Theon’s chapter further develops the vexing issue of where his loyalties lie and how he thinks of his own identity. It is perhaps hard not to see Theon as a traitor for attacking the north and preparing to march on Winterfell, but the novel goes to great lengths to point out that Theon has a mixed identity, neither fully of the north nor fully of the Iron Islands. This lack of a real commitment to a place or family cannot be said to be Theon’s fault. After all, Eddard Stark took Theon to Winterfell when Theon was just a child. Having never felt fully a part of any community, Theon acts for himself, seeking what gain he can by any means necessary. Familial and regional loyalties play a huge part in the life of Westeros, with characters sticking close to their loved ones and local lords, but Theon is cut off from those strong bonds. This alienation makes Theon’s actions unpredictable and forms a strong contrast to almost all of the other characters in the novel.

Arya again exercises her power to kill by having Jaqen murder Weese, but in doing so she also begins to realize that she should use this power in careful and deliberate ways. Arya's decision to have Weese killed is an emotional reaction to Weese's abuse of her—he slapped her, so she angrily responds by exerting the only real power she has at the moment. But as the Lannister army marches out of Harrenhal, Arya sees how foolish and immature her decision was. She could have brought the Lannister cause to a shuddering halt by having Tywin killed, but she was too caught up in her own personal grievance to recognize that fact. Arya sees, in other words, that if she wields the power of life and death, she must wield it responsibly, not haphazardly or impulsively. She must make decisions based on reason rather than emotion alone and think of the greater implications her decisions have.