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Theon Greyjoy is the fourth child of Lord Balon Greyjoy, ruler of the Iron Islands, and his wife Lady Alannys. At the start of A Game of Thrones he is nineteen years old and is a ward fostered by Lord Eddard, a polite way of saying a hostage being held at Winterfell against his father's good behavior.
Appearance and CharacterEdit
Theon Greyjoy is described as being an arrogant nineteen-year-old at the start of A Game of Thrones, with black hair and a cocky grin. However, after later events in the books, specifically his torture at the hands of Ramsay Bolton he becomes subdued and hopeless. His hair gray, he is thin and malnourished, and he has lost several fingers, toes, and teeth. Some think he is mad and he seems brainwashed as he struggles with his identity.
After the Greyjoy Rebellion against Robert Baratheon was crushed, Balon Greyjoy was forced into fealty. He offered his son Theon to Eddard Stark as a hostage, to ensure his loyalty to the throne. While living in Winterfell and practically being raised as a member of House Stark, he grew to become like a brother to the Stark children, Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya, Rickon, and Jon Snow.
A Game of ThronesEdit
Theon is part of the group that rides out to pass judgement on Gared, a deserter of the Night's Watch. After Eddard beheads the man the head roles over to Theon, who kicks it, laughing. Theon is prepared to kill the direwolf pups when they are found, but is stopped by Eddard Stark.
Theon sits at the high lords table for the feast celebrating the arrival of King Robert. He enters the Great Hall alongside Benjen Stark. Theon has to hold Robb back after a confrontation in the courtyard with Prince Joffrey Baratheon.
While the brothers are out hunting, Bran is nearly taken by some wildlings and a Night's Watch deserter, including Osha. He saves Bran with some quick action. He fights closely alongside Robb Stark at the beginning of the War of the Five Kings.
A Clash of KingsEdit
Robb Stark sends Theon to treat with Balon Greyjoy, who he has not seen in ten years. The idea is that Balon will be offered independence (his desire for independence was the cause of the Greyjoy Rebellion if he agrees to help Robb defeat House Lannister. However, Balon rejects Theon's proposal and taunts him for growing up wealthy with House Stark. He also meets his sister Asha Greyjoy who teases him and seduces him under a false identity to embarrass him. Eventually he is given a position of minor authority and allowed to take some crew members to raid coastline villages. On his own authority he decides to attack Torrhen's Square to draw forces out of Winterfell, a decision Theon made when he was jealous of his sister for her accomplishments. He then seizes the castle and takes Rickon and Bran hostage, but when they escape he has two miller's sons killed and burns their bodies, mounting two severed and tar covered heads on top of the walls, making it seem as though he has killed the Stark boys (as a method of sending a message to Winterfell that he is not to be disobeyed.) He is about to lose Winterfell to Rodrik Cassel, and is seriously considering joining the Night's Watch, which was advice given to him by Maester Luwin, who offers to show him a way out. However, before he can go to the Wall, a prisoner he released, Ramsay Bolton has arrived with his own men and begin attacking then northern forces surrounding them. They pretend to be Theon's allies, but when Theon opens the gate, they kill the Ironborn, capture Theon, and sack Winterfell. Theon begins to thank Ramsay for annihilating Rodrik's forces before Ramsay takes Theon hostage.
A Storm of SwordsEdit
Though Theon does not appear as a POV character, Catelyn Stark receives a piece of Theon's skin and learns that he is being flayed by Ramsay Bolton.
A Feast for CrowsEdit
Theon is believed dead.
A Dance with DragonsEdit
Theon is being tortured by Ramsay Bolton. He's had flesh, teeth, and small limbs removed and is implied to have been castrated to some extent by Ramsay. He takes on the guise of Reek, Ramsay's servant, and is not allowed to bathe. He looks as though he has aged forty years, as Ramsay has removed some of his teeth, his hair has turned white, and he has trouble walking. He escapes Dreadfort with Kyra, a former sexual partner. However, Ramsay made it easy for them on purpose so he could hunt them with his hounds later. Theon is taken back to Dreadfort, and Kyra dies at the hands of Ramsay.
To reward the Boltons for their betrayal of the Starks, the Lannisters name Ramsay the new Lord of Winterfell and betroth him to Arya Stark. When Theon meets the new bride, he recognizes her as Jeyne Poole, a friend of Sansa. Ramsay knows that she is a substitute, but as long as no-one else knows that she isn't Arya, he can claim the Stark lands by marrying her. Theon who lived with the Starks gives the bride away to reinforce this false identity.
Theon must lay witness to Ramsay's cruel treatment and actions. He and Jeyne make their escape when a Winterfell musician and his court (actually Mance Rayder) stage a scene, though this is more out of fear of Theon. The pair is eventually captured and handed over to Stannis Baratheon, who also has his sister Asha captive, and the two are reunited.