Game of Thrones Season 6 Ramsay Should LIve

Unpopular Game of Thrones Opinion: [Spoiler] Should've Lived

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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. webly3 says:

    Ramsay needed to die. The show is heading into Game of Thrones’s endgame. Yes, it would be more satisfying for everyone if his death was longer and more painful. But, I think it would also detract from the show to spend any more time on Ramsay.

    • Izham Iqbal says:

      i agree he should have suffered longer like cut his limbs and feeding them to the dogs or letting him eat his limbs… but in a way it was a fitting death he adored his hounds and claim they are loyal… to have them eat him was still satisfying

      • Why would using torture the way Bolton did be more satisfying? Jon should have stood up, gotten his sword and handed it to Sansa to do the deed.

        Now show is even more malleable and conniving – just like Fingerer.

        • DL says:

          But that’s the point. Jon is honorable to a fault, to the point that he literally died for it. Sansa, meanwhile, has become more a schemer. The show made a specific point of contrasting this when she and Jon were talking.

    • Temperance says:

      Yup, the story has to start regathering, tying up loose ends for a satisfying conclusion.

    • The Beach says:

      What was such a hoot was that on Sunday night as I watched Ramsey Bolton, a sadistic, evil character meet his brutal end, the same actor was on the Vicious finale where he plays the slightly dim-witted but sweet, caring and lovable upstairs neighbor of two elderly gay men.

      • Ash on Vicious and Ramsey on GoT. This guy has had a great agent, ensuring that he will never be set up in a type casting rut. The only thing missing from GoT last night was if they could have played that Sarah McLaughlin song from the Rescue Animal commercial while he was being eaten.

        • DL says:

          Hahaha somebody really needs to make that a YouTube video now. “My hounds will never harm me…” *cue music* “I will remember you…” *snarl* *chomp* *munch*

  2. 1evilwraith says:

    I get the feeling GRRM will use more than a few pages on how that POS dies, and in a way that will satiate everyone.

  3. Wordsmith says:

    He was a great character to have around, but as the story moves forward, he had to go because he was a stagnant character. Basically, everyone who is left is actively working toward some goal: raise an army, get revenge, cross the sea, rule the kingdoms.
    Ramsey was just sitting and holding the North – he was an obstacle to be overrun. Look for others like him to fall one by one. Next up: Walder Frey.

    • Sks says:

      Hopefully after all her time away training arya will come back in a big way and at least get revenge on one of her targets… Or at least come to a place where she doesnt need revenge. I trust the show.

  4. This sounds pretty sadistic. If you’re willing to take pleasure in causing excruciating pain to another human, it doesn’t matter what your motivation is, that’s sadism.

    • mooshki says:

      He’s not “another human,” he’s a fictional character. She obviously wouldn’t wish this on a real person. And it’s not like she sat around thinking of ways he could be punished – she’s using examples of things he’s done to others. In fantasy you can enjoy revenge without mercy.

    • Jsjs says:

      Ummm maybe you are watching the wrong show?

  5. Kate says:

    The loose crazy man character has already been replaced in Euron Greyjoy. My knowledge of the books and of him is second hand, but he might be way worse than Ramsey but he might be season 7 material since the his ace in the hole (if he has it) might take a little explanation. But, he’s off his rocker, kind of believes he is a god, kind of envisions bringing about the end of the world, and he has an active and logical plan to do it. I mean, given Yara mentioned uncles and that maybe implies we will meet another, if Euron did to him what he may have done in the books, not only has he done everything Ramsey has done, but he might be a pedophile on top of it. They just needed to briefly introduce him to move Yara and Theon on their path, but I imagine they just wanted to focus on one over the top crazy guy before they moved onto the next, who, again, is worse. Then the season finale is back to the quieter crazies (Cersei).

  6. cuius says:

    You sound like a lovable person, Kimberley

  7. analog says:

    Youre going to get Mad Cersei next week anyway when she releases the wildfire.

    (I hope Loras doesnt die when that happens though)

  8. Ron says:

    I’m torn. I get what you’re saying; I think most viewers wanted to watch him suffer for longer the way he made many, many, many others suffer. I’ve heard this opinion elsewhere, so you’re certainly not alone! I, also, would’ve enjoyed that–call me sadistic if you want. On the other hand, he needed to die, I believe this was the right time for him to die, and I’m just glad he’s actually dead. And, personally, given Ramsay’s ego/bravado/narcissism/sadism/etc., I truly believe the greatest torture Ramsay could’ve experienced is exactly what Sansa did–not feed him to his dogs, that’s just great karma. But rather, tell him his house, his name, his memory will be totally and completely forgotten. I think that’s the greatest torture Ramsay could ever know and experience.

