If Game Of Thrones season 7 has had any theme at all — besides actual and much hoped-for incest — it’s been "reunion," especially for the Stark family. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) had the most unsettling catch-up session in television history during "The Queen's Justice." Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) ran into her old friend Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) in the second episode, "Stormborn."And that same instalment even hinted prodigal daughter Arya is finally headed home to Winterfell (and her siblings) after seven seasons away. But, three of the newest photos from upcoming fourth episode "The Spoils Of War" remind us not every reunion this season can be a happy one.
This time, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) will come face-to-face with his old friend (frenemy?) Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), when the reformed villain returns to Dragonstone after the destruction of the Greyjoy fleet. Jon will be one of the first people to greet Theon, as the King In The North is still trying to work out a dragonglass-related agreement with Daenerys Targaryen. We’re predicting Jon and Theon’s reunion is more likely to end in jabs to the face than teary hugs.
Although feeling badly for Theon is currently the right thing to do due to his overwhelming PTSD, we have to remember who the Iron Islander was before he fell into the clutches of the evil Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Theon was a morally corrupt brat, desperate for the love of his father. While some people work through their daddy issues in therapy, Theon decided to fix his deep-seated problems by betraying Robb Stark (Richard Madden) during the War Of The Five Kings. He stole Winterfell from the Young Wolf while he was occupied with, you know, war.
For the record, Theon was actually supposed to strike up an alliance with his biological father and king of the Iron Island, Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide). Instead, Theon stole his oldest friend's ancestral home — where he was raised as a ward of the Starks — as a response to some fatherly teasing. We all know how the events caused by Theon’s betrayal worked out for the original King In The North.
After stabbing Robb in the metaphorical back, Theon tried to assert his dominance in Winterfell by murdering a defiant Rodrik Cassel (Ron Donachie), the castle's master-at-arms. The beloved Rodrik taught the Ironborn ward, Robb, and Jon how to fight from the time they were all boys. On top of that, Theon pretended to murder the youngest Stark boys, Bran and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), when he actually lost them as prisoners. In reality, Theon had two farm boys murdered to make it appear he had killed the remaining Stark heirs. So, in total, Theon turned on Jon’s believed half-brother, who later died violently, pretended to roast Jon’s other half-brothers alive, actually roasted two of Jon’s technical subjects alive, and killed Jon’s childhood teacher.
While we know Sansa Stark has forgiven Theon for his crimes against the Starks, it’s unlikely the Lady Of Winterfell’s older "brother" will be so forgiving. The oldest Stark daughter has proven she can adapt to the brutal realities of Westeros, but Jon sees things in stark black and white. This is why Jon refused to consider stripping certain Northern nobility of their castles, while Sansa offered an appealing Machiavellian alternative as a way to encourage loyalty and wipe out insurrection.
It’s the same reason Sansa managed to create an alliance with Theon — and recognise his emotional and physical trauma — while the traitor refused to even come within a 100-mile radius of Jon. “[He] will have me killed the moment I step through the gate,” Theon tells Sansa in season 6’s "Home" as the pair scurries to Castle Black in an effort to escape the sadistic Ramsay. Sansa tries to calm Theon down by swearing she’ll tell her brother the "truth:" that Greyjoy didn’t actually murder Bran and Rickon. He counters, “And the truth about the farm boys I killed in their place? And the truth about Ser Rodrik, who[m] I beheaded? And the truth about Robb, who[m] I betrayed … I don’t want to be forgiven. I cannot make amends to your family for the things I’ve done.” Even Theon knows a man as obsessed with honour as Jon Snow could never fully pardon the wannabe pirate's previous reprehensible behaviour.
Unfortunately for Theon, he won’t be reuniting with Jon looking like anything close to a hero in the king's eyes. As the preview photos for "Spoils Of War" show, the Ironborn sailor will return to Dragonstone with the crew of the Greyjoy ship that fished him out of the water following the horrific events of "Queen’s Justice." The captain of that ship already dragged Theon for not saving his sister Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) from their bloodthirsty uncle Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), telling him, "You wouldn’t be here if you tried." Jon, who usually looks at honourable and dishonourable behaviour in a similarly cut-and-dry manner, will probably feel the same way during his reunion with Theon.
In the photos, neither Jon nor Theon look especially happy to see each other. Theon literally grimaces as he approaches the beach of Dragonstone, while Jon looks as brooding as he always does. While red priestess Melisandre has managed to avoid a run-in with Jon, who straight-up threatened the Lord Of Light devotee with death in season 6, thus far on Dragonstone, Theon is clearly not so lucky. If the Iron Islander plans to survive this encounter, we recommend he immediately starts playing up that whole “I kinda-sorta rescued your sister from Ramsay Bolton” thing.
Sansa, come save your boy.