Theon Greyjoy's sudden ship-side departure was the biggest moment in Game of Thrones last Sunday, and the actor who plays the troubled heir to the Iron Islands, Alfie Allen, is answering some questions about his character's pivotal scene.
"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," Allen tells MakingOfTheThrones.com of his character's mentality during the fight scene. "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."
While Theon was under Ramsay's roof, he was renamed Reek and made to be the maniacal murderer's personal servant. Allen says that revisiting that dark time from his character's past was as intense as you'd imagine and played heavily into that segment. "Going back to the imagery of what he saw back then, and allowing that to flood back in," he says. "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."
For those that didn't catch the scene, Theon was faced with a serious decision at the end of "Stormborn", the second episode in the seventh season of GoT. His uncle, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæck) bombarded the ship that he and his sister, Yara (Gemma Whelan) along with the Sand Snakes, and a full crew of fighters, were on. Many died, but Euron saved Yara as a barter to get Theon involved in the fight. Face-to-face with his nephew, who's been to hell and back at the violent hands of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), he tells him to come and save his sister. Theon, instead, runs and jumps overboard, saving himself. The triggers to his PTSD are all around him: blood, weapons, and screams. He couldn't do anything but leave to survive. Allen said the departure from his on-screen sister was "heartbreaking". No word on if they'll ever be reunited.
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