  9. Michelle says:

    There is no time to keep Ramsay around. We’re coming to the last 2 seasons? Ep counts will be shortened. We cant waste time on that POS. Having him being ate by his own dogs was satisfying. And having Sansa be the one to do it was worth it. Sorry Theon.

  10. Kat says:

    I didn’t find Ramsay to be a wild card. Just the opposite in fact. His sadism was predictable and boring and lead to a lot of people acting in stupid ways for the plot to work and I thank god he’s gone.

    • Maggie says:

      Yes, Ramsay had gotten predictable. There was no place left to go with the character, but to die. It’s time to start weeding out the unnecessary characters as they move towards the final two seasons. Jon Snow has bigger enemies to fight – The White Walkers.

    • s-k-s says:

      I agree. I actually thought his father was a more interesting character, because his motives were complicated and he was more than just eeeeeeevil. Roose showed intelligence, plotting, etc. Ramsay would never have held the North for long.

  11. Squirrelly says:

    Death was too good for him. Mel should have used her powers to bring him back…Then let someone else take a swing at him.

    …and then bring him back again, and let someone else kill him. Big ol’ queue!

    Kind of like that Itchy & Scratchy episode on The Simpsons where Itchy gets a cloning machine to clone Scratchy and kill him repeatedly. :P

  12. Grey says:

    Tyrion casually mentioning the wildfyre under the sept of Baelor? Oh, the Cersei theory is going to happen next week. RIP Kings Landing

  13. Jess says:

    That’s why it’s called Unpopular Opinion

  14. Simon says:

    He had to go now because focus now needs to be on the white walkers, the biggest threat in all the 7 kingdoms

  15. cookie says:

    Ramsey had become a boring one-note character. I don’t know how anyone would think he’s unpredictable. His motto was, “don’t like someone? Kill them.” Dad, Walda, Osha. It got to the point where I wad rolling my eyes with him. I’m glad he’s dead.

  16. Catherine says:

    After the last couple of episodes I have decided all the rape and horrible things the women have endured has led to a new world order for Westeros. I am starting to believe that it will be the women who will walk away with everything.

  17. kdjd says:

    I get the sentiment and im all for ramsay getting slowly tortured to death, but that isnt in line with the other characters and it would have been unrealistic. They also didnt want him to worm his way out of captiviting somehow.
    Yes he was a great villain but so was joffrey and look how the show florished after he died. Theres too much going on to keep ramsay around and lets not forget cersei is becoming unhinged and theres the faith militant which can be a bit unpredictible.
    It was nice the show gave is the satisfAction of seeing ramsay get his comeupance and im not going to complain.

    • The Beach says:

      I think your post hit the nail on the head. Had Ramsey somehow lived, there would always be the chance that he would somehow manage to slither out of it and that would infuriate too many people, including me. Rot in hell, Ramsey!

  18. L Rau says:

    Does anyone feel that perhaps jon Snow is now UNABLE to be killed??? It sure appeared that way throughout the battle scenes.

  19. Alice says:

    Oh gee look, the writer who defended Jamie Lannister raping his sister also thinks Ramsay Bolton should have lived. I’m shocked.

  20. The Kaibosh says:

    It serves the story telling purpose to dispense with Ramsey: to have him face justice by being torn apart by his dogs. I too also get why some would think his end came too quick and that he deserved more suffering. I would agree. Don’t know if anyone here remembers or watched HBO’s Rome. At the start of Season 2 the gangster Memmio as punishment for his crimes he had his tongue removed, was beaten and placed in a small cage as a pet. Ultimately he went insane as he had scraps of food and bones tossed at him.

  21. TLungu says:

    I think the loss of Ramsay will be found in Euron Greyjoy… he looks very unpredictable and a joy to watch. They are still a lot of unpredicatable players out there i.e. The Sand Snakes, Raegar’s Son and true heir ( if they decide to introduce him), Sansa herself has proven she is NOT predicatable any longer. The evolution of the show is unfolding around that as we speak, plus… The Winter is here, so looking forward to the Night King

  22. BenM says:

    Well this pretty much cements that cersei found the dragon fire.

    I think Balon Greyjoy is the new villain-villain. Not the ‘think they’re doing good’ villain, but the chaotic evil kind.

    I wish they would have kept him, to trade to theon/the Grey joys. Forming an alliance between Winterfell, the iron islands, and Dany. Plus, having Theon and Sansa team up to torture him would have been fitting.

  23. cathms says:

    As much as I would have loved to see him get tortured, I think this death was more meaningful because it showed Ramsey that they didn’t care enough about him to spend that much time killing him. If they had made a spectacle of his death he would have been remembered but, doing it this way he is forgotten, as he should be.

