So Magnus and Alec had a bit of a problem where Magnus was in Valentine’s body, and Alec didn’t believe him? And there was a lot of, sort of betrayal on that? And it didn’t really went anywhere? Is that something that’s gonna come back?
Psychic: “Well, I wanted to talk to you because your friend told me you were single… right before shoving a knife against my neck and calling me an assassin and then she figured out I wasn’t one and sent me to talk to you!”
Prince (Incognito) “Wait, you came out to see me cuz I’m single…?”
Psychic: “That’s the first thing you decided to say? …but yeah. Kinda dreamy too, BUT let’s talk about your friend almost killing me before we start flirting at all!”
Okay first thing: You can say PTSD doesn’t matter but it does. It always does. You don’t just “get over” that shit. Tyra Banks rooting for you can’t cure it.
We witnessed Theon give himself up for Sansa in Season 6. He gave himself up FOR MORE TORTURE because it was literally the only choice to help her. This situation with Euron was much more nuanced.
Euron had it set up so that either way he would win. Was it just me or was there a GINORMOUS AXE right at Yara’s throat? I think that if Theon had come at Euron he would have just killed her immediately and captured him to take back to Cersei. He kills Yara and captures Theon = Euron wins.
In the scenario we saw, Theon chose to jump ship (and this move may have saved Yara’s life btw- or at least prolonged it enough to possibly be rescued) BUT- it was more of a psychological blow to the siblings. It caused Theon to regress and caused Yara to lose her faith in her brother. So even if Theon was able to realize through his PTSD that the best choice he could make was surviving in order to get help to rescue Yara- the immediate result was psychological trauma for both siblings- Euron makes Theon, a severely traumatized man who already struggles with self loathing, feel like a coward for making the better of two horrible decisions with the added bonus of making Yara feel completely betrayed and abandoned- which is a wonderful psychological state to have a captive be in, by the way. Euron has severed their faith in each other (hopefully temporarily) and left them both traumatized and psychologically weakened = Euron Wins.
Either way Euron was going to win this battle. But Alfie’s decision to jump may be the only thing that keep him from winning the war. I don’t know if the thought of jumping in order to rescue Yara later was going through his head- I don’t know if it was that thought out, or if he was really operating purely in the worst kind of PTSD hell. If it was the latter, it is a poignant, heartbreaking example of just how horrible the effects of PTSD can be and should be respected as such.
Would Yara have done the same thing as Theon if it had been switched? Possibly. Because she is savvy enough to play the long game, and we’ve seen evidence of this before. She would have known jumping was the lesser of two evils. Would Jon have made the same decision as Theon? NO. Jon would have rushed into Euron. And both he and Yara would be dead. JON SHOULD BE DEAD RIGHT NOW and would be if magical fire priestesses didn’t exist in this world. Time and time again this show has taught us that people like Jon (though we love them for it) are the people that get whacked BECAUSE they are so brave and honorable.
But Theon is a character that is constantly evolving and adapting in order to survive. It was a horrible moment. But I would rather him jump ship with the hope that he can rescue Yara later, than for him to be stupidly brave and both siblings dead as a result. He will hate himself for the decision he made when Yara crucially needed him. But this is also why his journey is going to be so interesting to watch this season.
It is only the second episode. If he went all heroic right out of the gate it would have been cheating the story and going against everything we know about Theon and his abuse, everything we know as a society about PTSD, and it the most obvious and boring choice ultimately. He came so far with the rescue of Sansa that it was actually really shocking to see him falter and beaten down like that again. It felt HORRIBLE. And it should feel horrible. That is what PTSD is. Crippling setbacks, thinking you’ve come so far only to be triggered and re-traumatized again and again.
He will rise again as he always does. And he will still save the world because he is the most unlikely person to do it- which will make it all the more surprising and shocking (and glorious) when it happens.