Prior to Ramsay Bolton’s debut on Game Of Thrones, it was a universally accepted fact that King Joffrey Baratheon was far and away the most evil person in Westeros. While I believe that Cersei is exponentially worse than her bastard kin, fans remained firm that Joffrey held that title. After he was poisoned and eventually died at his wedding reception, fans breathed a sigh of relief as the child King finally got what he deserved. There was a gaping hole that was left in the series, and it was time for another character to take the mantle that Joffrey held for so long. Enter Ramsay Bolton, the bastard son of Roose, and the man that is filled with what nightmares are made of.
In hindsight, we were pretty lucky to have had Joffrey. Sure, the little creep was absolutely awful, but I would have traded Ramsay Bolton for him any day of the week. Ramsay was Joffrey if the deceased King was set to 11. He consistently took things to another level, and he left viewers speechless with the heinous acts that he committed with a gigantic smile on his face. It’s safe to say that Ramsay will forever be one of the most polarizing characters on the series.
After finally receiving his comeuppance in season 6, viewers were finally spared of the evil Ramsay, and they couldn’t have been happier. His death was as brutal as any other on the series, and the fact that it was Sansa who made it happen was incredibly satisfying. You can never take back what’s been done, and the terrible acts that Ramsay committed will continue to live on in infamy. Though this list virtually has no end, I’ve cherry-picked some of Ramsay’s most awful moments for your viewing pleasure.
15. Torturing Theon Greyjoy
I’m going to preface this by saying that Theon completely deserved what he got from Ramsay. Theon had betrayed Robb Stark who for all intents and purposes was like a brother to Theon. He saw an opportunity to please a father that didn’t love or care for him, and he turned his back on House Stark. This triggered a string of events to led to Theon being taken prisoner, and he was made into a plaything for Ramsay. Ramsay ran the gauntlet on Theon, and the mental and physical anguish that Ramsay put him through ultimately broke Theon, and he would adopt the new identity of Reek.
While Theon did deserve what he got, there is no denying that what Ramsay did to the ironborn heir was downright brutal. Theon suffered for an incredibly long time, and Ramsay took great pleasure in being the one to administer the punishment. It remains as some of the most gruesome content on the show.
14. Starving His Rabid Dogs
While the sigil for House Bolton is the flayed man, Ramsay also has another calling card that is uniquely his. Among the many ways that Ramsay has found to bring pain and suffering to others, having them eaten alive by rabid dogs is one of the more brutal acts. In order to achieve this, Ramsay will go extended periods of time without feeding them, allowing their primal instincts to kick in for survival. Earlier in the series, we got a look at how fiercely loyal direwolves are to the Stark family. That’s because they treat them with respect, and make sure to show them affection. So, it should come as no surprise that once the tables were turned, Ramsay was taken out by his own dogs.
It was sad to see that Ramsay’s utilization of animal abuse and neglect was something that he was able to use to his advantage. The strategy itself worked to perfection until the beasts had a shot at their master. Ramsay neglecting his dogs is despicable, and is one of the main reasons that I couldn’t stand him.
13. Sicking His Dogs On Yara
Ramsay’s use of his rabid dogs was a preferred means of defense for the man, and he got a thrill out of sending his dogs after people. In one such case, Yara and a gang of ironborn try to save her brother Theon. He had been in Ramsay’s grasp for far too long, and Yara was ready to get him back to ease his suffering. After successfully finding Theon, Yara tried her best to have him leave, but the broken Theon wanted no part of leaving, and caused a scene which gave away their position. After arriving on the scene, Ramsay and his men begin to scuffle with the ironborn, and Ramsay eventually released his dogs to chase the intruders away.
It was pretty terrifying to see Yara and her remaining men run for their lives while being chased by Ramsay’s dogs. Their lack of food drove them crazy, and they were ready to jump up a notch on the food chain that night. What made the scene even more compelling was seeing Yara leave without her brother. She knew that the damage was done, and that Theon was no more.
12. Sending Pieces Of Theon To Yara
This event is what catalyzed our last entry, and it was incredibly despicable. During Theon’s conversion to Reek, Ramsay was relentless with his nightmare-inducing tactics. Earlier in the series, we had learned that above most things, Theon enjoyed bedding various women. He was proud of his sexual conquests, and Ramsay decided to use that against him. In the process of breaking Theon, Ramsay decided to take away Theon’s favorite toy, and he chopped of his manhood. Theon was horrified, and Ramsay was all smiles. Afterwards, Ramsay proceeded to issue a threat to Theon’s family, and he sent his manhood to them in a box.
Every man who has watched that has felt sorry for Theon. There are a number of things that can happen at any given time, and any guy will tell you that losing their junk would be one of the worst possible things that can happen. Joffrey may have killed a hooker, but this is just insane.
