The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros | House Stark (House Stark Children [Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark] | House Stark Household) | House Bolton (Ramsay Bolton) | House Karstark | House Mormont | House Reed | Other Northern Houses | House Lannister (Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, House Lannister Household) | House Clegane | House Baratheon of Kings Landing (Joffrey Baratheon) | House Targaryen (Daenerys Is Court [Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister] | Servants of Daenerys) | House Baratheon of Storms End and Dragonstone (Stannis Baratheon) | House Greyjoy (Theon Greyjoy) | House Arryn (Petyr Baelish a.k.a "Littlefinger") | House Tully | House Frey | House Tyrell | House Tarly | House Martell (Sand Snakes) | The Free Cities | Slaver's Bay | The Dothraki Sea and the Red Waste | Qarth | The Night's Watch | Royal Court | The Order of the Maesters | The Kingsguard | Wildlings | Brotherhood Without Banners | The Faith of the Seven | Red Temple | Independent Characters | Theatre Troupe | Supernatural Beings
See also the book character sheet for these characters.
Only spoilers from the current season will be hidden, so beware spoilers if you're not up to date on the episodes.
An old and powerful Northern house, vassals and ancient rivals of House Stark. Their seat is the Dreadfort, a castle which controls the eastern-central North.
In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, which they participated in, House Bolton has been promoted by Tywin Lannister, taking all of House Stark's former titles, including Lordship of Winterfell and Wardenship of the North.
- 0% Approval Rating: They aren't particularly loved by the Northern Houses, especially when they become the new Wardens of the North. Even Littlefinger calls them the most despised family in the North, particularly Ramsay. Must have something to do with all the flaying and torturing...
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: After Ramsay takes Moat Caitlin, the Boltons and their forces move into the ruined Winterfell.
- Ancestral Weapon: Averted. Instead of having an inherited sword, they just have flaying knives — a "signature weapon" but one that isn't passed down from one generation to the next.They passed down not a Valyrian greatsword, but a knife — honed and thin enough to fit between the topmost layer of skin and the tissue below... and peel.
- Arch-Enemy: House Bolton were historically the chief rivals to House Stark for hegemony over the North. A revolt against their liege lords ended with their defeat, much like House Reyne vs Lannister; though the Starks, with their characteristic generosity, allowed the Boltons to remain standing after they bent the knee. For a long period they were, as Roose so haltingly intones in the History and Lore videos, "the second greatest house". His betrayal of Robb Stark and conspiring with the Lannisters and Freys to kill him and other Stark loyalists at the Red Wedding revives the old grudge big time. For his betrayal, Roose is rewarded with the Starks' titles and their ancestral seat Winterfell, the first time they hold the upper hand over the Starks, and the only time, as in Season 6, Ramsay murders his father Roose Bolton, step-mother Walda and his newborn half-brother, and is later defeated and executed, ending House Bolton forever as a threat to the Starks.
- Asshole Victim: An entire House composed of sadists and traitors, no one feels bad once they become extinct.
- Badass Longcoat: Nasty and abusive as the guards of the Dreadfort may be, they do have some rather nice long coats and hoods on them, a very fitting and imposing winter attire.
- Dark Is Evil: Unlike their book counterparts, Roose and Ramsay have a tendency to wear dark grey and black clothing. Additionally, the background of their sigil is black rather than pink.
- The Dreaded: Deconstructed. Roose does use fear to keep his vassals in line, but Ramsay goes overboard, and instead comes to be hated as well as feared, which just makes things more difficult for the Boltons in the long run. Sansa ends up running away in large part out of fear of what Ramsay could do to her, which as Roose points out, would invite rebellion from the North, and the wrath of the Iron Throne.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Roose is willing to betray and murder his king and liege-lord, openly admits to committing rape in the past, but could not bring himself to kill his bastard son Ramsay when he was first brought to him as a baby. This from a man who took part in an unthinkable violation of sacred guest right (though technically, he wasn't the host but was one guest attacking another). Ultimately subverted when it turns out that Ramsay has no such compunctions about kinslaying.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: House Bolton is effectively extinct at the end of Season 6, with all their members being killed by Ramsay and him finally meeting his end after the Battle of the Bastards. Sansa confirms that their lands, name and titles will be completely erased from history.
- Evil Overlord: Deconstructed Character Archetype. Roose's pragmatism allows him to understand that he has to placate the North in order to keep them in line. Ramsay doesn't, so when he takes control, the only Houses to stay loyal are the Umbers and the Karstarks, who do so out of hatred of the Wildlings and the Starks respectively. Every other House is either neutral or fighting against them because they hate the Boltons that much. In the end, Ramsay's Stupid Evil antics end up destroying his hold on the North and House Bolton.
- Evil Will Fail: House Bolton is destroyed by their own penchant towards cruelty and backstabbing nature.
- FaceHeel Turn: Never the most heroic bunch in the first place, they betray the Starks and turn fully villainous in "The Rains of Castamere".
- Family Eye Resemblance: As in the books, both Roose◊ and Ramsay◊ have noticeably pale blue eyes that enhance the menacing stares they put on whenever they start to physically or psychologically torment people. Hell, they even do the same creepy half-closed◊ eyelids◊ blinking.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: While Roose Bolton is more intelligent than most of them, their reliance on pure brutality to take the North is beginning to backfire. For instance, due to their tendency to have very sociopathic soldiers they have very little support among commoners and their high value hostages tend to lose value after being tortured by their men. Combatants who have become aware of their reputation are now also reluctant to surrender to them, making their wars more difficult than they need to be. Indeed, this forces Roose to enter into a risky alliance with Littlefinger and engage Ramsay to Sansa, a known fugitive persecuted by his Lannister patrons, to get whatever little legitimacy as he can claim.
- Flaying Alive: A traditional practice of House Bolton, supposed to be banned nowadays. Done for punishment, interrogation or simply for fun, as Ramsay demonstrates.
- Foil: House Stark represents the best qualities of the North: honor, cooperation, loyalty and humility. House Bolton represents the absolute worst: cold, unfeeling, savagery, cruelty, and betrayal.
- Genocide Backfire: They tried to wipe out the Stark bloodline. The Stark remnants fighting back and Ramsay's own Stupid Evil tendencies led to the Bolton bloodline's extinction instead.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Dreadfort is their castle. Season 4's title sequence finally shows the Bolton seat on its clockwork map: a fairly standard and architecturally unimpressive stronghold compared to some of the other pieces in Westeros or Essos, but very scary location on the map. The Dreadfort is jarringly gritty brown with its flesh-pink paint fading, damaged by scratch marks and stained with dried blood, enclosed by spiked battlements, sharp triangular merlons, and towers shaped like meat tenderizers, and its centerpiece displays what looks like a tanned piece of flayed skin with the Bolton sigil painted on it, being stretched over a miniature torture rack by the rotating gears of the map.
- Karmic Death: After stabbing their liege lords in the back and usurping lordship of the North from them, how does House Bolton meet it's end? One of their own members murders every other member of the family thus ensuring that there are no more heirs left, The Remnant of House Stark return and slaughter their army, and the last member is left to brutally die with the promise that House Bolton will disappear from the face of history.
- Klingon Promotion: They murder the head of the Stark family, and replace them as the Wardens of the North.
- Not So Different: Says Roose in the Season 3 Blu-ray history and lore...
