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Hate Sink / Game of Thrones

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  • In a show where morality is a complicated matter, only a few people can be considered pure evil. One of those is King Joffrey, who ensures that everyone hates his guts. He combines the worst traits of his mother, Cersei Lannister (cruelty, unpleasantness, and an obsession with power) and the worst traits of his supposed father, Robert Baratheon (sexism, love of violence, and disinterest in any aspects of being king outside of getting everything he wants). He was a monster in the books as well, but the show version amplifies his sadistic, stupid and cowardly behavior, while adding in new crimes, like ordering the purge of Robert's bastards, including babies, and threatening to execute his own mother. In-Universe the only person to love him is Cersei, and even she eventually comes to admit he's a monster. Even in his final episode where he dies a horrific and painful death from poison, he spends much of the episode engaging in Kick the Dog moments and spends most of his last few minutes bullying his uncle, a fan favorite character, as if to specifically prime audiences for a cathartic release once Joffrey begins choking. George R. R. Martin would personally congratulate Jack Gleeson for his skill at achieving this status for Joffrey (while also stating that he kinda pities Gleeson for being forced to do such nasty stuff on screen, something that even made Gleeson retire from acting).
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  • Ramsay Bolton is quite possibly the single most vile, depraved and despicable character in the entire story, even moreso than Joffrey, which is one hell of an accomplishment, with not a single redeeming quality to be seen. (While in the books he's much worse, his TV conterpart is more than despicable). Every second he's onscreen is filled with a nightmarish tone about what horrible thing he's going to do next. He tortures, skins, hunts, rapes and psychologically breaks people with absolute glee simply because he enjoys doing it and manages to make the widely-disliked Theon sympathetic simply by subjecting him to the most gruesome torment imaginable. And in the aftermath of the second episode of Season 6, Ramsey unequivocally usurped Joffrey's position as the most despicable character in all of Westeros. Joffrey might have been a "vicious idiot [of] a king", but he never killed his own father and then had his stepmother and newborn brother fed alive to dogs just so he could be in charge. In the end, his death in "The Battle of the Bastards" is well deserved and incredibly cathartic: after being defeated by Jon Snow's wildling army (though not before killing the youngest Stark Rickon right before Jon could save him), Jon gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and then Sansa delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech to him and locks him in a cell with his own dogs that have been starved in anticipation of Ramsay feeding Jon to them. They tear Ramsay to pieces, starting with his face.
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  • Ramsay's lover Myranda is just as psychotic as he is, as she's shown happily going with him on his hunts - getting off on the torture of innocent girls. She also has a personal hand in Theon's torture and eventual castration (she's one of the two women who seduces him first). When Sansa is forced to marry Ramsay, Myranda is revealed to be a Clingy Jealous Girl too and gleefully taunts Sansa about getting raped every night. She's so awful and unsympathetic that it's clear she was created for fans to cheer when Theon stops her from preventing Sansa's escape and throws her to her death off the battlements.
  • Before Ramsay and Joffrey was Viserys Targaryen, arguably the very first Hate Sink in the Game of Thrones world. He only appears for the first six episodes of Season 1, but his stupidity, arrogance and overall horrible treatment of Daenerys in that time make his inevitable Karmic Death all the more satisfying. Threatening his unborn nephew is when he crosses the Moral Event Horizon, and said Karmic Death comes very quickly after.
  • In early Season 2, we had Dagmer Cleftjaw. He acted as an Evil Mentor to Theon. People were angry at Theon for betraying the Starks, but it was Dagmer who manipulated him all the time, and worst of Theon's actions were actually encouraged by Dagmer and in case of killing two innocent little boys, committed. Dagmer got only worse and proved to be Dirty Coward when he sold out Theon to the even more monstrous Ramsay Bolton even after Theon did a "good job" in the eyes of the Ironborn. And he seals it by murdering Maester Luwin just for the fun of it. Thank goodness, that he was flayed alive by Ramsay.
