The battle of Winterfell was an emotional one. Thousands of men lost their lives, but one life lost, in particular, would need to be handled perfectly. Of course (spoilers OMG!), we’re talking about Ramsay Bolton, who would finally meet his gruesome demise. But this couldn’t just be a quick death on the battlefield, oh no. It couldn’t even be a slightly honorable death. No, Ramsay would have to be dealt with in the perfect manner, and the Game of Thrones showrunners knew it.
EW talked to director Miguel Sapochnik about Ramsay’s death, and he explained that there was one rule to be followed: don’t make Ramsay sympathetic. He was going to get his, damn it. After all of the torture and black-hearted deeds, he was going to get his…
I must admit I kind of wanted to make people start to feel for Ramsay in that wonderful way Thrones turns these things on their head but [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] were clear: They didn’t want anyone to sympathize with Ramsay Bolton and this time they wanted blood.
In a way I agree, this is not a time to be morally ambiguous. Ramsay needs to die, and horribly. This is what the audience has been waiting to see. That said, there’s no need to dwell on the actual carnage. What’s left to our imagination is always way worse. The most effective moment for me was the sound of a squealing pig you hear from Ramsay in the background as Sansa walks away. Apparently it’s actually what happens when you rip someone’s wind pipe open while they’re still alive and gasping for air.
Of course, the death scene was extremely satisfying. There’s even an extended look at the many, many punches to the dome Ramsay eats, and they’re satisfying. Just not as satisfying as when Ramsay stops eating punches and gets eaten himself.
The rest of the interview is quite interesting and definitely worth the read.