- Obviously Evil: Their symbol is a flayed man. They're not nice people, to the point of often making the Lannisters look reasonable and friendly in comparison.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the books, the main colour of House Bolton is pink as opposed to black and red. While the colours of the Boltons in the show are more stereotypically evil, a faithful adaptation would probably just have resulted in them looking ridiculous on-screen, so the change is understandable. (It's still a lightish red.)
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The House banner, with the red part being exposed muscle fiber of the flayed man.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Ramsay looks a lot like Roose, with softer features and not-yet-thinning hair; essentially his father as a Pretty Boy, which is likely how Roose looked in his youth.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The end result of Roose and Ramsay's Adaptational Attractiveness.
- Token Evil Teammate: They were definitely this for the North when they were fighting alongside the Starks. Even before the War of Five Kings they were seen as this to the North, though Ned Stark tried to get them to calm down by outlawing flaying. It didn't work. In many ways, their betrayal was somewhat forshadowed by how, any time the North side were shown engaging in war crimes (particularly rape), if it was confirmed which house they belonged to, it was Bolton.
- Torture Technician: The family's traditional hat is flaying, probably the cruelest torture ever thought up by man. Their cruelty also manifests itself in more subtle forms, such as psychological torture of people. Their family motto may be "Our blades are sharp," but their guiding principle is summed up often in the series as, "a naked man has few secrets, a flayed man has none."
- Troll: A common trait shared by the Bolton family members and their servants, is a weird enjoyment of emotionally tormenting their captives in pointlessly cruel ways for no reason other than the lulz.
- Fittingly, as the have some in common with a actual noble house called Trolle
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Deconstructed. Roose only gets away with his betrayal and usurpation due to the depletion of the Stark forces at the Red Wedding, and the backing of the Lannister controlled Iron Throne. Even then, Roose has to use his political savvy to keep the Bolton regime intact, as many of his vassals want to see him gone.
- Un-person: Sansa vows to Ramsay, moments before his execution, that the legacy of House Bolton will be completely wiped from the history books:Sansa: Your words will disappear, your House will disappear, your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.
- "X" Makes Anything Cool: Including desecrated corpses! The saltire motif is prominently displayed on Bolton heraldry and paraphernalia, and represents the Saint Andrew's Cross-like torture frame that they bind their victims to. Even the Bolton forces' little figurine◊ on Robb Stark's map has the screaming flayed man on an X-frame.
Lord Roose Bolton
Played By: Michael McElhatton
Lord of the Dreadfort and head of House Bolton. Bannerman of Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings, he betrays Robb and murders him during the massacre at Edmure Tully's wedding at The Twins. Roose is then appointed Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount and Warden of the North by Tywin Lannister as a reward.
- Abusive Dad: Although he spoils Ramsay with titles and lands, he's also verbally abusive towards him as well. Whether this is to curb his Stupid Evil tendencies or started them in the first place is uncertain.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, he's described as "neither handsome nor plain". His voice is also described as soft and whispery in the books, but McElhatton's deep, smooth voice has earned him quite a few fangirls. He's also not as pasty white as he is in the books.
- Adaptational Badass: In the books, Roose commands an army but there is no evidence that he actually fights. In the show, the first time we see Roose, his face is splattered with blood, making it clear that he fought.
- Adaptational Dumbass: This man is far dumber than his book counterpart. The book version of Roose does not constantly threaten his psychologically unstable son with taking away his inheritance, and he keeps Ramsay at a safe distance at all times.
- Adaptational Villainy: Not that Book Roose isn't evil, but at least he clearly hates Ramsay for murdering Domeric. In the show, since Domeric is Adapted Out, Roose is somewhat more sympathetic with Ramsay and tolerates his sadism much more. Due to Domeric's absence from the show, one of Roose's only Pet the Dog moments in the books was also Adapted Out. From the books...
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the books, Roose is a medieval health nut who drinks hippocras (spiced wine believed to have medicinal properties) and advocates the health benefits of prunes and leeching to the extent that many call him "the leech lord". The show has none of this, with even his adaptational The Teetotaler trait based on alertness rather than health.
- Asshole Victim: It's downplayed due to being done by Ramsay who is several magnitudes worse, but Roose's death was still a case of this.
- Badass Baritone: Has a very deep and commanding voice.
- Badass Cape: Roose owns a very dashing fur cloak. Complete with a subtle Cape Swish in Season 2. He also fought with his men as can be seen with the blood on his face.
- Beardness Protection Program: Develops one in the interim between Season 3 and 4, to travel incognito from The Twins because the Greyjoys are blockading the main land route. In his persona, it doubles as a Beard of Evil.
- Bearer of Bad News: He is the primary bearer of bad news for Robb Stark: that Hoster Tully has died, that Winterfell has been seized by the Ironborn, and that Winterfell has been sacked. He also tries to invoke this to Jaime by trolling him about Stannis' attack and taunting him with the possibility that Cersei and the others might have died.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Tywin, he's the main antagonist in the Northern storylines from Season 3 until Season 6, when Ramsay kills him.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Played with. He is a high-functioning sociopath himself, but he serves to rein in Ramsay's tendencies toward averting his Pragmatic Villainy. When he is murdered by Ramsay, the latter's unrestrained sadism leads to the end of House Bolton.
- Composite Character: Takes Edwyn Frey's place as the Red Wedding conspirator who reveals to Catelyn that the whole thing is a trap.
- Cool Sword: The hilt◊ of his sword is specifically designed to resemble an inverted headless flayed man, with the guard formed by his outstretched arms.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a very wry, dark sense of humor.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Among the Northern lords, he sticks out like a sore thumb. While every other Northern lord has a beard, he is almost clean-shaven (before Season 4, anyway). They have rough Northern English accents, he has a vague upper-class Irish accent. They are brash and in-your-face, he is cold and subtle. They suggest a quick death, he suggests flaying people alive for information. The man's sigil is a flayed man and he shows absolutely zero emotion or sympathy while giving Robb nightmarish news.
- Demoted to Extra: Plays a significantly smaller role after the Red Wedding, with his book role of Evil Overlord of the North and Big Bad for Stannis/the Stark Loyalists being taken by Ramsay. Eventually gets stabbed to death by Ramsay. Ironically enough, this happened after his actor got added to the main cast list.
- Disapproving Look: Pretty much his facial expression the entire time during 'Kill the Boy' when Ramsay is parading Theon/Reek around in front of Sansa.
- Also when Robb help Talisa take care a Lannister footsoldier.
- Dissonant Serenity: He suggests torture and execution in the same tone that most people would suggest grabbing a bite to eat, as though such a thing were second nature to him. Then you realise that his sigil is a skinless corpse.
- Don't Create a Martyr: Orders Ramsay to give up his idea of assassinating Jon Snow, as killing the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch would turn all Houses of the North against the Boltons.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After being a major character since Season 2, he's murdered by Ramsay with very little fanfare in the second episode of Season 6.
- Establishing Character Moment: Is first seen touring the battlefields with Robb, calmly reporting the massive enemy casualties and recommending the flaying of enemy officers in a rather cold and clinical tone of voice.
- Evil Counterpart: To Ned Stark. He is the head of a powerful house in the North, (at least tried) to mentor Robb, usurped Ned's title as Warden of the North and Lord of Winterfell after murdering his son Robb.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Even Roose is taken aback by Gregor Clegane's massacre of the prisoners at Harrenhall.
- You could also say that Roose at best tolerates Walder Frey's leering tendencies and pleasure he took in the Red Wedding, whilst Roose simply sees it as a case of I Did What I Had to Do as House Bolton would have been wiped out by Tywin otherwise.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For what it's worth, he seems to treat his new wife Walda Frey kindly enough. His son on the other hand....