11. Killing Rickon Stark
Out of all of the members of House Stark, Rickon had the least amount of time on screen. He was the youngest boy, and mainly served as a background character during his time on Game Of Thrones. After Theon took Winterfell, the Stark boys headed out on the run with Hodor and Osha, and spent a great deal of time seeking refuge. Eventually, Rickon and Osha headed out on their own, and were inevitably caught and brought back to the new Warden in the North; Ramsay Bolton. Shortly thereafter, Ramsay killed Osha, and he held Rickon as a prisoner until the Battle of the Bastards. After releasing Rickon to run to his brother Jon, Ramsay began to shoot arrows at the boy, and he killed him right in front of his brother.
I felt sick to my stomach seeing this unfold, and it made my hate for Ramsay grow even stronger. Rickon wasn’t a primary player on the show, but seeing him being reunited with Jon was too good to be true. The poor boy didn’t stand a chance. Thankfully, Jon and Sansa would avenge his death.
10. The Sack Of Winterfell
In truth, this was supposed to be a good thing. At the time, Roose was still working with Robb Stark, and Ramsay was given very specific orders to follow. He was supposed to keep Theon alive, and he was to spare the life of any ironborn. Robb Stark had a plan, but he had no idea that Ramsay was sick and demented. Upon their arrival to Winterfell, Ramsay and his men decided to go off script, and they would eventually start to burn Winterfell to the ground. The people left in droves, and Ramsay elected to flay the ironborn for the hell of it. He sent a raven telling his dad that the ironborn were responsible for the attack, ensuring that he would be spared punishment.
Winterfell was the home of House Stark, and seeing a once proud place be burned like that was difficult. Bran and Rickon were able to stay alive and escape with Hodor and Osha afterwards, though most everyone assumed that the boys were dead. Ramsay’s sneaky betrayal of trust was just a taste for what was to come.
9. Flaying Sansa’s Maid
After Lord Baelish agreed to marry Sansa off to Ramsay Bolton, Sansa quickly learned that Ramsay is the epitome of evil. She did, however, find out that she still had people who were there to look after her, and who wanted to see her escape. She was told by her maid to light a candle in the tower window if she was in trouble. Sansa attempted this and failed, and what she found was absolutely horrifying. Ramsay was none too pleased about Sansa’s attempted escape, and he decided to flay her maid. After all, it his House Bolton’s sigil, and Ramsay is the worst. Sansa was horrified, and that moment saw virtually all hope escape her.
Just when you thought that Ramsay couldn’t get any worse, he goes ahead and does something like this. I felt awful for Sansa, and she seemed to nearly die inside that day. She was so close to being rescued by Brienne and Pod, but instead remained in the clutches of her new husband.
8. Betraying Robb Stark
It all started with the Sack of Winterfell, and it continued until the day that Robb met his demise at the Red Wedding. Keeping in line with his father’s wishes, Ramsay Bolton betrayed the King in the North, and used this as a means of gaining power, and a means of being recognized as Roose’s son. Prior to taking on the last name Bolton, Ramsay held the last name Snow because he was a bastard. He was willing to do anything to carry his father’s name, even if that meant betraying Robb. Ramsay would finally receive what he desired most, and would be recognized as a member of House Bolton.
In the first season, Lord Baelish warned Ned Stark that the people in King’s Landing can’t be trusted, and that sentiment can be applied to anyone in Westeros. There is a constant struggle for power, and many people will stop at nothing to get what they want. Ramsay proved that he was a terrible ally who couldn’t be trusted. If only his father had payed enough attention to see the signs for himself.
7. Hunting Tansy
I felt absolutely horrible for this poor girl as she was the victim of both Ramsay and Myranda. Ramsay had a number of women at his disposal to fulfill his sexual desires, and Myranda didn’t like that very much. She was genuinely in love with Ramsay, and Ramsay had promised to marry her. Because of her jealousy, Myranda convinced Ramsay that the two should set Tansay out in the woods and hunt her down. Theon accompanied the demented lovers on the hunt, and was horrified with what was happening. Myranda eventually shoots Tansy with an arrow, making her immobile. Ramsay proceeded to let his dogs rip her to pieces while the duo watched with pleasure.
Tansy wasn’t around for very long, and her demise was brutal. Myranda’s jealousy led to this unnecessary murder, and she seemed quite proud of herself for pleasing her beloved Ramsay. Eventually, we would see this jealousy be her undoing as she would try and murder Sansa Stark before being killed by Theon.
