Theon's torture was nasty, and I found it horribly abrupt. Ok, so he's ****** off all the Greyjoys and all their people. Why don't they stick a sword in him and bedone with the Greatly Despised Disappointment?
Hm? It's the Boltons that have him, isn't it?
Well, he did have manacles on.
Half-starved too, probably, and going against someone in full plate. Not really the time to complain about the potryal of her fighting prowess anyway, really, seeing as she was the champion of an entire army.
The lesson with Ned was that cliche honorbound "heroes" just died a lot in a realistic fantasy world.
Everyone dies a lot in a realistic feudal society. Ned was what, 50 when he died? He won a civil war. Yeah, he dies because of his insistence on honour (well, sort of - he dies because he's less good at scheming/ he trusts the wrong person, he does at least give it a shot), but for fifty years he didn't. It's not like a laser guided missile locks on to you the second you put honour before practicality.
Similarly, Joffrey's still alive, but it's clear that his behaviour isn't at all wise.