Both in books and on television, the continent of Westeros and surrounding areas are home to hundreds of characters from all over the moral spectrum. Even in this Crapsack World, however, there are still some characters who are especially heinous.
NOTE: ALL SPOILERS ARE UNMARKED
- Despite his young age, King Joffrey Baratheon stood out as one of the vilest characters in the series. While always shown to have a darker side, Joffrey finally crossed the line when he had Ned Stark executed, ensuring that the war with the Northerners would never reach a peaceful conclusion. Joffrey not only did this in front of Ned's daughter, Sansa, Joffrey's own fiancée, he then forced her to look at the decapitated heads of her father and household afterwards. This was then followed by a long period of Domestic Abuse during which Joffrey had her regularly beaten by his Kingsguard and threatened to rape her even after she married his uncle, Tyrion. As king, Joffrey reveled in his power over life and death, and his reign was filled with all manner of pointless cruelties. Joffrey's crimes included having a minstrel whose song offended him choose between losing his fingers or his tongue; attempting to have a drunken knight drowned in a cask of wine; firing on starving peasants with his crossbow; ordering his bodyguard to cut through a crowd of peasants to get at one of them who threw manure at him; nailing antlers to the heads of Stannis sympathizers and firing them from trebuchets as entertainment during the Battle of the Blackwater; and attempting to convince his grandfather to execute everyone who fought against him, regardless of whether or not they surrendered. A budding psychopath who believed being the king gave him the right to do whatever he liked, Joffrey's sadism was so great that he was well on his way to surpassing his predecessor as the next Mad King of the Seven Kingdoms.
- King Aerys II Targaryen, better known as "The Mad King", was Joffrey's predecessor, the last king of the Targaryen dynasty, and one of the most hated tyrants the Seven Kingdoms had ever known. Although he began as a promising ruler, Aerys slowly descended into insanity, at one point having a man's tongue torn out for joking that Aerys's Hand and best friend, Tywin Lannister, was the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Following his release from Duskendale, Aerys orders every Darklyn and Hollard, excluding Dontos, to be executed. After his son, Prince Rhaegar, absconded with Lyanna Stark, Aerys imprisoned Lyanna's brother Brandon for demanding her release. When Lord Rickard Stark demanded a Trial by Combat to settle the matter, Aerys named fire as his personal champion, having Rickard slowly roasted to death over an open flame. He also forced Brandon to watch Rickard's execution, strapping him to a torture device that strangled Brandon to death as he struggled to save his father. Aerys also ordered Jon Arryn to surrender Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon for execution, with Jon's refusal sparking Robert's Rebellion. Over the course of the war, Aerys had several of his failed Hands either exiled or burned to death, eventually replacing his competent advisors with deranged alchemists who shared his passion for fire. Aroused by the sight of men burning alive, Aerys savagely raped his wife on a number of occasions. When Tywin betrayed Aerys at the end of the war, Aerys ordered his pyromancers to use Wildfire to burn King's Landing to the ground, intending to kill hundreds of thousands rather than admit defeat. He also ordered his Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister, to murder Tywin, his own father. This led to Jaime betraying and murdering Aerys to save the city and his father's life.
- Ser Gregor Clegane, alias "the Mountain that Rides", is a colossal sadist in service to House Lannister and one of the most feared men in Westeros. Rumored to have murdered his sister, father, and two wives, Clegane's confirmed crimes are even more heinous. At twelve, he burned off half of his younger brother Sandor's face when the latter played with one of Gregor's discarded toys. At seventeen, he dashed Prince Aegon's head against a wall, then raped and murdered his mother, Princess Elia, with the baby's brains still on his hands. Introduced at a tournament in A Game of Thrones, Gregor murders one of his opponents, then tries to kill another and his own brother after being unseated in a joust. After tourney, he and his men rape a 13-year-old innkeeper's daughter. Unleashed on the Riverlands, Clegane and his men rape and murder anyone who falls into their hands. At one point in A Clash of Kings, for ten days, Gregor picks one person each day from a group of villagers for "The Tickler" to question until they die from his torture. After one villager volunteers to save her daughter, Clegane has the daughter tortured the next day to make sure the mother didn't leave anything out. In A Storm of Swords, Clegane cuts strips of flesh from Vargo Hoat and feeds them to Hoat, torturing Hoat for days before letting him die. He also smashes a girl's face in for speaking when he wanted silence, then turns her over to his men to be gang-raped for days. In the same book, during a duel with Oberyn Martell, Princess Elia's brother, who asserts that "you raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children", Clegane's only concern is that Oberyn got the order of events wrong, correcting him before brutally crushing Oberyn's skull.
- Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton, stands out as one of the most savage and depraved men in Westeros. Suspected of murdering his good-hearted, trueborn brother, Ramsay first comes to prominence after he forces Lady Hornwood to marry him to gain her lands. Having already starved her to death, Ramsay avoids death at the hands of Winterfell soldiers by impersonating his servant, Reek, then sending his "friend" to die in his place. When Theon Greyjoy takes over Winterfell, the imprisoned Ramsay allies himself with Greyjoy and acts as a corruptive influence, ultimately being the one to convince Theon to cross the line by murdering two little boys to pass them off as Bran and Rickon Stark. Gathering his own forces, Ramsay slaughters Ser Rodrik's Northerner soldiers, then betrays and captures Theon before ordering his men to raze Winterfell and slaughter everyone inside. One of Ramsay's favorite past-times is flaying people alive and he's done this many times, from the people he tortures, to the girls he hunts for fun that give him bad sport, to the surrendering Ironborn forces of Moat Cailin after Ramsay promised them mercy. Ramsay is also responsible for physically and mentally torturing Theon Greyjoy to condition him into a pathetic, insane wretch who believes himself the new Reek. Taking an Arya Stark impersonator as his wife to maintain Bolton control of the North, Ramsay abuses her constantly, despite her usefulness, even forcing Theon to participate in her wedding night bedding. A half-feral beast of a man, Ramsay lives to satisfy his sadistic urges and is so pointlessly and moronically cruel that even his own sociopathic father has to hold himself back from killing him.
- Craster is a particularly vicious Wildling and ally of the Night's Watch (each of whom identifies him as belonging to the opposing organization) who, in his own words, kneels to no man, including Mance Rayder, King-Beyond-The-Wall. Living alone in a huge, ramshackle compound, Craster keeps a harem of women in line with brainwashing and violence, breaking their spirits until they cannot rise up against him, despite the fact that they vastly outnumber him. All of these women are his "wives"; many of them are also his daughters and granddaughters. When one of them becomes pregnant, Craster waits to see if it is a boy or a girl. If the child is female, he waits until she is old enough—eleven or twelve years old—and does his best to impregnate her. If the child is a boy, Craster leaves him in the woods as sacrifice for the Others. Obsessed with his own hedonism, and raising the next generation of wives, Craster uses his allegiance with the Night's Watch to make sure that nobody, not even the Watch, interferes with his business.
- Rorge is a Serial Rapist and Serial Killer—especially of children—and the worst of the Brave Companions, his cruelty even exceeding their leader, Vargo Hoat. Freed along with his companion Biter, Rorge signs on with the "Bloody Mummers" after Arya Stark saves him from certain death. He offers to repay her by anally raping her with her own wooden sword, only stopping when she threatens him with Jaqen H'ghar. After the Brave Companions capture Jaime and Brienne, he attempts to rape Brienne, threatening to inflict Facial Horror if she screams. After Hoat's death, Rorge leads a band of brigands into Raid on Saltpans, during which women were raped and mutilated, children were butchered in the arms of their mothers, and almost the whole town was massacred. He personally kills twenty men and rapes a twelve-year-old girl, tearing her body with his armor, then giving the girl to his men who mutilate her further. Upon encountering Brienne again, Rorge expresses a desire to "cut off her legs and set her on her stumps so she can watch me fuck the crossbow girl." The girl in question is ten years old. Additional material indicates that he is also the reason why Biter is the way he is-finding an orphan boy, Rorge removed his tongue, filed his teeth, and made him fight dogs with only his new fangs. A consummate He-Man Woman Hater and Child Hater, and a pedophilic serial predator in a world full of warriors, Rorge earns the enmity and disgust of everyone he meets.
