In defense of Euron Greyjoy
R.I.P. to a legend.
Oh, I should be clear since Sunday’s hate-it-or-love-it penultimate episode of Game of Thrones was a bloodbath (firebath?). Sorry, Cersei, Jaime, Varys, and the Hound, but I’m talking about King’s Landing’s true swagger king, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk).
Those four OG characters have gotten an appropriate amount of wine (and think pieces) poured out for them, while the self-proclaimed slayer of the kingslayer has only gotten slander. And I’m here to change that. Yes, he wears a bit too much eyeliner, acts like a character from another show, and isn’t as fully developed as book Euron, but you can’t deny that no character had more fun in the last few years on Game of Thrones — and arguably racked up a better résumé.
Since emerging from a storm in season 6, Euron has been a force to deal with. “I am the storm — the first storm, and the last,” he declared to his brother during his introduction, before killing Balon Greyjoy and becoming the king of the Iron Islands. The man works quick! He also has lofty goals, which you have to respect, mainly finding himself a queen who is already a queen. To do so, he builds a fleet of ships faster than anyone in history considering Theon and Yara stole all of the existing ones.
Come season 7, you’ve got to admire his moxie to just stroll into King’s Landing and ask Cersei to marry him — and even more so to ask Jaime for sex advice with the kingslayer’s own sister/lover (did Euron ever get an answer to his bum question?). You can’t accuse him of not shooting his shot! But when she doesn’t accept, Euron runs off and comes back with the best gift Cersei could receive: Ellaria and Tyene Sand, who poisoned her daughter. What did Jaime ever get Cersei that was so great? Other than incest children.
And the deliveries from Euron didn’t stop there as he brought the famous Golden Company to King’s Landing to fight for Cersei in season 8. Yes, they were useless against Dany, but it’s not Euron’s fault that they melted down under pressure. And also, don’t you dare blame my boy for the lack of elephants! He clearly would have gotten elephants for his girl if it was possible. Somehow still resistant to Euron’s charms and proposition, Cersei drops the memetastic line, “You want a whore, buy one. You want a queen, earn her.” Well, he either earned her or wore her down, because he finally checks “laying with a queen” off his bucket list. And, let’s be honest, afterward, Cersei seemed into it (“You’re not boring, I’ll give you that”). Also, you have to admire Euron’s heat check of asking Cersei if he was better than Jaime.
Now, admittedly, Euron was dumb enough to fall for the whole “my incest baby is really your baby” thing, but, he also killed a f—ing dragon, which only, like, two dudes in the last thousand years can say. And Euron outlasted the Night King, so who’s the real legend? But all legends must die, and Euron met his end by technically losing a fight with his romantic rival Jaime. I say “technically” because are you really the loser when you have so much swagger that as you’re bleeding, dying, and your killer is walking away, you still smile and declare, “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.” You know what, the falling rubble may have been the official perpetrator of Jaime’s death, but I’m giving Euron the credit. It’s clear Jaime wasn’t making it much longer with all those stab wounds.
So, to recap, in only nine total episodes of screen time on Game of Thrones, Euron Greyjoy became king of the Iron Islands, slept with the queen, destroyed his niece’s fleet, killed a dragon, and killed Jaime Lannister. Oh, and also was the one-liner king. “You murdered your own brother,” Cersei said upon meeting Euron to which he perfectly replied, “You should try it, it feels wonderful!”
And kill her brother he did. Long live the hilarious, psychotic, legendary king that was promised.
The Hound actor Rory McCann breaks down the Cleganebowl on Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones: Lena Headey reacts to that King’s Landing battle ending
Game of Thrones actor on his surprise death: ‘Nothing could console me’
HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s novel series “A Song of Fire and Ice.”