Pardon the pun, but I’ve got a bone to pick with Sunday’s Game of Thrones. You know, the episode in which Ramsay Bolton finally got what was coming to him when he was locked in a cell with his starving dogs, who tore him apart like a dollar-store pinata? While the woman he tried to destroy watched?
Look, I hated that human-hunting little jerk as much as the rest of you. It was clear, right from when we met him as he messed with Theon’s head, that he was a terrible person capable of great mind-effery who got near-orgasmic pleasure from offering false hope… and then turning around and cutting off your junk. When Sansa came into his orbit, my feelings about Roose’s bastard went from “avoid at all costs” to “taking off my earrings and getting ready to throw down.” Every time he hurt and raped her, harmed her in ways so intrusive that even now she can only speak of them with the deadest of voices, I wanted him dead. Gone. Dust.
But as Ramsay’s misogynistic, murderous life came to a close after the Battle of the Bastards, I found myself hoping he somehow wouldn’t wind up as fertilizer for the weirwood tree. That doesn’t mean I wanted the known rapist, killer, tormentor and all-around bad guy to skate. I wanted him to suffer long and hard and agonizingly for his crimes, perhaps losing little bits of his body and his sanity along the way, as Theon did during his Reek years. I wanted him to be at the mercy of someone even more demented than he is, so he’d never quite know when the sucker punch was coming, just like Sansa when she shakingly lit the candle and placed it in the window at Winterfell, hoping against hope that Brienne could save her. Maybe I even wanted the dogs to snack on him a little, so he’d know the pain and fear that Walda Frey and her infant experienced when he locked them in the kennels.
However, after Ramsay’s bloody end at the paws of his starving pooches, we’ve now lost one of the show’s last truly wild cannons. Think about it: We know how Daenerys or Cersei or Arya is likely to react to various situations; part of the reason we love them so much is that they are steadfast in their minds and hearts. But Ramsay was a truly demented individual, predictable only in his sadism. I don’t know exactly how I would’ve like to see him continue in the story, but I think Westeros would’ve benefitted from keeping him around for a while.
I’m sure you’ve got your Twitter pitchforks at the ready, so lemme address a few things before you hit that 140-character limit and press “Tweet.” I am in no way suggesting that rapists, real or fictional, should go unpunished for their heinous crimes. I thoroughly enjoyed the brilliantly directed, visually insane episode otherwise. And if Ramsay had to go in the second-to-last episode of the season, I’m glad that at least Sansa got a little satisfaction out of it (as her tiny smile while striding away from the cell suggested).
And hey, I can always pin my hopes on the Mad Queen Cersei theory, right?
What are your thoughts on the timing and manner of Ramsay Bolton’s death? Sound off in the comments!