This post will discuss spoilers from Game of Thrones episode 2, "Stormborn."
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is one of the most complex and heartbreaking characters in Game of Thrones. The damaged soul has been put through the physical and mental wringer, going straight from his torturous time with Ramsay Bolton to to his intense and violent family life alongside his sister, Yara (Gemma Whelan) and his uncle, Euron (Pilou Asbæck). In the first two episodes of season 7 of GoT, it seemed like Theon was finally getting his groove back. But despite his interest in returning to his pre-Bolton self, he can't control his post traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. No matter how badly he wants to be rid of the memories and sufferings he's experienced, that is simply out of his control. All of that came to a head last night, and a lot of fans on Twitter viciously dragged Theon... for surviving the best he could.
In last night's episode, "Stormborn," Theon was unable to handle the weight of his trauma when his maniacal uncle threatened his sister's life right in front of him, holding up a knife to her neck. His wicked grin, lit up by the blazing fire around the three of them, was the picture of pure evil. And Theon lost it. Instead of lunging towards him to save his sister, or even opening his mouth to say a single word, he just ran to the side of the ship and jumped off into the water. Self-preservation is the best that Theon can give at this point. Now, it's safe to say that Yara is on her way to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), along with Ellaria Sand, as a promised gift of some sort.
The initial reaction to the intense final scene of the episode was one of disappointment. A majority of Twitter labeled Theon a "coward."
But some fans were wise enough to sympathise with the character. "Theon suffered torture and abuse & was utterly broken," wrote a Twitter user. "He's doing his best to survive despite horrible PTSD but yet people expect heroism?" Another added: "Theon I'm so sorry these a-holes don't understand a PTSD trigger. You did amazing sweetie."
A third called out Euron's threatening action and grimace as what it really was "the worst PTSD trigger ever." Another recalled a moment from season 6 when he sacrificed himself to save Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
Theon the Coward? No. Theon the Hero? Working on it — just give him time.
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