Theo Raeken

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Character
Name: Theo Raeken
Occupation: High school student
Title/Rank:
Location: Beacon Hills, California
Status: Alive
Relationships: Tara Raeken (sister)
Jonathan Raeken (father)
Scott McCall (childhood friend)
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Other: Portrayed by Cody Christian.
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Theo Raeken is a popular character on the MTV television show Teen Wolf. Theo was turned into a chimera by The Dread Doctors and has some, but not all, of the traits of both a werewolf and a werecoyote. Theo has a contentious past and served as an antagonist to the McCall pack in Season 5 before becoming an ally in Season 6. He is portrayed by the actor Cody Christian.

Canon Background

Theo was a childhood friend of Scott McCall who moved away from Beacon Hills after his sister died in 4th grade. He first appeared in the Teen Wolf Season 5 pilot posing as a werewolf and claiming to have come back to town to join Scott's pack. Theo was met with intense suspicion from Scott's best friend, Stiles Stilinski, but slowly gained trust among multiple members of the pack. It is later revealed that Theo was not a werewolf at all, but a chimera and minion of the Dread Doctors (the Big Bad of Season 5). It is also relieved that Theo watched his sister die, standing over a bridge as she froze to death, and that her heart was transplanted into him by the Dread Doctors — beginning his transformation into a chimera.

Before Theo's background is discovered he attempts to murder Stiles by setting Donovan Donati after him, incites a schism between Scott and Stiles, incites Liam against Scott in a ploy to have them both killed so he can obtain the True Alpha powers, and hospitalizes Lydia Martin. When his attempt to have Liam murder Scott fails, Theo kills Scott himself (Scott is quickly brought back to life by his mother). Theo's agenda includes becoming a "real" werewolf (not just a chimera) and having a pack of his own.

After Theo's nefarious deeds come to light, Theo continues to be an antagonist in the second half of Season 5. He breaks away from the Dread Doctors and forms a chimera pack made up of the Dread Doctors’ victims. He later kills the members of the chimera pack to steal their powers. At the end of Season 5, Kira Yukimura (on behalf of the Skin Walkers) banishes Theo to a place between worlds (commonly referred to by Teen Wolf fans as "Bardo" or "Hell") where he is tormented by a phantom in the form of his sister, having his heart ripped out of his chest repeatedly.

In Season 6, Theo is released from his torment in Bardo when Liam Dunbar and Hayden Romero retrieve him in the hopes that he can assist them in their fight against the Ghost Riders. Theo remains Liam's prisoner until dire circumstances force him to be freed. Theo then works alongside Liam and Scott to defeat the Ghost Riders. After the conflict, Theo is no longer a prisoner, and remains in Beacon Hills. He's seen homeless and living out of his truck, vulnerable and isolated. As the second half of Season 6 progresses, Theo appears to show some remorse for his actions and makes efforts to regain standing with Scott and his pack.

When the pack faces off against new threats, Theo chooses to remain in Beacon Hills and help. He expresses a desire to regain Scott's trust and to become a part of the pack, develops camaraderie as he routinely protects and fights alongside Liam, and in the series finale is able to selflessly take pain from a dying enemy (something Theo struggled to do in the past).

Theo's final appearance in Teen Wolf is accompanied with the voice over from Scott: "Now we have allies that used to be enemies".

Fan Speculations

Backstory

Much of Theo's backstory is unclear, leading to competing ideas and fan theories on key elements such as:

  • Was Theo born evil or was he corrupted by the Dread Doctors?
  • Did Theo intentionally push Tara into the river?
  • What happened to Theo's real parents? (a plot point in Season 5 involves Theo having two people pose as his parents to keep up his act)

It has been speculated by fans that Teen Wolf writers may have initially conceived Theo as being a wholly evil throwaway villain, but that the sympathetic performance by Cody Christian and strong fan support of the character lead show runners to shift direction, thus giving rise to Theo's larger presence in S5 and later redemption arc.

Sexuality Interpretations

While multiple characters on Teen Wolf expressed explicit romantic or sexual interest in Theo, there was never a clear confirmation that the feelings were returned. The only canon fact that fans have to work with is that Theo weaponizes his sexuality, specifically against Malia Tate and Tracy Stewart, both of whom end up worse off for it. There are no canonical romantic or sexual entanglements during Theo's redemption arc, leaving fans to interpret him with nearly any sexuality (including asexually) and still be canon-compliant in fan works.

