You Win Or You Die: Ranking the 99 Game of Thrones Deaths

21 of 53

Image credit: HBO/Helen Sloan

Balon Greyjoy

If ever there was a crotchety old man in Westeros, it’s Balon Greyjoy. Perhaps the seawater was simply no good for him. That, or he was always destined to be terrible all on his own.

Years before the events of Game of Thrones, Balon spearheaded a rebellion against the Seven Kingdoms that couldn’t be won with so little forces. Two of his sons were killed, and his last, Theon, was taken as a hostage by Ned Stark. Although Ned raised Theon as a ward and among his own children, the boy’s resentment never faded until it was too late.

Theon’s desire to prove himself to his father led him to betray the Starks, although they had been a better family to him than Balon ever had. Balon’s relationship with his son was hateful at worst and impatient at best. He refused to so much as rescue Theon from Ramsay’s clutches, leaving his daughter, Yara, to make the attempt instead.

All things considered, his death might have been best for his remaining children. If only it hadn’t left them to deal with their uncle, that is. Euron Greyjoy has every bit of Balon’s poor team spirit, only he’s more murderous about it. Had Balon lived, though, Yara and Theon wouldn’t have hightailed it off the Iron Islands to align themselves with Daenerys. Whether or not Daenerys is successful in taking the Seven Kingdoms, she needed allies to at least attempt this endeavor. Who better to get her out of Essos than a hot girl with a fleet at her command? (Yanerys, people. It’s happening.)