- Joffrey Baratheon is a dyed-in-the-wool sadist who seems to take pleasure only in fear and suffering. At first putting on a charming face, his true colors are hinted at when he begins carving up the face of Arya Stark's lowborn friend for fun, before trying to kill Arya herself for hitting him, despite the fact she's the younger sister of his fiancée, Sansa. After becoming king, however, Joffrey really comes into his own as a vicious bastard, ordering Ned Stark's execution even though it ensures a civil war with the North. Viewing Sansa as his toy, he frequently has her humiliated, beaten and threatened with death and rape. Among his many cruel acts, Joffrey has a bard choose between losing his hands or his tongue, tries to drown Ser Dontos with wine, orders a crowd of peasants executed because one threw some dung at him, forces one prostitute to beat another, possibly to death, at crossbow point, and eventually shoots Ros full of crossbow bolts just to experience what it's like to personally kill someone. The taboo of kin killing means little to Joffrey either, as he threatened to execute his mother for slapping him, tried to have his uncle Tyrion assassinated, and had his bastard siblings (including children and babies) butchered so no one would notice how little Joffrey resembled his supposed father, Robert Baratheon. In the end, Joffrey was merely a vicious, idiot king who believed ruling meant everyone was his to torment.
- Gregor Clegane, the Mountain, is the most feared knight in Westeros and works for Tywin Lannister and his family. A violent sadist who had once burned his brother's face for playing with one of his toys, Gregor is introduced in the Hand's tournament where he murders another contender via splintered lance; when Loras Tyrell manages to unhorse him, Gregor slaughters his own horse for failing him and attempts to murder Loras. When Gregor's own brother interferes, Gregor tries to kill him as well. When next seen, Gregor is head of the occupying Lannister forces at Harrenhal where he selects prisoners to be tortured to death by one of his men known as the Tickler. When Harrenhal is lost, Gregor has every prisoner put to the sword, leaving hundreds of corpses for the next arrivals to find. In season 4, Gregor is seen practicing his sword skills by butchering prisoners in wholly one-sided duels before he enters into a Trial by Combat representing the Crown against Prince Oberyn Martell who wishes to force Gregor to confess to the murder of Oberyn's sister Elia and her children. When Gregor gets his hands on Oberyn, he shoves his thumbs through the prince's eyes before squeezing his head until it explodes, wanting to hurt the man as much as possible while he roars out his guilt in killing the children before he raped and murdered Elia.
- Craster is a particularly nasty Wildling who resides beyond the Wall, making his living as an ally to the Night's Watch by providing them with supplies, shelter and info. Craster delights in antagonizing them, however, hiding behind the fact he's necessary to them to avoid reprisal. What makes Craster sickening is how he rules his self-given kingdom: Craster routinely marries any daughters he has when they come of age, beating and raping his many wives and daughter-wives. If they bear him sons, Craster sacrifices them by leaving them out for the White Walkers. Craster threatens violence on those he can't simply cow into submission and relishes the lack of law beyond the Wall to simply do whatever he wants, even having the audacity to claim he is a "Godly man" when criticized.
- Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton and the most vicious member of House Bolton, is a sadist with a knack for torture and flaying others alive. After capturing Winterfell, Ramsay proceeded to play twisted games with the captive Theon Greyjoy, pretending to be an Ironborn agent who comes to save Theonkilling his own men to keep up the ruse—and culminating in Ramsay bringing Theon to the Dreadfort and subjecting him to prolonged, hideous torture, including flaying bits of him and castrating him. All that remains of Theon afterwards is a broken, obedient shell whom Ramsay dubs "Reek." In his spare time, Ramsay and his equally psychotic lover Myranda release girls into the woods to hunt them for sport, also using the girls to feed Ramsay's savage hounds. When Ramsay makes Theon negotiate a surrender with other Ironborn, Ramsay guarantees their safety, only to have them flayed alive and displayed as gruesome trophies. After marrying Sansa Stark, Ramsay rapes her on the wedding night and continues to sexually and physically abuse her throughout the rest of the marriage. Ramsay cements his rule over his hold by murdering Roose and having his hounds eat his infant brother and stepmother. When he finally engages the Northern armies, Ramsay is apathetic to the death of his own men and shoots the preteen Rickon Stark dead—moments before he reaches Jon Snow. With few matching his pointless savagery, Ramsay Snow exemplified every negative stereotypes about bastards in Westeros.
- Lord Walder Frey, head of House Frey, is a smug old man who nevertheless appears to be little more than a doddering but harmless pervert before the true depths of his treachery are made apparent. In alliance with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton, Walder organizes the Red Wedding and oversees the deaths of Robb Stark, his pregnant wife Talisa, Catelyn, and the near-entirety of their bannermen in a full-on massacre whilst nonchalantly drinking from a cup of wine—for the sake of power and getting back at Robb for breaking his wedding vow. Walder coldly dismisses the life of his teenage wife once Catelyn takes her hostage with the logic of "I'll find another" and doesn't so much as blink when her throat is cut in front of him. Walder is entirety unrepentant about his betrayal and destructive fallout caused by it, and cruelly gloats about his victory and the new position of power he's snagged for the rest of his role in the series. Walder is a coward and a backstabber who considers even age-old traditions like guest right irrelevant in the face of personal gain, and is rightfully detested even in the cutthroat world of Westeros for his treason.
- Karl Tanner, the most depraved of the many outlaws sent to the Night's Watch, takes the taboo of oathbreaking to extreme measures. Karl first proves his viciousness and treachery by instigating a mutiny at Craster's Keep which claims the lives of Lord Commander Mormont and all of his loyalists. After taking over at Craster's Keep, Karl rules with an iron fist, drinks wine from the skull of the very commander he betrayed, relishes his past as a Psycho for Hire and constantly pressures his own men to rape and brutalize Craster's wives/daughters, who are too terrified of Karl's violent outbursts to oppose him. This is shown when his right-hand man, Rast, initially refuses to feed Jon's direwolf, Karl threatens to kill him despite the fact that Rast saved his life from Mormont a while back. When one of Craster's wives steps in with the last born baby boy, Karl's first reaction is to take a knife and kill it for not wanting any more mouths to feed. He is only stopped when the wives point out that they usually leave them as a sacrifice for the White Walkers, so he has that done instead. Once one of his men captures Bran and his group, Karl mercilessly abuses Bran and menaces Meera in order to get him speak. After learning that Bran is Jon's half-brother, Karl takes them as valuable hostages. Later, he attempts to gang-rape Meera with his men while forcing his brother to watch. When encountered by Jon, Karl shows nothing but pride for his treachery and relishes the time he and his men had as free men, despite mocking Craster for the same lifestyle a while back.
- 2012 game: Valarr Hill, bastard brother to Alester Sarwyck of Riverspring, is the main villain of the game. A member of Queen Cersei's guard hunting for the pregnant mother of one of King Robert's bastards named Jeyne, Valarr frames his and Alester's younger brother for the death of their father and later tries to have him assassinated. Revealed as the man who killed hero Mors's family on Lord Tywin's orders, Valarr also raped Mors's daughter, a fact he taunts him about when they meet in trial by combat. Valarr intends to force his own half-sister into marriage and rape her, before cheating in the duel by using dark magic to kill Mors and having all the witnesses massacred before murdering his and Alester's sister; hunting down Jeyne, killing her; and having the lord defending her and his men massacred. Valarr breaks every taboo Westeros has, from kinslaying, rape, violating guest right and more, caring for nothing but his own ascent to further heights.
