For as much as everyone praises the series’ direction, there have been many instances of jarringly shoddy cinematography. The scene where Yara failed to rescue Theon from Ramsay’s kennel was one of them.
Now, there was nothing wrong with Yara choosing to leave Theon behind as it would have been foolish and suicidal of her to continue trying to save an annoying worm who persistently resisted her. But the way the scene played out was just dumb: Benioff and Weiss’ focus on making Ramsay a badass who can murder people without even wearing a shirt made the Ironborn look pathetic.
In the show and books, they’re described as some of the toughest killers in Westeros, but the show portrayed them as soft morons who could be easily bested in combat by the Boltons.
It also didn’t help that you couldn’t see the fight thanks to the cramped space and dark lighting, but what’s worse is that the showrunners didn’t care as all they wanted you to see was Ramsay’s pecs and scars.
This scene – along with others – is why the Ironborn are regarded by fans of the show as jokes, rather than the Westeros equivalent to Vikings.