In his first couple of appearances on Game of Thrones, Euron Greyjoy was like most of his family. He was ungodly boring and tediously dull. With the arrival of the penultimate season, a newish Euron has swept across the show like a hurricane. In just a few short episodes, he has become one of the most dangerous and threatening villains that the fantasy epic has ever seen. Yet for all his dastardly deeds, Euron has remained a bit of a mystery.
There is so much to explore with Euron. He might a breath of fresh air compared to his dull relatives (albeit a super evil one), but he has almost nothing in common with them. There is no clear middle ground with him. It turns out that there is a reason for Euron's great dissimilarities to his kin, and it's not just because he's just a wee bit crazy.
So let's dive in, shall we? Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Euron Greyjoy.
There are number of bonkers fan theories about Game of Thrones, and most have found their life in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. One of the craziest fan theories, even more than that whole Varys might be a merman thing, is that Euron is actually another beloved character. The theory, mostly based on the source material rather than the show, states that Euron is secretly Daario Naharis, or more accurately, Daario is secretly Euron.
According to the theory, when Euron originally left the Iron Islands, he took on the appearance and name of Daario. Euron then found his way into Dany’s court (and bed), only to later return to the Iron Islands to take his crown as their king. The basis for this theory is that the two are described as looking similarly in the books, Daario has a couple of unexplained absences, and Euron seems to know a lot about Dany for an outsider.
It would seem that this theory is out completely in the show. Daario and Euron are played by two different actors, three if you count Daario’s first actor. With the existence of the Faceless Men, however, no theory can really be discounted, no matter how outlandish it might seem.
Going along with the Daario theory, Euron has a wildly different appearance in the books. While the show has opted for a Swedish supervillain aesthetic with their Euron, in the books, he's basically an even more flamboyant Blackbeard. Euron is a pirate through and through in the books.
Euron is described as having very dark hair and a magnificent beard. Euron’s lips have an almost constantly blue shade as well, since he frequently drinks a blue magical wine called the shade of the evening. (This drink is exactly as menacing as it sounds.) Euron’s most striking feature(s) are his eyes, however. One of Euron’s eyes is covered by an eyepatch, and this is said to be his “black eye.” This covered eye shows his true depth of madness and apathy. It is his other eye, a bright blue one, that is called his "smiling eye."
The show Euron can’t exactly be described as looking mundane, especially in his improved and crazier form in season 7. It is probably wise that the show didn’t go quite as garish as they could have gone in bringing him to life.
Besides being a man who really, really likes to murder, Euron is also big on rare treasures and symbols of power. It is for this reason that there is a legend in the books that Euron once got his hands on a dragon egg. Fans of Game of Thrones might remember that before Dany hatched her dragons in the fire, eggs were still around. They were just treated like incredibly rare and expensive relics of the past, not the home of a fledgling killing machine.
Euron’s possession of the egg is all legend and speculation in the books. The story goes that Euron not only had a dragon egg at one point, but threw it into the sea in a fit of rage. To his credit, Euron did try to hatch the egg, but when it didn’t work, he just got fed up and chucked it away.
If the story is true, somewhere on the bottom of the ocean floor, there is another dragon egg waiting to be hatched. It’s like the Heart of the Sea in Titanic. Except the treasure was thrown away by a violent sociopath and not an old lady who refused to scoot over on a door to save the love of her life.
Judging by Euron’s appearance on the show, it would be very easy to be confused about this one. Pilou Asbæk, who plays Euron on Game of Thrones, is only 35 years old. This makes him just five years older than Alfie Allen, who plays Theon, and a year younger than Gemma Whelan, who plays Yara. Euron is supposed to be (according to the lore of the books and the show) Theon and Yara’s oldest uncle. Even though Balon looked like a wizened grandpa, and the youngest Greyjoy uncle, Aeron, is played by a 70-year-old, Euron is supposed to be a contemporary of Balon.
So far, there has been no reason given as to why Euron looks so young. Maybe the blood of your enemies is a great moisturizer? The other possibility is that life on the Iron Islands is not just a drag to watch but actually experience. Living on the islands could take years off your life, so Euron's travels only aided him in the long run.
Much like changing up Euron’s appearance, though, having him be played by a significantly younger actor only works for the show’s benefit. While a septuagenarian who chops people in half would be interesting, Euron is much more threatening with a youthful skip in his murderous step.
It’s easy to forget now, as Euron is deeply in Cersei’s pocket, being the biggest and most important weapon in her arsenal, but Euron never planned to hook up with that queen of Westeros. Euron’s original plot, and what is still his plan in the books, is to shack up with Daenerys, not Cersei. Yara and Theon getting to Dany first forced him to change his plans, of course.
