Game of Thrones quickly earned a reputation as being one of the most violent shows on television. Characters we loved were constantly getting executed, murdered, maimed, and tortured by their enemies.
What makes it all so much worse is the fact that the violence is all in the name of a fruitless pursuit of power, which is all going to come to an end when the White Walkers finally decide to invade Westeros. If you were someone who was caught in the clutches or Ramsay, Cersei, or Joffrey, then you might welcome the arrival of the ice zombies.
HBO can only go so far in its depiction of violent acts. As such, there are characters from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series that have committed deeds too foul to be shown on television.
We are here today to look at the Game of Thrones characters who are far more despicable in the books.
From the Bolton who brings his pets to bed, to the Greyjoy who may be trying to wake up Cthulhu, here are 15 Game Of Thrones Characters Who Are Much More Evil In The Books.
15. Joffrey Baratheon
The entire audience let out an obnoxious cheer when Joffrey Baratheon choked to death at his own wedding. This cheer eventually died down, as the fans realized that one of the best villains in TV show history had just died, and that Game of Thrones wouldn’t be the same without him. Jack Gleeson deserves all the praise in the world for creating such an entertaining villain.
We learn more about Joffrey’s childhood in the books. King Robert tells Ned Stark that the reason he hasn’t abdicated is that he is afraid of what would happen if Joffrey ascended to the throne.
When Joffrey was a child, he learned that a cat in the Red Keep was pregnant. He cut the cat open and presented the unborn fetuses to King Robert, who smacked Joffrey in a fit of rage.
The reason for a lot of Joffrey’s hateful deeds is because he was trying to emulate his father’s actions. This is why he ordered the assassination of Bran Stark, as he overheard Robert talking about wanting to put the poor boy out of his misery.
Lord Petyr Baelish is the true architect behind the events that caused the War of the Five Kings. He framed Tyrion for the assassination plot on Bran Stark, which caused the armed conflict between the Lannisters and the Tullys/Starks.
Littlefinger also convinced Lysa Arryn to murder her husband, which prompted Ned Stark’s appointment to the position of Hand of the King, allowing Littlefinger to directly manipulate events from King’s Landing.
The TV show has revealed that Littlefinger owns many brothels. It doesn’t go into detail about the fact that he is involved in the child sex trade. He offers to take care of a young Jeyne Poole, which we later learn involves turning her into a prostitute. She is forced to learn the tricks of the trade while enduring regular beatings.
When Littlefinger murders Lysa Arryn in the show, the Lords of the Vale seem to accept Sansa’s account of what happened. In the books, Littlefinger frames a bard named Marillion for the crime. Marillion is tortured until he is coerced into giving a confession.
The true motivations of Varys are different in the TV show and the books. Game of Thrones has recently revealed that Varys is now a true devotee of Daenerys Targaryen and has dedicated his life to her cause. His motivations in the books are a lot different, as they are linked to a major storyline and a character that has been cut from the show.
In A Dance With Dragons, it is revealed that the eldest son of Rhaegar Targaryen is still alive. Varys saved him when he was a baby and spirited him away to Essos. This boy takes on the identity of Young Griff and he is trained to become the perfect monarch. Varys’ plans have all been in aid of one day putting this boy on the Iron Throne.
A Dance With Dragons concludes with Varys murdering Grand Maester Pycelle. He also kills Kevan Lannister in cold blood. Kevan was the only person holding the realm together and Varys shoots him with a crossbow bolt, in order to ensure that the damage Cersei has inflicted upon Westeros remains unfixed.
12. Gregor Clegane
Gregor Clegane is one of the evilest men in Westeros. This actually helped his career a great deal, as Tywin Lannister saw the benefits of having a mad dog that inspired fear in his enemies. The fact that Gregor was almost unstoppable in single combat helped him out in this regard.
In A Game of Thrones, Tywin unleashes Ser Gregor on the Riverlands after Tyrion is captured by Catelyn Stark. We hear a lot more about Gregor’s atrocities in the books and even see some of them through Arya’s eyes.
Gregor and his men take many of the unmanned castles in the Riverlands, which usually involved the inhabitants being raped, tortured, and murdered. He gives special treatment to Vargo Hoat, who is the man who cuts off Jamie’s hand in the books.
11. The Three-Eyed Raven (Brynden Rivers)
We find out almost nothing of the Three-Eyed Raven’s backstory in Game of Thrones. In the books, he is referred to as the Three-Eyed Crow. He was once a Targaryen bastard, named Brynden Rivers. Before he traveled beyond the Wall, Brynden was one of the most important political figures in the history of Westeros.
