Ramsay Bolton was the actual worst character on TV. No, we’re not just being funny. In a 2015 poll by The Atlantic, Ramsay was crowned the single worst character on television. He even beat out Game of Thrones’ other most-hated villain, Joffrey Baratheon. Ramsay also beat out Hannibal’s Hannibal Lecter, who ate other human beings. He beat seriously unlikable characters like Mad Men’s epitome of white male privilege Pete Campbell, Girls’ epitome of white female privilege Hannah Horvath, and Scandal’s worst president ever, Fitz. Ramsay Bolton also beat out all the villains on Breaking Bad, and almost every single character on Breaking Bad was a villain. The point is, Ramsay Bolton was the worst guy on modern television and, perhaps, all of television ever.
How exactly do you become the singular most hated character on television? You commit one disturbing, disgusting, inhumane act followed by another disturbing, disgusting, inhumane act. It sounds easy enough, but Ramsay took being bad to a whole new level. From the first moment we were introduced to him, he was torturing Theon Greyjoy, who, until then, had been a fairly unlikable character himself. Guys, remember when you didn’t like Theon? Now, we all just feel bad for him after he suffered at the hands of Ramsay.
Since torturing Theon, Ramsay kept outdoing himself by flaying, hunting, raping and murdering just about anyone with whom he came in contact. He’s literally the worst. Below are the 16 most disturbing acts ever committed by Ramsay Bolton, which are in chronological order as ranking his most disturbing acts just seemed too difficult. I mean, how do you decide if flaying or raping or hunting someone is worse? It’s all bad.
16. Flaying And Torturing Theon
When we first meet Ramsay Bolton, he’s already being the worst. He flayed all of the Ironborn at Winterfell. For those of you who may not know what “flaying” someone is, it’s when you skin them alive. SKIN. THEM. ALIVE. It’s what the Boltons are known for, as their house motto is, “Our blades are sharp.” Oh, and one of their common sayings is, “A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man, none.” Long story short, the Boltons love skinning people alive as much as the Lannisters love incest. Well, that’s just Cersei and Jaime, but you get the point.
Ramsay held Theon prisoner and went on to flay Theon’s finger, which was so painful that Theon eventually begged for Ramsay to just cut off the finger. Could you imagine your finger hurting so badly that you would just want it cut off? The sickest part of this was that Ramsay seemed to enjoy torturing Theon. Torture was the one thing that seemingly brought Ramsay joy during his time on the show.
15. Cutting Off (And Pretending To Eat) Theon’s Junk
In a seriously twisted scene, Myranda (Ramsay’s longtime sidepiece) and another woman free Theon and begin pleasuring him. It seems like Theon is about to get rescued and laid, which he totally deserved after having several fingers flayed and cut off. However, that’s not how this scene plays out.
Ramsay then castrates Theon – yes, he cuts Theon’s penis off. Ramsay doesn’t stop there. He mocks Theon, claiming that it was Theon’s favorite body part, which it totally was. While most guys love their penis, Theon especially enjoyed his penis, as we saw in his time spent with prostitutes and that awkward scene with his sister. Theon liked to have sex with whoever, whenever, wherever.
14. Mailing Theon’s Junk To His Family
Ha, and Ramsay didn’t stop with the penis torture. Because Ramsay wanted the Ironborn out of the North, he mailed Theon’s penis to his father, Balon Greyjoy. The accompanying note says that unless the Ironborn retreat from the North, Ramsay will continue to send Theon’s body parts.
Because of the Ironborn’s concept of masculinity, knowing that his son was castrated was an extremely difficult pill for Balon to swallow. I mean, remember that scene when Yara tried to take the Ironborn throne and all the guys were like, “LOL, you’re a woman.” Yeah, they really care about penises. Also, it means the end of the Greyjoy name, as Balon’s oldest two sons died and now Theon was castrated. The only child Balon has left is Yara and her offspring would take her husband’s family name – though, Yara might do it differently. She doesn’t seem all that traditional.
