The two characters in Game of Thrones that I relate to the most are Sam (the bookish character) and Theon. Like Sam, I’m a bookworm who is terrible at physical combat. Like Theon, I’ve struggled to learn how to be brave.
I’ve found that some individuals, like Lyanna Mormont or Brienne of Tarth, are just naturally brave. For me though, sometimes I’ve had courage and sometimes I haven’t been courageous. I’m not a naturally brave person. So I really relate to Theon’s character arc.
I’ve never done anything as despicable as Theon. But in the 1990s I attended a church where I’ve witnessed several individuals gets harassed and I didn’t have the courage to intercede. I saw a group harass a woman for dating a Catholic, whom the group saw as not a true Christian. I witnessed a few individuals get harassed for being gay. I saw a group hassle an individual who was baptized as a baby when the group believed only adult baptisms were valid. And I saw others get harassed for various different reasons. In all those instances, I didn’t have the courage to speak out against the group.
It’s been almost 2 decades now since I left that church. To redeem myself, I’ve been trying to learn how to speak my opinions even if it is unpopular or goes against the group. Like Theon, it’s been a two step forward and one step backward process. I’ve been in conflicts that I’ve never gotten into before. In all those cases, some individual or group was angry that I dare express my own opinions rather than blindly follow theirs.
So it’s been very satisfying for me to watch Theon Greyjoy’s character arc as he’s learned to be brave. This particular scene from Season 8’s episode 3 between Theon and Bran is not one of the major scenes of the show. But it meant a lot to Theon. And it deeply moved me. Redemption is possible.