6. The Siege of Moat Cailin
Following his father’s orders, Ramsay and his men sat out to claim Moat Cailin from the ironborn, and little did they know that Ramsay had a secret weapon. Having already broken Theon down to assume the identity of Reek, Ramsay utilized the ironborn heir to his advantage. In order to gain their trust, Ramsay convinced Reek to pose as Theon Greyjoy in order to get his demands across. That’s right, folks. Reek had to act like his past identity in order to get the people that he was supposed to rule receptive to Ramsay’s demands. After gaining their trust, Ramsay goes back on his words, and flays the remaining ironborn, successfully taking Moat Cailin.
Man, this was super difficult to watch unfold. I genuinely felt bad for Theon in this situation. He had already suffered a great deal, and watching him pose as the man he once was really struck a chord with me. Ramsay took great pleasure in watching Theon squirm, and even greater pleasure in flaying the ironborn.
5. Making Theon Give Sansa Away At The Wedding
After Sansa made her return to Winterfell, Ramsay was promised her hand in marriage. Their union was a ploy to have most of the remaining northern families gain trust and give their support to House Bolton. Having Ramsay marry a Stark girl was going to work wonders for them. However, in the most Ramsay way possible, he found a way to make the event as dark as can be. During dinner, Ramsay brought out Theon, much to the dismay of Sansa. He had Theon apologize for what he had done, and then forced Theon to walk Sansa down the aisle at their wedding. It was uncomfortable for all in attendance, and Ramsay soaked in every second of it.
She had already dealt with Joffrey and Cersei while in King’s Landing, and seeing Sansa in the clutches of Ramsay was saddening. She had a deep hatred for Theon, and it was clear that he was ashamed for what he had done to Winterfell. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Ramsay found a way to make this night even worse.
4. Raping Sansa Stark
Everyone’s wedding night brings the promise of happiness and bliss for the newlyweds. They are finally able to get away from all of the people and chaos of a wedding to enjoy some time alone. At this point in the show, Sansa was still a virgin, and her first sexual encounter came by way of rape at the hands of her husband. Even after their wedding night, Ramsay would continue to have his way with Sansa, and she wasn’t able to put up a fight. She had been warned that Ramsay had killed several women, and Sansa didn’t want to become the next woman on that list.
Prior to their wedding night, Sansa was able to avoid being raped back in King’s Landing. Despite being married to Tyrion Lannister, she had never slept with him, as both parties were uncomfortable with the entire situation. It’s heartbreaking that Sansa’s loss of innocence came at the hands of the show’s most evil character.
3. Making Theon Watch As He Raped Sansa
The private affairs between a husband and his wife on their wedding night are sacred, and that time is always reserved for the two lovers. But, as if he hadn’t done enough to him already, Ramsay forced Theon to be in the room and watch as he had his way with Sansa. Theon sat there and tearfully watched as Sansa was forced into losing her innocence to a madman. Instead of shedding his Reek persona and saving the day, Theon watched, and did absolutely nothing about it. It just goes to show you how much mental anguish Ramsay put him through.
Like most viewers, I was hoping that this scene would serve as a moment of redemption for the once proud Theon Greyjoy. There was a huge opportunity for him to try and make amends by killing Sansa’s rapist. Of course, Theon would find who he was again, but not until after the damage here was done.
2. Killing His Father Roose Bolton
For someone who so desperately wanted his father’s approval, Ramsay wasted very little time in dispatching his father Roose. The entire time that he went by the name Snow, Ramsay would have done anything to gain Roose’s approval. Once he had the last name Bolton, however, Ramsay didn’t need it anymore. He found out the Roose was due to have a son, and the news of this angered Ramsay. In order to preserve his title and to assume the mantle of Warden of the North, Ramsay killed his father, and he began to flex his power.
I hated Roose Bolton just as much as the next person, so seeing him die wasn’t too terrible of a thing. It was quite shocking that Ramsay was the one to do it, and the fact that he did it so quickly showed how ruthless he really was. But, to be sure that he could never be unseated from his new position, there was one thing that Ramsay needed to do.
1. Killing His Newborn Brother
Immediately after murdering his father Roose to assume his position as Warden of the North, Ramsay wasted little time in finishing the job. The newborn was a legitimate son of Roose’s and he wouldn’t have to spend his life searching for the same approval that Ramsay did. Ramsay knew that he couldn’t risk the chance of this child growing up and eventually usurping him, so he did what he felt he needed to do, and he killed his brother and stepmother. It was a new low for Ramsay Bolton, and was an incredibly dark moment on the show.
You knew it was coming as soon as Ramsay killed Roose, but the knowledge still couldn’t prepare you to swallow that pill. The despicable Ramsay Bolton killed his baby brother in an attempt to preserve his power. Viewers were disgusted, and wondered how much longer this man would stick around. There’s no debate that Ramsay was awful, and him killing his baby brother is easily the most heinous act committed by this vile character.