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The Bastard of Bolton

[Book Spoilers] We Do Not Sow

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Dinklage deservedly gets all the press, but Alfie Allen and the guy who plays Balon quietly delivered one of the best pieces of acting in the show so far last night (They were helped by amazing camerawork as well).

One thing the show has over the books is the ability to use the human face. Balon came off as a stupid prick who was terrible to his son and made stupid choices in the books. He's all of those things in the show, but that one shot where Theon yells about him abandoning his only son as Balon walks out made him more human than the books ever did.

You could see the shame on his face, and it made it clearer than the books ever could that he is the way he is not because he is stupid or because he doesn't love Theon, but because the shame of that defeat has become who he is.

I just rewatched the baptism scene, and it seemed to me that one could see on Theon's face how deeply he wanted, desperately, to belong.

It was sad and beautiful, but I'm sure I'm influenced by my knowledge of what's in store for Theon.

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I just rewatched the baptism scene, and it seemed to me that one could see on Theon's face how deeply he wanted, desperately, to belong.

It was sad and beautiful, but I'm sure I'm influenced by my knowledge of what's in store for Theon.

Yes, I said this exact same thing in another thread. I actually almost cried (felt the tingling in my nose and eyes but didn't cry) - haha!

Theon's story is so tragic, its perfectly written for a drama show translation.

Actors can portray things only hinted at in the books such as regret, sorrow, suspicion. Sure... GRRM is masterful at writing details but he may have intentionally left out bits of detail and emotion that the producers were able to extract and magnify on screen with George's nod of approval.

Showing Balon Greyjoy having some emotion is a good thing. The viewer is deeply entangled in the tragedy of a man defeated whose entire existence including his religion and house motto revolve around hard steel and stone, being a warrior and taking what is rightfully yours. But in defeat and surrender, he had his only remaining son taken from him and now that son has been returned but has changed and the regrets are deep with Balon. I appreciate this scene and the looks we see that convey that deep emotion. It's this reason I was so excited for Game of Thrones to be brought to life. Not that I expected it to do a better job than George has done in writing the books, but that it will bring life and deeper meaning for many of the characters.

I honestly didn't really give a crap about the Greyjoys in the book that much, but the show has brought them much more to life through brilliant imagery, filming and acting.

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I love the way Patrick Malahide pronounces 'ironborn'.

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I agree with you 100% In fact, I am starting to like the Greyjoy story arc more in the HBO series than I did in the books. There are SO many good stories from the various houses that its hard to remember some of them when you have your favorites of course... but I feel like the producers took Theon's story, and what a tragedy it is and really ran with it... it makes EXCELLENT television drama.

I'm going to confess, I actually felt like crying watching Alfie play Theon in the scenes with his salt water baptism and the burning of the letter. It was that powerful. I think because I know what ends up happening with Theon made it that much worse. I feel so damn sorry for this kid, yes even though he does some terrible crap and kills little kids at Winterfell. I feel like the show is making that future incident more believable and you can actually understand how very desperate Theon was to impress and win back his family's love. It's just tragic. He had no choice in any of it and it was hearbreaking to watch him pledge himself so fully and with such longing.

I felt it as well. The show is such a wonderful gift in that it adds so much life to the characters we love. Sure they might stray on the finer points but scenes like last nights really make up for it.

It will be interesting to see how Theon evolves in his next few appearances. Does the baptism mark the beginning of a completely remorseless despicable Theon are will he still struggle with his actions. My problem at this point is that they've made me like Theon, they've humanized Theon and I will have a hard time buying that he can

stage the deaths of Bran and Rickon, without Ramsay's influence in the place he grew up.

Will he just reconcile his actions with the need to prove himself to his father. Now that the stain of the Starks have been washed off of him by the Drowned God will he be completely different?

Dinklage deservedly gets all the press, but Alfie Allen and the guy who plays Balon quietly delivered one of the best pieces of acting in the show so far last night (They were helped by amazing camerawork as well).

One thing the show has over the books is the ability to use the human face. Balon came off as a stupid prick who was terrible to his son and made stupid choices in the books. He's all of those things in the show, but that one shot where Theon yells about him abandoning his only son as Balon walks out made him more human than the books ever did.

