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    Updated on Jun 3, 2019. Posted on May 31, 2019

    The Definitive Ranking Of "Game Of Thrones" Villains

    Not all villains were created equal.

    Game of Thrones is full of good characters who do bad things, and bad characters who turn out to have some good in them. In other words, there's a whole lot of grey, so the "villains" aren't entirely clear cut for the most part. Still, there are a bunch of characters who do fit into the category in one way or another. What better way to look back at them than to rank them from worst (hate to hate) to best (love to hate)...

    20. Euron Greyjoy

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    Euron Greyjoy is not only the worst villain in the show's history – he's the worst character. He's one-dimensional and incredibly boring, functioning as nothing more than a plot device and bad-joke machine. He didn't deserve to be such a major player in the endgame.

    19. Daenerys Targaryen

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    Oh, Dany. For over seven seasons, she's a hero...and then suddenly she's a villain. Much has been said about the way the character development in Season 8 was totally rushed, and how Dany's descent into being the "Mad Queen" particularly felt unearned. So yeah. It wasn't fun to see Dany as a villain. It was just really freaking tragic.

    18. Jaime Lannister

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    Jaime hasn't really been a "villain" on Game of Thrones for a long time, and yet he was basically the show's first. He pushes Bran from a tower window in the very first episode after all. Throughout Season 1, we see him framed primarily from Ned's perspective, and it's hard not to hate him just as Ned does. Of course, Jaime's character deepens and develops over the course of the show, to the point where he became a fan favourite. It says a lot about the strength of the writing for most of the show that we ended up rooting for the guy who banged his sister and tried to murder a 10-year-old the first time we met him.

    17. Stannis Baratheon

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    Stannis isn't a clear-cut villain. In fact, he's downright sympathetic and even good a lot of the time (especially in his commitment to grammar). But the way he will stop at nothing – even sacrificing his own daughter, precious baby Shireen – certainly puts him on the dark side of Game of Thrones history. But it's not pleasant to see him go there.

    16. Theon Greyjoy

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    Theon starts off as a "good guy", albeit a very arrogant and annoying one. But when he betrays Robb and takes over Winterfell, he slips right into villain territory. And then Ramsay gets him. And whatever Theon did, he did not deserve what happens to him. He spent the last three seasons on the path to redemption, and it was impossible to hate him by the end.

    15. Pyat Pree

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    Ugh. Pyat Pree is just annoying. All he wants is magical powers – we're not given any interesting motive beyond that. And he hurts the baby dragons. That's a step too far.

    14. The Sons of the Harpy

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    The Sons of the Harpy have motive, but not much else. They're a faceless, personality-less threat, and the damage they cause – robbing us of Ser Barristan Selmy, amongst other things – is more frustrating than anything else.

    13. The Waif

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    The Waif hates Arya from the moment she meets her, and bullies her non-stop. She has no personality beyond being a bitch to Arya, and no apparent desires beyond wanting to kill her. Bo-ring. I was so glad when her plot was over.

    12. The High Sparrow

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    Gods, I can't stand the sight of the High Sparrow. Doesn't he just look like he smells? Maybe it's just me, but I find religious hypocrisy and using faith as a way to punish people particularly loathsome, and there was not much delight (perverse or otherwise) to be had in the way the High Sparrow treated people. It says a lot when I was rooting for Cersei Lannister against him.

    11. Walder Frey

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    Walder Frey is pretty useless. He happens to have a prime piece of land and uses that as leverage to bend others to his will. He's petty and nasty, and he's not even the driving force behind his worst actions. He's a pawn and he doesn't even know it.

    10. The Mountain

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    The Mountain is a hulking mass of pure evil even before he becomes a zombie. He's one of the most cartoon villains in the Game of Thrones universe, yet he benefits from the Hound's hatred of him. The fraught dynamic between the Clegane brothers made for a compelling plot, and waiting for Cleganebowl was one of the most fun aspects of the fandom. What is hype may never die.

    9. Ramsay Bolton

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    Speaking of cartoon villains...yeah, Ramsay veers dangerously close to this territory, especially as the seasons wore on. Too much went right for him, to the point where his plot felt unbelievable at times ("20 good men" anyone?). He well overstayed his welcome.

    8. Alliser Thorne

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    Thorne is such a prick. But he's an interesting character. As hateful as he is to Jon Snow, Thorne's actions always make sense. He's given just enough back story and small character moments to make him feel real. I didn't miss him when he was killed off though.

    7. Viserys Targaryen

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    The first time I watched Game of Thrones, I hated Viserys with a passion and wasn't sorry to see the end of him. But rewatching it, I can't help but enjoy him more and more each time. He's an abusive asshole, of course, but damn if he isn't charming and interesting to watch.

    6. The Night King

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    Ah, the Night King. The most anti-climactic villain in Game of Thrones history. And yet his ending doesn't take away from the fact that for so long, he was one of the most intriguing and mysterious facets of the show. Sure, the fan theories ended up being more interesting than the actual plot, but they were fun while they lasted.

    5. Roose Bolton

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    Roose Bolton is off-putting even when we think he's backing Robb Stark, and then he goes and MURDERS HIM. What a complete and utter goddamn bastard. But there's something about his cold, calculating manner that is compelling. Unlike Ramsay, he has depths beyond being pure evil.

    4. Littlefinger

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    Littlefinger is the cause of sooooo much destruction. He basically starts the War of the Five Kings. He betrays Ned Stark and gets him killed. For many seasons, every bad thing that happened in Westeros had Littlefinger behind it in some way. I've gotta say, putting those puzzle pieces together was one of the most rewarding parts of watching the show.

    3. Joffrey Baratheon

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    I never would have thought I'd miss Joffrey Baratheon, and then I had to endure Ramsay Bolton. As awful as Joffrey is, he's always rather fascinating. The various ways the other characters try to deal with him make for some of the show's best moments.

    2. Cersei Lannister

    HBO

    Cersei is a brilliant. She's complex and layered, and even if we hate her actions, we understand why she does them. If her character development suffered in the last couple of seasons (as it did with every character, to be frank), the first six cement her as one of the most memorable villains in pop culture history. And her worst crime – blowing up the sept – created one of the best episodes of TV ever. Thank you, Cersei.

    1. Tywin Lannister

    HBO

    I loved Tywin. He is absolutely mesmerising every time he's on screen. What makes him so great is the fact he's not totally evil. He's ruthless, cruel and cunning...but he doesn't do bad things for the sake of being bad. He's also incredibly flawed, which is what ultimately leads to his downfall – and what makes him feel more real and interesting. He was the one villain I immediately mourned the loss of. I could have watched three or four more seasons of him, at least.

    Need more Game of Thrones? Check out all our Game of Thrones coverage here.

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