While Game of Thrones prides itself on having multi-faceted characters that don’t necessarily fall under one category of “good” or “bad,” some characters could very easily be placed in one extreme more than the other. Ramsay Bolton, played by the incredibly talented Iwan Rheon, is one of those characters.
He is a character that almost perfectly represents pure evil making him one of the show’s most terrifying and compelling characters to watch. His numerous atrocities throughout his time on the show, sometimes against beloved characters, made him a villain fans loved to hate.
Updated on October 25th, 2021 by Colin McCormick: The universe of Game of Thrones will soon be continuing with the upcoming series House of the Dragon. That series promises to introduce a lot of complex new characters into the world of Westeros, but it seems unlikely any of them will be as evil as Ramsay Bolton. Becoming one of the ultimate characters that fans loved to hate, Ramsay was responsible for some of the most disturbing, cruelest, and barbaric moments in a series known for such moments.
As a testament to his evilness, there are still so many more instances that fans can revisit that prove why Ramsay Bolton was the worst.
Threatened Jon Snow
As two bastard sons in the North, Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton seemed like two sides to the same coin. While Jon rose above his lower-class status and became a hero, Ramsay went down a darker path. It seemed inevitable that they would face off eventually.
When Sansa escapes Winterfell, Ramsay correctly assumes she is going to Jon at Castle Black. Ramsay decides the smartest thing to do is to send Jon a threatening message in which he promises to do terrible things to him, Sansa, and anyone else who stands in his way.
After Theon’s men turn on him at Winterfell, it is a bit of a mystery what happens to the Stark’s home. When Bran emerges from hiding, he finds the castle burned and destroyed while all the people are gone.
It is not until the end of season 3 that it is revealed Ramsay was the one responsible for the destruction. Instead of seizing back the castle as he was ordered, he apparently has everyone inside killed and burns it down. And it seems his only motivation for it was his own amusement.
Killed His Own Men
Though Ramsay has the largest army in the North when he faces off with Jon Snow, loyalty is not something that is important to him. In fact, it seems like his own men are nothing but pawns in his own twisted games.
Part of his torture of Theon includes making him think he is an ally and freeing him from captivity. When Ramsay’s men hunt Theon down, Ramsay kills them all, continuing to pretend he is the hero. It is all so he can mess with Theon’s mind a little longer.
Hunting seems to be a real passion of Ramsay’s and he seems to prefer when his prey are humans. Along with Myranda, Ramsay has another young woman who he uses in his mind games against Theon. But when he gets tired of her, he decides to make her his next target.
He promises the girl he will let her go if she is able to make it out of the forest. He then chases her with his vicious hounds and his bow and arrow. He even takes the time to taunt the girl once she is caught before ordering his hounds to attack.
Killed Wun Wun
Given the bloody and epic nature of the Battle of the Bastards, it is surprising Jon Snow and most of his allies managed to survive. However, there was one major casualty as the Wildling giant Wun Wun is killed.
What makes Wun Wun’s death all the more tragic is that it is Ramsay who kills him. After Wun Wun bursts through Winterfell’s gates, he is badly injured and on the verge of death. Though Ramsay didn’t participate in the fighting, he takes the opportunity to shoot the dying giant in the eye as his final evil act.
He Tortured Theon
Theon was one of the most hated characters on the show in season 2 when he betrayed the Starks. However, his torture at the hands of Ramsay actually made fans feel bad for him. It wasn’t enough that Ramsay physically tortured Theon, but he also wanted to tear apart his mind as well.
Ramsay abused Theon to the point that he adopted a new personality of Reek, a broken and terrified shell of his former self. From forcing him to sleep with the hounds to making him Ramsay’s personal pet, Theon experienced brutal treatment that changed him forever.
Theon was once an arrogant and obnoxious young man, but Ramsay saw fit to take all of that from him. In the continued mind games he played on Theon, Ramsay had two of his female accomplices seduce him before Ramsay interrupted in the most brutal way.
