Balon Greyjoy is the Lord Reaper of Pyke and the head of House Greyjoy. He is the father of major character Theon Greyjoy.
Balon Greyjoy is the head of House Greyjoy and Lord of the Iron Islands. The Iron Islands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Greyjoy is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Greyjoy rule the region from their seat at Pyke and Balon also holds the title Lord Reaper of Pyke. He is a hard, ambitious and ruthless man.
Balon is married to Alannys of House Harlaw. They had four children Rodrik, Maron, Yara and Theon. Yara is their only daughter.
Eight years before the start of the series Balon declared himself King of the Iron Islands and rose in the rebellion against the Iron Throne to revive the "Old Way", which had once led the ironborn to rule much of the western coast of Westeros. He was, however, defeated in a bloody war. His elder two sons were killed and his third son, Theon, was taken by Lord Eddard Stark as a hostage for Balon's good behavior and obedience. Yara has remained on the Iron Islands and has become a warrior and captain in her own right, which is unusual for women on the isles.
Whilst visiting Winterfell, Tyrion Lannister asks Theon what his father would think if he could see his only surviving son 'playing lackey' to Robb Stark. Theon angrily defends himself, but Tyrion seems to gain the upper hand of the exchange. Later, Theon tells Ros about his father's power and that no family in Westeros, not even the Lannisters, can look down at them. However, Maester Luwin mocks Theon's father's failed rebellion when Theon's boasting gets a little out of hand. When Theon tries to get Osha to call him 'Lord', she points out his father is still alive, so he isn't a lord yet, to Theon's annoyance.
Balon's estranged son Theon returns to the Iron Islands, hoping to be received with honors, only to find nothing. Theon finds Balon waiting alone in his chambers. He greets him as 'father' and Balon remarks on his nine year absence, saying the Starks took a frightened boy and he wonders what they have given back. Theon says that he is a man and Balon's heir. Balon says they will see and notes that Eddard had Theon for longer than he did. Theon responds that Eddard is gone and Balon asks how Theon feels about Eddard's death. Theon says “what's done is done” and shows Balon the proposal from Robb. Balon interrupts him to ask who gave him his clothes, wondering if Eddard enjoyed dressing him like a daughter. Theon is baffled and offers to change his clothes. Balon notes the gold clasp of Theon's cloak and reminds Theon of the custom of the Iron Price, saying that Theon should wear only what he has taken from dead foes. He asks if Theon paid the Iron Price for the clasp and when Theon admits that he did not, Balon tears it from his neck. He says that he will not have his son dressed like a whore and throws the clasp into the fire.
Balon says that Theon's appearance is proof of his fear that the Starks would make Theon theirs. Theon insists that his blood is salt and iron, and Balon counters that Robb has sent him like a trained raven with a message. Theon asserts that he proposed the offer in Robb's message and that Robb sees him as a brother. Balon warns Theon not to name Robb brother in his presence because Robb is the son of the man who killed Theon's true brothers. He asks if Theon has forgotten his origins and Theon insists that he remembers his brothers and the time when his father was a king before handing Balon the message. Balon interprets the offer as Robb giving him a crown in exchange for him defeating Robb's enemies. Theon suggests that he could lead the attack personally.
A young woman Theon rode with to Pyke and tried to seduce enters and he shouts that he told her to wait outside. He asks how she bypassed the guards and she tells him that anything male is easy to fool before standing beside Balon. Balon greets her warmly and puts his arm around her. Theon realizes that she is his sister, Yara, now grown up. She greets him as brother and says that his is a homecoming that she will tell her grandchildren about. Theon realizes that Balon intends to have Yara lead the attack and says that she is unsuitable as a woman. Balon tells Theon that Yara took over command of his brother Rodrik's ship after Eddard killed him. He clutches his chest and intones a prayer to the Drowned God of the Ironborn “What is dead may never die.” Yara joins in and Theon repeats the saying a little slower.
Balon says that Yara has only ever been off the Iron Islands on a ship and that she has both commanded and killed men. He says that she knows who she is. He burns Robb's letter and says that no-one gives him a crown. He says that he will pay the Iron Price and take his crown because that is who he is and who the Iron Born have always been. Balon and Yara walk out and Theon calls after him, warning that he cannot defeat the Lannisters alone. Balon retorts that no-one said anything about fighting the Lannisters.
