The White Wolf and the Crippled Kraken

Theon ashore The Spoils of War

“The Night’s Watch is an ancient and honorable order. You’ll have opportunities there.”

“The opportunity for Jon Snow to cut my throat in my sleep.”

“The opportunity to make amends for what you’ve done.”

– Maester Luwin and Theon Greyjoy

The most recent episode of Game of Thrones featured a moving reunion between Stark siblings in Winterfell. Bran, Arya, and Sansa Stark all have managed to navigate through their personal diasporas to return home with power: magical, martial, and political.

Arya: I ended up with magical and martial abilities!
Sansa: Well, now you’re bragging.
Bran: I also have the history channel.

As delightful as it was to have three Starks in the same location without someone being executed or betrayed (at that moment at least, the season isn’t over yet…) another type of family reunion was happening on Dragonstone. Jon Snow was on hand to greet Theon Greyjoy, freshly pulled from the sea and returned to Daenerys Targaryen’s island fortress.

For a moment, I was convinced that Jon Snow was going to kill Theon.

Jon Snow Theon up in each other's face like that

I was as much on the edge of my seat as I was when Bronn was aiming Qyburn’s scorpion at Drogon, or when Jaime was rushing like a beautiful fool full-on towards scaly death. I didn’t even know that I had been anticipating a Snow-Greyjoy reunion for seasons.

Theon: Jon. I didn’t know you were here.
Jon: OBVIOUSLY.

I love Jon Snow. He’s good and decent, but he’s not particularly complicated. Not in the way that a grey character like Jaime Lannister is.

I love Theon Greyjoy as well, but it’s love of a different kind. I love Theon’s character and narrative arc. Theon is very complicated.

Jaime: Theon might even be more complicated than myself.

But Theon’s not much of a heroic protagonist. Between Jon and Theon, each has something the other lacks. From a narrative/character perspective. (I’m not making a penis joke here.)

Why should I get so excited about Theon and Jon meeting up in particular? It’s because they’re very similar characters, with similar narrative beats. Both are essentially war orphans brought to Winterfell, to be raised under the same roof with a suspicious and withholding Catelyn Stark. They  both had ambitions with high expectations, but found themselves among unexpectedly shady company, forced into tough choices.

They both ended up killing mentor figures. They’re both guilty of killing children.

Olly strikes!

Theon: You killed a kid? Well, not so high and mighty now, are you Jon?
Jon: Well, he killed me first.
Theon:
Jon: I got better.

They were both betrayed by men under their command, and were butchered. (Allow me some dramatic license in what I’m saying, you know what I’m getting at.) And they both came back from an ordeal.

These (arguably superficial) similarities aside, Jon and Theon are different, but it’s the two-sides-of-the-same-coin difference, the way Arya and Sansa are different but share characteristics you’d expect from the daughters of Catelyn and Ned Stark.

Jon and Theon’s stories have been forged from their choices of weighing duty versus love, or duty versus honor.

Theon is almost a cautionary tale for Jon. A there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I figure. Theon’s life is a fate that Jon has avoided. Conversely, Jon is representing the destiny that Theon failed to achieve.

Theon went as an emissary from Robb Stark to his home in the Iron Islands with the ambition of becoming a king one day. He expected that his father Balon would side with King Robb against the Lannisters and the crown, and would be a king in his own right. Prince Theon, being Balon’s heir, would eventually be king afterwards. But thanks to a series of unfortunate choices, Theon became a tortured wretch instead. To clarify, he did not become a king.

Coming back to Dragonstone after a disastrous sea-battle, Theon encountered not just the bastard boy of Winterfell, but the King in the North. When last Theon saw Jon, the black sheep of the Stark household had left his home to go join up with landless nobodies and thieves to serve at the Wall. But fortune had elevated Jon to the dream job that Theon would never be able to seize. Jon was not a nameless monastic in black. He was a king.

Maester Luwin and Theon Valar Morghulis

At one point, Theon could have gone to the Wall as well. After capturing Winterfell and subsequently finding himself effectively imprisoned there by besieging Boltons, Theon heard counsel from Maester Luwin to abandon Winterfell, to escape and flee to the Wall. To take the black and have his sins erased.