  • Janos Slynt, the arrogant and corrupt commander of the city watch. He not only sold Ned Stark out to the Lannisters, not only led a massacre that resulted in the deaths of most of Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate children, but also coldly murdered one of said illegitimate children in front of his own mother. This results in a disgusted Tyrion Lannister stripping him of his ill-gotten titles and sending him away to the Wall to join the Night's Watch. Determined to cash in that Karma Houdini Warranty however, Slynt returns in subsequent seasons as an Obstructive Bureaucrat enemy to Jon Snow, whose father Slynt betrayed in Season 1. Finally Slynt makes the fatal mistake of defying a newly-appointed Lord Commander Jon's authority by refusing to go to Greyguard and take command there, leading Jon to behead him for insubordination. Few Hate Sinks in this show crumble as pitifully or as satisfyingly as Slynt did before his death.
  • Ser Meryn Trant, a knight of the Kingsguard, is a representation of the worst that could come out of the sworn brotherhood, as well as the embodiment of what any knight, much less a Kingsguard, should not be. Although beginning the series as a Professional Butt-Kisser towards Joffrey and Cersei, he lacks any sympathetic quality of his book counterpart and every scene gives the viewers a reason to despise him further. During Sansa's time as a hostage of the Lannisters, Trant frequently beats her in front of the whole court, and refuses to rescue her from starving peasants during the riot in King's Landing, claiming that he "only takes orders from the king". Over time, we get to learn that obeying orders is more or less an excuse, as Meryn is simply a sadistic pedophile who takes pleasure in beating and raping underaged girls. It also doubles in the fact that he is a Dirty Coward who is unable to fight back to those who are capable of beating him.
  • The snide and ill-tempered Walder Frey, who betrays and murders most of the Stark faction by violating Sacred Hospitality, which his backers are perfectly content to let him take the blame for and thereby become also an In-Universe example of this trope. His final episode (in which he thankfully dies finally), shows still that he is nothing but a psychopath as he gleefully admits that all his enemies are defeated. He also admits that Riverrun originally belongs to the Tullies, and yet is still satisfied he now has it. Well aware of how not just Walder, but his entire family, fall into this, Season 7 opened with Arya massacring the entire Frey line via poisoned feast after killing Walder personally in the last season finale. As implausible as this all is, fans still cheered, just because those assholes seriously had it coming.
  • Ser Alliser Thorne. He begins as a cruel and sadistic bully who spends more time insulting recruits than actually training them. When he becomes Acting Commander he does everything he can to humiliate and belittle Jon and Sam. But he truly cements this when he betrays and murders Jon for simply trying to save the wildlings from the white walkers. After this he becomes one of the most despised characters in the show. He completely deserved his hanging at the hands of Jon Snow after he was resurrected and no one shed any tears for him.
  • Smalljon Umber. He betrayed Rickon Stark and Osha and sold them to the Boltons, while being well aware of how vile the Boltons were. Reason? He believed that they would help fight against the wildlings, meaning that he valued his racism more than his loyalties. And if that wasn't enough, before that, he committed a Kick the Dog moment by slaughtering yet another Direwolf, Shaggydog. When he happily participated in the Battle of the Bastards on the Bolton side and yelled "Who owns the North?" few minutes after Ramsay's brutal murder of little Rickon that Umber was watching, his disgusting nature reached its peak It was very satisfying to see Tormund rip his throat and stab him to death.
  • Balon Greyjoy is the bigoted, spiteful and uncharismatic patriarch of House Greyjoy, and is indirectly responsible for turning Theon's life into a living hell. When faced with the latter, he doesn't give a shit because his son is no longer capable of siring children. Even his Pet the Dog moments with Yara find themselves subverted over time, going as far as disinherit her for "disobeying his orders", which allows the audience to learn that Yara, like Theon, is simply another tool in their father's plans. Even when Balon died, murdered at the hands of his more vicious brother Euron, he did not garner much, if any, sympathy from the viewers.

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