- Evil Mentor: Tries to be one to Robb. Definitely is one to Ramsay. His "mentoring" of them is actually the opposite approach to reach the same goal: Roose tries to make Robb become more sadistic and cruel, while he tries the opposite with Ramsay. In the end, it's for the ultimate goal of making them embrace his own pragmatic villainy.
- Evil Overlord: As Warden of the North belonging to a House with a sinister reputation for flaying enemies, Roose fits the trope with a more practical flavor, as he wants to keep his domain in control with more than just fear and terror.
- Exact Words: Jaime, sarcastically, asks Bolton to tell Robb Stark that "the Lannisters send their regards" concerning Edmure Tully's wedding. Roose relays the message before he personally kills Robb.
- FaceHeel Turn: Not that he was much of a Face in the first place.
- Fake Guest Star: His actor is only billed as a guest star from Seasons 2-4 despite Roose being one of Robb's top lieutenants and eventually The Starscream. He eventually gets the Promotion to Opening Titles starting Season 5, which doesn't last long because he dies early in Season 6.
- Famous Last Words: "You'll always be my first-born."
- Faux Affably Evil: Roose Bolton seems like a calm, polite, accommodating and respectful man. Truth is, he's a borderline sociopath who resides in the Dreadfort, has his prisoners subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture, and takes pleasure in inflicting emotional pain and cruelty.
- Flaying Alive: His preferred method of interrogation. Hell, the sigil of House Bolton is a flayed man. The fact that Eddard Stark outlawed it in the North doesn't seem to have deterred him.
- He's one for Tywin Lannister as both are stoic, Manipulative Bastard characters with posh accents as well as deconstructions of the Evil Overlord trope. Whilst Tywin is all about sending a message to people who cross him, Roose is all about trying to keep his own sadistic impulses in check. They also have sociopathic descendants, a son and grandson respectively who practice Stupid Evil, and employ another psychopath to do their bidding (Gregor Clegane for Tywin, Locke for Roose). Whilst Tywin is able to completely domineer King Joffrey due to being two generations his senior, whilst Roose ultimately fails to control Ramsay and dies due to letting his guard down. They also both wanted to kill their sons (Tyrion and Ramsay, respectively) when they were babies but for different reasons: Tyrion's birth killed Tywin's wife Joanna, while Ramsay was the product of Roose's raping a peasant girl. Both Tywin and Roose end up killed by their respective sons as well.
- He is also everything Ned Stark hates: treacherous, deceitful, dishonorable, cruel, hypocritical, and opportunistic. Also, contrast their treatment of their illegitimate sons:
Bolton: My banners, not yours. You're not a Bolton, you're a Snow.
- To Ramsay:
Ned: You are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood.
- To Jon:
- It's ironic that in the end, Roose did the one thing that Ned, who lovingly raised Jon and brought him up as one of his sons, never did: legitimize his bastard son, give him the family name, and make him his heir — at the same time, according to GRRM, Roose only did this because he had no other choice and states: "Ramsay gets nothing from Roose."
- For the Evulz:
- Zigzagged. Roose shuns mistreating high-profile prisoners because there's nothing to gain from it and is aware of the dire repercussions it may bring. However, if he can get away with being a dick, he will be a dick just because people's reactions amuse him.
- Later, he's quite upset at Ramsay destroying Theon's value as a hostage, as it means there's no chance of an alliance with the Greyjoys and solidifying his new position as Warden of the North will be much harder.
- Genre Blind: Despite the fact that he was very astute in almost every other regard, he fails to realize that repeatedly taunting his psychopathic son about his uncertain position as heir and then dropping his guard around him is a very bad idea.
- High Collar of Doom: He occasionally wears his collar up, most notably at the Red Wedding. Of doom, indeed...
- Hypocrite: Becomes this in hindsight. Remember when he called the Greyjoys "treasonous whores"?
- Iconic Sequel Character: He does not appear in the series until Season 2.
- Icy Blue Eyes: The actor's natural eye colour, like his book counterpart.
- Idiot Ball: Had Roose not engaged Ramsay to Sansa, he could still have counted on the support of the Iron Throne, not rely on Littlefinger and not empower Ramsay with a Stark bride, and pave the way for the death of his wife and newborn heir.
- Jerkass: Smalljon was right - the man really was nothing short of a cunt.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- These are his claims to Walder Frey for betraying Robb Stark, noting that he refused to listen to Roose's advice and knowingly broke a marriage contract and compromised any real chance to win their war. Though he and Walder exchange a Psychotic Smirk, by remembering their "forever young" Wolf, which suggests they were angling for a chance to screw him over anyway.
- He makes it clear he doesn't have a high view of Ramsay and sees him as a vicious fool who causes problems for his rule. His dim view of Ramsay is repeatedly shown to be completely justified.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: He manages to get away with the Red Wedding and the conquer of Moat Cailin. He also manages to repel the Dragonstone army without suffering any particular loss. He meets his end thanks to his only decent acts shown onscreen: wanting to protect Walda and their newborn son.
- Karmic Death: For two main reasons.
- He gets betrayed and fatally stabbed, just like how he betrayed and fatally stabbed Robb.
- Ramsay is Roose's Child by Rape, who was raised into a cruel sadist by his father. Its only fitting that Roose be destroyed by the monster whom he created.
- Klingon Promotion: Appointed to Warden of the North by Tywin Lannister, after killing his king and liege.
- The Lancer: He is this to Robb's Hero, after Theon betrays him.
- Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: All of Roose's actions for the protection and benefit of House Bolton unravel almost instantly after his death and House Bolton is destroyed and doomed to be forgotten.
- Loophole Abuse: Practically his specialty. When Bolton suggests flaying the prisoners for information, Robb tells him that Ned outlawed flaying in the North. Bolton counters that they're not in the North. When Walder Frey proposed a marriage deal to him, Frey offered to pay Bolton the girl's weight in silver as a dowry, and so Bolton picked the fattest Frey granddaughter he could find.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Played With. Roose understands that ruling only through fear and tyranny is a good way to get people to rise up against you.Roose: We can't hold the North with terror alone.
- Manipulative Bastard: Boy howdy. It's something that establishes him as a Token Evil Teammate.
- Mask of Sanity: Roose shares his son's sadism. He's just a lot better at hiding it.
- Meaningful Name: A guy whose name sounds exactly like 'ruse' becomes The Starscream.
- New Era Speech:Roose: Tell me what you see!
Roose: Not nothing, the North! Ride 700 miles that way you're still in the north, 400 miles that way, 300 miles that way. The North is larger than the other six kingdoms combined, and I am the Warden of the North. The North is mine!
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Roose taunts Ramsay one too many times on being his Spare to the Throne. This not only results in Ramsay committing patricide, but also murders his little brother and step-mother out of spite so that he can be the only heir. When Ramsay meets his end at the end of Season 6, this results in House Bolton being exterminated in its entirety. All because Roose couldn't help from taunting Ramsay over being a bastard.
- Not So Stoic: He is visibly caught off-balance by the news of Bran and Rickon Stark being still alive.
- Obviously Evil: Aside from his generally creepy mannerisms and eagerness to torture for information, it should be reiterated: Bolton is the Lord of the Dreadfort. Nevertheless he's much less Obviously Evil than in the books, and Benioff and Weiss carefully hid this particular lead in Season 3 both by greatly lessening Bolton's Obviously Evil qualities and established him more as a straight-up Colonel Badass and by making Rickard Karstark much more evil. And then came the Red Wedding, at which point both the Starks and the audience were likely underestimating his evilness.