Theon refused, because Jon Snow was at the Wall. Jon was a bogeyman that Theon refused to face. He would rather die in battle than be murdered by Jon in his sleep.

But by choosing to avoid Jon Snow, Theon fell into the clutches of a truly nightmarish figure, Ramsay Snow.

In many ways, things have now come full circle. Theon recently chose to avoid engaging with his terrifying uncle Euron (I’m not chiding Theon for his choice, it probably saved Yara Greyjoy from an immediate death) and risk his fate to the seas. Yara’s surviving Ironborn fished him from the water and brought him back to Dragonstone. And back to his first fearful nemesis, Jon Snow. The man he had avoided years ago, which set him on the path of torture and despair.

Although I enjoy the similar beats in these two characters’ respective stories, and this kind of possibly predestined narrative intersection, I’m also willing to admit that I might just be cherry-picking coincidences. There are a lot of characters in Game of Thrones, and those that live long enough are going to experience similar events with other long-lived characters. Those common experiences might suggest a pattern that really isn’t there.

But there’s no fun in dismissing what might just be coincidence. Let’s treat Jon and Theon’s stories as relevantly similar.

Theon: Honestly, this is becoming as torturous as a session with Ramsay.
Jon: Couldn’t we spice up this tale with some of Old Nan’s giants?
Me: Quiet, both of you. I’m about to get crazy.
Jon: About to?

There’s enough mystical import and mythic symbolism around Jon to suggest that he’s got a personal destiny with a capital D. He already has a secret identity as the possible son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Jon was brought back from the dead, and not as a mindless wight. And he does have that supernatural hair. Jon’s clearly special. But, could Theon also share in this destiny?

Theon: His hair isn’t that great.

Jon’s got a particular struggle. He was raised from the dead, so I think it’s reasonable to assume that he’s living on borrowed time. He has to achieve some kind of purpose, or what was it all for?

As well, he has to avoid botching things somehow. Like the son in the story of The Monkey’s Paw (or in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary) sometimes “dead is better.” It’s quite possible that Jon was brought back to life to give us hope that he’s there to save the day, but is instead the bringer of doom somehow.

Jon: That’s ridiculous. Wait. Whoa.

Theon has a different struggle in that he’s already made his catastrophic mistakes. It would almost be a mercy for the character to be bumped off.

During the third season, during Theon’s extended and unrelenting scenes of abuse by Ramsay, some viewers hoped Theon would die. (Earlier, they might have been rooting for him to die as justice for his actions in Season Two. After a season in the basement of the Dreadfort, hopes for his death were fueled by pity.) Now Theon is struggling to redeem himself, or as Maester Luwin said, to make amends for what he had done.

It’s like Jon and Theon are doing the same thing from different directions. Either not trying to make a mess, or trying to clean one up.

When people talk about Jon Snow being a candidate for Azor Ahai, the Prince that was Promised, or possibly Jon along with Daenerys the Princess that was Promised to be some kind of multi-person Azor Ahai plurality, I like to sneak Theon in as well. “Born in salt and smoke” could probably apply to him (because prophecy is so vague that it can be applied to anyone, really.)

So I was worried when Jon and Theon were face-to-face. Jon has a just cause to kill Theon. But Theon helped Sansa escape from Bolton-held Winterfell and was willing to be taken back to Ramsay in the hopes that the Bolton men might not find her. Due to his service to Sansa, Theon earned a reprieve from Jon, if not forgiveness.

“I let Dagmer slit their throats, and I let him burn their bodies. So I could keep Winterfell and make my father proud.”

“Maybe it’s not too late.”

“It is. My real father lost his head at King’s Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. Now I’ve burned everything down.”

“Not everything, my lord.”

— Theon and a rather deceptive Ramsay

Not everything might be burned down for Theon. Jon has the supernatural Night King to contend with, and Theon will need to find a way to overcome his uncle and save his sister, Yara, the last person who might give a damn about him.

