Potential Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, as well as Winds of Winter.
Part of what makes HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones so delightful is the villains. While we all watch for some hope for the Stark family, the dastardly bad guys really help the show pop, and almost make you pine for murder as much as the denizens of Westeros. Audiences were thrilled when Joffrey Baratheon finally bit the dust during the purple wedding, although he was more of an appetizer to the entree villain that is Ramsay Bolton. After seeing Ramsay kill, torture, maim, and sexually assault various characters, it seemed that no one in all of Westeros would be able to hold a candle to his villainy. But that might not be true.
George R.R. Martin recently previewed a chapter from his long-awaited new novel Winds of Winter. This chapter (via Vulture) focused on the character Euron Greyjoy, Theon and Yara’s uncle who recently took the salt throne in Game of Thrones. While his portrayal in Game made him seem like an asshole (making fun of Theon’s castration was pretty rough), it appears that he’s actually much worse. Martin’s chapter revealed Euron’s atrocities, and there are many of them.
To start, Euron has kidnapped his brother Aeron (the priest from the Drowned God who drowned his brother to official name him the ruler of the Ironborn) and left him to rot in a cell. That is, except for the times where Euron comes and tortures his poor brother.
Euron is also revealed to have been physically and sexually abusive to his brother Aeron from a very young age. While mentally torturing Aeron in his cell, he recounts the past sexual abuse of his brother:
I could hear you praying from outside the door. I always wondered: Were you praying that I would choose you or that I would pass you by?
What a total psycho. This is right up there with Ramsay’s mutilation of Theon, complete with the scene of Ramsay eating that sausage to really mess with his head.
Later in the chapter it is also revealed that Euron Greyjoy didn’t just kill Theon’s father Balon. In fact, he admits to murdering a few more members of the admily. Namely, he’s killed two more of the Balon brothers, presumably in his attempts to take the Salt Throne. So he’ll kill and assault his family members guilt-free.
Euron Greyjoy’s plot within Game of Thrones should be very interesting to see grow. Now that we know what a complete sicko he is, his feud with Yara and Theon seems even more dire. He’s not messing around, so if the siblings are caught after leaving with the fastest ships then they might be in for a world of hurt.
Additionally, Euron is planning to unite with Daenerys Targaryen and give her the fleet of 1,000 ships that she needs to sail to Westeros. While she certainly could use the help and will presumably not turn it down, it will be interesting to see the two characters interact. Dany has a strong moral compass, so dealing with an asshole and psycho like Euron won’t be her cup of tea. She might have to set yet another misogynist on fire.
Of course, only time will tell how Euron Greyjoy plays out in Game of Thrones. One thing is clear, though: you don’t want to mess with him. At least in the novels.