Throughout its record-breaking seven seasons, Game of Thrones has introduced fans to a multitude of characters, ranging from popular heroes to unanimously despised villains. The show's surprising twists and turns consistently shock audiences, having killed fan-favorites like Jon Snow, Eddard Stark and Oberyn Martell. In order to balance such tear-jerking deaths, the show has brought some of TV's most despicable characters to life.
The show's antagonists have often outdone themselves, providing such compelling portrayals that they've even been treated differenlt in real life. From death threats to the silent treatment, here are five stars who met the wrath of enraged Game of Thrones fans in real life.
Fans Wanted To Punch Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) In The Face
After revealing himself in Season 3, Ramsay Bolton went on to commit a series of heinous crimes. He turned Theon into his tortured pet, raped Sansa, gutted his own father, fed his step-mother and step-brother to his hounds and put an arrow through Rickon Stark. The nature of these crimes were endured by fans as Ramsay quickly become one of the most hated characters to ever appear on the show.
The intensity of his performance was perhaps best proven when Rheon told The Red Bulletin how fans have reacted to meeting him in real life.
"They know we are actors. A few people have come up to me and told me that they wanted to punch me in the face, but thankfully no one has actually tried to yet."
So, although Pilou Asbæk has promised to topple Rheon's Ramsay, he has quite an uphill task.
The Punishment For Shooting Drogon? No Mail For Bronn (Jerome Flynn)!
Despite beginning as a sellsword, Bronn has gone from strength to strength by "killing the right people" and aiding the Lannister brothers in two of the most pivotal battles in the show's history. After cementing his place in the fandom with a cool demeanor and humorous quips, facing a 200ft. dragon should have elevated his status on the long list of beloved characters. Unfortunately, the dragon Bronn was shooting at belonged to Daenerys Targaryen, arguably the audience's favorite character.
During an interview with HBO, Flynn detailed the cold-shouldering that he received after the events of 'The Loot Train Attack',
"I was surprised when I was watching it. I spent weeks on that sequence, but I was on the edge of my seat, the adrenaline was running — they really nailed it. Although since the day the battle aired, I’ve been a little unpopular, I have to say. My postman won’t speak to me because I shot the dragon."
As Game of Thrones has given us a wide array of likable characters, pitting either of them against each other is bound to get some nasty reactions. Although the mailman's silent treatment sounds like a strange response, it just goes to show how Game of Thrones now blurs the lines between good and evil.
Sansa (Sophie Turner) Was Despised For Her Naivety
Although Sansa Stark is currently holding a comfortable position in the North, this wasn't always the case. Sansa's vision of a picture-perfect world where she would be a queen was hard to watch, particularly once Ned Stark was imprisoned and ultimately beheaded. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sophie Turner discussed coming to terms with fans' harsh criticism of Sansa's naivety,
"At first it kind of came as a shock because people didn’t like Sansa; she isn’t a fan favorite. A lot of fans that recognize me go, ‘I kind of hate you,’ and I’m all, ‘Cool, well, you’ve just made this sufficiently awkward.’ I thought I was being personally attacked, but I knew I wasn’t. It was all new to me."
Despite this, Sansa has gone through a series of harsh encounters, which provided her with some interesting character developments. As she played a pivotal role in recovering Winterfell and is now showcasing her intellect by controlling the North, fans might be less scathing to Turner from now on.
Cersei (Lena Headey) Gets Cold Greetings From Fans
Game of Thrones has been home to a long list of villains but the one antagonist that our heroes have never been able to get rid off is Cersei Lannister. Although her path to becoming the Queen of King's Landing wasn't easy, she has emerged victorious due to her unrivaled ambition. Cersei has killed off more than a few fan-favorite characters during her journey to the Iron Throne, making her one of the most famous TV antagonists of all time.
According to Fact Fiend, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) were once seated side-by-side during a book signing and none of the fans wanted their books to be signed by Heady - despite her reign over the Seven Kingdoms. However, this negative reception doesn't end there. In an interview with Conan O'Brien, the actress explained that she'd be greeted in the strangest of ways in her day-to-day life.
Conan O' Brian: "Fans are not shy about their really intense feelings about your character, Queen Cersei. She's tough. I find some redeeming qualities in her myself. But fans can really hate her and they let you know that don't they?"
Lena Headey: "Yes, I mean I guess it's a compliment. When you're buying a table and someone's like, 'You're that f**king bitch of [Game of Thrones]?'"
Instead of being bogged down by these harsh criticisms, Headey is more inclined to take these expletives as a compliment.
With a few more episodes to go and a prophecy to fulfill, fans will surely get a satisfactory ending to the character whose mere presence strikes fear into the hearts of Game of Thrones fans every Sunday.
Olly (Brenock O'Connor) Received Death Threats For Stabbing Jon Snow
Olly was a farm boy from the Gift, whose family was slaughtered by the Wildlings. After the orphan took refuge at Castle Black, he went on to serve the Night's Watch and even exacted his revenge by killing Ygritte. While fans might've understood Olly's sentiments until this point, it was his betrayal to Jon Snow that caused trouble for the actor online.
According to O'Connor, the uproar was so intense that he began to receive death threats from all over the world,
"The fallout on Twitter and other social media was not nice and the barrage has not stopped since the end of the last season, mainly because since the season finished people have been watching it on boxsets. If you get people from Spain and Portugal and all over the world saying they are going to kill your family, you just can’t take it to heart or you would not cope. My family just thinks it is people who wanted to say something, and because of social media, you can say it to people on other side of the world."
Considering the popularity of #JonSnow, it's understandable to be enraged when he was betrayed by his own men. However, projecting all that anger on to a 16-year-old is certainly not the way to deal with those frustrations.
While some fans might've been childish regarding their comments, O'Connor was mature enough to take it in his stride,
"I find it quite funny. I'm not Olly and I did not decide to stab Jon Snow!
It has no effect on me. You can either let it get you down or not think about it. It was such an incredible thing to have that reaction. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not disturbed by people thinking I'm Olly.
It’s a compliment to the show that people believe that. I don’t want to shake off my 'Game of Thrones' character. It is one of the reasons I have got other roles. Every day I'm thankful I got the part."
For better or for worse, these overblown reactions from fans are a testament to the actors' capabilities. They embody their respective characters and provide an immersive experience to the viewers, which explains why people often confuse the performer with the on-screen character. As Game of Thrones progresses towards its Season 7 climax, fans can expect to experience similar heart-wrenching moments, testing our understanding of reality and fiction once again.
Which Game of Thrones character makes your blood boil? Let me know in the comments.