13. Psychologically Torturing Theon
While the physical torturing inflicted on Theon was awful, the psychological torture was almost worst. If there was one thing Ramsay was good at, it was torturing people. In a way, his complicated torture methods are almost impressive. It’s not like he could Google any of this stuff. Nope, he was coming up with this shit on the fly. That’s impressive, but also terrifying.
One example of the psychological torture inflicted was the time Ramsay posed as Theon’s savior. He pretended to be there to rescue Theon, leading him through an escape which, of course, lead straight back to the torture chamber. (Also, Ramsay has a full blown torture chamber, you guys.) Ramsay also had horns blown all through the night to keep Theon awake. Then, there was the renaming of Theon to Reek, which was insulting and also a total mind game. The mind game got even more complicated when Ramsay told “Reek” that he then had to pretend to be Theon. Like we said, Ramsay’s ways of mentally torturing people were kind of impressive.
12. Psychologically Abusing Myranda
Myranda was not a particularly innocent character, but a major part of her malice definitely came from the abuse Ramsay inflicted on her.
While she was his lover, he also had many other lovers on the side, which she had to be totally cool with or else. He’d always grow tired of the other lovers and hunt them down with his dogs, eventually allowing his dogs to tear these women to shreds. Myranda would come along on these screwed up hunting trips. While she seemingly enjoyed watching Ramsay’s other sidepiece be eaten by his monster dogs, it was also a harsh reminder of how she could very well end up.
Ramsay also told Myranda how beautiful Sansa was and how attracted he was to her. At which point, Myranda commented that she may marry someone else since he’s marrying Sansa. Ramsay told her he’d kill her if she ever married anyone else, and he totally meant that. This is all deep mental abuse to a woman who was physically involved with a man. Do we think Myranda was totally innocent? No, but a portion of her wrong doings was certainly due to how Ramsay has treated her.
11. Ruining Sansa’s Wedding By Making Theon Give Her Away
Okay, so at this point in the show, Sansa still thought Theon had killed and burned her two younger brothers. She had no idea of the truth and totally hated Theon. That being said, forcing Theon to walk Sansa down the aisle was deeply evil towards both Sansa and Theon.
Sansa refused to touch Theon, thus reminding Theon of his lowly place in Ramsay’s Winterfell, as if the fact that Theon had to sleep in the kennel with the dogs wasn’t enough to remind him of that. Sansa, meanwhile, was forced to be walked down the aisle by the man who betrayed her family and supposedly killed her brothers. Ramsay clearly does not respect a woman’s right to a beautiful wedding day. Hell, Ramsay doesn’t respect a woman’s right to anything. Also, Sansa had two of the possibly worst weddings ever on Game of Thrones and this for a character who dreamed only of being married when we were introduced to her. Poor Sansa Stark.
10. Repeatedly Raping Sansa
Oh, no. While many of the things Ramsay had done on the show were awful, this one felt the most personal to audience members. She was a character who audience members had even seen get her period for the first time. She’s about as close to a Disney princess as you’ll get on Game of Thrones.
Despite being married to Tyrion, she was still very much a virgin, which seemed to be something she prized. Sansa was a little dove of innocent virtue. On Sansa and Ramsay’s wedding night, Ramsay bent her over and raped her and MADE THEON WATCH. In a show that beheads characters and brought us the iconic Red Wedding, this was one of the most difficult scenes to sit through.
Oh, and Ramsay didn’t stop there. He locked Sansa away in a room and seemingly raped her whenever he wanted. Having watched Sansa save her virtue in hopes for a loving marriage, this was a bleak storyline for her character and it happened all the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
9. Flaying Sansa’s Poor Innocent Maid
When the whole being-repeatedly-raped situation seemed hopeless for Sansa, she had one source of light: her very old maid. This adorable elderly lady delivered a message from Brienne of Tarth, telling Sansa to light a candle if she needs help. Sansa was like, “Hell yeah, I need help. Peace out, Winterfell. Later, Ramsay. I’m going light that candle so hard.” Well, it didn’t play out quite like that.