Brynden was a legitimized bastard of King Aegon IV. He supported his Targaryen brothers against the Blackfyres and eventually became the Hand of the King. It was rumored that Brynden was a sorcerer and that he was secretly controlling the realm.
The event that ousted Brynden from power was the announcement of a Great Council to determine who the next monarch would be. Aenys Blackfyre wanted to attend and Brynden promised him safe conduct.
10. Rorge and Biter
When Yoren leaves King’s Landing with a fresh batch of Night’s Watch troops (including Arya Stark and Gendry), he brings a wagon with three prisoners from the black cells. These are Jaqen H’ghar, Rorge, and Biter.
The latter two were involved with illegal pit fighting and were highly dangerous individuals. They are freed when Yoren is killed and the recruits are drafted into the Lannister army stationed at Harrenhal.
The fate of Rorge and Biter is weird in Game of Thrones. They just kind of sneak up on the Hound and Arya and spout out some exposition, before being killed.
In the books, they join a mercenary group called the Brave Companions, who are tasked with holding Harrenhal. They eventually abandon the castle and begin a campaign of violence and pillaging throughout the Riverlands.
Rorge and Biter lead an attack on the Saltpans, where they rape, mutilate, and murder all of the citizens in the town. They are finally put down by Brienne of Tarth and the Brotherhood Without Banners.
9. Cersei Lannister
Cersei Lannister has committed some horrible acts during the past few seasons of Game of Thrones. These are things that have happened after the current story of the books (like blowing up the Sept of Baelor), which means we have nothing to compare them to. When it comes to the earlier parts of the story, book Cersei is certainly worse than her TV show counterpart.
When Cersei was a child, she murdered her young friend as a reaction to Maggy the Frog’s prophecy. She was the one responsible for the deaths of Robert’s bastard children, which was done by Joffrey in the show.
When she comes into power, she gives prisoners over to Qyburn for his horrific experiments. Cersei descends into paranoia after the death of Joffrey, which causes her to alienate the Iron Bank, forcing them to call in loans across Westeros and bringing them into Stannis’ camp.
8. Loras Tyrell
Ser Loras Tyrell is regarded as one of the best fighters in the Seven Kingdoms. He is also said to be incredibly handsome, which essentially makes him the Justin Bieber of Westeros. When Loras attends a tourney, he is crowded by groups of admiring women who want to swoon over him.
Like all of the noblemen in Westeros, Loras has an agenda that wouldn’t gel with his public image. He was originally plotting with Renly Baratheon to make Robert disown his children and marry Margery Tyrell. They likely would have done this by revealing Cersei’s incest. Robert is killed before this plan can be put into effect, so Renly and Loras flee King’s Landing.
The worst deed committed by Loras happens shortly after the death of Renly. He murders two members of Renly’s Rainbow Guard (Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce) in a fit of rage, due to the fact that they didn’t protect Renly from assassination. Loras later feels guilt over the death of his two former comrades.
Shae might be the character who was changed the most from the transition from book to screen.
In Game of Thrones, she is shown to be truly in love with Tyrion Lannister. Shae repeatedly tries to convince him to leave the politics behind and for them to go live somewhere else in seclusion and peace.
Tyrion eventually tries to convince Shae that he doesn’t love her, as he wants her to leave before his family can harm her. A jilted Shae later embarrasses Tyrion in court, which ultimately leads to her death at his hands.
The book version of Shae never loved Tyrion. She loved his gold and power, yet Tyrion tricked himself into thinking that she loved him as a person. Shae told Tyrion that she wouldn’t mind if he had sex with Sansa after their wedding, which filled him with doubt about their relationship. The reason Shae testified against him in court was because Cersei offered her money and a wedding to a suitable suitor.
6. Wyman Manderly
In Game of Thrones, most of the Northern Lords don’t join Jon Snow and Sansa Stark’s cause against the Boltons. One of the most significant Lords is Wyman Manderly, who rules over White Harbor.
Manderly is presented as cowardly, as he supports neither the Starks nor the Boltons during the Battle of the Bastards and is chewed out by Lyanna Mormont for not declaring Jon and Sansa as rulers of the North.
Manderly is a far different character in the books. He is conspiring to overthrow the Boltons with the other Northern Lords. He is also active in seeking out revenge for the Red Wedding.
He has done this by capturing three members of House Frey and having them cooked into huge meat pies. Manderly brings these pies to Winterfell and feeds them by hand to the Boltons and Freys who are gathered there. This horrific act was given to Arya Stark in the show.
5. Ramsay Bolton
It is not hyperbole to say that Ramsay Bolton was the evilest character in Game of Thrones. His list of crimes includes sacking Winterfell, brutally torturing Theon, and taking control of the North through patricide. Iwan Rheon excellently played a murderous psychopath who was strangely charismatic.
