Asha Greyjoy

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House Greyjoy.svg Captain
Asha Greyjoy
House Greyjoy.svg
Magali Villeneuve Asha GreyjoyII.jpg
Illustration by Magali Villeneuve©

Culture ironborn
Born 275 AC or 276 AC[3]
Father Lord Balon Greyjoy
Mother Lady Alannys Harlaw
Spouse Lord Erik Ironmaker (forced marriage)

Played by Gemma Whelan
TV series Game of Thrones:
Season 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 7 | 8

Asha Greyjoy is a member of House Greyjoy, and is the daughter of Lord Balon Greyjoy by his wife, Alannys Harlaw. She becomes a POV character in A Feast For Crows. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, she is named Yara Greyjoy to avoid confusion with the wildling Osha, and she is played by Gemma Whelan.

Appearance and Character

As a child, Asha was a skinny girl with knob knees and a face full of pimples.[1][5] Now in her mid-twenties, Asha is lean and long legged, with dark eyes and black hair cut short. Her face is thin, with a big, sharp nose, and wind-chafed skin. On her neck is a faded pink scar.[1] Asha's brother, Theon Greyjoy, believes her hawk-like nose[6] is too big and sharp for her small face, but he feels that her wicked smile makes up for it.[1]

Asha is a wild and headstrong young woman,[7][2] raised by her mother to be bold.[5] There is a boldness to the way she walks; part saunter, part sway.[1] She possesses a sharp wit,[1] and has no problem with holding her own against men, both in a verbal battle[1][8] and in a physical fight.[2] Asha enjoys ale[1] and wine.[8][2] Defying the classical gender roles of Westerosi culture, Asha was appalled early on by the idea of becoming a lord's wife.[5] After her older two brothers died and her younger brother was taken hostage, Asha's father Balon began to see her as his heir, treating her like he would a son.[7][8][9]

Asha's attire includes a brown quilted tunic,[8] breeches of black[2] or green wool,[8] a studded belt,[5] and salt-stained high leather boots.[8] She sometimes wears a sleeveless leather jerkin half-unlaced,[8] and she also owns a green leather jerkin covered with overlapping plates of steel.[2] Asha prefers throwing axes,[2] which she has been practicing with since she was just a little girl,[8] but she also keeps a dirk with her.[1]

Asha personally leads her men into battle.[2] She captains her own ship, Black Wind,[10] and has the devotion of her crew,[5] who take a perverse pride in the deeds of their female captain. According to Asha, half of them love her like a daughter, while the other half want to sleep with her.[5] Regardless, Asha loves her men,[2] and is willing to die for them, as they are for her.[5] Asha is also well liked by the servants of Pyke and people of Lordsport.[1] Asha is not devoted to the Drowned God.[11]

While her counterpart in the television series Game of Thrones, Yara Greyjoy, is bisexual, George R. R. Martin has confirmed that Asha is not.[12]


Asha was fairly unattractive in her youth. Her uncle, Victarion Greyjoy, remembers Asha as a little girl swimming naked in the sea and playing with her doll.[8] Asha's eldest siblings, Rodrik and Maron, died during Greyjoy's Rebellion, and her younger brother Theon departed for Winterfell to be Eddard Stark's hostage and ward. Asha thus became Lord Balon Greyjoy's only remaining child in Pyke.[5] Asha had her first flowering during the war.[5]

Asha's mother, Lady Alannys Harlaw, fostered five boys at Pyke after Theon's departure. Asha experimented with Tristifer Botley, the boy closest to Asha in age, during puberty, although his feeling were stronger than hers.[5] Tris was sent away to Blacktyde after Maester Qalen caught the youths together.[5]

Asha grew into an attractive and bold young woman,[1] and Balon effectively raised his wild and headstrong daughter as his heir.[7] However, Asha preferred Ten Towers, the seat of her uncle Rodrik Harlaw, to Pyke. She lost her virtue at age 16 to a sailor from Lys.[5] In 293 AC or 294 AC Asha sailed Black Wind on a trading voyage which included stops at Fair Isle, Lannisport, and the Arbor, where she introduced peaches to one of her lovers, Qarl the Maid.[2] Asha was away raiding Lyseni pirates at the Stepstones when her father exiled her uncle, Euron Crow's Eye, from the Iron Islands in 297 AC for having impregnated Victarion's third wife.[10][8]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

