During last night's Game of Thrones premiere, you might have found yourself asking: I'm sorry, who is that? The person in question was Euron Greyjoy, a big fan of fratricide and Game of Thrones's new resident bad boy. During the premiere episode, Euron (Pilou Asbæck) asks — demands? — Cersei Lannister's (Lena Headey) hand in marriage in exchange for "1,000 ships and two good hands." Last we saw Euron, he was floppy-haired and ruinous, trying to take the Salt Throne from Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). He was scruffy and devilish in an avuncular way — more pesky wannabe than actual viable Game of Thrones villain.
Season 7 Euron Greyjoy is different. His hair is shorter. The mutton chops are trimmed. Refinery29 recapper Anne Cohen called him "a cross between Joshua Jackson and Captain Jack Sparrow." Twitter called him "General Zod if he fronted an emo band."
It's as if he got an injection of Bill Nighy's character in Love Actually. On his way to King's Landing, he must have bought himself a pair of tight leather pants and made an appointment at Fellow Barber in Brooklyn.
Other astute comparisons include: Brooklyn hipster, a goth Pablo Escobar, a Hot Topic employee, and Bam Margera, the professional skateboarder.
In case you can't see the trend, we'll spell it out for you: Euron Greyjoy is Game of Thrones's new sex symbol. Moreover, he's an irreverent, rule-breaking sex symbol, a la Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, a character we've yet to really see in this show. The admirable men in this show tend to be just that — admirable. They're stalwart, steady, and a bit of a snoozefest. (See: Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Robb Stark, and even to a certain degree Davos Seaworthy.)
"I want to show a guy who just loves it," he said. "Those psychopathic sociopaths I've met in my life are smiley and well-mannered, and they're the biggest pricks in the world."
Euron is shaping up to be this season's villain, but he's not like antagonists of yore. Joffrey and Ramsay were downright evil and utterly despicable. Euron is — we'll say it – kind of hot. And, he's interested in Cersei.
Here's what Asbæck had to say to EW about a possible Queen Cersei/Euron Greyjoy courtship: "The thing with Cersei is maybe she's more man than a woman. She's smart and intellectual and bloody sexy...Maybe that's why Euron likes her. I think he considers her to be a worthy wife. Euron's not a Lannister, he's an Ironborn, she's something better. There's just one guy in the way…"
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