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In Season 6, Episode 5 of the show, after his Drowned God ceremony, Euron mentions wanting

to find and murder Theon and Yara.

Why does he want to do this?

  • 3
    Because killing pretenders to the throne is pretty much standard practice. Same reason for what happened to Ramsey's half-brother. – Matt Burland May 25 '16 at 17:48
31

While there may well be deeper reasons, at the very least, refusing to attend your new king's coronation is a pretty clear sign of disloyalty, disloyalty which could (and, in fact did, although it's unclear whether anyone there knew about it) lead to Theon and Yara taking their supporters into actual treasonous action. In a world like GoT, murdering potential leadership rivals seems like standard policy.

Would it have been avoided if they'd openly bent the knee? I doubt we'll ever know.

  • 1
    Very good answer. I hardly think there is a deeper motive here. Just to solidify his position as the King. – C.Koca May 24 '16 at 14:36
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    Not to mention that he just admitted to murdering their father, who was king at the time, so it seems like a pretty logical assumption that they might want to do the same to him, despite his new position. – starpilotsix May 24 '16 at 15:01
  • @starpilotsix reinforced by the fact that even though most felt uneasy when he openly declared the murder, nobody displayed any will to "punish" him, leading one to believe that among the Ironborn that is not much of an issue (murder). – Mindwin May 24 '16 at 19:18
  • 14
    Don't forget Yara had already stated that her first act as queen would have been to kill Euron. – nedlud May 25 '16 at 3:30
  • Not to mention that he wants to Remove all possible Rivals for Sea Stone Chair. Balon's children have the strongest claim at least by the laws of the Green lands. Asha/Yara can't claim it now however, having made her claim already. Theon however never made any claim and thus can challenge like Torgon the Latecommer. – Aegon May 25 '16 at 8:57
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In rises of power, many times the opposition is eliminated afterward in order to prevent them from uprising or resisting your rule. By killing Theon and Yara, he would essentially be removing any contenders to his crown and, in his eyes, preventing any possibility of regicide.

Examples

  1. Assassination of Renly Baratheon after the failed meeting between Stannis and Renly concerning the Iron Throne.

  2. Jon Arryn, assassinated by Lysa Arryn and Littlefinger to ensure Lysa's control over the vale.

  3. Robert Baratheon died from boar hunt after becoming drunk on wine given by Lancel Lannister at Cersei's command.

  4. Eddard Stark executed on Joffrey's orders after being instructed that he should rule instead of Joffrey by Robert on his deathbed.

  5. Attempted assassination of Daenerys Targaryen by merchant ordered by Robert Baratheon.

  6. Red Wedding, assassination of Robb Stark, Talisa Stark, and Catelyn Stark by Walder Frey.

  7. Assassination of Joffrey Baratheon by Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell.

  8. Assassination of Lysa Arryn by Littlefinger.

  9. Myrcella Baratheon poisoned by Ellaria Sand of the Sand Snakes.

  10. Doran Martell assassinated by Ellaria Sand Snakes.

  11. Trystane Martell assassinated by Obara of the Sand Snakes.

  12. Roose Bolton assassinated by Ramsay Bolton.

  13. Walda Bolton assassinated by Ramsay Bolton.

  14. Balon Greyjoy assassinated by Euron Greyjoy.

  15. Dothraki leaders assassinated by Daenerys Targaryen.

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to this site. Please consider taking the tour. This is a good answer, but it would be even better if you had any source/example (either from the ASoIaF universe, or from our world !). – Kalissar May 24 '16 at 14:43
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    Added examples. – Xiokraze May 24 '16 at 15:16
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    In fairness, a number of these are not about cementing power. 6 was largely revenge (with some nudging from one seeking to cement power). 9 was definitely revenge. 10 was straight up seizing of power, not cementing. 15 was largely self-preservation. – Dancrumb May 24 '16 at 15:23
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    Obviously we can go into detail and semantics concerning each one, but the examples given attest to someone dying in order to further the power of another. I would argue each one "cemented" the power of another aside from 9. – Xiokraze May 24 '16 at 15:30
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    By the way I think the point is not only to kill opponents but mostly to kill those that could be seen as more legitimate than him. I would also add two example to the answer : the murder of Elia and Aegon Targaeryen by The Mountain, and Joffrey having all of Robert's bastards killed in Season 2. – Arnaud D. May 24 '16 at 18:03
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By rules of succession common throughout Westeros (and Earth), Euron is either second or third in line to the Salt throne behind Theon and (possibly) Yara. See this question for details.

The Iron Islands have their own traditions (It seems to be based on a form of popular support), but they are clearly influenced by others as both Theon and Yara were seriously considered as successors.

By killing Theon and Yara, Euron strengthens his claim to the throne by following both traditions - he has both the popular support and the usual line of succession.

Incidentally, this is also why he wants to marry Daenerys. It's possible to take the Iron throne without any claim at all (see Robert Baratheon), but it's easier to convince the people to follow you if your claim can be backed up by traditions of succession - see Joffrey & Tommen Baratheon and the hiding of their true lineage)

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