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    "Don't let your kids watch it!" - Robbie Rotten

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    Reason: TBA.

    Ramsay Bolton
    "You forgot to ask one question: you forgot to ask if I'm a liar!… (Theon screams in pain) I'm afraid, I am. (Theon screams again) Everything I told you is a lie. (Theon screams again) This isn't happening to you for a reason―(continues while Theon screams yet again) well one, one reason: I enjoy it!"
    Gender: Male
    Type: Villain Stu
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Iwan Rheon
    Status: Alive (Book)

    Deceased (TV Show)

    Media of origin: Game of Thrones
    First appearance: Literature:

    A Clash of Kings (1998)
    Television: "Dark Wings, Dark Words" (2013)
    Video game: "Iron From Ice" (2014)


    Ramsay Bolton is a recurring antagonist of the fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and its television adaption Game of Thrones in seasons 3-6 and A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, and the upcoming The Winds of Winter. He is portrayed by Iwan Rheon.

    He is introduced as the son of Roose Bolton and the rest of House Bolton.

    Why He Is (Intentionally) a Bastard

    1. He's a textbook sadist and a serial rapist whose favorite hobbies are kidnapping women he likes to rape them and skinning people alive. He uses his hounds to hunt women who bore him, after releasing them in the woods. Only few manage to escape and tell the tales of his atrocities. In the novels, he is assisted by his servant from the Dreadfort, Reek, who was the closest thing he had to a friend. He lets Reek engage in necrophilia, as after killing the women he rapes, he hands them over to Reek to have his way on the corpses. Ramsay says it himself that he has no reason for his atrocities apart from his own enjoyment.
    2. In the books he allegedly murdered his half-brother, Domeric Bolton, out of mere envy, as Domeric was a successful and talented highborn, the heir to the Dreadfort and even a decent human being well liked by the houses of the North and the Vale, and lacking any sadistic traits. Meanwhile Ramsay was lowborn and considered a shame to hide by his and Domeric's father.
      • Domeric went to visit Ramsay at the latter's mother's mill as soon as he learned he had an half-brother. He wanted to create a bond with Ramsay, but since the latter was just a psychopath, he only felt envy and hatred. Domeric fell ill very shortly after his visit to Ramsay, and it is implied he was poisoned by him. This forced Roose to publicly acknowledge his only living son Ramsay as his bastard and take him to the Dreadfort.
    3. In the books he and Reek abduct Donella Hornwood, a highborn elderly woman, then Ramsay force her to marry him, rapes her to consummate the marriage, has her write an inheritance of her family's lands and holdings at swordpoint, before locking her in a tower with nothing to eat, which leads to her ultimately dying while eating her fingers.
      • This leads to more deaths and fights between House Bolton and the Houses Manderly and Hornwood, until Ramsay is sentenced to death for his crimes, and his father Roose has to deal with it and make peace with the wronged houses.
    4. In the books he sacrifices Reek by letting Ser Rodrik Cassel's party sent by Winterfell kill him. He forces Reek to swap identity with him, leading to Reek getting shot by arrows as he tries to escape. Ramsay impersonates Reek, in order to escape immediate judgement and execution, and later uses this persona to aid the ironborn invasion, convince Theon of some of his worst acts while holding Winterfell.
      • This includes killing two children and pass them off as Bran and Rickon. To make the two boys unrecognizable by their true identities, Ramsay personally flays their heads (presumably after killing them, as Theon is unlikely to have allowed him to flay kids alive).
      • On Theon's order, he kills three of their own allies, the ironmen Aggar, Gelmarr, and Gynir Rednose, simply for being witnesses of the true identities of the "Stark" boys.
    5. With an army from the Dreadfort, he betrays his own allies sworn to House Stark in the books, and personally mutilates and kills Rodrik, who previously killed Reek. He leads a battle at Winterfell, in which the Dreadfort men aid House Greyjoy and massacre the army loyal to the Starks, killing Cley Cerwyn and Leobald Tallhart as well.
      • He has Little Walder and Big Walder Frey write to the south to tell the world how the Boltons loyally fought for the Starks, and pins the blame of the lost battle on the ironborn, possibly to Dagmer's foot force. This false report is later delivered by the Freys to Riverrun.
