While much will be made of Game of Thrones‘ “Home” and what happened to Jon Snow in the final moments, this was not the biggest event of the episode. I mean yes, no one saw Jon Snow getting a haircut (and that whole coming back from the dead thing) but it was a little further South where the real jaw-dropper happened.
Game of Thrones once introduced the idea of the Red Wedding but “Home” gave us the Red Baby Shower. Upon hearing that his stepmother had given birth to a baby son, Ramsay Bolton murdered his entire family, including the newborn. This made Ramsay the only surviving Bolton in the North and made Game of Thrones cross a line that didn’t really need to be crossed.
Ramsay killing his father, stepmother and newborn baby brother are things that are all perfectly in character. Ramsay is a garbage pail of a human being and a complete psychopath. Ramsay has already firmly dethroned Joffrey as the worst character Game of Thrones has ever introduced. There is nothing off limits for Ramsay and that is kind of the problem.
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One of the big reasons that Sansa’s rape at Ramsay’s hands in season 5 was so controversial is because the show didn’t need to make it happen. The audience didn’t need any more reasons to hate Ramsay than they already did. That’s even more true now in season 6. Ramsay’s triple homicide just feels like a step too far.
The reasons and logic (to a mind as twisted as Ramsay’s) are there in the plot. Roose really sealed his own fate by putting so much power in Ramsay’s hands and threatening Ramsay repeatedly. Roose basically told Ramsay that if his wife gave birth to a son, Ramsay’s position of power was shaky at best and completely gone at worst. Roose totally underestimated how awful his bastard son is and paid the price for it by getting killed.
RIP Roose Bolton… I Guess
It is really in the loss of Roose where Ramsay’s actions are the most upsetting. Roose was a terribly awful person. Roose is after all the man who struck the killing blow at the Red Wedding to Robb Stark’s heart. Roose is about as villainous and evil as they come on Game of Thrones but there was something compelling about Roose.
Roose was awful but he was human sort of awful. He was ruthless but he was also extremely cunning. Roose is akin to Tywin Lannister, as the type of man who morally bankrupt but also an adept player of the game of thrones. (Though it is ironic that they were both killed by their sons who they abused for years.)
The real interesting part of House Bolton was not Ramsay, who is again terrible, but rather Roose. Roose was the far more compelling character because his menace more often than not had purpose behind it. Ramsay is just a sadist who loves pain and it is becoming increasingly difficult to watch him.
The Clock Is Ticking
The main issue behind Ramsay’s killing Roose, Walda and the baby is that it feels like yet another example of Game of Thrones cruelly teasing the audience. Since Ramsay was first introduced the show has increasingly upped the ante with his villainy. Ramsay keeps doing horrible and awful things. Someone, usually Roose, points out that Ramsay might be going too far and that it will lead to his downfall. Yet Ramsay just keeps getting worse and just ends up being more powerful.
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Ramsay is not a smart guy. He is just as rabid and vicious as his beloved kennel dogs. Game of Thrones is really all about different ideologies going up against one another. It’s a contest about whose belief system can gain the most power, whose ideas can rule the world. In no world, even a fictional one, should Ramsay be this successful. Ramsay has a complete scorched earth policy. There is no finesse to anything he does, it is just madness. People shouldn’t be willing to follow Ramsay nor should Ramsay be as lucky as he has been so far on the show.
There is something to Game of Thrones’ sharp and grim state of realism. Game of Thrones‘ unflinching world view is probably it’s greatest asset. Awful people “win” way more often than the good guys in the real world and Game of Thrones. It takes a lot more than a strong morality and sense of nobility to survive a harsh and uncompromising world. Ramsay isn’t terrible and devoid of morality though, he’s an idiot. He will turn on anyone or anything for the slightest advantage. This is just as foolish as Ned Stark’s trust everyone mentality that got his own head chopped off.
It’s about time that Game of Thrones stops teasing it’s audience about if Ramsay is going to die and just do it already. There is nothing remotely enjoyable to watching the character anymore. Iwan Rheon is a fantastic actor but Ramsay is a paper-thin character. The next time Game of Thrones goes back to him he should be getting his head chopped and/or his heart stabbed by some combination of Sansa and the newly resurrected Jon Snow.
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But what do you think? Did Game of Thrones go too far with Ramsay? Do you hope this is the season that the character finally dies?
Game of Thrones season 6 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.
(Images courtesy of HBO)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.