Jon Snow Theon season 1

Jon’s story is writ large on an epic scale. Theon’s story is a bit smaller in scope, but his abilities and resources (personal, emotional etc.) are so limited that he might as well be facing a horde of crazed wights.

Jon will no doubt be soon called away to the North, and Theon to the seas for Yara, but I would be surprised if their stories did not intersect again in some relevant and satisfying way. I mentioned at the top that their meeting was a family reunion of sorts. They each have the Starks as family, with Theon their foster-brother, and Jon their acknowledged half-brother.

Bran: I feel I have something to add about that, but I’m too busy being cosmically aware about stuff.

We can choose our friends, but we can’t choose our family.

Whether they choose to accept this indirect and transitive familial bond or not, there’s a narrative thread that connects the wolf and the kraken. For good or ill.

81 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. This whole season has been great with the reunions, I really hope that Theon can find a way to re-unite and rescue Yara.

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    2. Jon/Theon: Glad the show found time for this scene. I was impressed at the feeling in Jon’s voice. A feeling of old betrayed anger that he had never hoped to get a chance to express.

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    3. Thank you for writing this.

      This was the most momentous scene in this episode for me.

      Remember when Dansa tried to get Theon to come to the Wall again when they both escaped Ramsey and he said he couldn’t face Jon. He couldn’t ask for forgiveness. I hope we get another scene with them where Thein can get some kind of forgiveness from Jon bc otherwise he’ll never be able to move on from Reek. Theon still feels as though he deserves everything Ramsey did to him, and until he forgives himself he’ll never move on and will never be able to save Yara.

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    4. Lucy,

      Agreed, was a nice scene. Sometimes I forget that Theon was a member of the Stark family of sorts….he was a ward but Ned treated him well and later on Theon said something about his real father died in King’s Landing. He was older than Robb and Jon so remembers the Stark kids and their upbringing.

      I am really hoping for a nice arc for him. I hope he can do right by Yara and save her, even if he dies in the attempt.

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    5. Elizabethe,

      Thank you for your kind compliment. I had forgotten about Theon still worried about Jon, when he takes his leave from Sansa at the beginning of Season Six. Thank you for that reminder (now I wish I had included that in my overview/summary.)

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    6. Speaking of reunions (of sorts), I want to see Jaime and Bran. Matter of fact, while we’re on the subject, the get togethers I want to see now are:

      Jaime and Bran
      Sansa and Cersei
      Sansa and Tyrion
      Arya and the Hound
      Arya and Tyrion

      What about you guys?

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    7. RosanaZugey:
      Speaking of reunions (of sorts), I want to see Jaime and Bran.

      Jaime: “Oh… Hey, Bran… um… listen… about me pushing you out that window…”
      Bran: “I saw you watch your daughter die…”
      Jaime: “Er… O_O”

      Lol, couldn’t resist… 😛

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    8. RosanaZugey,

      Jaime and Bran: love to see what Robot Bran says to him
      Sansa and Tyrion: happy that she acknowledged that he was kind to her
      Arya and Melisandre
      Jaime and Brienne
      Tyrion and Podrick

      And count me among those that wish Jory had stayed around a bit longer.

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    9. BigMac: Jaime: “Oh… Hey, Bran… um… listen… about me pushing you out that window…”
      Bran: “I saw you watch your daughter die…”
      Jaime: “Er… O_O”

      Lol, couldn’t resist… 😛

      Lol! “….she looked beautiful.”

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    10. mariamb:
      RosanaZugey,

      Jaime and Bran: love to see what Robot Bran says to him
      Sansa and Tyrion: happy that she acknowledged that he was kind to her
      Arya and Melisandre
      Jaime and Brienne
      Tyrion and Podrick

      And count me among those that wish Jory had stayed around a bit longer.

      Oh yeahhhhhhh! Tyrion and Pod. Yes! That would be nice to see. 🙂 And I’m fairly certain Bran isn’t going to have much to say to Jaime…or he’ll be all “it doesn’t matter anymore,” but I think it would be a huge moment for Jaime’s character/story. It would kind of make it come full circle.