  24. LABete says:

    I’m not a proponent of torture or cruel deaths, but Ramsay got what was coming to him, and Sansa confirmed in her heinous act of final retribution the truth of his last assertion that she does have a little of him as a part of her from now on.

    But I say Good Riddance! The show doesn’t need small potato sadists like Ramsay running loose at this point in the story. The real bad guys are literally at the gate. The Dead are Coming, and all the Westerosi need to wrap up the shenanigans and unite to fight the real enemy if they are to survive the Winter.

  25. Marc says:

    Ramsey was no wildcard, it was always a given that he would do something sadistic. He was predictable one-trick pony (the character). I’m glad he’s done, now we can move on to the business of the real war that’s ahead.

  26. LaurelNix says:

    With only 16-20 episodes left by exec producers account you have to start to tie up these storylines and move forward.

  27. max says:

    I just want to make a small complaint about this article. I haven’t had the chance to watch this episode yet, and while image accompanying the article on tvline’s homepage manages to not give away who you’re talking about, the thumbnail on the tvline’s facebook page not only gives it away but also uses the image above, completely spoiling the final scene and ramsay’s death. It’s just really frustrating as I love this site but this is not the first time it’s spoiled something major for me in a completely carless and unnecessary way. I respect that once you’ve clicked on the article spoilers are fair game but I shouldn’t have to have be spoiled on my facebook homepage.

  28. Zoe says:

    If anyone that died in last night’s episode should’ve survived, it’s Rickon. Ramsey Bolton’s death was cathartic.

  29. Walkie says:

    Meh. Too much story to tell and too little time. His character’s utility has been used up for some time. They had to put him out of his misery and move on.

  30. Erin says:

    Respectfully, nah. When a character’s only attribute is unpredictable sadism, it’s not a character, it’s a plot device. Ramsay was a one-note, stale villain that the show has completely wrung dry. Happy to see him go, not only because he was the worst but because I really don’t think the show has anything else to do with him. I’m really happy that his death scene had some good character work for Sansa. There’s a Littlefinger line in the third book, “Clean hands, Sansa. Whatever you do, make certain your hands are clean.” Doors close, dogs attack, she smiles. Clean hands. I’m really curious to see how they tackle loyalty to Jon in conjunction with the way Littlefinger has shaped her.

  31. Jason says:

    Thr problem with wanting someone worse to torture Ramsey is that there isn’t anybody worse. And if one of our heroes does commits such acts, it cheapens their character. The same thing happened with Joffrey. Somehow, horrible as his demise was, it never felt cruel enough. I firmly believe though, if the show gave us what we think we want, eventually we would start to question our own depravity. Do I really want to see this?
    The fact is, it was time for him to go. The show is drawing towards it’s end and winding up to the big fight. At some point, all of Westeros is going to have to stop bickering with each othe and working toward a common goal. The retaking of Winterfall and throwing down of Ramsey Bolton was a big mile marker on that road. Spending capital to watch him suffer would just take away from what precious little time we have left with the show. I for one would rather have those moments be with characters I’m rooting for.

  32. kaliber says:

    I disagree that he was unpredictable. You said it yourself: “Ramsay was a truly demented individual, predictable only in his sadism.”
    Everything that he did, you could see from a mile away because you *knew* that he would take the most horrible option.
    He had to go because he ripped the soul out of everything he touched. There is only so long a psychopath can prosper before they are brought down. My biggest concern is when he told Sansa “I’m inside you now”. As cringeworthy of a line that was, then she smiled when she walked away while his dogs devoured him. I can’t say I wouldn’t have reacted the same, but it just makes me worry how cold and cruel she will be going forward.

  33. Tess says:

    I know that many people think it would be more satisfying to have him suffer longer (the best case scenario – it would have been Theon’s revenge). Firstly, it wasn’t Theon’s right. As much as I feel sorry for him because even death seemed more merciful but as Tyrion reminded us yesterday… he betrayed Starks and got to live (with himself nonetheless and that is enough). And more than Jon’s it was Sansa’s moment. Because from my perspective – the long torture would take greater toll on the person executing it. Ramsay would have won. He would smirk and laugh because he did everything to them first. But the dogs were the only beings he loved and trusted. The first moment he felt hopeless and betrayed was when his own dogs tore him apart. I found that poetic.

  34. AJ says:

    I get what you’re saying. However, listening to Sansa at the end, this was about making him disappear. Him and his family line, as if he never existed. If he had been allowed to live, and with (potentially) very few remaining episodes of the series, there would have been a focus on “when is he going to die already”, instead of tying up all the other plot threads. This was a pivotal episode for Sansa, as others have been this series. Ending this chapter of her life opens up the rest of her story. This wasn’t about Ramsay. It was about her. She ended things on her terms, in her time. And now…she’ll move on. IMO of course.