Ramsay’s castration of Theon showed just how twisted he was and what he was capable of. Not only did he proceed to taunt Theon with what was taken from him, he even sent the body part to Theon’s family on the Iron Islands as a warning.
Myranda was a servant of House Bolton and one of Ramsay’s lovers on the show. In a strange way, you could tell that Ramsay partially cared for her, even choosing her as his favorite girl and continued to spend time with her after he married Sansa.
In one instance, Ramsay spoke to Myranda about Sansa and her beauty, making her jealous. When Myranda insinuated that meant she could now leave him, Ramsay became enraged and threatened to kill her if she did. When Theon killed Myranda, Ramsay does seem mildly affected by the news, but he still wound up feeding the remains of her dead body to his hounds.
The Stark family seems to have terrible luck as even their reunions are ruined by people like Ramsay. Jon and his army march to Winterfell to face off with Ramsay in battle. As is Ramsay’s tendency, he looks to attack Jon’s mind along with the physical pain. Luckily for Ramsay, he has Rickon Stark as a captive.
Ramsay releases Rickon and tells him to run to Jon on the other side of the battlefield while Ramsay shoots arrows at him. However, when Rickon is seconds away from reaching Jon, Ramsay’s final shot hits him in his heart, instantly killing him and sending Jon charging recklessly into battle.
Betrayed the Ironborn
After Theon seized Winterfell, Ramsay was sent to reclaim it by his father on behalf of Robb Stark, being given instructions not to harm the Ironborn there. However, despite them willingly giving up Theon as agreed, Ramsay instead chooses to torture and flay them alive, betraying the deal that was set.
The second time Ramsay betrayed them was when he made Theon go to Mount Cailin and promise the Ironborn that Ramsay would grant them safe passage in exchange for their surrender, however, when they do, Ramsay then proceeds to flay them alive.
Though Sansa was not keen to marry Tyrion Lannister when she was a captive in King’s Landing, that would turn out to be a blissful marriage compared to her next one. As a way of securing the North, Roose Bolton has his son marry Sansa.
Continuing Game of Thrones‘ theme of horrific weddings, Ramsay shows his true colors on their first night together. He even forces Theon to watch as he abuses Sansa in one of the show’s most controversial and disturbing moments.
Tortured House Cerwyn
One of the things Ramsay would constantly do was go to extreme lengths to make examples out of people. One such example is when the members of House Cerwyn refused to pay taxes, Ramsay responded by flaying Lord Medger Cerwyn, his wife, and brother while their son, Cley, watched.
This act of violence against his family convinces Cley to pay the taxes and Ramsay’s actions receive a negative response from his father.
Flayed Sansa’s Maid
While being held captive, the only person Sansa can rely on was her maid. Though things look dire for Sansa, this woman offers a glimmer of hope, relaying a message from Brienne and reminding Sansa the North is with her.
However, that moment of sweetness only gives way to more gruesomeness. When Ramsay finds out Sansa was using the woman to send messages, he has her skinned alive and gleefully shows Sansa the results of his horrific work.
Osha is a wildling that becomes an ally of Bran and Rickon after freeing them from Theon and escaping along with Hodor. Her bravery and the way she looks after the boys made her an underrated hero on Game of Thrones. So fans were thrilled when Osha returned to the story in Season 6.
Sadly, the return proves to be short-lived as Osha and Rickon are captured by Ramsay. When Osha attempts to seduce Ramsay so he lets his guard down, as she did with Theon, but he sees through the trick and kills her immediately, making Osha a great Game of Thrones character who left too soon.
Killed His Family
Ramsay’s father Roose Bolton is probably the only character who can intimidate Ramsay. Likewise, Roose is the only character who doesn’t seem scared of Ramsay. In the end, that may have been his undoing as he underestimated how brutal his son was.
After Roose’s new wife gives birth to a baby boy, Ramsay sees his position as the first heir threatened. He immediately kills his father then proceeds to have his stepmother and newborn brother fed to his hounds. It is perhaps a moment the show went too far in showing Ramsay’s evil.
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