3 Years ago millions were baptized in church of Game of Thrones: a televisions drama based on George R.R Martins fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. The television drama caused audience to immediately become completely addicted on the deceptive, cunning, sexual, political dynamics surrounding the world of Westeros.
All viewers and readers are very well aquatinted with Theon Greyjoy, of the Iron Islands. Theon’s story is not a happy one. Theon is the living tragedy that has inhabited audiences minds throughout the entire series. At first introduction he seems to be living a life of luxury as a prince or a king. He consistently indulges in the finest Winterfell can provide; cloths, foods, horses, whores. Theon has great presence in the city of Winterfell. Not only because of his connection to Ned Stark but the alliances he has formed with Rob Stark. However, origins of Theons presence parallels the brutal nature of Westorian politics. During the war preceding the Television show, The Starks had defeated House Greyjoy to control the north. As result House stark executed all of Greyjoy’s heirs with the exception of Theon. Whom he kept as a squire and raised in Winterfell.
The purpose of Theon Grey joys narrative is to articulate the material, epistemological, corporeal, and psychological violences imposed by the vicious politics encapsulated in Game of thrones. The fundamentals that drive that drive the world of Game of thrones focus on loyalty, justice and honor. These innate values seem to circulate in some variation to all factions. Every competing kingdom is driven behind some meta-narrative of entitlement and pride supported by the sigil and other symbolic assemblages of power. However, between these boarders of houses, kingdoms armies, religions and loyalties; where does Theon Greyjoy find himself.
As noted above, Theons childhood is convoluted with mixed senses of loyalty. Should he be faithful to his father that gave him up as a political agreement; or to the family that has raised him as their own all his adult life. This question is constantly weighing throughout Thoen’s mind. For instance, at various points when Theon introduces himself to whores (at Winterfel and in rout to the Iron Islands) he hyperbolically emphasizes his title and heritages to the Iron Islands. The fact that he only acts in this verbose manner only towards individuals with inferior status is a brief incite to the internal conflict plaguing Theons psyche. Even though he seems in some sphere proud of his Iron-born decent, it seems in every other public realm he must repress and assimilate. This is a subordination of his own natal believes in favor of loyalty to the Starks is the first conflictual antagonism in Theons identity Crisis.
This suppressed loyalty crisis comes to a head in the second season. When Rob Stark becomes king of the north he implores Theon to seek alliances with his estranged father. Theon becomes egotistically empowered by the thought he could reclaim the image of his house and bring the Ironborn to prestige. However when Theon is greeted with his father the separation between cultures becomes clear. Although Theon may posses Iron blood he hasn’t been raised in Iron born custom. He please to his father to join alliances with the stark, encouraging that Rob would ensure his rise to King of the Iron Islands. His father adversarial and reminds Theon of war crimes passed. Through a vicious dialogue, Theon is ripped of all sense of entitlement he felt towards any house. His values are questioned at a fundamental level.
Theon had composed a letter to Rob Stark informing him of his fathers decision. However, poetically Theon burns the letter and sets in stone his predicted political alliances. Upon his baptism Theon though the would claim his status and right as an Iron born. Quick to his dismay, his father has attributed no power or faith Theons endeavors. This becomes a problem for Theon. The entailment is the antithesis of being iron born. His father disrespects his character on that fundamental.
The Ego of Theon becomes the next fundamental tragedy of his identity. The ego amplified by his own sense of entitlement drove Theon to disobey orders and invade Winterfell. This is doubly symbolic in respect that his completely severed any alliance with the Stark House, in addition to overstepping the orders of his father. This rouge behavior marked Thoen as an object of disavowal. He became completely disposable towards the political mechanisms of Westeros. His actions lead to his mutiny and the close of season two disappears Theon from the political realm into captivity.
Theons next appearances is in a state of captivity. He has been taken prisoner by a nameless faceless presence. He doesn’t know who is with, where he has been or whats going to happen to him. Every sense of entitlement, material wealth, strength and power have been stripped from him. He has no loyalty, no fidelity towards anything by himself. His ego has self destructed both materially, socially and symbolically. He is stripped of his cloths, freedom and his soul.
Season 3 is largely emblematic of his ontological stripping. Through the process of Ramesy Snow inflicts upon thoe, his very conscience is stripped of purpose. he becomes deteriorated mentally, physically and psychologically. The gratuitousness of the torture affectively implements the traumatic implications of his current status. He has become dirt. However, the product of Theons torture isn’t actualized until season 4.
Theon Greyjoy has been completely transformed into a mutilated creature named Reek. Reek has been reduced to slave like qualities. His assumptions of freedom, liberty, justice and loyalty have been deconstructed to the point of passivity. He is shaken, cowardice, empty. More shocking then when Ramsey Snow had Reek Shave him in front of Lord Bolten, as a show of his obedience. In the most recent Episode: is where the appearance of the broken man becomes edified.
Alone in the night the walls of Herin Hall are broken. Insurgence of the Iron islands lead by Theons sister infiltrate the keeps and find him in the dogs kennels. As the enter Ramsey Snow and selveral other Botlten men arrive and a vicious battle insues. Ramsey snow appears to be the best from House Bolten with a blade and preserves. The moment when Theon has the choice to pledge his loyalty and run with his sister, or stay as reek and reclaim his status of submissive inhuman; he chooses the latter
This moment articulates the very horrors interwoven in the fabrics of Game of Thrones reality. The deep political violence that is dependent up identity based structures of feilty, loyalty and honor. Theons honor was never a sound object. From a child he was estranged from his home, unable to touch what he could call his own. Forced into adult hood with a false understanding of whom he his. When returned to his family he is rejected, for he has become to soft. Then when he is taken captive, he is materially, ontologically and psychologically robbed of his being.