  35. “If you acquire a reputation as a mad dog, you will be treated as a mad dog. Taken out back and slaughtered for pig feed.”-Roose Bolton not so long ago…

  36. xyz says:

    The show should be ending in the next couple seasons. It was a great episode but the season has been boring.

  37. Cynthia says:

    Ramsay made such a great villain that no one could top his demented mind. We wouldn’t want our favorite stars to engage in long, cruel torture scenes so we can watch Ramsay suffer. I couldn’t like them anymore.
    Even the actor who portrayed Ramsay said it was time to go :0)

  38. Ana Siqueira says:

    I think the sad part about Ramsay’s death is that Iwan Rheon is a incredible actor just like Jack gleeson and it was so good to watch their amazing performances and hate their despicable characters

  39. Desiree says:

    I totally understand what the writer is saying as far as wanting Ramsay to suffer the way he made others suffer, but his quick and sudden death fits in with the MO of the show. It’s not about what a character may or may not ‘deserve’. Characters die at unexpected times in unexpected ways…even when it seems like they have much more story to tell.

  40. Kathleen S. says:

    I can understand this point of view, but I’m glad they did not prolong his death or torture him for an extended period of time. Not because he didn’t deserve it, but because I don’t want Sansa or Jon Snow becoming anything like him. Killing him with poetic justice more than made their point. He is not worth their time or effort, they have many other things to worry about…

  41. PFitzDC says:

    Kim–Love your recaps, respect your opinion. However, I think you start with a false assumption. You note that Ramsay was the last of the show’s “wild cannons” and yet, I think he was anything but. He was soooo predictable. I mean, with Joffrey, you saw shades of immaturity, petulance, maybe a glimpse of possible redemption through Margaery, amid his cruelty…. but Ramsay? He never ever changed colors, methods or motives. And I got bored wondering what terrible sadistic thing he would dream up next. It was time for him to go, because he offered absolutely nothing to moving the storyline forward. I think Dany will be unpredictable–as Tyrion commented, just how ruthless is she going to be as the Iron Queen? Will she lose her followers–on the show and in the audience? How will Sansa and Jon move forward? And the religion card is big…we have not spent 6 years of Old Gods, The Seven and the Lord of Light (and the Drowned God) to not see some incredible clash of these–and with Dany who seems to have no religion, just dragons. That’s gotta be something that will play out in the remaining seasons.

  42. gina says:

    I’m glad Ramsey died. It was necessary. He wasn’t really adding anything to the show except making it start to get boring.

  43. Nichole says:

    That end scene reminded me of one from season one, where Ned Stark went out to kill a man that had been sentenced to death and Rob asked him why he was going, Ned replied that along the lines of it being respectful that as the person that ordered the death, he should be the one to carry it out, and to show his followers that he can lead. The way Sansa started to turn away, then stopped and made herself watch made me think of that, she had wanted him dead, Ned would have watched even if he didn’t want to. A great scene that in just a few seconds with fantastic acting and direction, you see instantly that just how far Sansa has come since season one and how much like her father she has become. Will miss the fantastic performance from the lad that plays Ramsey though, with his character gone from Our Girl and Vicious ending, I hope he finds a good show to land on soon!

  44. Jan says:

    Why would you put (spoiler) in title if you’re going to have him as your cover image anyway? :/

  45. AG says:

    I don’t totally disagree with your philosophy here. A bastard Bolton end for a Bastard Bolton. Does seem fitting. And perhaps they could have gotten some intel on the Freys or even the Lannisters along the way. Or just had fun. But I do suppose taking a Ramsey Bolton approach to ending Ramsey Bolton may ultimately make the Sansa or Jon or us, the viewer, into Ramsey Bolton. So I think GOT may have done it just right

  46. Jackie says:

    I disagree. We’ve all suffered enough from Ramsey’s sadistic acts. It was time for him to go; and the savageness of his demise was fitting. I literally felt like I was the one punching him while Jon was beating on him. And Sansa getting the final blow was poetic justice perfection.

  47. iwan rheon was great MISFITS a british superhero show its on hulu right now one of the best superhero shows ever

  48. Kailani says:

    Someone shouldn’t get so invested in a fictional character that being eaten alive by his dogs wasn’t a sick and twisted enough death for her. I’m just sayin…

  49. Chad says:

    Horrible Article, you get paid to write that crap! How can I get a job doing what you do cause I know I can write better and I certainly understand why Ramsey Bolton needed to die that way.. Don’t drag it out and mind F him like he did to others, makes you no more man then beast then ever was trust me being torn apart by dogs ain’t a good way to go and I’m sure didn’t feel to good either plus they where his only loyal companions it was only right his life was ended by the hounds, well done HBO, best season of GOT yet, keep it up!