It’s difficult to remember what happened at the end of Game of Thrones Season 7 — let alone where it left each and every one of its expansive cast. One such character is Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), Theon’s (Alfie Allen) much-more-competent sister and aspiring queen to the Iron Islands. Unfortunately, their sadistic uncle, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), showed up and royally screwed up her plans. So where is Yara in Game of Thrones, and will she pop up in the show’s final season?
Thankfully, the Ringer has a helpful primer as to what last happened with the battle-worn Greyjoy. If fans will recall, Yara was kidnapped by her uncle at the beginning of Season 7, taking her aboard his ship. Uncle and niece proceeded to duke it out, while Theon watched — too petrified to save his sister. Although Yara survived, she remained under her uncle’s iron first, who proceeded to parade her through King’s Landing (which, rude) on his way to propose to Cersei Lannister.
Where we left off, Theon was attempting to stage a rescue for his sister, but the other ironborn were less-than-thrilled with what seemed like a suicide mission. It’s understandable, since Euron is a ruthless tyrant, and he wouldn’t hesitate to kill any of his own.
But here’s where the Greyjoys may prove essential to the plot in Game of Thrones Season 8. While the ironborn typically keep to themselves, their troops will doubtless be essential to stop the Night King and his hoard of White Walkers from completely taking over Westeros. And since winter is finally here, there’s almost certainly going to be a battle between the living and the undead. However, if the Iron Islands remains under Euron’s control, Westeros may be toast. After all, he’s not one to work nicely with others, even if the fate of humanity is at stake. And since Theon is in a perpetual state of shell-shock, Yara may be their only hope to team up with Jon Snow, Daenerys, and perhaps even Cersei.
While Theon began the series as a self-centered dunce, he more than paid his dues after being tortured (and castrated) by the barbaric Ramsay Bolton, who renamed him Reek. Since then, the Greyjoy has tried to make amends with his former caretakers, the Starks, by rescuing Sansa from their shared abuser and apologizing to Jon for, you know, taking over Winterfell and all.
But while Theon was off with the Starks, Yara was preparing to inherit the Salt Throne and became both a seasoned warrior and experienced sailor. And since she has already made an alliance — and some serious sexual chemistry — with Daenerys, she’d likely come to her Dragon Queen’s aid, should she need it. But all of that depends on whether Theon can rescue his sister. In an interview with the Scotsman, Whelan (who plays Yara) was asked as much, with the actor coyly answering, "It would be very nice and circular wouldn’t it? But we all know Game of Thrones doesn’t always give you what you want."
So although the Ringer pointed out that Yara hasn’t been in any teasers or promotional images for Season 8, that we haven’t physically seen her get killed hopefully means that she’s still alive. And as we all know, when has Game of Thrones ever shied away from a gory death scene? Furthermore, the site Fansided may have discovered why Whelan was so absent, uncovering a tweet that the actor wrote to a fan, who was concerned that she wasn’t in any of the photo shoots. "[H]aving a baby and filming schedule clashes meant I couldn’t make the photo shoots," she wrote, in part. "I’m gutted not to be on them! Can’t wait for you to see the final season! I can’t wait to see it!!!"
Furthermore, the actor hinted at the Game of Thrones ending, telling the Scotsman, "[W]hen I read the final episode I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Because we’ve all conjectured and wondered and been asked over the years, who, what, how, and it’s not ANYTHING you could have guessed. It’s brilliant, so movingly clever."
So although we don’t know what Yara’s ending will be or whether she ascends the Salt Throne after all, it’s good to know that this isn’t the end of the Greyjoy’s story. After all, what is dead may never die.
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