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    11. I’ve watched this one little scene a whole bunch and the acting is just amazing. Alfie Allen especially puts the whole weight of their history in that one word “Jon.” Everything is in there.

      And Kit Harrington’s face as he watches him walk up. SO GOOD.

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    12. Excellent article. I enjoyed the analysis. I’d never really thought of it but Jon and Theon do have some similarities in their backgrounds.

      It kind of reminds me of a line from an old Avengers comic a loooong time ago. At the funeral of the Swordsman, they are paying their farewells. Hawkeyes finishes his thoughts with something like “we were two of a kind I always thought, but somehow I always got the breaks and you never did. ” Now in that case, like in this one, they each really made their own breaks. But still there is a comparison there.

      And my memory of season one is faint, but wasn’t it Theon that discovered Jon’s dire wolf Ghost for him after all the “legitimate” Stark children got theirs and they were getting ready to leave the dead mother?

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    13. elizabethe,

      Yes, both did great in that scene. I loved the way Theon stuttered a bit when he said, “S… Sansa?” You could tell he was afraid of Jon but at the same time concerned about Sansa. Alfie is so underrated as an actor.

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    14. RosanaZugey,
      I’d love for all these reunions to happen. But there’s one that I’d want to see the most: Jon-Arya reunion. That’s the tug-at-the-heart moment I’ve been waiting for.

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    15. RosanaZugey,

      Yes…it would be an important moment for Jaime’s story. IMO, a necessary moment. As a viewer, it was the moment that I knew that GOT would be different from anything that I watched previously: Prince Charming pushes a cute little boy out the window after catching him and his sister screwing in the attic.

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    16. What a good article! It wasn’t more of the same, gushing over the big scenes of the episode (not that I mind doing that). I’d like to see their interaction in the next episode. I assume they’re going to spend a little time together before going their seperate ways unless theon pledges himself to Jon to redeem himself and they hang out the rest of the season, but I think theon will be on his way to get yara pretty soon.

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    17. Sam:
      RosanaZugey,
      I’d love for all these reunions to happen. But there’s one that I’d want to see the most: Jon-Arya reunion. That’s the tug-at-the-heart moment I’ve been waiting for.

      Oh yeah. I think that’s the one the majority of people are waiting for. I think it might happen this week. I remember reading an article here (with the cinematographer, was it?) that said episode 5 would be “crowd pleasing” and “satisfying”. Feel like that specific reunion (and consequently, all of the Starks together) would fit that description. In any event, I got the only reunion I really wanted (Sansa and Arya), so I’m pretty content. But I know Jon-Arya is the “main event”. You’re most definitely not alone in your sentiment.

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    18. Also, I’d like to see Bronn and tyrion run into eachother. Not sure how Tyrion feels about him. I don’t see him holding a grudge against bronn but it’s like he replaced tyrion with Jamie in some weird- your brother is dating your ex and brings her to family dinner- way.

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    19. mariamb:
      RosanaZugey,

      Yes…it would be an important moment for Jaime’s story. IMO, a necessary moment. As a viewer, it was the moment that I knew that GOT would be different from anything that I watched previously: Prince Charming pushes a cute little boy out the window after catching him and his sister screwing in the attic.

      Oh man. That moment was truly one of THE defining moments of this show. And the line, “The things I do for love,” pretty much sums up this entire series for me. It was a massive moment. So, to be able to see them interact (with Jaime apologizing to him) would really be an incredible moment to see.

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    20. “THey both killed a kid.”

      Uhm, Jon didn’t kill a kid. He executed a kid, for participating in the killing of the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

      Theon, by vast contrast, murdered and burned two innocent children.

      Sorry, but even having this in the same structure, as it was done, bothers me. Dark comedy, or not.