While Euron seems all on board with Cersei for now, this is something to consider for the future. Euron is nothing if not selfish and self-serving. He might very well switch back to the original plan and align with Dany, if Cersei proves to be too crazy even for him.
That said, it is highly doubtful that Dany will ever willingly accept Euron into her camp, even if he could provide the ships. Daenerys barely let Varys into her inner circle, and he may well be the whole reason she got her dragons to begin with. Euron has no such claim.
Though Game of Thrones was clear when Euron popped up in season 6 that he had been gone from his homeland for quite some time, the reason for his absence was left unclear. The truth is that Euron was banished entirely from the Iron Islands and was supposed to never return, at least not while Balon was alive. (Hence why Euron’s introduction in the show coincided with Balon’s murder.)
Despite being the second eldest son, Euron was not exactly popular with his family, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Euron was the black sheep of the Greyjoy clan (and not just because he has an actual personality, something that seems to be forbidden for everyone but Theon). Euron also acted against his family, frequently and cruelly.
Euron’s big transgression was that he seduced (or raped) the wife of his other brother, Victarion. This caused Victarion’s wife to become pregnant with Euron’s child, so Victarion was “forced” to kill her. Victarion has seemingly (and thankfully) been written out of the show, so it is not clear if the banishment still exists in the histories of the show.
This tidbit of Euron is firmly within the show’s canon, being mentioned in his very first scene. Like any great pirate, Euron has a terrifying name for his ship. Euron has christened his ship Silence, and there is more reason to that name than the ominous vibe it gives off.
Euron is not a well man, mentally. During his travels on the high sea, he and his crew found their way into the center of a huge storm. This storm drove Euron mad and he had to be tied to the mast by his crew, like Odysseus, to keep him from killing himself. Once the storm had passed, Euron was freed. To show his thanks to his crew, Euron then cut out the tongues of every member of the ship, because he needed “silence.” Translation: Euron is straight out of his mind and might very well be hearing voices in his head.
This tongue-cutting is now Euron's "thing," and it's not just something he does to his friends, either. Euron’s favorite way to punish someone he has beat in battle is to cut out their tongue and keep it as a trophy.
Euron might seem like a terrible captain, but he has managed to gain a fair bit of followers. The reason for Euron’s popularity with the seafaring crowd is that for the most part, he lets his crew keep the spoils of their plundering and ravaging. This sets Euron apart from most Ironborn and makes him weirdly generous.
Most Ironborn captains hog most of the treasure that their crew steals or finds for themselves. It is their “right” as captain. Euron gives everyone an equal share in what they steal and only takes a relatively small portion of the plunder for his own. This makes him very appealing to most Ironborn, even if he has cut out most of their tongues.
Euron’s lack of plunder isn’t borne out of a generous nature however. The real reason that Euron doesn’t take much is that he is more into the physical act of ravaging. Euron’s reward is the murder and mayhem, not the loot at the end of the bloody rainbow.
Westeros is a super dangerous place, but there are a few beliefs that pretty much everyone holds sacred. For example, Walder Frey breaking guest right and killing everyone at the Red Wedding is an incredibly heinous act by the standards of Westeros. Walder not only killed some people’s favorite characters, but he broke a social contract that dates back centuries. So yeah, killing a guest under your own roof is horrific, but the people of Westeros view the act of kinslaying as being even more monstrous.
It is only really been brushed upon the show, but many people look down on Tyrion for him murdering Tywin. Tyrion himself wrestles with the act even though he hated his father. Meanwhile, Euron loses no sleep over killing anyone in his family tree. Euron will have no hesitation in killing Yara and Theon if the opportunity arises.
There is nothing that Euron holds sacred, except his own neck. Jaime telling Cersei that Euron is a monster in human form in the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere was not just Jaime being petty and jealous. Euron will slit anyone’s throat if it gives him an edge. There were some lines that even Ramsay and Joffrey wouldn’t cross. There is no line for Euron.
Euron's comfortable relationship with killing family members shouldn't be all that shocking - his first act on-screen was killing his brother, Balon. Balon wasn't Euron's crowning achievement of villainy, however. He's actually killed many other brothers before his eldest and most influential sibling. In the books, Euron has killed almost half of his male siblings, but he made sure, just like with Balon, that no one could prove he did the deed.
The seduction of Victarion’s wife was the final straw for Balon and led directly to Euron’s banishment. It is the only sin that Balon could directly link to Euron. It was suspected that Euron killed his family but no one could prove it.
