Key players: Bran Stark, Jojen Reed, Theon Greyjoy, Ramsay Snow
Theon is the only son and therefor the heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy to House Greyjoy and the Iron Islands. During his father’s Rebellion, when both of his older brothers were killed he was the boy of ten. Upon crushing the rebellion Lord Eddard Stark took Theon hostage. For the next nine years he lived and was raised in Winterfell together with the rest of the Stark children. His relationship with Starks was respectfully and he considered Robb Stark a close friend and a brother. However, Jon Snow was not the man of his liking. Perhaps due to their shared status of insiders. Perhaps not.
He was present during the execution of the Night’s Watch deserter, Gared by the hand of Lord Eddard Stark. He kicked his head afterwards. He was also present when Jon Snow found the direwolves in the Wollfswood. He argued for killing the puppies on spot. Luckily, Jon Snow prevented that and the puppies were taken home, to Winterfell. He remains in WInterfell after Eddard leaves for King’s Landing to assume the position of the Hand. During this time Theon saves Bran from the group of wildlings and Night’s Watch deserters but Robb criticizes him for risking Bran’s life. He doesn’t take this criticism lightly, however, after the outbreak of the War of Five Kings Theon becomes Robb’s trusted battle companion. He fought in both the Battle of the camps and at the Whispering Wood, where they took Ser Jaime Lannister prisoner. Soon after Robb sends Theon to the Iron Islands to offer Balon a kingship over the Iron Islands if he ravages the Lannister shore with his longships. A mistake.
On the way there he meets his sister, Asha Greyjoy, who under assumed identity, flirts with him and humiliates him. His father criticizes him for his mainland and northern ways rejecting Robb’s offer. Seeking acceptance Theon decides to change sides regardless of receiving a minor position in his father’s army. Dissatisfied with his duties and jealous of his sister he devises a plan to go against the orders and attack Winterfell itself. Theon raides Winterfell and overwhelms its remaining guards. With Winterfell under his control he takes Bran and Rickon hostage. However, he has difficulties controlling the Winterfell population partly due to the fact he is known to them.
This is the moment when story gravely diverges from the book. Among the men he overpowered was Ramsay Snow, Lord Bolton’s bastard son. Theon frees him, in the guise of “Reek” from the prison dungeon and takes him into service. Meanwhile Bran and Rickon manage to escape Winterfell with the help of Osha, Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed. Theon fails to track the boys down, however at Reek’s advice, he kills two miller’s boys around the same age and presents their preserved corpses as the Starks. When mysterious deaths start happening to those of Theon’s men who had been part of the search party Theon blames Farlen and orders his execution. Theon however knew Farlen did not commit the murders, but it was in fact “Reek” who with Theon’s knowledge killed the three ironborn to keep the secret of the “Stark bodies” more secure. He then reaches out to his sister for help. She arrives with her men, but tells Theon that the Ironmen will never succeed in holding landlocked castles. Their place is at the sea. After leaving behind a token group of men, she abandons Winterfell and advises Theon to do the same. In the desperate attempt to save what little could be saved before the arrival of Ser Rodrik Cassel he frees “Reek” to seek help from Dreadfort. Before Theon can surrender, Bolton men arrive and in a surprise attack they anihiliate Rodrik’s forces. As Theon attempts to thank Ramsay, the bastard reveals his true identity, takes Theon prisoner and burns Winterfell to the ground.
In the series, Ramsay Snow does not appear until the third season. Also, he was not at Winterfell during Theon’s attack and he had nothing to do with the killing of two miller’s boys. At Robb’s request, Ramsay was sent by Roose Bolton, his father, to take Winterfell back, capture and keep Theon alive for Robb Stark who would deal with him as he sees fit. In the meantime a piece of Theon’s skin was delivered to Robb and Catelyn Stark during Hoster Tully’s funeral at Riverrun. He is being kept in the dungeons of Dreadfort where he repeatedly undergoes sever torture: his skin is removed on several toes and fingers leaving him in agony for days before removing the joints but only after Theon begs Ramsay to remove them; several of his teeth are removed because Ramsay hates Theon’s smug smile; he is forbidden to bathe; he is sexually harassed which lead to the removal of his genitalia as last seen.
He is not appearing in the third book. These are the events from the fourth and fifth book, which are incorporated into the series for the sake of character’s storyline continuity.
Current Location: dungeons of Dreadfort, Lord Bolton’s castle.
RAMSAY BOLTON (nee SNOW)
Ramsay Bolton is the legitimated bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton. He is a product of a rape between Lord Bolton and a miller’s wife. While hunting, Roose saw the miller’s wife and decided to illicitly practice the banned tradition of the First Night, wherein a lord had the right to bed the commoner’s bride. He hanged the miller under a tree (for not informing his Lord of the new marriage) and raped the man’s bride beneath his swaying body. A year later the woman arrived at the Dreadfort with the newborn Ramsay. Roose nearly killed both of them, but when he saw the child had his eyes, the taboo of kinslayer prevented him from execution. The woman claimed her husband’s brother stole the mill and cast her out. Roose angered by this had the man’s tongue removed so he would spread no tales to Roose’s liege Lord Rickard Stark. Roose then gave the woman the mill along with a pig, several chicks and a bag of stars every year on the condition that she never reveal to Ramsay the truth about who his father was.
I will now skip one big part of Ramsey’s childhood because I believe will learn more about it in the following season. The important thing is, Ramsay found out about his true identity and made sure he would be the only heir to House Bolton. Two years prior to the War of the Five Kings, Roose Bolton brought him to Dreadfort, where he learned how to write and read. During the War of Five Kings he started building his reputation of a rapist and a murderer everybody feared. Ser Rodrik Cassel attempted to put an end to his atrocities after Ramsay had forced himself upon Lady Hornwood. However, quick thinking on Ramsay’s part allowed him to evade death and instead he was taken prisoner in the guise of “Reek” (a story I skipped). This is how he ended up at Winterfell, before Theon’s attack and betrayal. In the series apparently, none of this have happened and instead he was sent at Robb’s request to take Winterfell back and capture Theon alive but not intact.
Current location: Dreadfort
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