Game of Thrones is not short on horrible, sadistic characters. From the child abusing Ser Meryn Trant to the traitorous Hamlet aficionado Karl Tanner, there's a lot to hate.
The world of Westeros is home to some of the worst human beings known to man, people so cruel that they'd be denied access to even the Inferno; all seven layers of it!
But no characters, no matter how vicious, how traitorous, how...Olly, can compare to the two spawns of Hades themselves: Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon!
Though these two belong to different Houses, they were most certainly constructed with the same toxic formula of salt, flies and everything putrid! When the show started, fans could all easily agree that Joffrey was the worst, but when Ramsay was introduced, people started taking sides. Both of these characters are HORRIBLE, but who's the worst?
Well, while my esteemed colleague Ian Simpson might try to convince you that Joffrey is the bottom of the barrel, I disagree. Here is why Ramsay of House Bolton is the most malicious fish this side of the Narrow Sea!
We Thought We Could Trust Him!
Believe it or not, there was a time where us viewers weren't suspicious of every single new character that the show introduced to us; back when we were aware of the cruelty of Game of Thrones, but were still a bit oblivious as to how far it would go. Theon Greyjoy, a character you just can't help but feel sorry for, went through a lot in the second and third seasons.
First he betrays the Stark clan, a family that looked out for him more than his own, and then he gets knocked unconscious by his own men, and wakes up in a dungeon room with a man waiting to gruesomely remove his finger nails! It left many fans confused, wondering if they should be happy about Theon's situation, because of his aforementioned betrayal, or just feel sad for the poor guy.
Just when you think it's the end for the sad Greyjoy, along comes this mysterious man heroically riding a horse, like a regular knight in shining armor! Seeing the frightened and weakened Theon, he extends his hand and offers to get him back home.
Then he listens to Theon's whole life story, sympathizing with him and insisting that it's not Theon's fault that he's in this situation. But of course, Theon is at fault, he's the one who betrayed the Starks and stormed Winterfell. But when you see Theon, and hear about his sad life, you think "You've done terrible things man, but I hope you learned from this. Just be glad this kind man is rescuing you! ...Wait, why did he just take you back to the dungeon?"
And that is when you and Theon both come to a shocking and heart wrenching realization: Ramsay is Theon's torturer.
He then decides to make up for all that time he spent pretending to be a decent human being by mutilating Theon and brain washing him into becoming his trusty companion, Reek.
The Way He Kills People When He's Bored
Now, that heading might be a bit confusing, you're probably thinking it should just be called 'He Kills People When He's Bored,' but most villains do that. It's practically a requirement for an evil and unforgiving supervillain to execute those who fail or bore them; but the way Ramsay does it is what separates him from the other criminal masterminds out there.
See, while most villains will just, I don't know, force choke the life out of someone who fails and/or bores them, swiftly ending their lives and go about their day, Ramsay decides to have a little "fun" with his victims.
Ever the creative soul, Ramsay likes to think of ways to torture those he's bored of, his favorite activity being hunting his female admirers, of which, for a man with a heart of pure evil, he has many.
For Ramsay, just killing isn't enough. He finds comfort and joy in beating, hunting, and literally tearing his enemies apart piece by piece! And it's not like you have to do something horrible to deserve this, he'll skin you just for something small and trivial, like saying he looks dirty, or yawning a super weird way.
He Doesn't Have a Plan (and That's Terrifying)
Ramsay is so clever and resourceful that you would think that he had some sort of planning system, or blueprints for all of his evil schemes. But nope! What makes Ramsay the most evil character on Game of Thrones is that he has absolutely no plans, he just goes with the flow.
Such a fact is why every viewer hates him with a passion! If it were any other character, they'd fail in their endeavors due to their poor planning. But Ramsay seems to be getting everything he wants, despite being so careless.
He's got a trusty companion that follows his orders, a crowd of ladies loving him, and he's going to be Warden of the North! Seriously, Ramsay is the luckiest guy around. He kidnapped and tortured a Lord's son for goodness sakes, and has yet to receive any punishment for it! Everyone is just waiting for him to get his just desserts, but Ramsay's having a ball!
So that's why I think Ramsay is the most hated character in the Game of Thrones! Do you agree with me, or is Joffrey your preferred villain?
If that's the case, you can read Ian Simpson's article here, and see his reasons for why Joffrey is the worst!