Theon Greyjoy is a victim too. I see a lot of people arguing that Sansa was being used as a plot device for Theon. I don’t think that’s really true. Theon is just as much a victim of abuse as Sansa. They’re both sexual and psychological victims of Ramsay Bolton.
I have a lot of feelings about Theon. I’ve always found him a very interesting character. He spends his life with the Starks being told he is lucky to be their ward. Like Jon Snow, he is always on the peripheral of the Stark family. Never quite fitting in but still having a better life than what they could have had in the cruel continent of Westeros.
He has never had anything to aspire to except to be by the side of his “brother” Robb. If he’d stayed with Robb and been killed at the Red Wedding, the outcome of the North may have been very different.
Theon has been raised as a captive and when he goes home, he encounters a culture shock like he’s never had before. All of his morals and his attitudes are spat on by the Iron Born. Sure he’s a bit cocky, but he thought he might finally belong somewhere. This hope is thrown back in his face and he once again sets off to prove he’s worthy of belonging somewhere.
He does despicable things to try to prove his value and his worth and yet I pity him. Then he finds himself a captive again.
I don’t think that Sansa/Jeyne’s rape awakens him from his “zombie state” as some have said. Theon is still in there. He still has a shred of himself in there and it starts to bubble up to the surface again when his real name is used again. or when Sansa talks to him, even if she hates him. He doesn’t want to see someone else abused like him.
Ramsay’s biggest mistake is letting “Reek” play the “role” of Theon Greyjoy.
“Theon of house Greyjoy. Who was… who was her father’s ward.” he says at the wedding.
If the show follows the books at all, Theon later hears his name in the Godswood and that is his rallying point. It’s as if the old gods have given him a sign that he truly is Theon, not Reek. It’s with that hope that gives him courage to do one honourable thing in his life - rescue someone from the same fate as him.
It’s not about women requiring a man to save them. It’s not about using a woman as a man’s plot device. It’s about a victim who decides to become a saviour, no matter the cost.
My hope is that in the coming episodes, with the changes made to the series, that Theon and Sansa get the real redemption that they truly both deserve and they are spirited away from that monster.