Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton is not a Compelling Villain


Ramsay Bolton, Game of Thrones’ resident most-horrible-person, is now one of the show’s weakest links.

The sixth season of Game of Thrones is just about the halfway point, and so it’s time for the full plot to take form. That includes Daenerys’ return to Mereen, presumably with an army of Dothraki behind her, and Jon Snow’s upcoming war with the North. Jon, with the help of the Wildlings, is going to fight hard against Bolton and attempt to retake Winterfell. If only Ramsay were worth the effort.

That’s a noble cause and not a bad story, and it’s made even more exciting by the fact that Jon is choosing Winterfell over the Night’s Watch for the first time. But the days of Ramsay being a compelling villain are over, and watching predictable scenes in which he’s needlessly ultra-violent have actually become boring.

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Ramsay’s single-minded obsession with getting the Starks out of the way lacks dimension. It’s now what consumes him, unlike earlier when all he wanted was to have a father that would be proud of him. Ramsay was already going downhill before he killed Roose, but that action cemented his fall. With no Reek and no Roose, Ramsay is left to his own devices. And he’s just not that interesting.

It could be said that by the time Joeffery was killed, he had already worn out his welcome. How much more monstrous can you make a monster? Luckily the friction between Joeffery, and well, just about everyone else, kept his scenes interesting up until the bitter end. Ramsay doesn’t have that; he’s just a psychopath.

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It will intimately exciting when Ramsay is felled, and then the characters of Game of Thrones can focus on the actual threat. You know, that army of undead monsters that have been bearing down on Westerns when it’s most plot-convenient for years.