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    21. Sam:
      RosanaZugey,
      I’d love for all these reunions to happen. But there’s one that I’d want to see the most: Jon-Arya reunion. That’s the tug-at-the-heart moment I’ve been waiting for.

      the internet will for real IMPLODE when we finally get Jon/Ayra reunion… and if d& D is listening..it needs to be the most cheesiest tear jerking heart pounding cheesefest scene in the history of the show… I want like 5 minutes of ayra crying like a little girl and Jon just bear hugging her to death..

      then the next scene needs to be him watching her practice her sword fighting and jon just beaming while he watches her

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    22. selena,
      Yes to everything you said! 🙂 I’d love to see him watch Arya practicing sword fight with Needle. He’d be glad and proud to see that Arya knows very well how “to stick it with the pointy end”. 😀

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    23. selena: the internet will for real IMPLODE when we finally get Jon/Ayra reunion… and if d& D is listening..it needs to be the most cheesiest tear jerking heart pounding cheesefest scene in the history of the show… I want like 5 minutes of ayra crying like a little girl and Jon just bear hugging her to death..

      then the next scene needs to be him watching her practice her sword fighting and jon just beaming while he watches her

      LOL, they should just film this very long drawn out ultra fan service scene even if they can’t fit it all info the show and just release it on the DVD releases as an extended version extra – that would up sales 🙂

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    24. Thanks for this well-written analysis of a scene that was powerful in spite of being way too short. I hadn’t thought much about the parallels between Jon and Theon before.

      Theon is one of my favorite characters, in spite of having started out as such a jerk. The fact that Alfie Allen is such an extraordinarily gifted, nuanced actor is certainly a big part of why I enjoy him so much. But a lot of the credit must also go to GRRM for having given him such a complex arc. Theon/Reek’s chapters are consistently superb writing.

      I hope that the accelerated pace of the rest of the TV series does not give short shrift to the fulfillment of Theon’s redemption. I want to see him either die heroically saving someone or else manage to survive the war…perhaps to discover that a certain sea captain’s daughter bore him a bastard who could be acknowledged and legitimized.

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    25. Ashley,

      It was an ethical error on Jon’s part to execute Ollie. He might have been a murderer but he was still just a child. What that taught me was that even perfect Jon wasn’t perfect after all and I like that in any character, especially in GoT.

      As for the murder of the two farm kids. It’s important (imo) to note that
      1. The kids weren’t burned alive. They were dead when their bodies were set on fire. Burning someone alive is a particularly despicable crime and not one Theon is guilty of.

      2. Theon let Dagmer slit their throats and Dagmer burn their bodies. It means that it wasn’t Theon who actually did the deed himself but he allowed it to happen and for that, he is fully responsible and he is ridden with guilt because of it (as he should be.) Theon keeps returning to the boys’ murder in future scenes right from season 2 when he first sees them and you can see how shocked and appalled he is when he realizes what he’s allowed to happen and what he’s become (I don’t think he’s seen their bodies before they are displayed in the courtyard but that’s my take on it.)

      To the writer of the article. Great read. There are several parallels between the two outsider “brothers” in the Stark household and as they are – ultimately – both good men who are fighting for the same side/part, I expect them to find enough common ground to become allies and perhaps even friends. I believe both of them will end up in the North fighting together.

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    26. OT but if anyone is visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival there is a great spoof on Thrones! The Musical at Assembley Square. Also the pop up bar Blood and Wine.

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    27. Dolorous Methuselah:
      Excellent article.I enjoyed the analysis.I’d never really thought of it but Jon and Theon do have some similarities in their backgrounds.

      And my memory of season one is faint, but wasn’t it Theon that discoveredJon’s dire wolf Ghost for himafter all the “legitimate” Stark children got theirs and they were getting ready to leave the dead mother?

      I know that Theon was ready to start killing the direwolf pups, I can’t remember if he was the one that noticed Ghost, making it Jon’s. That’s a good reference if that’s correct. (I should have looked it up before starting to type this, or watched the scene.)

      Thanks!

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    28. Sam:
      RosanaZugey,
      I’d love for all these reunions to happen. But there’s one that I’d want to see the most: Jon-Arya reunion. That’s the tug-at-the-heart moment I’ve been waiting for.

      When Sansa told Arya that Jon’s heart would stop when he sees that she’s back, I thought “SAME FOR ME”

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    29. Ashley: Uhm, Jon didn’t kill a kid. He executed a kid, for participating in the killing of the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

      Theon, by vast contrast, murdered and burned two innocent children.

