Game Of Thrones Best Villains
If there is one thing that makes Game of Thrones such a compelling watch (besides the gratuitous and horrific deaths) is those characters who inflict such mayhem and despair. There has been plenty to hate over the series’ 8 seasons, though the villains of Game of Thrones are not created equally. Some are cunning in their quest to do damage while others love to flaunt their nastiness.
We have rounded up the 10 most worthy to hold the title of the best villain the Game of Thrones has produced. These are our favorite of the baddies; how do they rate on your list? Tell us.
10. Tywin Lannister
As the powerful patriarch of House Lannister, Tywin Lannister was both calculating and ruthless in prioritizing Lannister dominance above all else. Charles Dance played Tywin, a man with a strategic mind whose lack of empathy made him formidable as he even ordered the execution of his own brother, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). His help orchestrating the “Red Wedding” helps place him on the Game of Thrones best villain list.
9. Roose Bolton
As many of the villains did in the name of their families in Game of Thrones, Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) committed his atrocities in the name of House Bolton. Roose was shown to have incredible restraint, not known for flying off the handle, and has a keen understanding of how to rid the obstacles in his path. He also jumps on this list by conspiring with Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey (David Bradley) to remove the Starks from existence.
8. The Mountain (Ser Gregor Clegane)
A man built as big as a mountain should call himself “The Mountain.” What puts Ser Gregor Clegane on this list is the sheer brutality with which he handled business. Unquestionably ruthless in combat based on his massive size, The Mountain built his reputation on violence. He almost bought the farm during the infamous duel with Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), but the fight ended up with one of the most gruesome deaths (Martells) seen on Game of Thrones.
7. The High Sparrow
Such an evil man wrapped in the cloak of self-righteousness. Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) portrayed the High Sparrow, who has convinced himself he is good and pure by the way he talks of the Gods. It is his demands of worship that prove just how evil he truly is and if it wasn’t his words, then his actions also showed his true colors. One of his most heinous acts was forcing Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) to atone for her sins by walking nude through the streets of King’s Landing.
6. Littlefinger (Petyr Baelish)
Aidan Gillan masterfully portrayed Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, a master manipulator who uses chaos as his ladder to the top. Littlefinger’s cunning nature had him playing the mastermind behind many of the Game of Thrones conflicts, but his desire to reach the pinnacle proved to be too much. His eventual crossing of the Starks (one time too many) found him on the wrong side of a sharp blade, and rightfully so.
5. Walder Frey
One of the three conspirators that took out House Stark during the Red Wedding. Walder Frey teamed up with Roose Bolton and Tywin Lannister to provide Game of Thrones viewers with one of the most shocking and gruesome deaths in the entire series. Frey’s rule over Riverrun was disgusting enough, but during the Red Wedding’s carnage and Catelyn Stark’s threatening to cut the throat of Walder’s wife, he simply replies, “I’ll find another.”
4. Night King
The Night King was born a killer and his only goal is to turn all living people into an undead army, the largest ever seen to walk the earth. He is the supernatural threat that there was little answer to stop. The Night King doesn’t dance around who and what he is, he has not one ounce of good in him, and he only wishes to wreak havoc on all he comes in contact with. It was his ending in Game of Thrones’ final season that turned viewers off, as they expected much more of a confrontation with the Night King.
3. Ramsey Bolton
When The New York Times dubs you “the most hated man on TV,” then you know you’ve made your mark. Iwan Rheon played Ramsay Bolton with such delightful villainy, leaning hard into his sadism and brutality, that he was despised throughout his Game of Thrones existence. He loved to inflict pain and was quite impulsive in his dirty deeds. His actions were reprehensible enough, but the fact that he was also intelligent and tactful made him an even more hideous villain.
2. Joffrey Baratheon
Before Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) ascends the Westeros throne, he kept his sadistic nature fairly well hidden. But once the son of Cersei makes it to the top, all of that creepy and twisted unpredictability comes shining through. Joffrey has zero empathy, as evidenced by his first act as ruler – the beheading of Ned Stark (Sean Bean). Unfortunately, fans never got to see the entire depravity of Joffrey as his time on Game of Thrones ended way too soon.
1. Cersei Lannister
It is the love that Cersei Lannister has for her children and her family that pushes her to do the horrific things she does. Cersei is such a complex, well-drawn-out character, one that fans love to hate. But it is her ruthless ambition and cunning that sets her apart, turning her into the most formidable of the Game of Thrones villains.