- Oh, Crap!: Has a subtle one after Ramsay reveals that Bran and Rickon are still alive, which could cause the Northern houses to rally to the Starks banner and place the Boltons' control of the North in jeopardy.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- The only time he expresses worry is when he informs Lord Walder that the Blackfish has escaped.
- Seeing him smile is usually a good indication that something horrible is about to happen — or already has happened. Seeing him look positively mellow and enjoying himself? Crossbows may be involved.
- He very subtly expresses worry again, when he finds out that Bran and Rickon are still alive.
- He's still The Stoic about it, but Sansa's escape clearly rattles him as he has essentially lost his key to holding the North.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Roose is a very skeptical man and in the Blu-ray lore he dismisses most of the legends about House Stark and even his own.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He once had a trueborn son who died, leaving him with that son's illegitimate older sibling Ramsay.
- Pet the Dog:
- He's actually quite nice to Walda, considering the way Ramsay was conceived and the fact that instead Walda seems rather pleased of their marriage. It's also clear that he's not letting Ramsay hurt her. How much this is due to the fact that Walda will give him a heir, however, will remain unknown.
- Roose raises his bastard son, Ramsay, entrusts him with command, eventually legitimizes him Ramsay becomes his heir after Ramsay murders him and his baby brother, just to make sure he'll be the next Lord Bolton, and tells Ramsay he will always be his "firstborn" after the birth of a trueborn son by Walda Frey. However, this is subverted in that Roose treated Ramsay very poorly, did not include him in castle life while he was growing up, and only legitimized Ramsay once his trueborn son was gone, realizing Ramsay was all he had left. In HBO's featurette 'Bastards of Westeros,' GRRM states, "Ramsay gets nothing from Roose," and contrasts Roose as a 'dark counterpoint' with Ned, who loved and raised his bastard child, Jon, as one of his sons alongside his trueborn children at Winterfell.
- Pragmatic Villainy: "The high road's very pretty Your Grace, but you'll have a hard time marching your army down it."
- Roose was genuinely shocked and upset when Locke arrived with Jaime missing his sword-hand. He's fine with torture but pointless brutality is obviously distasteful to him. Not because of morality, but because it risked damaging his attempt to curry favor with Tywin Lannister and that's a man even Roose doesn't want to cross by maiming his eldest son.
- When he sees that Ramsay has tortured Theon Greyjoy into a traumatized, whimpering mess and mutilated him for his personal amusement, he chastises Ramsay for wasting such a valuable hostage. Roose originally wanted to exchange Theon for Ironborn-occupied Moat Cailin, but King Balon would never consider giving up this strategic stronghold for a useless heir, since Theon can no longer sustain their line. Ramsay notes that he already made the offer before, but Balon didn't even consider it. He makes this point rather firmly to Ramsay, who flays people for not paying their taxes.
- Roose's entire motivation for legitimizing Ramsay. While he does not think highly of him, Roose knows that he is in need of an heir, especially if he is not able to sire an heir from Walda.
- Later, he lays into Ramsay for treating Sansa cruelly, resulting in her escape. As he points out, Sansa was pretty much the only chance they had at uniting the North under their banner, and now that she's on the run and more likely to kill herself than go back to Ramsay, that chance is all but gone.
- Deconstructed Trope: He's capable of being a pragmatic villain and would love for his subordinates to be, but his ruthlessness, treachery and general psychopathology ensure that only sadists, sociopaths and the psychologically broken are willing to work for him. His approach to child-rearing also seems to have some amount of responsibility for transforming his only viable heir into a raving sadistic maniac.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "The Lannisters send their regards."
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Starting Season 5.
- Properly Paranoid: Roose knows not to trust Littlefinger so he makes sure that he reads Littlefinger's mail.
- Psychotic Smirk: Has this expression at the Red Wedding, when he reveals to Catelyn that he's wearing chainmail armor under his clothes and is about to kill her son. Accompanied by a Kubrick Stare.
- The Quisling: A textbook example: He is a leader who rose to power for personal gain and self-preservation by betraying his king and countrymen and, also, by enforcing the will of an external power.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Turns out Roose brutally raped Ramsay's mother for the "crime" of marrying without his permission, all under the corpse of her husband. Even Ramsay is speechless. Ramsay's nature comes from being reared by such a man:
- Ramsay: My mother taught me not to throw stones at cripples but my father taught me, 'Aim for their head.'
- Reading the Enemy's Mail: Roose reads the exchange of messages between Cersei and Littlefinger. A wise move, considering that those two might be the most incredibly untrustworthy people to have ever existed.
- Remember the New Guy?: The Bolton sigil is seen at Robb's war council in Season 1. He was planned to be included in a montage of the Stark bannermen receiving their summons to Winterfell, which was scrapped for being far too expensive. The actor was cast in Season 2.
- Rule of Symbolism: Just before the arrows start flying at the Red Wedding, he shows Catelyn Stark what he has "up his sleeve".
- Secret Keeper: He keeps the truth about Bran and Rickon being alive to ensure his rule over the North.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: He betrays and murders Robb and House Stark to save House Bolton from being wiped out by The Lannisters yet his betrayal, combined with Ramsay's actions, turns the other Northern houses against him and causes House Bolton to be wiped out anyway.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once Robb loses Winterfell and the Lannisters win in the Battle of the Blackwater, Roose realises that it's all downhill from there and orders his bastard son to destroy Winterfell. Then he conspires with Walder Frey, who's also working with Tywin Lannister, to massacre the Starks so that he can become the Warden of the North.
- Shadow Archetype: To Tywin Lannister of all people. Both are the patriarchs of their families, both are Straight Edge Evil and Manipulative Bastards who usually lock down their emotions and both have evil descendants (Ramsay for Roose, Joffrey for Tywin), both employ other psychopaths as their top enforcers (Locke and Gregor Clegane, respectively) but while Tywin is defined by his Pragmatic Villainy and total devotion to his family's legacy, Roose every now and then lets slip that he just might be in it For the Evulz, although he's far more subtle about it than his son. And both betrayed their kings. It's also fun to point out that Michael McElhatton looks quite a bit like a younger Charles Dance◊. They also both die varyingly Undignified Deaths at the hands of their respective sons.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Serves as one of Robb's major bannermen in the field, after Theon leaves for Pyke in Season 2. He imitates Theon's example too.
- The Sociopath: A high-functioning example. He initially appears to be a brutal yet trustworthy lord in Robb Stark's service but is revealed to be a depraved opportunist who harbors no loyalties to anyone but himself with an insatiable appetite for all forms of cruelty. While savvy enough to appear polite and unassuming when it serves his own interests, Roose otherwise never passes up a chance to torment others for his own amusement if he can get away with it. This can be seen when he fools a captured Jaime into believing Cersei is dead and silently taunts Catelyn Stark with the prospect of her family's impending murder at "The Red Wedding". Moreover, he shows no attachment toward those around him including his own son, Ramsay, whom canon confirms he all but ignored until the death of his firstborn son left him without an heir. Ultimately, any doubt as to Roose's Lack of Empathy and absence of a conscience is put to rest when he smugly recounts to a stunned Ramsay how he brutally raped his mother.
- Sociopathic Hero: He counsels pragmatism and tactical brutality with Robb (advocating an extremely horrible form of torture and recommending against honorable but stupid decisions).
