If you’re too young to recall the way television used to be, let us fill you in on something, we’re in the midst of a golden age of television. Shows like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, and others would have likely never been able to exist in days past, let alone come along in a short span of time. One of the most beloved series in the bunch has to be Game of Thrones. A series based in a world that looks like medieval times and includes fantastic characters, seemingly never-ending power struggles, and science fiction creatures, it is set up perfectly to entertain. Also renowned for featuring beautiful people wearing little to nothing, the uninitiated may think that the series is filled to the brim with attractive people. Oh, how wrong they are, as we’re going to prove with this list.
Focused on the nastiest looking people in Game of Thrones’ television history to date, we’re going to be looking at some monstrous characters. One major thing to keep in mind when reading the list is that we’re not focused on the actors that bring these men and women to life in the slightest. In fact, in a lot of cases Game of Thrones has a history of talking good-looking folk and making them look ugly before turning on their cameras. The only thing that we’re concerned with is how they look when we tune into the show each week. Make sure that you keep in mind that we will be talking about the characters we list in depth so SPOILERS are a danger if you read ahead. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the list.
Born a free woman, Osha still ended up serving House Stark for several seasons and is best remembered for being one of the group of people who travelled with Bran across the land. A former wildling, she seemed like an unlikely person to be so loyal to the young man and his brother Rickon, but she did just that up until her dying moment. Feigning that she’d only remained by their side in an attempt to find someone to sell the boy to, she hoped that the ruse would trick Ramsay Bolton to lower his defences long enough to kill him. Of course, Ramsay was too clever for that and it was actually she who laid on the ground bleeding out after a knife entered her neck. A character that mostly spent her time in the background of the younger Stark’s adventures, her heart turned out to be kind enough that we were saddened by her demise. That said, she kept up a rather fearsome exterior that reared its nasty face most whenever her young companions were threatened, which is why she is listed here.
14. Yara Greyjoy
First off, let’s make one thing abundantly clear, Gemma Whelan, the actress who portrays Yara on Game of Thrones, is a very pretty woman and this is no reflection on her looks. That said, the person she plays on Game of Thrones seems to care little for her appearance, consistently looks like she is about to kick everyone’s butts and has a nasty streak a mile long. A character we can’t wait to see more of, considering she seems poised to bring the pain to all of those who’ve crossed her and with a legion of faithful followers by her side, who could stop her? Introduced in an episode that involved a sickly incestuous event, from the moment she was introduced it seemed like she was meant to be unsettling which also contributes to her placement here.
13. Septa Unella
A character that finds her place here not due to any kind of external ugliness or abnormality, it is instead the awful behaviour and permanent scowl that makes Septa Unella so nasty looking. A loyal faith of the seven servant, she uses her position in the religion and the moral superiority she feels that grants her to lord it over those that fall under her charge. Attempting to coerce confessions out of those that she has a hand in imprisoning, she routinely offers them water but only if they follow her wishes and admit their wrongdoing. Clearly relishing her role, she carries herself with a holier than thou energy, all while the people before her are at their most vulnerable. Knowing that and the permanently snide look on her face we know that she belongs here amongst the ugliest Game of Thrones characters.
12. Walder Frey
We’re going to warn you here once again that we will be giving away some spoilers in this article because this entry reveals one of the most shocking moments in the series’ history. The Red Wedding is probably the most talked about moment in the show’s history for good reason. Absolutely surprising to anyone who hadn’t read the books, this sequence of extreme bloodshed seems to come out of pretty much nowhere. Killing off several characters that we expected to see in major storylines going forward, it was also the grisly fashion in which they were nonchalantly dispatched that set it apart. At the center of it all was Walder Frey, a vicious old man who had a pregnant woman’s stomach repeatedly stabbed as her husband watched on and that was just the start. Sat in the middle of it all calmly drinking wine while surrounded by gore was the show’s ugliest characters on the inside and out, you guessed it, Walder Frey.
11. Joffrey Baratheon
Probably the most hateable youngster in the history of television, King Joffrey’s expressions screamed contempt for pretty much everyone he’d ever met. Crowned after the early demise of his “father”, Joffrey took to his new role and the power it gave him over anyone who angered him with utter glee. Prone to outright torture or more subtle forms of degradation over those in positions important enough that he had to stem his bile, Sansa and Tyrion for instance, there wasn’t a kind bone in his body. The very fact that viewers of the show rejoiced at his grisly death at the hands of poison, despite his young age is the ultimate evidence of how nasty looking this boy was until his dying moment. In fact, when his body began to react, leading up to his demise, he actually looked the least nasty despite the blood and spittle as it was the first time vulnerability broached his features.
10. Ramsay Bolton
Easily the most detestable character on the show since the demise of Joffrey, Ramsay may not have had his political sway but that just made him more creative in his methods of torture. The first of his two major victims, Theon, he took and methodically broke him down until he was able to remake him into his genital-less servant and pet, Reek. The second person, his wife Sansa, he may have treated even worse considering he violently raped on multiple occasions and while he couldn’t maim her on the outside, he did horrific things to her nonetheless. Evil to his very core, Ramsay saw the destruction of people as a sport he excelled in and didn’t even stop short at killing his own family. Murdering his father by stabbing him, the fact that he fed his mother-in-law and infant sibling to his dogs was one of his final acts and revealed why Ramsay belongs here.
9. Ilyn Payne
The final character to make this list because of the evil we see in his face instead of the way his features actually look, we know the least about Ilyn Payne. A mute knight who serves as the chief royal executioner, it is he who Joffrey and his ilk turn to in order to act out their awful orders. Despite the work that he carries out and the fact that his face seems to have a permanently angry look on it, he still appears to enjoy his role. Most memorable for chopping off a principle character’s head near the end of the first season, we always thought that having this man, who looks more beast than man, kill you was an awful fate.