You could see the shame on his face, and it made it clearer than the books ever could that he is the way he is not because he is stupid or because he doesn't love Theon, but because the shame of that defeat has become who he is.

Balon in the books was nothing to me. He came off as a hardass and an asshole and then

he died and the way was paved for the more interesting brothers.

In the show I'm presented with that stubborn ironborn attitude but I can also feel the pain and the pride and the shame. Malahide is amazing and they better keep him cast.

considering the show likes to show what we don't see in the books, like Craster's sacrifices, Varys little birds and other such things, I am really interested in seeing how they will kill Balon off. Will they keep it offscreen like they did Robert or will they involve a faceless man or something else?

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He had the letter in his hand and burned it, no?

Yes, in the show.

I meant in the books, we don't know what he could have really done in those weeks on Pyke.Maybe a letter could be sent, maybe the letter could be discovered, maybe he could have left or maybe not as the Isles were on lockdown.We don't know.

@the bastard of bolton

What you mean without Ramsay?Wasn't he cast?

If not, that is a huge difference.In the books the killing of the miller's sons is Ramsay's work as much Theon's, maybe even more.

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The Ironborn are reavers. The can only related to rape, pillage and burning. They cannot fathom inking out a living in any other way. Balon is an old man, and old people can rarely see anything new. If they were to head West, they would only take what they could easily get their hands on still be broke and living on the dismal Pyke once that money ran out. Victarion and Euron do not make an appearance until after Balon dies, if I am correct.

In CoK Theon II there is a feast after which there is a war council Theon and Asha are there, but also Victarion and Aeron.

Actually the big action is to be carried out by Victarion to take Moat Cailin, I don't think we ever see this operation.

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Yes, I said this exact same thing in another thread. I actually almost cried (felt the tingling in my nose and eyes but didn't cry) - haha!

Theon's story is so tragic, its perfectly written for a drama show translation.

Actors can portray things only hinted at in the books such as regret, sorrow, suspicion. Sure... GRRM is masterful at writing details but he may have intentionally left out bits of detail and emotion that the producers were able to extract and magnify on screen with George's nod of approval.

Showing Balon Greyjoy having some emotion is a good thing. The viewer is deeply entangled in the tragedy of a man defeated whose entire existence including his religion and house motto revolve around hard steel and stone, being a warrior and taking what is rightfully yours. But in defeat and surrender, he had his only remaining son taken from him and now that son has been returned but has changed and the regrets are deep with Balon. I appreciate this scene and the looks we see that convey that deep emotion. It's this reason I was so excited for Game of Thrones to be brought to life. Not that I expected it to do a better job than George has done in writing the books, but that it will bring life and deeper meaning for many of the characters.

I honestly didn't really give a crap about the Greyjoys in the book that much, but the show has brought them much more to life through brilliant imagery, filming and acting.

Although I did care about the Greyjoys in the books I really agree with you here. It's great that we got to see that Balon is just holding a hard front but that he actually is a tormented man that sits on the stark shards of a broken kingdom. The addition of Theon pointing out that it was he who sent Theon away, and is now shunning him for having been gone, was magnificent and Alfie acted out Theon's desperate longing for a place to truly belong in a perfect manner. This will lead into future events in a very powerful way.

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Well, I dont even know if Moat Cailin will still exist in the show, so...

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In CoK Theon II there is a feast after which there is a war council Theon and Asha are there, but also Victarion and Aeron.

Actually the big action is to be carried out by Victarion to take Moat Cailin, I don't think we ever see this operation.

I know this. But, it still doesn't address the poor of the Pyke. They haven't anything to trade that sustains their society.

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For the record, I don't think Balon's primary motive is "revenge" against the North, in the books or the show.

On the contrary, tt seems he really does think this is a good plan. He fears the might of Casterly Rock, and sees Robb as a green boy with undefended lands. The plan is good for the short-term - seize a lot of territory and block the path North at Moat Cailin, while the Wolves, Stags, and Lions wear eachother out.

But the long-term inevitable war against the Iron Throne is the problem, and he fails to recognize this. Balon is too short-sighted and isolated from the political scene to realize that the neither Stannis, Renly, or Tywin will lever align with him while he wears a crown.