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Flaying people alive and several hints establish him as a sadist. Bolton doesn't actually whisper his lines as he does in the books (it's McElhatton's usual deep voice) but his dialogue stands out because of how impeccably enunciated it is, in stark contrast to the Oop North brogue often exhibited by the other Northern lords.
- The Starscream: He usurps the title of Warden of the North from House Stark, and in particular Robb Stark.
- The Stoic: He very rarely shows any genuine feelings at all. In "Mhysa", he no longer has anything to hide, so he shows much more expression than he normally does, and there's something rather Uncanny Valley about them. This ties into his characterisation as The Sociopath, as his expressions are likely learned through mimicry rather than genuinely felt. When Ramsay stabs him to death, Roose's only reaction is an involuntary cry of pain. After, he bleeds out with a completely neutral expression on his face and without saying or doing anything.
- Straight Edge Evil:
- He doesn't drink alcohol, which Jaime finds suspicious. From the books... . As revealed in "The Rains of Castamere", he apparently abstains from drinking to avert Alcohol-Induced Idiocy and In Vino Veritas.Catelyn: Don't you drink, Lord Bolton?
Roose: Never do, my lady. Dulls the senses.
- Also, earlier with Jaime and Brienne:Bolton: [after being offered wine by Jaime] I don't partake.
Jaime: You realize how suspicious that is to ordinary people, don't you?
- He doesn't drink alcohol, which Jaime finds suspicious. From the books... . As revealed in "The Rains of Castamere", he apparently abstains from drinking to avert Alcohol-Induced Idiocy and In Vino Veritas.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Dies only two episodes into Season 6 after being one of the show's main antagonists for several seasons.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Ramsay abruptly stabs him less than a minute after it is announced that Walda has given birth.
- This Cannot Be!: His eyes go wide when Theon tells him that Reports of Bran and Rickon Stark's Deaths Were Greatly Exaggerated.
- Token Evil Teammate: His Establishing Character Moment is him encouraging Robb to start torturing prisoners for information as well as executing them, with some hints that he'd have them flayed. Deconstructed, because as it turns out, having a person that openly lacks any morals on your side just gives him the chance to betray you when you begin to show weakness and can't win a war.
- Too Dumb to Live: Sure, enable your bastard son's sadistic tendencies, legitimize him, and let him torture his new wife. Honestly, Roose only had himself to blame when Ramsay no longer considered his father useful.
- Tranquil Fury: Doesn't get angry often, but when he does, he's only ever this. It makes him all the more terrifying.
- Treacherous Advisor: Many of his moves become this in hindsight, such as sending the 500 men to Winterfell to supposedly take it back. They burn Winterfell in order to cover Roose's bases.
- Troll: Roose Bolton seems to take amusement from messing with people's heads, though tellingly only does this when he knows he can get away with it.
- When Jaime arrives in Harrenhal, the sly Roose Bolton does everything possible to make him think that Cersei died at the Battle of Blackwater before revealing she's alive and well. Though Ramsay, being without redeeming qualities, would have let Jaime think his sister had been raped to death. Bolton at least had the decency to tell him the truth after getting him to squirm a bit.
- After Jaime loses his hand, Bolton makes a Last-Second Word Swap.Roose: You're in no position to insist on anything. I would have hoped you learned your lesson about overplaying your... position.
- In addition he has Brienne dressed in an incredibly frilly pink dress, whereas she'd been wearing armor and masculine clothing beforehand, and at dinner gives Jaime a tough steak he can't cut by himself. The subtlety of these actions shows how clever, and sadistic, Roose is.
- He intentionally signals for Catelyn to pull back his sleeve and see he's wearing armour, just so he can get the satisfaction of seeing her put two and two together before shit hits the fan.
- When Ramsay's sadism threatens to embarrass the Boltons in front of Sansa, Roose takes the opportunity to announce that Walda is carrying his child, letting Ramsay know just how precarious his status as heir really is.
- Undignified Death: After four seasons worth of scheming, treachery, and consolidating power, the butcher of House Stark and ascendant Warden of the North is unceremoniously betrayed and murdered by his son after one taunt too many.
- Unreliable Narrator: He claims that Robb ignored his counsel at every turn. However, Robb only rejected his unquestionably evil advice (like flaying people) and, in fact, did listen to Roose's less sinister plans. For example, he agrees with having Ramsay retake Winterfell. The only adjustment Robb makes to the plan was that he wants Theon brought back to him alive so that he could be the one to take Theon's head.
- Would Hurt a Child: "I nearly had her whipped, and the child thrown in the river."
Lady Walda Bolton
Played By: Elizabeth Webster
Catelyn Stark: I hope she makes you very happy.
Roose Bolton: Well, she's made me very rich.
Roose Bolton's new wife, who he married as a part of a political alliance with House Frey. She's one of Walder Frey's numerous granddaughters.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Walda has the ubiquitous black hair of the Freys here while her book counterpart is blonde.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: She may avert Hollywood Pudgy, but she still has a pretty face and healthy hair. Her book counterpart is not only obese but also red-faced, has limp yellow hair, and an annoying squeaky voice to boot.
- Adaptational Personality Change: Book Walda was more of a jolly Big Fun type, whereas the show version seems far more shy, amenable, and demure.
- Arranged Marriage: With Roose Bolton, although Roose did get to choose which wife he wanted. It was more 'arranged' from her point of view than his.From the books...
- Big Beautiful Woman: Roose was offered his wife's weight in silver as a dowry, so he made sure to choose the fattest Frey daughter. As far as Freys go, Walda is actually fairly pleasant-looking and pretty.
- Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: She's the fat Chubby Mama to Roose's Lean and Mean.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Ripped apart by Ramsay's dogs.
- Devoured by the Horde: Ramsay has his dogs eat Walda and her newborn son alive to cement his place as the new Lord Bolton.
- Fish out of Water: She tells Sansa that she feels this way living in Winterfell. Sansa points out that it isn't the place that is strange, but rather, the people inhabiting it (the Boltons).
- The Ghost: She's mentioned (although not by name) in Season 3, but isn't seen on-screen until Season 4.
- Mama Bear: When it becomes clear she is going to be eaten by Ramsay's dogs, her first instinct is to curl her body around her son in the hopes of protecting him.
- Meal Ticket: Not that Roose Bolton is poor, but he still chose her because Lord Walder promised the bride's weight in silver as a dowry.
- Nice Girl: She extends some sympathy toward Sansa for her predicament. However, Walda isn't particularly known for her ability to choose words carefully, so her attempts of sympathy still feel somewhat gloat-y, like reminding that Winterfell is not Sansa's home territory anymore.
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: Once she realizes that Ramsay intends to kill her and her newborn baby, she pleads that she will return to the Riverlands and will never come back to the North. Unfortunately, Ramsay doesn't listen to her.
- Token Good Teammate: To the Boltons, although, given the nature of her husband and her stepson, it wouldn't require a big effort.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She's one of the very few pleasant Freys shown so far, and the only member of the Bolton family to show Sansa some sympathy during Season 5. This, coupled with the fact that she's pregnant, makes you wonder how long she will survive. Not long, actually. Ramsay murders her and her newborn baby in "Home" by having them devoured by hounds.
- White Sheep: All in all, being only a Bolton by marriage, she's the most, if not the only decent, person carrying that name in the series so far. That said, she was also presumably one of the few decent Freys before marrying Roose.
Bolton Retainers and Household
Played By: Noah Taylor
House Bolton's master-at-arms, and Roose Bolton's right hand man, chief enforcer, and best tracker.