      Sorry, but even having this in the same structure, as it was done, bothers me. Dark comedy, or not.

      There’s a reason I didn’t say “The both *murdered* children.” Because that would be incorrect.

      Look at what you said. “Jon didn’t kill a kid. Jon executed a kid…”

      Jon still killed Olly. It certainly made an impact on him.

      And it’s a legitimate point of comparison between Theon and Jon, even with the differences you brought up (and that I also implied in the article about the circumstances) – especially with the differences brought up, that Jon and Theon, because of their choices and priorities, were directly involved in the death of at least one child.

      I don’t mind that you wanted to state this, I respect that it bothers you, but I was not incorrect. Jon totally killed Olly. It was not unjustified. But it happened.

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    30. To the writer of the article. Great read. There are several parallels between the two outsider “brothers” in the Stark household and as they are – ultimately – both good men who are fighting for the same side/part, I expect them to find enough common ground to become allies and perhaps even friends. I believe both of them will end up in the North fighting together.

      Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed the read. Jon and Theon’s relationship is one I’ll be watching.

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    31. Loved this study of these two characters we’ve been following since the very beginning.

      Jon and Theon both grew up as outsiders at Winterfell, vying for Robb’s attention and Ned’s praise – as well as having to deal with Catelyn’s suspicious gaze. Robb saw them both as brothers, and in that reunion scene in The Spoils of War, it is clear how much Jon is thinking of how Robb was betrayed by Theon. And I wonder how much guilt still lives in Jon that he wasn’t with Robb either – that he returned to Castle Black with Sam and the others rather than continuing south to join the Stark army.

      The way Theon addresses Jon also highlights how far they have come. While these characters share a number of scenes in Winter is Coming, there is only one in which Theon speaks directly to Jon alone – when Jon finds Ghost after all they’ve started to leave with the other five pups. The runt of the litter? That one’s yours, Snow. But in this scene, the hierarchy of their childhood and youth is gone. Theon no longer sees himself as above the Bastard of Winterfell. He is now Jon.

      When they were growing up, Theon was the heir to the Iron Islands. The power dynamic between these two has changed – Jon has power over Theon now in a way he never had at Winterfell. What you did for her is the only reason I’m not killing you. By telling Theon that Sansa is the reason he’s alive, Jon is making it clear that without her, he would be sentenced to death.

      In a way, it is arguable that both of these characters died – one metaphorically and the other literally. The Theon Greyjoy that Jon grew up with at Winterfell no longer exists; he became Reek, and in spite of Yara’s shock therapy it is clear that the Theon Greyjoy we once knew has not returned – and probably never will. Jon was literally killed and brought back to life. Again, he isn’t the same as the Jon we knew before, though the differences are more subtle.

      There is so much emotion in their reunion, but it is understated. Neither is the blabbering mess I was watching it. Jon is clearly keeping his temper in check in a way he couldn’t when faced with Ramsay Bolton in the courtyard scene at the end of Battle of the Bastards. Theon has other emotions to keep in check. The Ironborn think little enough of him as it is, and I wonder if part of him feels he doesn’t have the right to get emotional about the fate of dead and damaged Starks.

      This is by no means a long scene, but it is beautifully executed and acted. Jon and Theon are in each other’s presence for less than two minutes but both Kit and Alfie act the hell out of the moment. And it all starts when Jon looks out onto the horizon, and asks Missandei Is that a Greyjoy ship? As soon as he says those words, he and the audience know what is coming.

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    32. It would be nice for Jon to give Theon a ‘come to Jesus’ style talk about him being raised by Ned Stark and to start honoring the man that raised him.

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    33. Alba Stark,

      “And I wonder if part of him feels he doesn’t have the right to get emotional about the fate of dead and damaged Starks.”

      Oh I think without a shadow of a doubt that Theon constantly keeps his emotions in check largely because he doesn’t think he’s allowed to have any like you said. He’s burdened by guilt and it’s weighing him down. At some point he needs to allow himself to become angry. Not only with himself. He’s done bad things but none as bad as what was done to him. He’s not the same insecure man he was. He needs to allow himself to move on, to stop taking s*** from everyone and I think Jon can help him do that.

