his speech in "Valar Morghulis".
  • While You Were in Diapers: He plays this off against Theon, while also threatening to kill him and take his ship.

    Ralf Kenning
"The Ironborn will not surrender. You go tell your master that, Theon Greyjoy, or whoever the fuck you are!"
Played By: Grahame Fox

A veteran Ironborn captain commanding the dying garrison at Moat Cailin.
  • Adaptational Badass: When Reek gets to him in the books, he's so sick with fever that he's bedridden and utterly delirious and has to be mercy-killed before even getting a single line. Here, he's in full possession of his faculties and continues to defy the Boltons to the bitter end.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Without even realizing it. Questioning "Theon's" manhood causes Reek to mentally collapse.
  • Bald of Awesome: If only because he's one of the few Ironborns who is Defiant to the End and not a Dirty Coward.
  • Blood from the Mouth: He is wasting away from disease, likely malaria or dysentery from the humid swamps around Moat Cailin. Many of his men and horses have already died from sickness when we meet them.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Is quickly rewarded with an axe to the head when he refuses the Bolton terms of surrender from Reek.
  • Colonel Badass: Despite barely being able to stand from disease and even while vomiting blood, he easily sees through Ramsay's ruse and tells Reek to get lost with his offer of safe passage.
  • Composite Character: Takes on the role of Dagon Codd from the books. Kenning in the books is too sick to treat with Reek, who kills him as an act of mercy. Dagon Codd meanwhile refuses to surrender, but is killed by Adrack Humble for it.
  • Defiant to the End: Moat Cailin is falling, but he decides to go out like a warrior.
  • Foil: To the original Theon Greyjoy, actually. Faced with similar circumstances, they acted in pretty much the same way (deciding to die in battle rather than surrender, despite usual Ironborn tactics), only then to suffer virtually the same fate at the hands of their own men. Kenning's decision, however, was possibly was based upon his own knowledge of House Bolton's horrifying reputation, whereas Theon's came from a true feeling of Honor Before Reason, which he picked up from his childhood among the Starks.
  • General Failure: Fell to the same Honor Before Reason fallacy that gripped Theon at Winterfell, forgetting that the Ironborn always run when the enemy is superior (being raiders). And, on top of that, he seems to ignore the fact that probably only a dozen of his men can actually fight, the rest are dying from disease and fatigue. At this point, the Ironborn fighting morale is not just critically low, but laughably non-existent. Naturally, one of his own men kills him (though even if he hadn't, Ramsay would've tortured him to death). On the other hand, while in a terrible condition, Moat Cailin is virtually impregnable to ground attacks, as evidenced by the swamps filled with corpses outside the walls. Despite having a small and disease-stricken garrison, the Ironborn at least had a better chance to live if they waited for relief instead of putting themselves at Ramsay's mercy.
  • Honor Before Reason: Has it worse even than Theon at Winterfell, who at least had almost all of his men in fighting condition. Kenning suicidally (in more ways than one) decides to reject the Boltons' offer. The alternate interpretation, of course, is that Kenning knew what the Boltons would do if they surrendered, and decided that dying with an axe in the skull is better than being flayed alive. Of course, it turns out that Kenning was right all along.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Kenning is constantly coughing up blood and it's clear he isn't long for this world.
  • In the Back: Of the head, with an axe, by his own men.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: As an Ironborn, it's to be expected.
  • Spiteful Spit: He spits a gout of malaria-infected blood into Reek's face and tells him to get lost, rather than surrendering.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He dies the same episode that he first appears in.
  • With Friends Like These...: Gets killed by his own men who are desperate enough to believe in a safe way out.

    Adrack Humble
"If we yield we live? Is that what is says on this paper here?"
Played By: Jody Halse

One of the Ironborn soldiers at Moat Cailin.