Game of Thrones has a greyscale morality, where even the supposed heroes are sketchy enough to do questionable deeds for the “greater good.” And yet, a few chosen ones still stand out from the garbage pile. There are villains that you’d love to hate and then there are those whom you wish a slow, painful death upon. And these malevolent miscreants would have done the Mad King himself, Aerys Targaryen, half-proud and half-paranoid enough to wipe out the competition.
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13) Viserys Targaryen
He sold out his sister to a Dothraki tribe and would go to any lengths, even let an army rape his sister if he had to, just to claim the Iron Throne for himself. We were only too glad to see this Prince finally get his crown of molten gold.
12) Alliser Thorne
Viewers paid no mind to Jon Snow’s regular rival at the Night’s Watch stomping around like a schoolyard bully. That was until Alliser staged mutiny against the Lord Commander, ultimately backstabbing by, uh, frontstabbing him.
11) Meryn Trant
The foulest member of the Kingsguard enjoyed beating up Sansa and was revealed to be a dirty pedophile. Good thing Arya finally crossed him off her kill list before he brought any more harm.
10) Gregor Clegane
The Mountain is a bloodthirsty knight who slaughtered Rhaegar Targaryen’s wife Ellia Martell and their children. He brutally kills and rapes for fun. Ser Gregor almost received his much-deserved comeuppance during the trial by combat against Oberyn. Almost. Let’s hope someone like Arya can take him down once and for all.
9) Roose Bolton
The Lord of Deadfort is a dreadful character, indeed. Lord Bolton was one of Robb Stark’s trusted lieutenants before betraying him in the infamous Red Wedding. We also have him to blame for bringing Ramsay into this world. We can’t blame Roose’s bastard for being a psychopath since the guy wasn’t the best father at all; he even told his son that he had raped his birth mother under a tree where her husband was hung.
8) Tywin Lannister
Lord Tywin was a brilliant tactician and also in the running, alongside Roose Bolton, for worst dad ever. He treated his own children like crap, put Tyrion on trial and stole his girl. Plus, he ordered the hit on Rhaegar’s family by The Mountain and had a hand in orchestrating the Red Wedding. He would cut down anyone else who got in the way. Remained loyal to no one but his own House.
7) Euron Greyjoy
Whatever rock star camp he attended in between seasons 6 and 7 turned him into a Jack Sparrow knock-off. Make no mistake though, the smarmy git is an agent of chaos, successfully sacking both Yara and the Unsullied’s fleet in the last two episodes. He even clamjammed what would have been an exciting tryst between Yara and Ellaria. What an asshole!
6) Petyr Baelish
You can blame Littlefinger for kickstarting the events of GoT by convincing Lysa Arryn to kill Jon Arryn and betraying Ned Stark, which ultimately led to his beheading. There’s nothing that the shit-stirrer extraordinaire could scheme his way out of and can easily manipulate others to do his bidding. We are also eternally skeeved out by his creepy uncle routine with Sansa. How is this guy still alive?!
5) Cersei Lannister
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The newly crowned ruler of the Seven Kingdoms has already been called the Mad Queen this early into her reign. With all her children dead, this is a woman with nothing to lose and gets turned on by torturing her enemies. And to our utter horror, she’s been winning the past few episodes against an army backstopped by dragons she seems already prepared to take on, taking down the Dornish invasion and wiping out House Tyrell. Let’s not forget the grand fireworks display that was the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. The late, great Lady Olenna’s right: She’s a disease that keeps spreading. Maybe the cure is a good dose of dragonfire.
4) The High Sparrow
The most troubling thing about a self-righteous, faith militant like him is that he can easily gain power in the present day. The religious fanatic demands absolute obedience like a tyrant would, except under the guise of piety. (Now that sounds painfully familiar in real world context!) At least the others on this list actually acknowledge their misdeeds. Thankfully, the High Sparrow was blasted by wildfire—and not a moment too soon.
3) Walder Frey
His violation of an age-old custom and gleeful cackling during the Red Wedding infuriated many a viewer. The crusty, old man couldn’t even do the dirty work himself and remained a sinister spectator. If you didn’t cheer on as Arya did her epic clapback serving up justice with human pies and poisoned wines, then you are lying to yourself. His cowardly pleas of mercy at the hands of a Stark were music to our ears.
2) Ramsay Snow/Bolton
He may have earned a last name, but he was still a bastard in more ways than one. If Ramsay had a Bingo card for all the despicable acts he had committed then he’d cross out every damn box. Ramsay was also responsible for torturing Sansa and the death of Rickon. He didn’t just tear down other physically but also mentally (See: Reek). Listing down his vile acts would take us a long time. And cutting someone’s dick off is so not cool!
1) Joffrey Baratheon
Long gone but not forgotten, the short-lived King had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Even Ramsay was funny in a warped kind of way and had his share of fans. This sociopath was annoying AF for talking big and then cowering away like a wuss at the sign of a real fight. He taunted, he humiliated, and preyed on the powerless, but he couldn’t back up his shit when someone stood up to him. Seeing his eyes bulge out, his skin turning a sickly shade of purple, and bleeding out was such a treat to witness after years of suffering his onscreen bullshit. Yeah, maybe Jaime Lannister should have just wiped himself off on a towel instead of bringing this abomination to life. And to quote the Hound, “Fuck the king!”