When you’re part of a story that involves a large number of violent and troubled individuals and you can come out as one of the top worst characters of the entire story, there’s something to be said about that. Ramsay Bolton was a truly deranged character in a tale that treated such people as either madmen or nobility, but being a bastard he wasn’t real nobility until his father finally bestowed his last name upon him. Even then, there was something terribly wrong with Ramsay since the delight he took in torture was even more disturbing than Joffrey’s and what’s more, he didn’t mind killing his father or his father’s wife and child, in the most gruesome fashion of course. And the entire time he was setting her up, he was smiling. Some might say that his torture of Theon Greyjoy was even worse since he broke the man in every possible way he could until Theon was basically just a shell of his former self. And all the while, he taunted Theon with every chance he got. Oh yeah, there was something wrong with Ramsay.
But the reason why he’s the worst character isn’t just for the things he did, but the fact that he didn’t really have that big of an impact on the rest of the story while he was doing it. Taking over his father’s forces, torturing people, and being the type of villain that kept his distance and wasn’t overly bright or even that great of a fighter, Ramsay was a character that had too little character development for someone that was meant to be a major villain in the show. He wasn’t a Lannister or even a Frey, but he was certainly someone that needed a little more of an arc to his story, not simply one long, drawn-out idea that became the whole point of his character.
This is pretty much what Ramsay was, a torturing coward that fought from afar since he couldn’t take anyone toe to toe. The moment Jon Snow faced him for the final time, he took Ramsay down easily and knocked the hell out of him until it was finished. The death that he was finally given was pretty gruesome and well-deserved, but it didn’t really fit the weak arc he was given. For something as gritty as being eaten alive by his own dogs, Ramsay should have probably been a much greater threat, perhaps a greater warrior, or tactician, who could have the Starks a much bigger headache than he did. He was diabolical and definitely evil beyond redemption, but the fact is that this is really all we knew about Ramsay that mattered, there was nothing else to his character that really stuck for a lot of people since his ability and desire to torture others was all well and good for a while, but it didn’t last since it was all he was ever seen to do. He did engage in a few other things, but nothing so significant that it ever took the fans down another avenue of his twisted psyche. Had we seen what else he was capable of it might have been a little different and this designation might have fallen to someone else.
As it stands, Game of Thrones featured a great number of psychopaths, all of them worse than the other to a certain degree. The Hound thought that he was a bad man, but he also thought that there were worse in the seven kingdoms, and he was right. Just for being a purely evil character, Ramsay has a lot of the people on the cast list beat, especially when it comes to having no real motivation for doing the things he does, other than the fact that he wants to. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Oh, he had other motivations of course, but they kind of pale next to what he really ended up doing during his short rule as Lord Bolton. He was so busy torturing Theon that he kind of forgot to be the evil lord he was supposed to be and really solidify his own story. Sometimes, when you don’t check yourself, it’s very possible to forget that there are people who are actively seeking your demise.
Killing Rickard Stark in front of Jon and then failing to kill Jon wasn’t the best idea either, since Ramsay thought that he had the Battle of the Bastards won, but once again, he proved that he wasn’t much of a tactician and sorely mistook his chances, though it did help that Sansa showed up with her late aunt’s army. After that it was pretty much lights out and, as Sansa said, he wouldn’t even be a memory. Well, she might have been off on that one just a little.