Friday, June 14, 2013

A Monthly Dose of Westeros: Part 1-The Greyjoys

Since Game of Thrones is currently on a ten month break, I will be providing my thoughts and predictions for one storyline every month until the show’s return. Since I read the books, I know what should happen, but several plots seem to be taking turns away from the original material, while others are almost spot on. I will examine these apparent changes/accuracy, and do my best to avoid spoilers in “A Monthly Dose of Westeros”.

The first storyline I want to cover is the slowly expanding role of the Greyjoys and their ironborn. Currently, Theon Greyjoy is being tortured by Ramsay Bolton, the bastard son of Roose Bolton. Meanwhile, back on their home island of Pyke, his sister Yara (actually called Asha in the books...) is determined to free Theon from his torture chamber. Their father Balon does not even bother to try. This is all fine and dandy to see on screen; the only problem is...NONE of this is in the books.

Ramsay don't take nothin'!
Theon’s last book appearance before this point in the show is at the very end of A Clash for Kings, which was the source material for the show’s second season. While it is assumed that everything happening in the show is happening in the books (just not from any characters’ points of view), we see no description of this on the page. Now, ever since his betrayal of Robb Stark, I have hated Theon with a passion...but I cannot help but feel bad for the poor guy here. The decision to include Theon’s torture in the show is not a bad one; I particularly enjoyed the intense interactions between Alfie Allen (Theon) and Iwan Rheon (Bolton). Both have been exceptional in these scenes. Honestly, the scene in season three's finale "Mhysa" when Theon insists his name is Theon Greyjoy (not Reek) is one of the best pieces of acting I've seen on the show. But I already find myself wondering where they are going with it.

The Greyjoy sister, meanwhile, remains at Deepwood Motte, which she conquered in season 2, until a certain important event draws her back to the Iron Islands. She does not think, mention, or go after Theon at all. In fact, the Greyjoys barely make an appearance in A Storm of Swords, the third and fourth seasons’ main source material. They play a large part in A Feast for Crows, though, but that will most likely become the show’s fifth season.

Many of the other Thrones fans I have spoken to seem excited about seeing Yara once again form a large army and return to the north, seeking out her helpless brother. Perhaps because I am aware of what happens next for the Greyjoys is the reason I am upset about this decision, or perhaps its because I have absolutely no idea where it is going in the show. My prediction is that the writers are simply making a move to return Yara to the northern mainland and will bring her home again in the next season, abandoning her search for Theon.

Yara, you're looking the wrong way...
But the scene towards the end of season 3’s finale would then serve absolutely no purpose. We already know Balon doesn’t care about Theon; they showed plenty of that when he first returned home. Last we saw the Kraken and his daughter, they were opening a box containing Theon’ Yara argues that Theon deserves a rescue. He is her brother and Balon’s son, after all, so she decides to march on the Dreadfort...a perfect name for the Boltons' castle. This scene also seems like an awkward way to bring back a character we haven’t seen or heard from in almost a whole year: a 3 minute conversation with her extremely stubborn father about a rescue mission that never existed in the books.

While I don’t particularly like the Greyjoys, I did find their storyline in A Feast for Crows rather intriguing. I hope they stick to it and don’t rush this part of the story to make other things happen sooner. I hope that we don’t see Yara or the Greyjoys until the show begins adapting A Feast for Crows, but for the moment I am uncertain of what’s to come. This is one of the storylines I’m looking forward to the least.

But hey, maybe that’s just because I’m not an ironborn fan.

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