- Telltale Games Series: Ramsay Snow is the representative in the North for the as-yet-unseen Roose Bolton, orchestrating the conflict between the Forresters and Whitehills for profit and enjoyment. Ramsay is introduced while flaying a man alive for recreation, lamenting that the result is "not [his] best work". After entering the Forresters' estate by force, he tries to take Talia hostage with clear lascivious intent before pragmatically settling on her brother instead, and murders the teenage Ethan on a whim. He later returns to "break" Rodrik by forcing him to witness his torture (and eventual murder) of Rodrik's friend Arthur. He later pits the Forresters and Whitehills against each other in a war of annihilation, passing up potential profit for the sake of a bloody spectacle. A sadist who lives only to relish the suffering he inflicts on others, Ramsay is feared and loathed throughout the North.
- King Maegor I Targaryen, the third King of the Seven Kingdoms, was better known as Maegor The Cruel, and was the ancestor to both Aerys II and Joffrey. He usurped the throne from his nephew and promptly decapitated the one Archmaester who protested. As king, Maegor turned to brutal tactics to suppress the Faith of the Seven, even riding on his dragon Balerion to burn down a Sept with all worshippers inside, using archers to pick off stragglers. Maegor proceeded to commit massacre after massacre, even passing off the skulls of poor smallfolk in the wrong place at the wrong time as members of the Faith's warriors. Worse still was Maegor's attitudes towards family: Maegor killed his own nephew in combat, and then had his second nephew captured and tortured to death. When one of his wives gave birth to a "stillborn monstrosity," Maegor had her, everyone at the birth, and her entire family executed. When his favorite wife, Tyanna of the Tower, revealed she'd poisoned said wife from jealousy, causing the monstrosity, Maegor cut her heart out and gave it to the dogs. Obsessed with having an heir, Maegor forcibly married three women, including his own niece. After having the Red Keep constructed, Maegor also had the builders massacred to keep its secrets to himself. Monstrous, brutal, violent and cruel, Maegor's excesses drove all Westeros to unite against him behind his only surviving nephew, Jaehaerys, and Maegor is remembered to the present day as one of the greatest examples of an evil King.
- The aforementioned Queen Tyanna of the Tower is the third wife of the aforementioned Maegor the Cruel. A former Pentoshi courtesan rumored to dabble in alchemy and sorcery, Tyanna served as Maegor's chief spy, plotting the deaths of thousands for Maegor. When Maegor's nephews rebelled, Tyanna personally tortured Prince Viserys for nine days before he expired, with many, many more innocents dying in agony at her hands. Tyanna would poison Maegor's other wives to ensure they birthed only stillborn monstrosities, including Queen Alys Harroway, who Tyanna herself tortured to death while dozens of Alys's suspected lovers died, along with Alys's entire House. Justly feared and despised during Maegor's reign, Tyanna was one of the few who could rival her husband for wickedness and sadism.
- The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens: "Hard" Hugh Hammer and Ser Ulf the White, known as "The Betrayers", are "Dragonseeds," descendants of Targaryen bastards, who successfully tame dragons and are recruited into the forces of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen. During the battle of Tumbleton, however, they reveal their true colors: defecting to Aegon II's side, the two attack Tumbleton with their dragons, scorching the town from end to end with their flames and killing all those caught up in the conflagration, with thousands of refugees burning or drowning in the river Mander. The soldiers who surrender are promptly beheaded and the two brutally sack the town, with people killed and women raped, including girls as young as eight and ten years old. Following the sack, they set themselves as tyrants over Tumbleton. Women who fail to please Ulf are given to his dragon. Ulf demands the rulership of Highgarden for his service while Hugh demands his own crown. When one knight is so incensed he knocks Hugh's self-made crown off, Hugh has three horseshoes nailed to his head. The two are so vile that a secret conspiracy between the two sides is formed for the sole purpose of eliminating them during the war. Even in the brutal Dance of the Dragons, these two exemplify why bastards are often seen as villains in Westeros.