8. Children of the Forest’s Leaf
A friendly character who offers up protection to Bran Stark and his band of travellers, Leaf is a magical creature that is part of a race known as the Children of the Forest. While the audience came to view her as a welcome face while she sat by as Bran learned more about the history of their world, that doesn’t make her face look any less monstrous. Ultimately giving her life so that the group she’d tried to protect had more time to flee, in the days before her death it was revealed that she was directly responsible for the creation of the White Walkers. Therefore, one of the most influential figures in the mythos history, Leaf may have only briefly appeared on the show but she should never be forgotten. Nor should we pretend that her good intentions and sacrifice make her look any different but we will admit her character is a good example of not judging on first glance.
7. Lysa Arryn
The younger sister of the Stark family matriarch, Catelyn, we didn’t quite know what to expect in the build up to Lysa Arryn’s first appearance but we were definitely surprised by what we got. An awful woman who doted on her horrible son, Robin, they sat in judgment of their people. Someone that coddles her child, including breastfeeding him at far too old an age, she is far from likeable.
Showing little to no loyalty to her sister or the family Catelyn created, she refuses to send her knights to aid them and when her niece briefly lived with her she showed nothing but jealousy. A skinny woman with a weathered face that only shone in the presence of her son or Petyr Baelish, had she not been so stern things may have been wildly different for her. As things stood, the only character in the show that mourned her passing was Robin and we doubt any viewers were saddened by the turn of events either.
6. The Hound
Introduced as the personal bodyguard of our eleventh entry, Joffrey, The Hound proved again and again that he was someone who was built to kill those unlucky enough to find themselves in his crosshairs. Ultimately abandoning his awful charge and travelling the world on his own, he soon gained Arya as a companion that he ostensibly planned to sell back to her family. Humanized to a degree during his time with the youngest Stark girl, if you were foolish enough to think that he’d lost his deadly edge you were very mistaken. An experienced killer who sometimes seems to enjoy toying with those he is about to dispatch, it isn’t just his character that is nasty. After he made the innocent mistake of angering his brother, he had his face held in a fire and as a result, much of his visage is permanently scarred.
5. The Night King
The leader of the White Walkers, The Night King was once a human being until our eighth entry, Leaf, forced a dragonglass dagger into his chest. Turned into the fearsome being we know now, he presumably went on to create other beings like him that he will lead into battle against the forces of humanity. A creature that seems to be at home in the frigid temperatures of winter, he brings only pain, misery, and death with him. Able to raise the corpses from the dead he leaves in his wake, these beings become known as wights and serve as his minions and army. Possessing a face that looks to be frozen, icy white eyes, a crown of thorns that appear to naturally adorn his head, and his pointy ears, they all combine to make him look like a thing to be feared.
4. Pyat Pree
While the city-state of Qarth has largely gone underdeveloped on the Game of Thrones series, there have certainly been hints at it being a fascinating place. Ruled by a collection of thirteen powerful figures that meet regularly, they not only need to remain fearsome enough that their seat is never questioned but they also need to amass wealth and respect. As a result, all involved, including Pyat, appear to be rather self-serving and considering they are the ruling class that leaves the city open to a great deal of intrigue. While the group was unfortunately destroyed before their storytelling potential came to fruition, we did get to meet this fascinating and ugly figure who was largely responsible for their undoing. Supposedly a warlock, Pyat looks sickly and gaunt but his purple lips and unusual manner of dress hint at his potential untold powers.
3. Mag the Mighty
By far the biggest being to make this list, we met Mag when Jon Snow travelled past the wall and among the free folk. Referred to as the leader of the giants by Mance Rayder, the man who united the wildling army, he was called the king of the giants and last of his bloodline. That, unfortunately, means he is, unfortunately, the only of his kind we may meet. Actually named Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, he ends up being seen as a heroic figure whose demise was far more affecting than we ever could have expected, especially considering the way he appears. Aside from his tremendous size, Mag’s facial features are basically human but highly distorted. With an extremely wide nose and bumpy flesh, he is far from attractive.
2. The Stone Men
Our only entry that isn’t a single person but a group, the stone men were once regular looking folk but after they were infected they became anything but. Afflicted by a disease known as greyscale, their skin begins to look like stone, their teeth start to yellow and their eyes start to look they are beasts. Mostly exiled from society because their ailment is contagious and nobody wants their flesh to die, crack and harden like stone, becoming infected means that you will have to live a lonely life until you cease to be. With the recent revelation that Jorah Mormont has begun to suffer from the starting stages of the disease, we just hope that he manages to find a cure of some sort soon.
1. The Mountain
His brother found his way on this list and although there was a time when Gregor Clegane wouldn’t have been anywhere near an inclusion on this list, things have drastically changed. Always a massively muscled person, he always carried himself like a badass who is more likely to kill you than shake your hand. In one scene he even showed himself able to literally crush a man’s head with nothing but his bare hands. We really thought it seemed like we should have been able to rest easy that he would never be able to be nastier than the man we’d come to know. Boy, were we wrong. As it turned out, the man whose head he did unspeakable things to was able to get a small measure of revenge because he’d coated his spear with a deadly poison and cut him with it. Ultimately killed, as a result, Cersei was unwilling to give up her loyal butcher and had his body experimented on. Brought back to a semblance of life, he is now even more powerful but his face has taken on a horrid and putrid tinge that earned The Mountain our top spot.