In a preview chapter of the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, Euron has imprisoned his brother Aeron. It's there that Euron finally confesses to Aeron some of his worst acts. Euron explains that he killed Harlon, the firstborn son of House Greyjoy, Robin, another brother, and Balon. Maybe a character like Victarion wasn't just written out of the show. Perhaps Euron killed him too.
The Greyjoy Rebellion has been hinted at in Game of Thrones, but rarely discussed at length. The reason for this is because it was pretty much an embarrassment for everyone involved. Balon Greyjoy revolted against the Iron Throne, but the rebellion was harshly and quickly put down. It was a huge loss for House Greyjoy, and the reason that Theon ended up with House Stark.
Thanks to Euron, though, the family didn't go down as complete incompetents. Balon might not have won his gambit for his own throne, but Euron still delivered a decisive blow to those loyal to the crown. In an impressive move, Euron set ablaze the entire Lannister fleet of ships during the war, destroying them all. This was no small feat either, as House Lannister had an impressive armada at their command before the Greyjoy Rebellion.
Euron’s attack is one of the few times that anyone managed to get something over on Tywin Lannister. Euron, not only triumphed against the lion, but he set him back for years. By the time of the series, the Lannister fleet still hadn't fully recovered. Euron might be crazy, but his craziness gets results.
This is a tidbit that has yet to make its way into the show, but very likely might be on the way. In the books, Euron has a great deal of fascination and even respect for magic. Euron’s drinking of the mystical shade of evening has been mentioned, but that is just one small slice of his preoccupation. Euron is heavily involved with the occult of Westeros. Several warlocks have served on his ship and he's obsessed with visions and premonitions.
Euron is fascinated by Daenerys’ dragons, and not just because of the power they represent. Euron also knows what dragons mean for the world at large, and how their return could affect the influence of magic in the realm.
It is very interesting then that Game of Thrones has Euron working so closely with Cersei. Cersei is deathly afraid of magic in all forms and disavows any knowledge of the White Walkers. Once Euron finds out about the magical ice zombies to the North, if he lives that long, they will surely grab his attention.
Euron has such a deep fascination with magic because it is heavily implied that he has seen some very dark and weird crap in his adventures. Euron doesn’t just believe magic is real - he's seen it himself (or, he claims to have, anyway). In a way, Euron is the Westerosi version of Indiana Jones, except he loves the murdering as much as the adventuring and he has no desire to put anything in a museum.
After Euron was banished by the Iron Islands, he didn’t just slum it. He went searching for the source of legends and myth. Euron has explored the depths of Westeros and supposedly uncovered powerful and ancient relics. These relics will give Euron great power if he chooses to wield them.
Of course, all this information is coming directly from Euron's mouth. He might be less of an Indiana Jones and more of a snake oil salesman. No one knows for sure, and it's not like his crew can refute or backup his claims. (See: entry number 9.)
While it is hard to verify if Euron’s relics do anything other than add to his mystique, it is a little easier to determine where he has traveled. Euron was gone from the Iron Islands for years. He had to go somewhere. Euron has been all over the world, going way farther into Essos and beyond than Dany ever did on the show or in the books.
Euron claims to have traveled to the smoking remains of Valyria, AKA the place where Jorah contradicted greyscale. Euron has also been to the Smoking Sea, which is located near Valyria and said to be home to demons (though it is probably just men with advances greyscale.) Most interestingly, though, Euron has been to Asshai, which is the far off land that Melisandre evidently calls home.
In the current war for the Iron Throne, all the knowledge about magic and the occult seems to be centered with Dany and her dragons. Jon has Sam searching in Oldtown, but there hasn’t been much information turned up yet. If Euron truly has traveled all over, he might be one of the most knowledgeable men in Westeros. Unfortunately, he is working with Cersei Lannister. This is not a great combo.
In the books, this is Euron’s biggest claim, and since it hasn’t made it into the show (at least not yet) it's probably not true. There is still time to go in Game of Thrones’ endgame, however, so this deus ex machina could still make an appearance. In any case, Euron claims to be in possession of a mythical horn that can bend dragons to his will. Yep.
Euron got a hold of this horn in Valyria, which does make a certain amount of sense. Valyria was the home of House Targaryen and their dragons before they flew over to Westeros and claimed it with fire and blood. It's not unreasonable to think they had something in their possession that would allow them some degree of control over their dragons.
It would be strange if Euron came out of nowhere and used this horn to snatch away one of Dany’s dragons, but stranger things have happened, we suppose. Euron has made quite an evil name for himself on GoT with his bloody smirk and murderous deeds. If he has this horn, the Dragonbinder, it would truly send him to the top of the heap as the worst villain the show has ever seen.
What is your favorite fact about Euron? How does he stack up to the other baddies on Game of Thrones? Sound off in the comments!