Balon enters his chambers to find his children waiting for him; Yara greets him respectfully. Theon follows suit, a little slower. Balon goes to his table which holds a map of the seven kingdoms and details his plans. He is going to attack the North. He knows that it is poorly defended while Robb is fighting in the Westerlands. He assigns thirty long ships to Yara to take Deepwood Motte. Theon asks his part and Balon says that he will have one ship to raid fishing villages along the Stony Shore. Yara twists the knife by saying that his ship is named Sea Bitch. Theon tries to argue against the whole strategy and Balon accuses him of divided loyalties. Theon claims that he is being pragmatic by avoiding the enmity of their potential ally in Robb. He reminds Balon that Robb will give them Casterly Rock in exchange for fealty. Balon counters by making Theon repeat the House Greyjoy words “We do not sow.” Balon describes reaving as their way of life and accuses Theon of having become weak living with the Starks. Theon responds by reminding Balon that he gave him to House Stark after his defeat in the Greyjoy Rebellion. He angers Balon with the bitter memory and Balon hits him in the face then begins to storm out of the room. Theon calls after him, pointing out the unfairness of his hatred. Balon pauses as his son harangues him but then strides on. Yara accuses Theon of wanting Balon to bow down to his “other family.” Theon denies seeing the Starks that way.
Theon is baptized by a Drowned Priest on the shores of Pyke in a show of loyalty to his blood relatives. Balon and Yara watch as he proclaims his faith in the Drowned God.
Balon receieves a letter and a box from Ramsay Snow in the name of his father, Roose Bolton, the acting Warden of the North. The letter explains that Ramsay is holding Balon's son and heir, Theon Greyjoy, and that unless Balon withdraws his troops from the North and returns all occupied territories Ramsay will continue sending pieces of Theon. The box is found to contain Theon's severed penis. Despite Yara's protests, Balon burns the letter and dismisses the terms, telling her that Theon disobeyed orders and that he can no longer further the Greyjoy line, making him useless. Yara openly defies her father however, and tells him that she will take a longship and the strongest warriors on Pyke to go rescue her brother.
Balon meets his brother Euron, whom he thought to be dead, on a bridge over the Iron Islands during a storm. Euron proceeds to comment that Balon is too old to rule, and Balon accuses him of mocking the Drowned God. To this, Euron proclaims that he is the Drowned God. They struggle for a brief moment, and despite being wounded, Euron is able to easily overpower Balon and throw him off the bridge to his death.
Balon's funeral is held the next day and his body is laid to rest in the sea. Yara vows to avenge him.
Head of the ruling house of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy revolted against Robert Baratheon in an attempt to win the Islands their independence. Two of his sons died in the battle and Balon was forced to surrenderhis only surviving son, Theon, to Ned stark to raise as a ward. Upon Theon's return to the Iron Islands many years later, Balon encouraged his son to renounce his ties to the Starks and help him vanquish the North. The plot failed when Ramsay Snow took Theon prisoner and emasculated him. Balon cut off all ties to his sun but insisted the Ironborn conyinue their futile campaign. His plans were thwarted when he was murdered by his brother Euron who now seeks the Salt Throne.
Balon Greyjoy was shown to be a stubborn, unyielding man who often had difficulty seeing past his own desires. Despite his spectacular defeat in his failed uprising, he still leapt at the first opportunity to invade Westeros again, all out of sheer ambition to revive the Old Way. This stubbornness greatly affected Balon’s relationship with his son, and to some degree his daughter; he treated Theon rather coldly when the latter returned to Pyke, and when Theon pointed out that it was his father’s failed rebellion that caused his son to be taken as a hostage in the first place, Balon refused to admit any personal fault. His hatred for the Starks was so great that he planned to attack the North while Robb was away, despite Theon's warning that if they did so, they would eventually be thrown out, either by Robb winning and retaking the North, or the Lannisters winning and throwing the Greyjoys out. After Deepwood Motte was retaken by the Glovers, and Yara pointed out that future invasion attempts would produce no lasting results, Balon essentially said that he didn't care about results, only that the ironborn followed his orders. This pushed Yara to angrily remind her father that his unflagging adherence to the Old Way had led to the deaths of his two elder sons (and again to Theon becoming a hostage of the Starks), which Balon did not appreciate.
However, deep down, Balon was shown to love his family to a certain degree; he showed true affection for Yara and allowed her to become a warrior and ship’s captain in her own right, something highly unusual for a man so defined by tradition. He also seemed genuinely embittered by the loss of Rodrik and Maron, as well as by Theon being taken away from him, and outwardly admitted that Theon becoming like the Starks was something he feared. He appeared genuinely saddened at Theon's capture and emasculation by the Boltons and opted to allow Theon to be tortured further and possibly killed instead of letting him live a life of shame.
Through dialogue, however, it is clear that Balon did not have an amicable relationship with his brother, Euron Greyjoy. His first reaction to Euron's return was to brandish a knife and attempt to kill him, which would constitute kinslaying, though their dialogue implies that Euron has gone insane and Balon's actions were in self-defense.