Fandom Reception

Information from the initial press release regarding Theo’s character garnered positive attention from fans[1], striking up a ship[2][3] and speculation about his backstory[4] even prior to his first on-screen appearance. From his introduction onwards, Theo was met with strong fan response — both positive and negative. Many fans hated Theo for the divide he caused within the McCall pack (as well as violent actions towards main characters) but his smirking antagonism, murky backstory, occasional vulnerable moments, and sex appeal won him a base of hardcore fans. Theo's suffering in Season 6 caused sympathy and enthusiasm for him to grow, and the character's popularity soared to new heights during his redemption arc.

Shipping

From his introduction onwards, Theo is an immensely popular character among shippers.

Early Ships

Upon the initial press release with a brief bio of his character a handful of fans on tumblr took to shipping Theo with Scott, and thus the first Theo ship, Scott/Theo (aka Sceo) was born even prior to the character's appearance on the show.[5] [6] [7] [8] Sceo-shipping continued through Season 5 and was joined by Stiles/Theo (aka Steo) and Malia/Theo (aka Maleo). All three main Theo ships were subject to fandom events with varied participation.

Theo/Tracy was not a popular ship even though Tracy was the only character with which Theo shared an on-screen kiss.

Early Shipping Harassment

Sceo and Maleo shippers were both targeted and harassed by an aggressive fandom troll from northern Italy known as the "Sceo Troll/Scerek Anon/Milan Troll" (among other names).[9] Meanwhile, Steo writers and bloggers were spammed with unsolicited prompts from the same person. It's speculated that many fan works were stunted due to the credible fear of harassment during the trolls active period. Numerous fans have documented the harassment, and run events to counteract the work of the troll. Harassment continued for years but slowly declined.

Later Ships

Theo's many interactions with Liam during his redemption arc gave rise to Liam/Theo (aka Thiam). Thiam enjoyed a sudden and intense popularity during Teen Wolf's final season, leading to an explosion of fan works. Social media buzz was prevalent enough that actors commented on it.[10] The increased interest in Theo also led writers to explore other ships, giving rise to fan works for a handful of M/M super rarepairs involving Theo. Meanwhile interest in Maleo and other M/F ships involving Theo sharply declined. Though the initial intense excitement of Thiam wound down somewhat in the year after the show's end, interest in the ship and it's fan works has continued. Sceo, Steo, and Thiam have remained the subject of fan works and activities years after the show's end.

List of Theo Ships

Ship Ship Name
Theo Raeken/Derek Hale Therek
Haleken
Theo Raeken/Deucalion Theucalion
Theo Raeken/Liam Dunbar Thiam
Theo Raeken/Lydia Martin Thydia
Theo Raeken/Scott McCall Sceo
Theo Raeken/Scott McCall/Stiles Stilinski Scileo
Theo Raeken/Stiles Stilinski Steo
Theo Raeken/Tracy Stewart Thracy

References

  1. https://chimeracuddles.tumblr.com/post/110858878835/so-teen-wolf-cast-a-new-boy
  2. https://tombwolf.tumblr.com/post/119557299800/im-already-full-on-theosceo-trash-and-the-season
  3. https://chimeracuddles.tumblr.com/post/117712668480/hello-sceo
  4. https://chimeracuddles.tumblr.com/post/111024171885/because-we-know-zero-about-theo-that-rhymes
  5. https://sceosource.tumblr.com/post/177024839749/when-will-thott-overthrow-sceo
  6. https://tombwolf.tumblr.com/day/2015/04/30/
  7. https://chimeracuddles.tumblr.com/post/114690249255/things-to-look-forwards-for-in-teen-wolf-season-5
  8. https://tylerposet.tumblr.com/post/114682170432/youcancallmecaptaingally-do-you-think-scott
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20151021044404/http://archiveofourown.org/works/5025955?view_full_work=true
  10. https://demthesus.tumblr.com/post/169959374239/do-you-ship-thiam-dylan-sprayberry-last-month