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    34. a That m Mad Makes me realize

      spaewife:
      Patrick Sponaugle,

      Jon found Ghost, and then Theon commented that he was the ‘runt’ of the litter and so was Jon’s.

      Ah, I knew Theon had some part in Jon getting Ghost. But a far smaller one than I thought.

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    35. Patrick Sponaugle,

      This is the ‘middle ages’ you know? The concept of a child was very different to what it is now and it would have been seen as perfectly normal to inflict serious punishment on people younger than 10 for crimes.

      Up until 1815, there were around 215-222 crimes that still carried the sentence of death in Britain and one of these was ‘strong evidence of malice in children 7 to 14 years old’. Children could be hung for stealing, beaten, whipped, put in stocks and all for crimes much less serious than the murder and attempt to overthrow one’s superiors.

      Children were not at all seen as exceptional cases when it came to justice.

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    36. Dolorous Methuselah:
      And my memory of season one is faint, but wasn’t it Theon that discoveredJon’s dire wolf Ghost for himafter all the “legitimate” Stark children got theirs and they were getting ready to leave the dead mother?

      While that sounds good, Jon found Ghost. As they were walking away, he heard Ghost’s cries, and bent down to pick him up.

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    37. singedbylife:
      Ashley,

      2. Theon let Dagmer slit their throats and Dagmer burn their bodies.It means that it wasn’t Theon who actually did the deed himself but he allowed it to happen and for that, he is fully responsible and he is ridden with guilt because of it (as he should be.) Theon keeps returning to the boys’ murder in future scenes right from season 2 when he first sees them and you can see how shocked and appalled he is when he realizes what he’s allowed to happen and what he’s become (I don’t think he’s seen their bodies before they are displayed in the courtyard but that’s my take on it.)

      Sorry, but Theon not doing it makes the act even more cowardly and despicable

      In season 6 I had big hopes for Theon as Yaras right hand… but now I don’t see a place for him – I just can’t see him on Team Stark. Perhaps he can provide Dany some useful info on how to defeat Euron/rescue Yara. Honestly he should probably just go find somewhere peaceful to live out his days… if the world weren’t ending.

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    38. The interesting thing about this reunion is that Jon who has been speeking only about forgetting yesterday’s wars and joining forces against the common enemy unleashes so much hateread on poor Theon. How can be Sansa the only reason not to kill him, ir the dead are comming etc.? Sure, it’s nothing but natural to hate those who wronged you or the ones you loved. But if we recognize this right to Jon, we should also recognize it to Olly, Cersei, etc. And therefore all the living uniting against the dead becomes too much to ask for.

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    39. Violator,

      None of that matters in the slightest. If the whole world thought twincest was acceptable, it would still be immoral. A child of Olly’s age is unable to form the intent necessary for murder. Full stop.

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    40. RosanaZugey,
      Out of that list the one I am most interested in seeing reunited is Jamie and Bran, if you think about it if Jamie hadn’t done what he did, Bran probably would not be the three eyed raven, without him being the three eyed raven he wouldn’t be in the position that he is in now to help the North combat the Night King. I really hope that we get a Jamie and Tyrion reunion though.

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    41. spaewife:
      Dolorous Methuselah,

      Not even a part of Jon ‘getting’ Ghost – the link is that Theon is making a joke to get at Jon. It wouldn’t be for him to say whose the direwolf should be.

      Yeah. My memory was pretty far off on that. On the bright side, it prompts me to go back and watch early S1. 🙂

      By the way, is anyone else having problems with the board re-directing to early in a thread/article? I thought my scroll lock was stuck for awhile but it isn’t happening to me on other sites.

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    42. I daydream about a collection of elite fighters, each armed with a valyrian steel blade, facing the white walkers in the last episode ever of the show. I hope Theon is in that suicide squad. As well as Brienne, Bronn, Sandor, Jon, Jorah, Grey Worm, Arya, Daario, Tormund. They win, but it’s bittersweet. Like the end of Rogue One or that Civil War movie Glory.