The Kraken's Daughter – by Finer ©

Upon Theon Greyjoy's return to the Iron Islands, Asha is reported to be on Great Wyk taking messages for her father Balon, Lord of the Iron Islands.[10] After sailing back to Pyke with Lord Gorold Goodbrother, Asha passes herself off as Esgred, a shipwright's wife in Lordsport, and flirts with Theon to learn his nature. Theon's naive arrogance amuses her, but Theon grows angry at Asha's deception and her position. At a feast that night at Pyke, Asha takes the place of honor beside their father, making Theon feel cheated.[1]

During the War of the Five Kings, Asha commands thirty longships for Balon's invasion of the north.[1] After stopping at Ten Towers to visit her mother, Alannys Harlaw,[5] Asha leads the taking of Deepwood Motte.[1] After the capture of Winterfell, Theon sends Stygg to request reinforcements from his sister.[13] Asha travels through the wolfswood to visit Theon at Winterfell, but she refuses to stay and help him defend the castle since it is so far inland.[6] The ten men left by Asha eventually abandon Theon prior to the battle at Winterfell.[14]

A Storm of Swords

Balon, King of the Isles and the North, is reported to have fallen to his death at Pyke.[15]

A Feast for Crows

Asha at the kingsmoot © Marc Simonetti

Asha's uncle, Aeron Greyjoy, is outraged at the prospect of a woman ruling the ironborn or of his brother, Euron Greyjoy, claiming the throne, so the priest calls for a kingsmoot on Old Wyk.[7]

Asha returns to the isles after her father's death to claim the Seastone Chair, bringing with her the captive Lady Sybelle Glover and her children, Gawen and infant Erena Glover. At Ten Towers, Asha informs her uncle, Lord Rodrik Harlaw, that she searched for Theon at Winterfell after it was sacked but was unable to identify him amongst the bodies.[5][8] Most of her support comes from House Harlaw, the house of her mother, Lady Alannys Harlaw, but Asha is also supported by Tristifer Botley (whose marriage proposal she refuses), Lord Baelor Blacktyde, Lord Meldred Merlyn, and Harmund Sharp.[16] Rodrik offers to name Asha his heir to Ten Towers, though not to become head of his house. She refuses, desiring instead the throne of her father.[5]

On Old Wyk, Asha realizes that she does not have as much support as she had hoped. She instead offers to share rule and back her uncle Victarion, the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, if he will make her his Hand of the King. Victarion refuses, as no King of the Isles had ever had one, much less a woman, and he disagrees with her plans to end the war.[8]

At the kingsmoot, Asha challenges the ancient and obese Erik Ironmaker to rise from his chair, his support crumbling when he cannot. When she makes her own claim, her champions are Tris Botley, Ser Harras Harlaw, and Qarl the Maid. Unlike the others, who offer valuables, her gifts are cobblestones, pinecones and turnips. Asha tells the ironborn these gifts demonstrate this is all they've won so far by fighting the North, losing fathers and sons for these "treasures". She offers them a chance for land, peace and victory. With the proposal to make peace and an alliance with the north in exchange for Sea Dragon Point and the Stony Shore, Asha achieves a surprising amount of support. The crowd, however, ultimately favors her uncle, Euron Crow's Eye,[9] and Asha flees with her crew.[17]

A Dance with Dragons

While at Ten Towers following the kingsmoot, Asha learns her uncle, King Euron, married her to Erik Ironmaker after she fled Old Wyk, using a seal to represent her at the wedding. Asha curses this but admires Euron's cunning: this move prevents Asha from offering a marriage to another lord and winning his support. She returns to Deepwood Motte with four longships, less than two hundred men, and Lady Glover, whose children remain at Ten Towers.[2] After the fall of Moat Cailin, Ramsay Bolton sends a strip of Theon Greyjoy's flayed skin from Barrowton to Deepwood, warning Asha to leave the north or share her brother's fate.[2]

Asha sleeps with Qarl the Maid and refuses Tristifer Botley's recommendation to flee and become a merchant, although Tris does remind her of the story of Torgon the Latecomer. When Deepwood comes under attack by King Stannis Baratheon's army, Asha kills a Flint scout and then flees with her ironmen toward their ships on the Bay of Ice.[2] They are overwhelmed in the wolfswood, however, and defeated in the fight by Deepwood Motte.[2] Alysane Mormont burns or captures Asha's longships.[18]