The book version of Ramsay is way, way worse than his Game of Thrones counterpart. HBO would have got in a lot of trouble if they had attempted to show the full extent of Ramsay’s brutality.
It all began with Lady Hornwood. When the heirs to House Hornwood are killed fighting for Robb Stark, Ramsay Snow moves in and forces Donella Hornwood to marry him. He locks her in a tower without food and flays the skin from her fingers. She is discovered after her death, where it is apparent that she had tried to eat her own fingers.
Ramsay’s second wife fared far worse. In the books, he is married to Arya Stark (who is actually a girl called Jeyne Poole in disguise). She suffers many of the same tortures that Sansa lives through, except Ramsay also forces her to have sex with his dogs.
4. Catelyn Stark
Catelyn Stark has earned a bad reputation among the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire fan base.
She was directly responsible for starting the War of the Five Kings, as she imprisoned Tyrion without fair cause. Catelyn also sets Jamie Lannister free, which diminishes Robb Stark’s war effort. These factors, coupled with her horrible treatment of Jon Snow has led to a severe dislike of Catelyn Stark, though it would still be a push to call her an evil character.
In the books, Catelyn Stark is brought back from the dead by Berric Dondarrion, who uses the last of his fire to revive her. She returns as the vengeful Lady Stoneheart, who seeks revenge for the Red Wedding.
Lady Stoneheart leads the Brotherhood Without Banners in a campaign of terror against the Freys and the Lannisters. She is responsible for the deaths of innocent soldiers and noblemen who had no involvement with the Red Wedding. They are killed simply for belonging to the wrong family.
You might not recognize this character by name. In the first season of Game of Thrones, he was the member of Khal Drogo’s khalasar who challenged him to a duel. The Khaleesi had just prevented him from raping a Lhazareen girl, so he brings his grievances to the Khal. Mago managed to inflict a deep wound on Khal Drogo’s chest before getting his tongue torn out from his head.
In the books, Khal Drogo is wounded in battle with another Khal. Mago still complains that the Khaleesi stopped him from raping a girl named Eroeh, but he does not press the matter further. When Khal Drogo dies, Mago seeks Eroeh out and rapes her. He then ensures that she is gang raped by other members of the khalasar before killing her.
Daenerys swore vengeance for Eroeh’s death and will finally have a chance to inflict it in The Winds of Winter, as she has been taken by the same khalasar that Mago belongs to. It sounds like he has a date with a dragon coming up.
2. Oberyn Martell
Oberyn Martell seemed like one of the most heroic characters in the series when he was first introduced. He wanted justice for the murder of his sister, which involved coming to Tyrion’s aid and battling Gregor Clegane in a trial by combat. Oberyn was motivated by revenge, which brought him into conflict with some of the evilest characters in the show.
The book version of Oberyn wasn’t quite as heroic. He is referred to by many as The Red Viper of Dorne. Oberyn earned this nickname after an incident involving House Yronwood. He was caught in bed with Lord Edgar Yronwood’s paramour.
Yronwood demanded a duel to settle his honor, yet he was satisfied with it being to first blood, rather than death. Oberyn still poisoned his blade and allowed Lord Yronwood to die, even though he was in the wrong in the first place. This outraged the other members of House Yronwood and led to Oberyn being informally exiled from Dorne for many years.
1. Euron Greyjoy
Ramsay Bolton might be the evilest character in Game of Thrones, yet he pales in comparison to the book version of Euron Greyjoy. The TV show version of Euron prances around like a sadistic Jack Sparrow, while the book version is far more despicable than anyone else in Westeros.
Before the events of A Game of Thrones, Euron sexually assaulted his younger brothers. He was later banished when he raped his brother’s wife. After hiring a Faceless Man to kill Balon Greyjoy, Euron was declared the King of the Iron Islands.
He then leads an assault on the Shield Islands in the Reach. Euron takes the castle of Oakenshield, where he has the Lord of the castle bound to a chair, while his daughters and granddaughters are stripped naked and forced to serve the Ironborn. Euron later beds the Lord’s bastard daughter, Falia Flowers, who encourages the torture of her family.
George R. R. Martin has read a chapter from the upcoming The Winds of Winter, which details the imprisonment of Aeron Greyjoy. Euron has Aeron tortured and embarrassed before his men. The chapter ends with Aeron tied naked to the prow of Euron’s ship, with a pregnant Falia Flowers next to him, with her tongue ripped out.
A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones have had a lot of despicable villains, yet none seem as determined to bring about the apocalypse as Euron.
Can you think of any other Game of Thrones characters who are far move evil in the books? Let us know in the comment section!
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