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    43. Biscotti Knight,

      Olly is about 12, he at this point knows what putting a knife through someone chests means. He knows very well that he is helping to end someone’s life. He knew well that the plan was to murder the Lord Commander. You can argue in favor of their reasoning behind their plan but you cannot argue that they did not know what they were doing. Olly’s part in the execution was particularly disheartening because he was betraying and murdering someone who up to that point had been good to him. Someone who had taken the time to named his steward and who was looking out for his future. Jon was a brother to him.

      The Lord Commander had to kill all mutineers, there was little choice in it. He couldn’t kill the adults and leave the kid alive. That kid had deliberately stabbed his mentor through the heart, looking him in the eye.

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    44. Danny,

      Knowing and understanding are different. The human brain isn’t fully formed and able to understand the consequences of murder until the mid to late teens. That’s really beside the point; I was calling the other poster’s ethical relativism. Nothing is more annoying to me than fans excusing immoral actions of their favorite characters because it’s normal or accepted in a fictional world.

      Your second paragraph is odd, bordering on silly. We hold children and adults to different standards all the time.

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    45. keltia,

      Yes I have seen what appears to be Catlyn 3 times in ep 4. Briefly behind the 2 gate guards which is only the back of her head, so debateable, when Brienne and Ayra fight she can be seen very quickly in the archway and again in the same scene but on the other side again in the opposite archway very quickly. It does look very much like her.

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    46. Pigeon:
      I miss Jory.

      😀 This! My brain instantly went from “interesting analysis, intriguing article” to “AWWW JOOORYYYY”. awww …

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    47. Pigeon:
      I just want to see Tom Wlaschiha’s beautiful face again. Attached to his body, I mean.

      If you don’t win the Internet for this comment, there is no justice.

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    48. Grand Maester Gilly: 😀 This! My brain instantly went from “interesting analysis, intriguing article” to “AWWW JOOORYYYY”. awww …

      I know….dang it! 😛

      Therae: If you don’t win the Internet for this comment, there is no justice.

      Well at first I wrote the first part, then immediately thought that if Arya just pulled it out of her pocket at some point it might diminish my love for her a bit. 🤤

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    49. Thanks, Patrick, for yet another interesting, entertaining read. Lots of food for thought there.

      Oh, and the last picture. Baby Jon, Theon and JORY! Gods I loved Jory, and horrible Jaime Lannister killed him in a horrific way! After they slightly bonded over their war memories (Greyjoy rebellion). Aagh, I’m still upset about Jory.

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    50. talvikorppi:
      Thanks, Patrick, for yet another interesting, entertaining read. Lots of food for thought there.

      Oh, and the last picture. Baby Jon, Theon and JORY! Gods I loved Jory, and horrible Jaime Lannister killed him in a horrific way! After they slightly bonded over their war memories (Greyjoy rebellion). Aagh, I’m still upset about Jory.

      I’m glad you liked the article!

      Sue the Fury is the person who drops in the images, so we owe her thanks for that great pic of young Jon, Theon, and poor doomed loyal awesome Jory.

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    51. About the reunions, I would like to see Jon and Ghost’s, and about Theon, IIRC, he lost the fingers needed for archery to Ramsay.

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    52. Violator,

      I was going to say something to this effect, but you said it far better. As much as the need for Olly’s execution hurt Jon, our modern-day concept of “childhood” didn’t factor into it. Youth, perhaps… but not childhood.

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    53. RosanaZugey,

      I’m shocked that no one has mentioned Arya and Gendry!!!

      On a different note… Thank you, Patrick, for the wonderful article. It’s really nice to see a somewhat unusual comparison between characters, instead of the usual retreads.

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    54. I really hope Theon goes North with Jon to redeem himself, the idea of him somehow saving Yara just feels too cheesey to fit in this story. If he does neither of those things I have honestly no idea what will happen to him.

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    55. Ashley,

      I may be wrong but wasn’t it one of the Iron Born who murdered them (in the show at least) but Theon agreed with it, rather than Theon killing the kids himself?

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