Asha is taken captive and continues with Stannis's host during their march on Winterfell. Alysane guards the king's prize, who is fettered in a covered wayn and thinks her ankle is broken.[11] Ser Justin Massey courts Asha, who thinks the knight wants to wed her to claim the Iron Islands, and Morgan Liddle apologizes to Asha for having insulted her during the battle.[11]

A snow storm sets in during their march, however, and the army slows to a halt at a crofters' village approximately three days ride from Winterfell, with few provisions left.[11] Queen's men such as Ser Clayton Suggs call for Asha to be sacrificed to R'hllor in an attempt to thwart the snows, and she witnesses the burning of Peasebury men accused of cannibalism.[19] Asha and Clayton are met by Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank of Braavos, who has arrived from Deepwood with an escort made of Asha's surviving crew, including Qarl and Tris.[19] Also with them are "Arya Stark" and Theon, who have escaped from Ramsay at Winterfell,[20] but Asha barely recognizes her tortured brother.[19]

The Winds of Winter

This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Asha is distressed when she sees what Ramsay Bolton did to her brother. Brought before Stannis and a chained Theon, she offers a ransom for her brother. Stannis refuses, as his northern allies would then abandon him. While the queen's men want Stannis to burn Theon for what he allegedly did to Bran and Rickon Stark after the capture of Winterfell, Asha urges the king to behead Theon personally, before a heart tree, as Lord Eddard Stark would have done.[21]


Lady Stonetree
Lady Piper
Lady Sunderly
Alannys Harlaw
three wives

Quotes by Asha

Asha Greyjoy - illustrated by Amok © Fantasy Flight Games

There's my lord husband. And here's my sweet suckling babe.[1]

—Asha to Theon Greyjoy while catching a finger dance axe and displaying her dirk

Theon: What sort of unnatural creature are you?
Asha: Only a shy maid.[1]

Theon Greyjoy and Asha

Rodrik: Your fight is hopeless.
Asha: No fight is hopeless till it has been fought. I have the best claim. I am the heir of Balon's body.[5]

Rodrik Harlaw and Asha

If there are rocks to starboard and a storm to port, a wise captain steers a third course.[5]

—Asha to Rodrik Harlaw

Tristifer: You and I were meant to be, Asha. I have always known you would be my wife, and the mother of my sons.
Asha: Take your hand away or you won't live long enough to breed a son ... I am your queen, not your wife. Remember that.[5]

Tristifer Botley and Asha

The Crow's Eye is a kraken. The elder brother comes before the younger. But I am the child of King Balon's body, so I come before you both.[8]

Asha: Peace. Land. Victory. I'll give you Sea Dragon Point and the Stony Shore, black earth and tall trees and stones enough for every younger son to build a hall. We'll have the northmen too ... as friends, to stand with us against the Iron Throne. Your choice is simple. Crown me, for peace and victory. Or crown my uncle, for more war and more defeat. What will you have, ironmen?
Rodrik: VICTORY! Victory, and Asha!
Baelor: ASHA! ASHA QUEEN![9]

Asha Greyjoy did not intend to be taken alive. She would die as she had lived, with an axe in her hand and a laugh upon her lips.[2]

—thoughts of Asha

Asha: Your Grace's royal brother was renowned for turning fallen foes into friends. Make me your man.
Stannis: The gods did not make you a man. How can I?[11]

—Asha and Stannis Baratheon

Tycho: You are the Lady Asha of House Greyjoy, unless I am mistaken.
Asha: I am Asha of House Greyjoy, aye. Opinions differ on whether I'm a lady.[19]

Tycho Nestoris and Asha

Quotes about Asha

Well, they say Asha's favorite gown is a chainmail hauberk that hangs down past her knees, with boiled leather smallclothes beneath.[1]

Theon Greyjoy to "Esgred" (Asha)

Let Asha keep the bloody islands, they're as dreary as she is.[14]

—thoughts of Theon Greyjoy

Balon favored Asha, the child of his body, but a woman cannot rule the ironborn.[7]

—thoughts of Aeron Greyjoy

Alysane: Lady Asha is not for burning.
Clayton: She will be. We have harbored this demon worshiper amongst us too long.[19]


External Links

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