WARNING: There are ‘Game of Thrones’ spoilers up ahead, so probs hightail it out of here if you’re behind on show – ideally to a TV to watch the latest episode.
In the well-established tradition of the show, this week’s episode gave us a shining glimmer of joy before snatching it out of our hands suddenly and deftly, like a seagull taking a chip from a relaxed beachgoer.
Theon Greyjoy, free from the shackles of his oppressors and given the agency and respect required to reconstruct himself into a whole person again (well, in a manner of speaking), has begun to let hope back into his heart, begun to believe that he can feel joy again. That lasted for all of about seven seconds.
Immediately, the security and happiness he foolishly let himself experience is punctured by the arrival of his maniacal and insanely hot (personal opinion) uncle Euron, who both literally and figuratively sets fire to his entire world.
Even then, Theon was faced with an opportunity to earn redemption in the eyes of both himself and also us, the audience. But, instead of attempting to save Yara, he leapt from the boat with the tortured enthusiasm of someone who really needs to shit but is faced with a filthy public toilet.
In an interview with HBO following the release of the episode, Alfie Allen was kind enough to share some insight into what was going through poor Theon’s destroyed little mind at the moment he decided to take the wet option. Allen, somewhat an expert on the subject, seems to reckon it wasn’t so much a moral choice as pure instinct, a blind animal fear that saw him hurl himself bodily into the sea:
“There’s conflicting emotions for him, because he’s sort of back in battle mode, which he hasn’t been in for a long, long time. The sight of blood is going to remind him of physical pain or mental torment.
“It brings him back to that place, and he’s torn as to what to do. The reptilian part of his brain just takes over.”
He also said it’s been tough playing him going through his emotional transformation:
“Going back to the imagery of what he saw back then, and allowing that to flood back in. Also, as an actor, having to delve back into something that was so long ago in his arc is pretty crazy.
“But it’s always been there throughout; it’s just gauging what brings him back, how much is created in his own head, and how much is an effective threat. I would say he’s in a better place, but he’s still definitely harkening back to those memories.”
Allen reckons there’s more to come from him and that his arc isn’t over yet:
“He’s dealing with decisions that he made a long, long time ago. Now he’s having to face up to those decisions, and the people who it really did affect.”
Looking forward to seeing what other hideously awful things are presumably yet to be inflicted on him.
Source and photo: HBO.