In Season 4 Episode 6, "The Laws of Gods and Men", how is it possible to make Theon

forget his own sister? How and why did Ramsay Snow turn Theon into Reek?

I don't mind answers from the books.


Theon has not forgotten his sister. It's only that he has been tortured so much, he is now afraid that everything is a trap. Remember at the beginning of his torture, Ramsay helped him escape, only to find answers, imprison him again and torture him as punishment for wishing to escape.

Whenever Theon is being treated kindly by Ramsay, or anybody for that matter, he is reminded of the traps that he has fallen into while tortured. Ramsay even punished him for eating a rat he found in his cell, since it was Ramsay's rat.

In the books, Theon is far more broken. His hair is white and falling out, many of his fingers are missing, some of his skin has been flayed, he has missing teeth, and is in constant pain. He has not forgotten himself, he has simple renounced to wish for anything except to not be tortured anymore.

  • why the series differ so much from the books really beats me.. – libathos May 13 '14 at 9:42
  • 7
    @libathos - Because they are two different mediums and no direct translation is possible. – System Down May 13 '14 at 16:29

To get into the "why" part of making Theon "Reek",

in the books Lord Bolton remarks how Reek was sadistic to begin with and pair that with how Ramsay came to Theon after Winterfell and was not treated with much respect (mostly because he stinks). He's giving Theon some payback as well as his outlet for all the anger Ramsey has. Ramsay hates being reminded that he's a smelly bastard (literally) and is sensitive to any perceived slight and quick to take out his anger on people, particularly Theon as his designated whipping boy.

  • Ramsay wasn't smelly. The original Reek was smelly - the Reek who was Ramsay's long time companion and mentor of sorts. Though he bathed three times a day and wore flowers in his hair, he still stank. – Dave H Jun 10 '14 at 15:51
  • @DaveH I'm probably confusing who's who. Too many damn people in these books. – coburne Jun 10 '14 at 17:31
  • Both are correct; Ramsay had a friend who was called Reek (we don't know where that Reek is), and when Ramsay first met Theon, he (Ramsay) went under the guise of Reek (because he stank at that point). – Möoz Sep 4 '14 at 4:47

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