Theon Has a Lot to Prove in Season 8
Wanted to write in this week about Theon’s story arc and respond to Big D directly. Throughout the course of the show, Theon has been a character that many feel sorry for because his suffering is ongoing. As much as he may have deserved the torture and the ridicule, it was clear that he became a broken man in need of redemption. I think in the season finale, Theon redeemed himself, but only half way.
As both a Greyjoy and a Stark, Theon has two redemption arcs that will lead to his ultimate change of character. By freeing Sansa from the Boltons and finally seeking Jon’s forgiveness, Theon has redeemed himself as a Stark. As a Greyjoy, however, he can only redeem his past misgivings by attempting to rescue Yara as she did for him. Theon will likely head to Pyke to confront Euron and rescue his sister, but the audience knows Euron has actually taken his fleet east in order to escort Cersei’s new army. If Yara is held captive aboard Euron’s ship, she is as good as dead. Yet, if Theon can travel back to Pyke to save Yara, the two of them may even be able to reclaim the Iron Islands and make good on their allegiance with Dany. Keeping Theon around for this long must imply he has a role to play in the Great War, but that will only happen if he can let go of Reek completely.
I can understand the frustration in watching Theon over the course of the series because at many points his personality has been defined by weakness, submissiveness and fear. Despite these flaws, Theon is a main character (a perspective character in the books even) and to have him killed off by a nameless iron islander would feel completely unceremonious within the context of the show. Some fans may lose their patience with watching Theon’s pathetic attempts at survival, but they would lose faith in the show entirely if they spent seasons watching him on screen just to die in a lame fight like that. Granted, the groin kicks were totally ridiculous, but the point is that he is trying to embody the person he always wanted to be. Even in S7E2, we see him kill like a handful of Euron’s men so it seems like he’s not totally hopeless after all.
As the last living son of Balon Greyjoy, the rightful heir to Pyke and a contender for ruler of the Iron Islands, Theon has a lot to prove in season 8. However, he’s not the only character that has survived this long through fear and submissiveness. In many ways those same characteristics defined Sansa, yet she has become one of the most clever and powerful women in Westeros. If she can grow and change into a more powerful version of herself, I’d like to think Theon can as well. Ironic though that he only has the balls now to stand up for what’s right, this late in the series.
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