A Clash of Kings  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) A Clash of Kings discussion


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Who's to blame for Theon's downfall?

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Scott Kinkade Should we blame Ned for not raising him right? Or is Theon inherently evil? Or perhaps he's just the product of a twisted world?


Imbunche In my opinion Theon was the reason of his own downfall. He was too proud for his own good which led him to making wrong decisions. I don't think you can blame Ned for that in any way. Of course being taken from his family and being raised by another must have had an effect on him, but he was not mistreated in Winterfell, he was raised the same way as the Stark children and they did not turn out that way at all. If anything it was his own father's fault because of the way he treated Theon after he returned home from Winterfell, Being sidelined like that made Theon feel the need to prove himself more as he had seen himself as too good for the task he was given.


Mirkat This is something I've thought about quite a bit, though I think of it more in terms of explaining rather than blaming.

In the universe of this book series, taking the child of a defeated rival as a ward is a common strategy to prevent the rival from attacking again. For Eddard Stark, this strategy was successful in the sense that Balon Greyjoy and the rest of the Iron Born refrained from challenging the Starks while Theon was Ned's ward. Ned treated Theon with kindness, and Theon grew up alongside the Stark children, forging a bond, especially with Robb. When he suggests enlisting Balon Greyjoy's assistance in Robb's claims to the throne, I think he really believes that Balon will help them. He of course completely fails to anticipate how Balon will react to him and his proposal. Because the Iron Born don't make deals or wait around for anyone to give things to them--they just go out and take them and kill anyone in their way! Because IRON BORN! And of course Theon fails to anticipate that because he didn't have a Greyjoy upbringing; he had a Stark upbringing.

Balon Greyjoy puts Theon in a horrible situation, and Theon feels compelled to prove to his father that life in Winterfell with the Starks didn't make him "soft" and unworthy. And this leads him to go back to Winterfell and be horrible. So there were a chain of circumstances that led up to Theon Greyjoy making a vicious, horrendous choice.


Scott Kinkade Interesting. Thank you for your thoughts.


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