Ramsay ended up flaying Sansa’s loving maid and then made Sansa come look at her flayed maid. This is the type of psychological torture Ramsay inflicted that kept his victims from even wanting to try to escape, as the punishment for such an action was unspeakable. Also, that poor old maid, you guys! She was just trying to help out Ginger Spice Stark.
8. Feeding Myranda To His Dogs
When Theon and Sansa attempt to escape, Ramsay’s forever sidepiece Myranda is blocking the way, because of course she is. Pointing an arrow at Sansa, Myranda seems like she’s really about to shoot her. Just then, Theon pushes Myranda to her death. Hell yeah, Theon! Totally making up for the first few seasons when you sucked. Theon and Sansa then jump about 1,000 feet to the ground and somehow live. There’s theories that the snow cushioned their fall or whatever, but still that was a huge leap.
At this point, you’d think Ramsay would be sad about Myranda’s death, as he had been sleeping with her for quite some time. While he does seem stoic, for like a second, he then decides to feed her dead body to his dogs! Myranda, you could have done so much better than a dude who fed your corpse to his dogs.
7. Brutally Killing His Father
In traditional literature, killing your parent, sibling, or child is usually one of the signs of a true villain. Well, Ramsay did just that.
Upon learning that Roose Bolton’s wife, Walda Frey, gave birth to a son – a true born heir – Ramsay felt as though his position was being threatened. While Roose did his best to assure his son that his position was secure, Ramsay was obviously still pretty nervous. Ramsay was still so nervous about his position that he went ahead and fatally stabbed Roose Bolton.
While this is a disgusting act on Ramsay’s behalf, we can’t say that Roose didn’t kind of have it coming. He did help put together The Red Wedding, after all. Also, there is something poetic in the fact that Ramsay stabbed Roose Bolton the same exact way that Roose Bolton stabbed Robb Stark. Anyways, Roose was not a good guy, but killing your dad is never a good time.
6. Feeding A Baby To His Dogs
Following killing his father, Ramsay had to clean up the lineage and he did so in a very gruesome way.
In a scene that was truly so horrible, Ramsay led Walda Frey and her son, who was Ramsay’s half-brother, to the kennel, where his monster dogs were waiting. When it becomes obvious that Walda Frey and her newborn baby are about to be goners, she tries to talk Ramsay out of it. She says that her and her baby will go away forever. They will disappear. They want nothing to do with the Winterfell throne. This is exactly what Ramsay wants to hear and he almost looks convinced… Then, Walda Frey reminds Ramsay that her baby is his little half-brother. Oh, Walda, why? The reminder of the blood connection – the reason Ramsay wanted to kill them in the first place – was the wrong move and Ramsay then went through with feeding his mother-in-law and infant half-brother to his dogs.
5. When He Killed Osha
When Osha was introduced, she was not a likable character at all. She mocked Bran’s handicap and attempted to rob him. Afterwards, she became a prisoner of the Starks, because you don’t mess with a Stark without paying the price. Since then, she has proved to be a loyal caretaker of both Bran and Rickon. In fact, she was so loyal that she seduced Theon in order to help the boys escape form Winterfell. Let’s be honest, sleeping with Theon in order to escape Winterfell was the ultimate “taking one for the team” move.
After Osha and Rickon are captured by Ramsay, Osha tried the same move. She was seducing Ramsay with the intention of stabbing him with nearby dagger. Unfortunately for Osha, Theon had told Ramsay about her tactics of seducing men for gain. Prepared for this, Ramsay stabbed her before she could stab him, thus killing a character that actually lasted a pretty long time on Game of Thrones. Her death, of course, was not the most tragic death at the hands of Ramsay, and not even the most brutal, but it was a reminder that Ramsay will ruthlessly kill whoever he must kill.
4. The Crazy Letter He Wrote
You know how Trump tweets crazy things sometimes? Well, the letter Ramsay wrote in season six felt like a string of crazy Trump tweets. Okay, it was 100% worse than any of Trump’s tweets, but you get what we mean.