- Adaptational Heroism: His book counterpart, Vargo Hoat, first served the Lannisters, then betrayed them to join the Boltons. Locke, despite accomplishing all the same important villainy, remains loyal to the Dreadfort the whole time and does have a few standards.
- All There in the Manual: He is, apparently, the master-at-arms at the Dreadfort, which makes him the Boltons' most senior commander after Roose himself and Ramsay.
- Asshole Victim: After everything this psycho did and the fact he was planning on murdering two children, his death at the hands of a warged Hodor is rather gratifying.
- Badass Beard: The aforementioned pointy beard goes with his effective combat skills and stealth abilities.
- Badass Boast:
- A simple one.Roose: You ready for a hunt?
- And a slightly stronger one.Grenn: Karl was a top paid cutthroat in Flea Bottom. I've seen what he can do with a knife.
Locke: Have you seen what I can do with a knife?
- A simple one.
- Beard of Evil: A long, pointed beard very similar to Vargo Hoat's.
- Big Bad Friend: Locke pretends to be a friend to Jon Snow starting from "Oathkeeper". He leads Jon to believe that he's just another recruit for the Night's Watch who bravely offered to accompany his party to track down and deal with the mutineers who killed Lord Commander Mormant and are tormenting the women at Craster's Keep. In reality, Locke is there to find and kill Bran and Rickon Stark, Jon's half-brothers, who immediately threaten the Boltons' claim on the North. He betrays Jon by preventing Jon from saving Bran and Rickon and may have planned to harm Jon himself — but Bran manages to kill Locke before he can — and Jon remains unaware of Locke's true intentions since Locke was killed before anything was revealed to him.
- Birds of a Feather: When Lord Bolton and Locke return to the Dreadfort in the second episode of Season 4, it's immediately clear that Locke and Ramsay are friends, each being a reckless sadist who delight in random torture, rape, and murder.
- Break the Haughty: Invoked as the reason why he cuts off Jaime's hand.
- Composite Character:
- Takes over most of the role of Vargo Hoat (without the Qohorik mercenary background or the comically exaggerated lisp), as well as a few of the other Brave Companions, notably cutting Jaime's hand off which is something Zollo the Fat did in the books. The name "Locke" is briefly mentioned in the books as a Northern family, sworn to the Starks (in fact Marna Locke is Ned Stark's paternal grandmother). Locke's lisp is slight but still noticeable, mostly during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jaime.
- His friendship with Ramsay may be a reference to the first Reek from the books.
- Consummate Liar: His deception of Jon Snow proves he is a excellent liar.
- Deadpan Snarker:Jaime Lannister: Let us go, my father will pay you whatever you want.
Locke: Enough to buy me a new head? Because, if the King in the North learns I had the Kingslayer and let him go, he'll be taking it right off. I'd rather he takes yours.
- Death by Irony: Locke's crippling of Jaime ends up being avenged by the boy whom Jaime crippled.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Locke is incensed when Jaime attempts to buy him twice. He might be an open rapist and chop limbs off for a hobby but he prides himself in his iron loyalty, like all Northmen.
- Evil Counterpart: To Rodrik Cassel. Both are masters-at-arms, both are their respective lords' chief subordinate (excluding other vassals), both enjoy good relationships with their lords' children, and both exhibit Undying Loyalty towards their lords. But Rodrik is one of the series' straighter examples of Knight in Shining Armor, and Locke is hardly better than Ramsay.
- Evil Is Petty: Oh, Jaime, you wish you hadn't tried to buy him now, don't you?
- False Friend: Locke joins the Night's Watch and pretends to befriend Jon Snow as part of a plan to find Jon's half-brothers Bran and Rickon, fooling Jon into genuinely believing that he is a new Night's Watch recruit. As Locke dies of a broken neck, courtesy of Bran warged into Hodor, his plan to betray Jon and what he planned to do to Jon's brothers is never discovered because his true intentions are never revealed. Locke's dead body is then later ceremonially burned, with Jon, Grenn, Edd and the others all believing that he had died as a loyal brother of the Night's Watch, at the hands of the mutineers.
- Faux Affably Evil:
- He maintains a rather friendly, casual attitude with his men, whether that involves leading them in a song or setting out the order in which they'll take turns to gang-rape a captive. He also has a nice chat with Jaime, negotiating about how he can ransom him and Brienne, while Brienne is screaming in the background as Locke's men prepare to rape her. He then drags Brienne back so he can ransom her, and tells Jaime that he can have some nice hot partridge and a good night's sleep. He then cuts off Jaime's hand.
- After he returns to the Dreadfort, it turns out he's quite friendly with Ramsay, likely to no one's surprise.
- Locke pretends to befriend Jon, making a good impression on Jon by lying that he was a game warden from the Stormlands who had opted to take the Black after he was forced to hunt illegal game to feed his kids. He effortlessly integrates himself as a new Watch recruit and volunteers to help Jon on a dangerous mission so he can betray him.
- For the Evulz: He plans to gang-rape Brienne and later throws her in a bear pit with nothing but her dress and a training sword. He cripples Jaime Lannister just to make a point. He also notes that these actions make him happier than all of Jaime's money ever could. He would rather maim, rape and kill people for no reason than be a rich man until the end of his days.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: He seems to be pretty tight with Ramsay and spends time as part of Jon's circle (who never find out he's an enemy and think he died a hero), but after his body is burned nobody mentions him again. You'd think Ramsay would at least bring him up to mess with Jon, but nope.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sports a big evil one along his right eye.
- Greed: The only thing he wants from Brienne more than a bit of fun is a ransom from her father. Subverted when Jaime can't buy his way out for all the gold in Casterly Rock. The initial misunderstanding is probably down to Jaime, and the audience, being more used to the usual forms of greed that shiny, shiny gems or gold usually produce. But, Locke repeatedly shows himself more greedy for power over others: getting a highborn to cough sapphires up to him? That's worth something. Finding out he won't get a power kick that way? Cue change of plans back to simple, immediate fun.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 3.
- Ironic Echo: Jaime calls him Roose Bolton's "pet rat" the last time they see each other. This is how Locke refers to Reek the next time he appears.
- Jerkass: Unrepentantly so. He's a sadist to the core.
- Karmic Death: Spends all of Season 3 abusing and molesting two unarmed and powerless captives. In Season 4, he is killed by two unarmed and disabled captives (Bran physically, Hodor mentally). It's also notable that he's killed by Bran, who was crippled by Jaime, who Locke had crippled.
- Kick the Dog: To Brienne. Overlaps with Kick the Son of a Bitch in Jaime's case.
- Knife Nut: His main Weapon of Choice before joining the Night's Watch was a rather huge knife (which he used to sever Jaime's hand).
- The Mole: He poses as a Night's Watch recruit to find Bran and Rickon, going so far as to actually take the vows. He's killed before we find out how he was planning to get out of that.
- Neck Snap: Courtesy of a warged Hodor, bringing his quest to bring back Bran and Rickon to a sudden and unpleasant end. Somehow, we don't feel bad about it.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Locke's maiming of Jaime, while removing his ability to fight with a sword, made him a much better person.
- Only in It for the Money: Defied: while he certainly likes money, it's ultimately not all that important to Locke. He'd rather just be entertained. Cutting off Jaime's hand is worth more to him than all Lord Tywin's money, and watching Brienne fight a bear with a wooden sword is worth more than all her father's sapphires (of which he actually has none).
- Only One Name: When Jon Snow asks for his name, he just says "Locke". All the weirder because in the books, Locke is a surname.