    6. He and his army raze Winterfell and its town to the ground and butcher all the males in it, despite supposedly being there to save it. They only spared the women and children, although it is unknown what treatment Ramsay may have given to them or some of them during his rule at the Dreadfort. In the novels, Ramsay commences the sack of Winterfell after being accepted into the castle by the ironborn garrison - who are loyal to Theon - as they recognized him as their ally, who also defeated their enemies for them in battle. But then Ramsay assaulted Theon and ordered his men to kill the ironmen. He even has the animals killed, including Bran's horse Dancer, and Theon's horse Smiler, which is burned alive in front of Theon. In the television series, Ramsay kills almost everyone in Winterfell, after the ironborn betray and deliver him Theon, and it is not said if he took the women and children to the Dreadfort.
      • He has Little Walder and Big Walder write to the south to tell the world that it was the ironborn who sacked and burned Winterfell, after winning the battle against the North, while Ramsay led a "heroic" sortie after both massacres and managed to defeat the ironmen in battle, capture Theon, and rescue the women and children, including the Walders, and bring them to the Dreadfort. This false report is also conveyed by the Freys to Riverrun.
    7. In the novels, he gives Theon's bedwarmer, Kyra, a slow and painful death after attempting to escape the Dreadfort with Theon, which turned out to be a deliberate test from Ramsay.
    8. Tortures and castrates Theon. In the novels, he removes some of Theon's fingers and toes. After getting tired of "playing" with him, he abandons him in a dark cell for a long time of many weeks in the Dreadfort. Only a long time later, after being ordered to lead a northern army against the ironborn in the Neck, he decides to make use of Theon and release him from his cell.
      • In the TV series, the torture led to the point of invoking Stockholm syndrome, while in the novels Theon has no respect for Ramsay in his mind, although obviously no longer dares to antagonize and pretends to know he is the new Reek.
    9. Murders an old man in a fit of rage, just because the man called him Snow instead of Bolton.
    10. Corrupts his squire and uncle by marriage, the child Little Walder Frey, into becoming as cruel as sadistic as he is, which disturbs his other squire, the child Big Walder Frey, who does not share their cruelty.
    11. Repeatedly rapes his second wife "Arya Stark" (Jeyne Poole) in the novels, or Sansa Stark in the TV series, for days shortly after marrying her. In the novels, he sexually humiliates both Jeyne and Theon in bed, forcing Theon to join the rape and get her ready with his fingers. It is also implied he used dogs on Jeyne.
    12. During the wait for Stannis's arrival, after several men-at-arms in Winterfell and Little Walder are murdered, a violent confrontation and skirmish between the Freys and Manderlys occurs, due to suspicion against White Harbor's loyalty. Luton, one of Ramsay's band of enforcers, the Bastard's Boys, is severely wounded with his guts spilled out. Ramsay show no sympathy nor grief for his "friend" dying, and as Luton tries to push his entrails back into his wound, crying noisily for his mother, an annoyed Ramsay loses patience and finishes Luton off by driving a spear through his chest so he does not hear his cries, and so his men do no look like "crybabies" in public.
    13. In the novels, after a group of women led by the singer Abel murder garrison men at Winterfell (except Little Walder, whose murder culprit is still unidentified), and help Theon and Jeyne to escape, Ramsay captures the surviving women and has them all flayed alive, learning that the women are all wildling spearwives and that Abel is Mance Rayder, despite Stannis having previously told the world that he had executed him. He tortures all the wildling women to death.
    14. In the novels, he sends a letter to Jon Snow at the Wall, in which he claims to have defeated and massacred Stannis Baratheon's army of southerners and northerners. He claims to have killed Stannis and to own his magic red sword Lightbringer. He makes this claim up, as he lost his wife and needs captives (Ramsay's letter is false, as George R. R. Martin confirmed that Stannis and his army are still alive, regardless when Theon's sample chapter from the upcoming sixth book takes place). In truth Ramsay needs to gain hostages to use against Stannis, and people close to him are at the Wall with the Night's Watch.
      • In the letter, Ramsay demands that Jon Snow deliver him Stannis's wife Selyse, his daughter Shireen, his mistress Melisandre, and his guest Val, the wildling princess and Mance's former sister-in-law. He also demands Mance's infant son (currently with Gilly at Oldtown, while Gilly's baby is posing as Mance's child).
      • In the letter, he claims to have locked a naked Mance in a crow cage, and is forcing him to wear a cloak made of the women's skins to cover himself from the cold. It is clear he has learned that "Abel" is Mance Rayder from torturing the wildling spearwives who accompanied him, but it is still unconfirmed if he really has Mance as a captive, or if Mance managed to escape. It is possible that the reason why Ramsay is demanding to be given Val and Mance's son is because he needs hostages against Mance.