After securing Rickon, Ramsay sends Jon Snow a letter which reads:
“To the Traitor and Bastard Jon Snow
You allowed thousands of Wildlings past the Wall, you have betrayed your own kind, you have betrayed the North, Winterfell is mine bastard, come and see . . . Your brother Rickon is in my dungeon, his direwolf’s skin is on my floor, come and see . . .I want my bride back, send her to me bastard and I will not trouble you or your wildling lovers. Keep her from me and I will ride north and slaughter every wildling man, woman, and babe living under your protection. You will watch as I skin them living, you will watch as my soldiers take turn raping your sister, you will watch as my dogs devour your wild little brother, then I will spoon your eyes from their sockets and let my dogs do the rest . . . come and see . . .
Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North.”
The thing about this letter is that Ramsay Bolton 100% means it. He very well would have let all his soldiers rape Sansa as Jon Snow watched. He very well would have let his dogs eat Rickon. Oh, and we’re sure that he would have even spooned out Jon Snow’s eyes. These were not empty threats because Ramsay is one sick, sick individual.
3. When He Killed Rickon
Little Rickon, you were the Stark we never really knew.
As soon as Sansa reads that Ramsay has Rickon captive, she flat-out says that Rickon is basically already dead. Since he was a male Stark, he imposed a huge threat on Ramsay’s claim to the throne of Winterfell. Rickon was a much bigger threat than the female born Stark, Sansa, or the bastard Stark, Jon Snow. Ramsay very well knew what a threat Rickon was and would never let Rickon live.
At The Battle of the Bastards, Ramsay told Rickon to run towards Jon Snow. As Rickon and Jon Snow ran for each other, Ramsay shot arrows at Rickon. Being that Ramsay is known for his great shot, the fact that he was missing Rickon was a bit confusing. But, of course, he was missing on purpose. Ramsay was simply waiting for Rickon to be in arm’s reach of Jon before shooting an arrow straight through Rickon’s chest. He killed off innocent Rickon in order to psychologically mess with Jon during their big battle. How twisted!
2. Killing All The Giants
This is minor, but definitely a bummer. During the Battle of the Bastards, it seems that the last of the bastards died at Ramsay’s hand. To be clear, the giants were cool as hell. Whatever CGI magic they used to make the giants a reality was top notch. They were also an essential in battle. Besides dragons, giants are probably the next most powerful being you can have at your side.
During the Battle of Castle Black, two giants – Dongo and Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg – died. (Who the hell names these giants?) The final remaining giant that we knew of was Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. (Again, who the hell names these giants?) He was taken down by Ramsay’s arrow, which went straight though his eye. Of course, about one second later, Jon Snow beat the living shit out of Ramsay Bolton, because no one kills Wun Wun. Long live the giants!
1. Turning His Starving Dogs Into Monsters
We saved this act for last so we could talk about Ramsay’s well-deserved death scene, which was one of the best scenes on this show.
The fact that Ramsay made his dogs into actual monsters was pretty evil. He starved them and inflicted the same types of psychological torture on his dogs as he did to Myranda and Theon. This resulted in his dogs being loyal killing machines. He even bragged about the fact that his dogs were starving before the Battle of the Bastards. After he lost the battle, Ramsay finds himself tied to a chair in the kennel, with Sansa standing outside the door. At which point, Sansa tells Ramsay, “Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.” (OMG, Queen Sansa Stark!!!) Ramsay picks up what Sansa is putting down and tells her that his hounds would never harm him because they’re loyal beasts. Sansa replies with, “They were. Now they’re starving.” (Again, Queen Sansa Stark!)
Sansa was totally right about the whole starving thing, since Ramsay’s dogs start literally eating his face off. Sansa turns to walk away, then turns back to watch as Ramsay is eaten alive. When she finally does walk away, Sansa has the faintest smile on her lips, like the queen she is. No one is better at revenge than Sansa Stark.
The fact that Ramsay’s death came at the hand of Sansa, who he tortured so grotesquely, and at the hands of his dogs, who he himself had turned into monsters, is actually a very poetic ending to his reign. Ramsay Bolton may now be dead, but during his reign, he was the most evil person on television… ever.
Without Ramsay, we’ll have to wait to see which character takes over as the majorly evil character in season seven. Probably Cersei, but only time will tell.
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