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The Theon storyline wasn't my favourite in ACOK, but it's my favourite in the series so far. The cast just nail it. Malahide (sp?) as Balon as chilling, I just love his voice. He speaks with such conviction, . :drool: deliciously poetic. Alfie Allen's really starting to stand out as a character as well. His demise is classically tragic, and they're conveying that well in the series with lots of foreshadowing etc.

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From an emotional perspective, Theon nowhere near my favorite character of the books. From a literary perspective, his POV chapters are my absolute favorites. His storyline is such a tragic arc that really explores the issues of a person with a fractured identity. Theon is neither Stark nor Ironborn. No man truly claims him as a son. No family truly trusts him. Whichever side he takes he will be betraying one family or the other. He was taken hostage/ward so long ago that he can be seen as suffering from the most horrible case of Stockholm syndrome. And as he said in the show, none of it was actually his fault and neither family acknowledges that. He is truly a sympathetic character.

Everything they put into his scenes on the show are what I imagine happened in the skipped weeks in the books. There are so many subtle hints in his ACoK chapters to suggest the internal struggles he has when he's made to choose who he will be and ultimately which family he will support. I'm glad they were explicit with make him sympathetic for the TV audience because I think that part of his character is often overlooked in the books. I got choked up watching Alfie perform Theon. So glad each scene is short because a few seconds longer and I would have been bawling.

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Dinklage deservedly gets all the press, but Alfie Allen and the guy who plays Balon quietly delivered one of the best pieces of acting in the show so far last night (They were helped by amazing camerawork as well).

I agree. Alfie Allen is killing it.

I love Balon's line from last episode "Or did you buy it to match your fine clothes?" He says it with such awesomely dripping condescension.

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I'm surprised they didn't finish the episode with a cliffhanger where the priest drowns Theon. Only to have him cough and wake up in the next episode as a true drowned Iron born.

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I'm surprised they didn't finish the episode with a cliffhanger where the priest drowns Theon. Only to have him cough and wake up in the next episode as a true drowned Iron born.

I guess they decided not to deviate from the book on this one. While yes that would have made one heck of a cliffhanger (and as different as last week's with Jon Snow and Craster was from the books too).

I'm actually glad they didn't. I think the way they did it with the consecration by pouring sea water over his head (as was in the books) was much more symbolic, plus it gave Alfie Allan a chance to really shine with non verbal emotion the way he did. You could just see in his upturned face how determined and desperate he was at that moment to prove his loyalty. It sets the stage perfectly for the future travesties he undertakes.

I don't think a dramatic drowning scene would have done that as well.

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Well, I dont even know if Moat Cailin will still exist in the show, so...

Moat Cailin was mentioned as well as several other key areas in the last episode. Mentioned and featured are separate things to be sure but even if they cut characters out of the show they aren't cutting out parts of the world.

I know this. But, it still doesn't address the poor of the Pyke. They haven't anything to trade that sustains their society.

I sort of wondered how they sustained themselves after the rebellion. If culture is completely based off of pillaging, what happens when the right to pillage has been taken away? I guess they had a fisherman economy as well as probable looting done off the coast of Essos.

I agree. Alfie Allen is killing it.

Now that Dinklage is a leading actor of the series it gives Alfie a chance at the supporting actor nomination.

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This is one of my favorite storylines of the series so far. I love this family. Well, Asha needs to prove herself a little more, but the rest is just amazing. The Greyjoys, Pyke, all the dialogue, Theon's internal struggles...love it!

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I'm really loving the Greyjoy stuff. I totally agree with dannister's last comment.

Random side note: I had always hoped that the people of the Iron Islands would have Scottish accents. I love how they use different dialects for some of the other locations, like the Northerners having Northern English accents etc. For some reason I always felt a good Glaswegian accent would fit well in Pyke. It would be a cool contrast when Theon returns if he had picked up the accent of Ned Stark from his time in Winterfell and sounded nothing like the rest of his family. I'm Scottish but I live in American and sometimes when I come back home they make fun of me for how American I sound. It's all in good fun with my folks, but imagine Balon's reaction when he not only sees Theon in those Northerner's clothes but Theon sounds like one as well!

There are some great Scottish actors in amongst all the other amazing members of the cast but they don't use their natural accents, which is cool. . I love how they cast internationally. I just hope that one other prominent location in the series is going to feature some awesome Scottish brogues :)

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