Throughout Game of Thrones we have seen some amazing character development. There have been characters we are rooting for who may make mistakes but are inherently good, such as the Stark bastard, Jon Snow and everyone’s favourite mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen. There are also characters that started out awful, but over time have grown to become beloved characters through their trials – Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is a good example, as is the disfigured Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), also known as The Hound.
And then we have the characters with absolutely no moral compass whatsoever. Those people are what keeps the killing going and makes the show so interesting, especially since viewers can’t possibly imagine them sinking any lower and yet they somehow do. We decided to name the top 5 villains of the show, ranked from the least heinous to the most diabolical.
5. The Night King
Some might place The Night King (Vladimir Furdik) higher since he is leading the army of the undead south to take over Westeros, but honestly aside from raising the dead and giving them captivating blue eyes, wielding a spear to take down a dragon, and grabbing up the occasional wildling baby from Craster’s Keep, we haven’t seen him do anything tremendously horrific… yet.
This coming season hopefully the audience will finally get the backstory of The Night King, which will explain how he came to be and also why he is hell bent on coming south and decimating everyone in his path. George R. R. Martin has done an impeccable job so far in creating rich characters to either love or hate and with The Night King watchers have many questions that still need answering.
4. Petyr Baelish
Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) has been around since the very first episode and most that have watched through season seven know his fate. He was something of an enigma since it was difficult to tell exactly who he was loyal to and what his final goal was. It was obvious he still loved Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) but since he tried and failed to win her hand in marriage, dueling Brandon Stark and losing miserably, it’s almost as if he is so overcome with bitterness with the whole affair that he truly intends to destroy the Starks instead of trying to protect them. He is overall just a really creepy dude, but powerful with his connections and wealth. Never losing his temper and always speaking in calm measured tones, those around him seem to have a hard time realising where his devotion lies.
The scene that shows how conniving he truly is comes in Season 2, Episode 1, ‘The North Remembers’, where he encounters his working girl, Ros (Esmé Bianco), who is finding it hard to perform her duties after witnessing one of Robert Baratheon’s bastard babies viciously murdered right in front of her. He attends to her and appears to be trying to comfort her; however, what he is really doing is threatening her to get over it and get back to work to make him money or else.
His last effort to manipulate people to serve his own purposes was pitting Sansa against her own sister, Arya (Maisie Williams) in Season 7, Episode 7, ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’. Fortunately, the girls became wise to his antics and instead he became another of the many casualties of the tale.
3. Cersei Lannister
Now some would say that Cersei (Lena Headley) is by far the worst villain on Game of Thrones, and while she might be a sincerely evil person, at her core she’s just an extremely overprotective mother who enjoys the company of her brother more than anyone else. Granted, about midway through the series she definitely makes the bend to crazy-town, and seems out to destroy as much as she can before she is gone. But Cersei comes across a much better mother than the revered Catelyn. Nothing gets in the way of Cersei and her babies, and now that she has another on the way this ultimate helicopter parent will be spinning even more out of control (one hopes!).
If there was a way to wager who lives or dies in this series, Cersei would not be the wisest bet. That just leaves sitting back and waiting to see exactly how she does meet her demise.
2. Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) was the kind of psychopath that somehow manages to be as charming as he is vile. There was something about the way he was torturing poor, lost Theon Greyjoy that was barbaric and yet, hilarious. He was succinct and straightforward and was just very passionate about getting the tasks assigned to him done. He does not give off the same type of malicious vibe that you feel from other villains. And yet, he is still quite terrifying.
Sadly, Ramsay is no longer with us, but most viewers are flooded with his memory every time that Theon (Alfie Allen) graces the screen with his presence and his lack of manhood. It is impossible to forget that Ramsay created Reek.
1. Joffrey Baratheon
And the winner of the title of the worst villain is the love child created by twins Cersei and Jamie Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). He’s only a teenager for his time on the series but sadistic and ruthless are just a few ways to describe the boy. He loved to flex his power as King on every single person he came into contact with. The boy-King enjoyed the torture and havoc he caused and never showed remorse for the hateful things he instigated.
The most heinous things he perpetrated were against Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), his once fiancée, where he ordered her stripped and beaten and forced her to look at her decapitated father after promising not to harm him.
His death was probably the most celebrated of the series so far, and his character will not be missed. Mostly because as one antagonist is eliminated, like an evil hydra, three more spring up in their place.
As the beginning of Season 8 looms, it will be interesting to see who the standout villains will be this spring and summer. Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), The Night King, and perhaps some new characters will be thrown into the mix for viewers to despise. One thing is for sure, there are no shortage of wicked characters for Game of Thrones.
Do you agree with our choice of villains? Leave us a comment and tell us your top 5.