We all thought that Theon Greyjoy had changed. Sure, he was a backstabbing greedy murderer, then a tortured shell of himself. But after he made his way back to the Iron Islands and into his sister Yara’s good graces, it looked for a second there that Theon had redeemed himself.
But then the second episode of "Game of Thrones" Season 7, “Stormborn,” happened. And when faced with Euron, and an axe against Yara’s throat, Theon did what any other coward would do: He jumped ship.
Gemma Whelan, who plays, Yara, absolutely feels your pain. “When Yara gets taken by Euron on the boat and he has the axe to her throat, initially she feels like, ‘Theon’s back, it’s OK, he’ll do something, he’ll do the right thing.’ And then the change that happens in his eyes and she realizes he’s not going to stay — I think she’s heartbroken at that point.”
But one of the showrunners, D.B. Weiss, has a little insight into why Theon did what he did, and it’s not that he’s Westeros’ worst f—kboi. “We maybe fooled ourselves into thinking that Theon was out of the woods on his whole Reek experience, and as we were writing that scene, we realized that this is something that you don’t just get over what happened to him, that’s something that’s going to be a part of him for the rest of his life.”
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“This is a place that triggers the worst part of his experience. He sees people doing the same type of things that Ramsay used to do to him, and he sees Euron’s pure psycho glee about the whole thing. When Theon jumps overboard, that laugh from Euron is the character’s encapsulation in one shot.”
So yeah, basically Theon, like every other damn person on this show, has severe PTSD and is just doing his best. Even though his best is like, everyone else’s worst.