He’s Ramsay Snow
Eager for fun
He wears a smile
Of course, the Bastard of Bolton is not a demonic entity that lives in the woods, loves possessing people, and sometimes takes the form of an owl. He is a mere mortal, and I have no doubt that he will meet a grisly end. But if you define Twin Peaks’ Killer BOB as primarily someone who feasts on fear and pleasure, Ramsay will fit that description as well. As GoT’s most unhinged and violent character, he is GRRM’s purest manifestation of “the evil that men do.” Other villainous inhabitants of the ASoIaF world, such as Joffrey or Randyll Tarly, are more easily psychoanalysed, and their evil has clear origins, whether that would be “patriarchal ideals” or “spoiled traumatized childhood.” On the other hand, Ramsay’s villainy is more primal and less reducible to societal causes. It is usually attributed to the mysterious influence of Reek 1.o, who possessed uncanny qualities (that unexplainable smell) and thus was connected to the supernatural. In the show, as we know, there is only one Reek (as opposed to three in the book), which makes Ramsay even more enigmatic.
If you look at common depictions of book Ramsay, there is something BOB-like in his appearance, in that he has long hair and wild eyes. He is also supposed to be fugly. Therefore, the show creators’ decision to cast Iwan Rheon in this role might seem surprising. He is just too cutesy! He’s Simon from Misfits, for fuck’s sake!
To be honest, though, I really like the change. The fact that show Ramsay looks like a cute hobbit actually complicates our relationship with this character. If he were repellent, that would make him too easy to hate, and the whole Ramsay thing would turn out boring. Right now, it’s like–he flays people, but he looks adorable. Hmmmmm.
It might seem like Ramsay Snow is the polar opposite of Simon Bellamy, but actually Iwan had a few moments on Misfits where he showed off the crazier side of his character. For example, in the famous “Who’s Barry” moment (where he stood up to Nathan, the boy who had been taunting him) he looked quite menacing. So his successful transformation into Ramsay makes sense.
I also loved it that the showrunners decided to give Ramsay a girlfriend. In the book he had a gang of male friends that participated in his sadistic experiments, but GoT introduced a girl instead. That’s kinda feminist actually. Being a psycho is not a male prerogative!
The Roose is on the loose!
Even though I find Ramsay’s past intriguing, I won’t be upset if he dies soon. At this point, he seems utterly predictable, and I doubt that he’s got more tricks up his sleeve. His daddy Roose Bolton, though, is a different kind of cookie. In fact, he is one of my favorite characters, and I hope that he will be roose-boltoning until the very end! We do not really know what his ultimate goals are. In fact, there is a very cool theory out there suggesting that Roose might be a descendant of the Night’s King and his “corpse queen,” and that he might be dabbling in ice magic.
If Ramsay is Killer BOB, then Roose is Hannibal Lecter. Those two intelligent psychopaths def need to be friends. If there is a fanfic that needs to be written, THIS IS IT.
I also wonder what would happen if Roose got locked in a room with Littlefinger and Euron Greyjoy. Somebody needs to arrange that ASAP.
It will not be a surprise if I say that show Roose is more appealing to me than book Roose (seriously, I like ALL of the Bolton changes so far). I think if they decided to stick to the book description, he would just look like a wimpy vampire. Instead, we have Michael McElhatton, whose rugged looks and sonorous voice give Roose a quiet, grounded power.
Last but not least…
Speaking of book to show changes, it is impossible not to mention that Vargo Hoat substitute named Locke. I think he was one of the best things about S4E4, which I consider the show’s worst episode so far. I do like him more than the goat and his band of idiots (colorful as they are), because Locke seems to be developing into a charismatic, complex character that even managed to win Jon Snow to his side. Besides, his S3 speech to Jaime about “my father” was beyond stellar. I’m very happy that we’ll be seeing more of that guy.
That’s all for now about the Boltons! Oh, wait… there’s one more thing…
Too funny not to share! HA!