- Pet the Dog: He paid and released the traveler who told him where to find Jaime and Brienne, rather than killing him and dumping him in the river, which he easily could have done.
- Race Lift: Most of his book counterparts are from Essos.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Poor Brienne is often the intended victim.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Jaime about being a Smug Snake that mooches off of his father's name. He punctuates this speech by chopping Jaime's right hand off.
- The Resenter: He holds a bitter hatred for highborn nobles, believing they're all snobs who look down upon people like him. Although this doesn't extend to the Boltons.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Implied at first. Bolton refers to Locke as his 'best hunter,' and he locates Jaime Lannister (and Brienne) with little overt effort. He proves it in "The First of His Name" where he quickly manages to locate Bran while infiltrating Craster's Keep.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: The reason he rejects the ransom offered by Brienne's father. He finds making people suffer and die to be immensely more satisfying than all the gold and sapphires in the world — that, and he's aware that taking some bribes will end very badly for him. On the other hand, Qyburn notes that Locke could have taken the offer if Jaime had not earlier led Locke to believe that Brienne's father is far richer than he actually is, ironically in an attempt to protect Brienne. It's his impression of being cheated out that leads him to say "well, to Hell with her!".
- Spared by the Adaptation: Locke avoided the encounter with Gregor Clegane which was fatal for his book counterpart. But, when it seemed that the viewers would see more of him, he was anticlimactically offed by Bran, of all people (warged into Hodor, but still). Though Locke met a nice, clean, quick death, unlike Vargo Hoat, so this may count as "spared".
- Speech Impediment: One of the traces he retains from his book counterpart (Vargo Hoat) is the lisp, though his is less noticeable.
- Stealth Expert: Displays some impressive stealth skills to gather intel on Craster's Keep.
- Token Evil Teammate: He and his men exemplify, like the soldiers that Brienne killed in the Season 2 finale, that not all those on the Designated Hero side of the Starks are good men. These are Stark counterparts to the Mountain and his men.
- Villainous Friendship: Cheerily regales Ramsay with tales of how the Kingslayer screamed at the loss of his hand.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He joins the Night's Watch in Season 4 to track Bran and Rickon down (and presumably to also assassinate Jon) and dies with the Watch thinking he's a Black brother.
Played By: Jamie Michie
Roose Bolton's captain, and charged with escorting Jaime Lannister alive to King's Landing.
- All There in the Manual: His true name is Walton.
- Badass Beard: See the picture. Not really a bad guy per se, at least compared to Locke, so it's this instead of a Beard of Evil.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shoots a crossbow bolt into the bear threatening Brienne and Jaime, distracting it long enough for them to escape.
- In-Universe Nickname: Named Steelshanks after the steel greaves over his legs.
- Just Following Orders: He doesn't seem particularly cruel or sadistic; he's just doing what Roose told him to do, as opposed to the likes of Locke.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He's very loyal to Roose Bolton, and won't take any bribes. Following different orders from Bolton might even entail Steelshanks and Locke dueling each other to death...
- Punch-Clock Villain: He saves Jaime's life, which makes him come into conflict with Locke, to fulfill Lord Bolton's orders.
- Token Good Teammate: Or at the very least, "Token Not-Totally-Ax-Crazy Teammate".
- Weapon of Choice: The only weapon he's seen using is, unusually, a crossbow — though not with enough skill to be an Archer Archetype.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Appeared in only one series and hasn't been seen since. With the destruction of House Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards, he may be the Sole Survivor of the Bolton leadership.
Played By: Charlotte Hope
Ramsay Snow's mistress. She is a kennel-master's daughter.
- All Women Are Lustful: Part of her and Violet's act to arouse Theon.
- The Archer: She's extremely competent with a bow, which appears to be her weapon of choice.
- Ascended Extra: After being created for just one scene in the third season, George R. R. Martin liked Myranda so much he gave her an expanded role in his episode the following season. Season 5 sees her become a recurring character.
- Asshole Victim: Her death was very much deserved and no one wastes any time pretending to be very sad about it.
- Ax-Crazy: She quickly proves herself to be just as psychotic and insane as Ramsay.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Implied, the reason she wasn't afraid of Ramsay the first time they met was that he couldn't do anything that the dogs didn't.
- Birds of a Feather: It's not hard to see why Ramsay and Myranda like each other; they're both repulsive sadists and merciless killers.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Of the Enfant Terrible sort. She befriended Ramsay at the age of 11 because she was the only one who wasn't afraid of his already apparent sadistic tendencies.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's so irrationally jealous of Tansy she gets Ramsay to kill her in a brutal hunt, showing gleeful sadism at seeing Tansy get torn apart. She also despises having Sansa around.
- Composite Character: She has no counterpart in the books but she has aspects of several background characters. Very loosely, she's sort of a gender-swapped version of the Bastard's Boys, the gang of toadies who follow Ramsay around, as well as the first Reek, given how she and Ramsay are childhood friends. Her bitterness over Ramsay marrying a highborn comes from Mya Stone having her heart broken by Michael Redfort. She's also somewhat reminiscent of Kyra, as a lower-class woman who works at Winterfell and sleeps with the occupier. Her name and attempt to ingratiate herself with Sansa come from Myranda Royce.
- Dark Action Girl: Myranda is shown to be highly proficient with a bow when she hunts with Ramsay.
- Dark Mistress: To Ramsay. He has several girlfriends, but his favorite is Myranda. She is just as much as a sadistic psycho as he is; she gleefully helps him torture people and accompanies him while he hunts down girls he gets bored with. She actually persuaded him to kill one girl because she was jealous of her. She even hoped that Ramsay would marry her someday, which Sansa Stark mocks her for because she's lowborn and offers him no lands or titles. When she finds out he's intending to marry Sansa, she's not happy, but Ramsay tells her to quit whining because he finds it boring and she knows what happens to girls who bore him. Myranda herself never seems that intimidated though - Ramsay states that she was one of the few people who was never afraid of him - and they continue their relationship. After she's killed, Ramsay actually seems a bit upset about it...then orders her body be fed to the dogs so as not to waste good meat, indicating she wasn't really as important to him as she thought.
- Death by Falling Over: Pushed off of a balcony to her death by Theon.
- Disney Villain Death: Falls to her death after being pushed off a balcony by Theon.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Has dark brown hair, is very pale and very crazy.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all of Myranda's negative traits and even though the feeling isn't really mutual, she does seem to genuinely care about Ramsay and was naive enough to believe him when he said the two would marry one day.
- Evil Gloating: After Tansy is torn apart by the hounds, Myranda remarks, "Not so pretty now."
- Face Plant: When she falls into her death, she lands face first, leaving a huge bloodstain. Not so pretty now...
- Faux Affably Evil: She's all sweetness and light when talking to Sansa, but it's entirely an act.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Invoked by her with Violet in-universe to arouse Theon Greyjoy so his torture is more painful.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She's very upset when she learns that Ramsay will be marrying Sansa instead of her. When Ramsay makes it clear that he'll kill her if she makes too much of a deal about it, Myranda reintroduces Sansa to Theon so Sansa will know just what kind of person her fiancee is.
- Hate Sink: A sadistic and cruel psychopath like her lover, Ramsey. Let's just say that she was such an insane monster that her death was satistying.
- Honey Trap: For Theon along with Violet.
- The Immodest Orgasm: She's quite enthusiastic when we see her having sex with Ramsay.
