GOT: Why Joffrey Is A Better Villain Than Ramsay (Despite Being Less Evil)

Even though Ramsay Bolton is a far more evil figure in Game of Thrones, Joffrey Baratheon is still a better villain within the show. The premiere episode of Game of Thrones portrays Joffrey and Cersei as key antagonists, with Joffrey being a spoiled brat who’s the heir to the throne and Cersei as his conniving mother. Although, Joffrey is clearly worse, as at least Cersei’s amorality comes with a game plan and she has the redeemable quality of loving her children. As the series progresses, more and more foes are introduced against the protagonist Starks, Tyrion, and Daenerys, with Ramsay Bolton being the primary villain in the North.

Once Ramsay first appeared in season 3, Joffrey had a run for his money for who was the worst villain. Ramsay is clearly terrifying and far more brutal than Joffrey, particularly in his season 5 marriage to Sansa. When Joffrey and Sansa were betrothed, he implied brutality toward her and psychologically tortured her, but when it came to physical cruelty, Joffrey always had one of his guards commit the acts. Ramsay had absolutely no regard for human life and tortured characters to no end, whereas Joffrey was simply spoiled while having a lack of conscience or sympathy for others. As such, Ramsay definitely takes the cake for the most purely evil villain in Game of Thrones.

Related: Game Of Thrones Theory: Tywin Let Joffrey's Death Happen

Although his character only had a less than four season arc, Joffrey is widely regarded as one of the evilest villains in television history. While Joffrey is obviously evil and cruel, especially for a young teenager, the most undeniably, purely villainous character in Game of Thrones is Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay instills fear in all of his foes because of his untethered brutality and complete lack of morals, but as a substantial villain, Joffrey is a much better-written character whose cruelty extended to the entire realm. Just because Ramsay instills more fear and has even less of a moral conscience doesn’t make him a better substantial villain for the series, whereas Joffrey is a more memorable character that audiences love to hate, but can still stand seeing him on screen.

Joffrey is the most notable villain of Game of Thrones largely because he was present at a time when the series was better regarded for its writing, and because he was a child whose cruel choices impacted all of Westeros. For the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, Joffrey is one of the titular men in The War of the Five Kings, meaning there is much more widespread investment in his demise. Ramsay’s villainy is primarily contained to the North, where his victims are few but significant. Many characters could go on not even knowing who Ramsay Bolton was, while everyone remembers Joffrey, particularly for his choice to behead Ned Stark and kickstart the war that would plague the Seven Kingdoms.

While Ramsay is the definition of evil, he’s also a much more cartoonish villain, where his cruelty is just about all there is to him. He’ll kill anybody who could possibly stand in his way, his father and infant brother included. Joffrey has much more substance as a character and actually has a few people who care for and want to help him, such as Cersei and, with much hesitation, his protagonist uncle Tyrion Lannister. Joffrey is a spoiled brat child who has been pampered his entire life, but he also has clear human weaknesses that make him a more accessible character. For starters, he’s a coward. He never fought in any of his own battles and would snap at anyone who questioned his claim to the throne, making him an insecure teenager with no morals, which is even worse. The brutalities of Ramsay onto Sansa, Theon, and Rickon make him a memorable Game of Thrones villain, though Joffrey’s impact and slight glimmer of humanity were much more significant to the series’ progression, making his earlier demise all the more satisfying.

Next: How Game Of Thrones' Coffee Cup Unfairly Became Season 8's Biggest Villain

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