      • Finally, in the letter, Ramsay demands that Jon delivers him back Jon's half-sister Arya and "his Reek" (Theon, although Jon has no idea what Reek is). This part is personal, as Jon, like the majority of the public, thinks Arya is really Ramsay's wife, instead of Jeyne Poole, and it was Jon himself who allowed Melisandre to send Mance and the wildling women to rescue her. Neither Ramsay nor Jon know that currently both Jeyne and Theon have been retrieved by Stannis's men and delivered to him in his camp, and Stannis sent "Arya" to the Wall.
      • Ramsay's letter led to infighting in the Night's Watch's garrison at Castle Black, as the Lord Commander Jon decided to involve himself and the Watch in Stannis's campaign against the Boltons, resulting in a group of mutineers led by Bowen Marsh stabbing him multiple times, likely to death.
    15. In the TV series, despite initially wanting to avenge her death, he ultimately decides to feed Myranda's corpse to his dogs instead of giving her a proper funeral, showing just how much he cares for even his "favorite" lover. And at the end of the day, he only sees her as his toy.
    16. In the TV series, he kills his own father (although he deserved it), and then feeds his stepmother and newborn brother to his dogs.
    17. In the TV series snipes the preteen Rickon Stark when he's mere feet away from Jon.
    18. In the TV series, he shoots Wun-Wun in the eye although the poor giant was already at death's doorstep.
    19. In the TV series, he shoots his own men dead twice: when they’re about to gangrape Theon in the woods, and while they’re engaged with Jon and his army during the Battle of the Bastards.
    20. Hypocritically looks down on Jon Snow for being a bastard despite being one himself.
    21. Dies like a coward in the Battle of the Bastards in the TV series, refusing to fight Jon man-to-man until the last minute and then outright panicking when faced with his own hungry dogs. And honestly just in general, he spends all his time terrorizing weaker people whom he knows he can take on with minimal effort.
    22. While not an idiot like Joffrey, he still has the fatal flaw in the form of an utter inability to think things through because he just can't control his sadistic impulses, unlike Roose:
      • Torturing Theon physically and mentally made him totally useless as both a negotiator and a bargaining chip against Balon.
      • While all the other Northern houses are preparing for the upcoming winter and making sure they have enough food to last the entire season, Ramsay has a big private feast after killing all of the livestock. Even while they are facing a siege against Stannis Baratheon, while hosting an entire army of northern vassals and Freys at Winterfell, with limited provvisions, Ramsay still eats too much.
      • Abusing "Arya" in the novels, made him even more hated by his father's vassals, although the North already despised him for all his crime, most notably raping and killing Lady Hornwood. Also, Barbrey Dustin deeply despises Ramsay for suspicions of him killing his half-brother Domeric. Barbery also banishes Ramsay from her castle Barrow Hall, while Ramsay and his father's army are taking residence at the town Barrowton, forcing an enraged and slighted Ramsay to sleep elsewhere during his stay. Barbrey's open contempt and antagonizing against him makes Ramsay furious, but cannot doing anything about it, as Barbrey is a ruling lady out of his reach.
      • Abusing Sansa in the TV series cost him the support of the North as she escaped Winterfell, and sending that threatening letter to Jon later on and declared war on House Stark's remnants.
      • Slaughtering his whole family not only heavily worsened House Bolton's reputation, but also drove it to extinction in the long run since the death of his younger brother ensured that there were no more heirs. Also, Ramsay lacks any of Roose's pragmatism or political savvy, so it goes without saying that he would be a terrible leader even if he didn't die later on.
      • Killing Rickon in the TV series instead of using him as a hostage against Jon results in him getting beaten almost to death by the latter in a fit of justified rage.
      • Having his archers fire upon his own army in the Battle of the Bastards (while also disregarding the possibility of reinforcements on Jon's side) made him lose the battle. Also, he really should've expected a giant to break down the gate once he retreated to Winterfell, and when cornered he has a perfect opportunity to shoot Jon while he's looking away but instead pointlessly shoots Wun-Wun just for the hell of it.
    23. Even Iwan Rheon, Ramsay's actor for the television series, hated Ramsay and wanted his character to die a horrible death.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. Actor Iwan Rheon does a good job portraying him as the bastard that is to the House Bolton.
    2. He would actually have worked as a villain in a less deconstruction setting.
    3. His luck does eventually run out in the penultimate episode of season 6, getting a taste of his own medicine, as Jon Snow brutally defeats him before Sansa feeds him to his own dogs as revenge for assaulting her.

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