- Karmic Death: She is killed by Theon whose torture she has participated in. She is also fed to the dogs afterwards just like the girls she and Ramsay used to hunt and he forgets about her quickly afterwards, showing she was never as important to him as she imagined.
- Monster Fangirl: Myranda turns out to be quite happy to hunt down Tansy when Ramsay tires of her, and happily looks on as she's mauled by hounds.
- Ms. Fanservice: With Violet, intentionally to arouse Theon. It's later played straight in her sex scene with Ramsay, in which we get to see her rather glorious ass. And again in Season 5.
- Naughty Nuns: Myranda claims to have been a septa-in-training escapee. Given her role and personality, it's possible she's lying.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Showing Sansa Reek and letting her know just what sort of monster Ramsay is actually helps Sansa into both thinking of how to escape and spurring Theon's HeelFace Turn and they both end up escaping Winterfell, killing Myranda in the process.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She takes pleasure in watching another woman getting ripped to shreds by hounds, and gets off by choking Ramsay in the bedroom.
- Paid Harem: Poor Theon doesn't have a friend in the fort, thinking that she and Violet are initially on his side. However, they're both part of Ramsay's cruel joke.
- Prepare to Die: Armed with a bow and arrow, she confronts Sansa Stark at Winterfell. She is killed by Theon as a result.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: She behaves like a little girl in regards to her jealousy, outraged that anyone would consider her prettier... which for Myranda, is reason enough to kill.
- Railing Kill: She gets this, courtesy of Theon, with an added 'splat' sound effect.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: She takes part in Theon's torture by forcibly grinding on him to arouse him. While there is no penetration, Myranda still ignores Theon's pleas for her to stop, and the whole thing is just so that Theon's castration will be more painful.
- Red Right Hand: Her crooked teeth. The actress, Charlotte Hope, has normal teeth in real life.
- Sadist: She's clearly not too far behind Ramsay in this department.
- Smug Snake: She's quite full of herself and tends to imagine she's more important to Ramsay than she is.
- The Sociopath: A sadistic, cruel and decietful Femme Fatale that seduces her victims with zero remorse.
- To the Pain: She tells Sansa about some of the horrible tortures she has in mind for her. This is the final straw for Theon who snaps back and tosses her to her death.
- Unholy Matrimony: A non-married example with Ramsay.
- Yandere: She is willing to kill or cripple other girls who could possibly steal Ramsay's attention away from her. Though she only harms them when knowing that Ramsay wouldn't mind too much.
Played By: Stephanie Blacker
A bedwarmer for Ramsay Snow.
- All Women Are Lustful: She and Myranda put on this act to arouse Theon on purpose.
- Asshole Victim: Aids Ramsay in his brutal torture of Theon only to end up as another one of his victims.
- Bus Crash: Revealed to have died offscreen, two seasons after her first and only appearance on screen.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Unlike Myranda, she was not seen after Season 3. It was finally explained in Season 5: She got pregnant, so Ramsay killed her. This doubles as a dark Casting Gag: Tansy's scene was first written with Violet, but Blacker couldn't reprise the role because she got pregnant in real life.
- Dark Mistress: To Ramsay, but less so than Myranda.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: She plays up the trope as part of their Honey Trap.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Violet invokes this with Myranda as part of their Honey Trap.
- Honey Trap: With Myranda, for Theon.
- Ms. Fanservice: Intentionally and played up.
- Paid Harem: Poor Theon doesn't have a friend in the fort, thinking she and Myranda are initially on his side. However, they're both part of Ramsay's cruel joke.
- You Have Failed Me: Ramsay tired of her when she became pregnant, and killed her in one of his hunts.
Played By: Jazzy de Lisser
A bedwarmer for Ramsay Snow.
- Canon Foreigner: She takes the place of Kyra, a girl from Winter Town who's Theon's mistress, and later a prisoner in the Dreadfort. The manner in which they die is largely identical.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Tansy is torn apart by Ramsay's dogs, seemingly at Myranda's insistence. Thankfully offscreen.
- One-Shot Character: A proverbial Monster Munch that illustrates one of Ramsay's horrid but casual hobbies.Ramsay: If you make it out of the woods, you win!
- Paid Harem: She's one of Ramsay's bedwarmers.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ramsay has Tansy hunted down by his dogs just because he's gotten bored with her and Myranda is a tad jealous.
Played By: Michael Shelford
The interrogator at the Dreadfort.
- Asshole Victim: Being a sadistic torturer and rapist makes him deserve his death at the hands of Ramsay Snow, even if it's just part of Ramsay's game to screw with Theon.
- Attempted Rape: Tries this on Theon Greyjoy. Apparently, it's a standard punishment for escaped prisoners.
- Badass Longcoat: Like most other members of his House.
- Bait-and-Switch: If the viewer knows or suspects that Theon is in the Dreadfort at the beginning of the third season, they might think that this is Bolton's fabled bastard. Then he gets killed. By the real bastard.
- Boom, Headshot!: This is how Ramsay kills him. With an arrow at point blank range, no less.
- Canon Foreigner: He doesn't have a book counterpart, at least as far as we know. This is largely as we don't know his name.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: His interrogation methods, such as peeling off the victim's fingernails (and likely flaying the fingers), and using the boot to slowly crush the victim's feet.
- Depraved Homosexual: After capturing Theon in the woods, he announces his intent to rape him as punishment for trying to run away. He was killed by Ramsay before he could fulfill his threat
- Disc-One Final Boss: To Theon, in the third season.
- Double Tap: Ramsay hits him with two arrows first, then another to the head, similar to the Mozambique Drill.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner:
- "You little bastard".
- In retrospect, it's obvious why he called his killer a "bastard", of all things. Ramsay Snow is one, and hates being reminded of it.
- Gaslighting: One of the things he does to Theon, disorienting both him and the show's viewers.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: With a knife.
- Jerkass: Goes back to torturing Theon and insisting on the truth right after he claimed Theon's answers were "very good." And then there's his eagerness to rape Theon for escaping The Dreadfort.
- Mook Lieutenant: Seemingly in charge of the Dreadfort, or at least holding a position of authority there.
- No Name Given: We never find out his real name.
- Perma-Stubble: He hasn't quite grown out his beard.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I. Want. The. Truth!"
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His Attempted Rape on Theon is an easy way to realise that not all Northmen are good people.
- Torture Technician: Though he quickly gets killed and replaced.
- Unwitting Pawn: This guy clearly had no idea what kind of game Ramsay was playing, or what role he gave him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Tricked and murdered by Ramsay Snow in order to gain Theon's trust.
Ramsay's pack of vicious hunting dogs.
- All There in the Manual: They're not directly named so in the show, but in the books they're referred to as the "Bastard's Girls".
- The Dog Bites Back: Ramsay is usually nice toward them but starving them for a week was a big mistake.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Starks' direwolves.
- Hell Is That Noise: Their barks sound downright demonic.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: They hunt people.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After Ramsay starves them for a week in anticipation of feeding Jon to them in "Battle of the Bastards" they turn on him and devour him alive.
- Mythology Gag: Their name is likely based on the Bastard's Boys, Ramsay's men-at-arms in the books.
- Pet Monstrosity: Played with. They're all regular domestic dogs, but they've been bred to be vicious and have a taste for human flesh.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: For Ramsay.
- Undying Loyalty: Ramsay insists that his dogs are loyal to him, but this is proven untrue when they proceed to feast on him in "Battle of the Bastards" after being starved for a week by him.
- Visual Pun: They are literally Ramsay's bitches.