Alfie Allen gave one of the standout performances of Game of Thrones season two, playing one of the least sympathetic characters: Theon Greyjoy. Theon's actions are almost impossible to defend, but Allen made us understand his inner struggle. So we were excited to have an exclusive interview with Allen at San Diego Comic Con, when he told us what's next for Theon.
Warning: Major spoilers for people who haven't read all the books...
So are you sure you want to take a peek? (Rhymes with... well, you know what.)
If Game of Thrones followed George R.R. Martin's novels to the letter, then we might not see Alfie Allen playing Theon Greyjoy again until 2015 or 2016 — because Theon is missing, presumed dead, until A Dance With Dragons, the latest book. But the producers of Game of Thrones took the trouble to fly Allen to San Diego to promote the series. And it seems likely that we'll be seeing him next year, since he's one of the stars of the show.
And that means that we might actually watch the process of the proud Prince Theon being broken and turned into the cowering, miserable Reek, by Lord Roose Bolton's bastard son, Ramsay. (In the TV show, Ramsay is sent to retake Winterfell from Theon by his father, at Robb Stark's order — and he winds up taking Theon prisoner and burning Winterfell down. We haven't yet met Ramsay on the show, however.)
Allen told us, "I'm really hoping that I can be a part of season three. But I don't know for sure yet, so I'm just holding on with bated breath."
We pointed out that the process of Theon turning into Reek would be horrible to watch. To which Allen replied: "It would be interesting to watch, for sure. If I get the opportunity to do it, you couldn't ask for more as an actor, in terms of material. I'm just very, very hyped, if I get to [tackle] that." But he admitted he hasn't actually read A Dance With Dragons. His friends keep asking if he's read it yet, and then giving him sympathetic pats on the shoulder.
Allen added: "But it's fine, man. As an actor, I've been told about the material. And like I said, you just couldn't ask for anything more. So I'm looking forward to it, if I get the opportunity."
One thing that doesn't happen in the books is Theon ever meeting Robb Stark again, after Theon has betrayed Robb so badly. And Theon says he loves working with Richard Madden, who plays Robb, so he would be thrilled if they somehow brought those two characters together again.
It's really cool. They sort of added some stuff for me which wasn't in the books. And it's just great. I think there was the whole speech in the end — there's a speech in episode 10, which is really cool and wasn't in the book. And obviously the burning of the letter to Robb. There's some things I would have liked [that were] in the book, but you know what? It came out amazing. So I'm just super happy with it.
We asked Allen if he wished there had been more of Theon hitting on his sister, and he said no — he was glad there wasn't more of that. "There was enough of that for sure. But I think people liked that scene. They seemed to love it."
He added that his aim was to make Theon at least somewhat sympathetic — but he doesn't mind at all if people hate his character. And he genuinely seems to feel sorry for Theon.
Said Allen, speaking for Theon: "My whole life, I've never had the opportunity to make my own decisions and [choose] my own fate. And when I do, I mess it up. You know?"
I always say, 'Winners write history.' If Theon had succeeded in that battle, then the kids [and] everything — all of it would have been forgotten about. And he would have been a hero... If he had won, then all of those despicable things he did would have been forgotten about. Horrible things happen in wars.
We spoke to Alfie Allen at the Entertainment Weekly party Saturday night at San Diego Comic Con, when we'd already lost our voices and most of our marbles.