Let’s Talk About Ramsay Bolton

who let the dogs outA few years back I sang an ode to the most incredible pop culture current ever – the appreciation of the villain. I sang praises to Loki, and Bane, and The Joker itself, underlining the exceptional quality of being entirely charismatic in a world of destruction.

This week’s Game of Thrones gave us one of the best episodes (if not the best, as some say) and a battle to enjoy. What’s left of this battle is the collective information that Ramsay Bolton is now dog food, but boy, does he deliver!

Suffice to say that casting Iwan Rheon was the thing that made me watch Game of Thrones regularily. After enjoying his presence in Misfits, a quirky show with plenty of to be-stars and very real in portraing teenage angst, the news that he’s gonna play a new character in the ultimate high fantasy HBO production was very intriguing. After some digging, because I haven’t finished reading the books, I learned that his character was at least evil, and thus, interesting.

I’m a sucker for Rheon, whom I consider one of the greatest actors of his generation, because he’s got that Sunday school boy face and the eyes of a madman – kinda like our little hobbit, Elijah Wood. This combination always catches my eye and interest, so I started binging and enjoying Ramsey.

This is not to say that I agree with his way of living. No way! I’m all for the good guys. But Ramsay has that viciousness that lures you in, and you only realize that when it’s too late. His character is demanding your full attention, his gore will make you sick and his capable mind will only make you envious of its power.

Iwan Rheon was the unnamed leader of prime time television evil for his entire run on Game of Thrones. His Ramsay was the ultimate villain, mastering the fear and plotting torture with a smile on his beautiful, angelic face. A part of me is sad that this amazing work of art will not be present next week on my little screen. A part of me is happy with the way his life and death we’re handled – not some greater than life transformation from bad to good, but a former’s victim revenge. A part of me is in awe that I could ever like such a person. And another part of me refuses to watch Game of Thrones again.

He was the greatest villain of our time, and nothing can fill the void he left.


Review: Game of Thrones

I just jumped the Game of Thrones wagon, complete with the cumbersome task of reading the saga that inspired the TV show, but I am not, by all means, new to the following it has, nor am I new to the events that happened until I started indulging on the phenomenon.

Last year I was intrigued by the oh-so-known Red Wedding episode, but it wasn’t enough for me to start watching the show. This year I read about the controversial rape scene near boy-king Joffrey and, while I was a little curious, it still wasn’t enough for me.

But what made me catch up with Game of Thrones was the sudden realization that one of my favorite actors from Misfits also joined the ensemble cast, and now watching it was a challenge.

Iwan Rheon joined the cast as Ramsay Snow, the vicious bastard of Lord Roose Bolton, who practically enslaved Theon Greyjoy, after torturing, flaying and mutilating him. The way that Rheon portrays this wild creature that resembles a human from afar is kind of mesmerizing, after seeing him as the shy and gentle Simon in Misfits.

Oh well, that was the only reason I had for watching the series, but now I am kind of hooked, as I started reading the books also. I find them a bit too pretentious for my taste, as the vocabulary used is a bit far fetched, but it is a compelling read nonetheless.

I have some observations regarding the show (as I my book advances are modest so far), because I noticed that my favorite characters are rarely the ones that the vast majority of the public prefers.

Maybe the most obvious choice is the always-adored Tyrion Lannister, the Imp that everyone loves, and that’s not a bad thing. He uses sarcasm when others use swords, and even when he uses swords, he’s still a better fighter than most. His greatest flaw is his acceptance of his physique, combined with the superiority that comes with a witty mind. Add to that a sharp tongue and little obedience, and we have the most funny, deep and caring character of the show.

Of course I love Sansa, with her red hair and her innocence, but I also love her new found maturity, the one that comes after a great deal of pain. I also love her bastard brother, Jon Snow the brave, the fiery and the passionate beast of the north that he is. And I like Bran enough to wait and see what he grows up to be.

But besides these obvious choices there are some weird ones, like Theon Greyjoy and Ramsay Snow. Theon is interesting, always switching sides, always cocky (well, now… not so much), always horny and ready for a good fight, ready to prove himself, ready to do anything to be accepted. Basically, a little boy at heart. I never liked the character that much until he was morphed into Reek, but now I can appreciate Alfie Allen’s true talent, and I must admit that he is a great actor.

Ramsay Snow is a very weird choice, indeed, but I can explain it by choosing to see what Iwan Rheon shows us – a flawed man, filled with insecurities. I can draw many parallels between him and Theon (and maybe Jon, Robb, and even Arya and Bran). All of them have to prove themselves, all of them have to fight to be accepted, to make their fathers proud, to earn their place in the world. So far, only Ramsay manages to do that, albeit his methods are very unorthodox.

I must admit that the Game hasn’t fully caught up on me yet, as I am not as fond of it as are my other friends, but I love controversy, I enjoy witnessing stories about faulty people, I like watching them choosing their paths, and so I will not give up on this. Yet.