(Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones.)
In Westeros and beyond, it’s pretty stiff competition for who might be crowned “most evil.” You have the Hound, who doesn’t hesitate in chopping a butcher’s boy in half. There’s Littlefinger, whose subtle desire for power triggered the events in Game of Thrones and has left many bodies in his wake, the Mountain, the Tickler, and many more faces who take sweet satisfaction in the pain and misery of others. At the top of that list, though, is a toss-up between Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton.
Both characters seemed anything but evil when we first meet them. Joffrey is Sansa’s Knight In Shining Armor, right up until he attacks the same butcher’s boy and gets his lady’s direwolf killed. Ramsay seems to be Theon’s savior before revealing himself to be one of his captors. Their acts of villainy just keep getting worse as they demonstrate how twisted each of them is. I don’t think there have ever been TV characters that you want to see die horrible deaths more than these two — even the actor playing Ramsay thinks so.
When you compare the laundry list of evil acts, though, it’s clear that Ramsay is the evilest. Sure, if we’re going by who’s played the bigger role in bringing death and agony, Joffrey would win in a landslide. By lopping off Ned’s head, he brought more war to Westeros. Okay, so there would have been some war with the Brothers Baratheon seeing their claims to the throne as more legit, but turning the North into another enemy sure didn’t help the Seven Kingdoms. Joffrey abused and killed prostitutes, cut men’s tongues out, and abandoned his men when they needed a leader.
But that’s all because he had the royal access to make those plays. Joffrey is nothing more than an unchecked, spoiled little kid who’s been told he’d be the most powerful person in the world one day. He orders awful deeds, but if he really had to answer for what he’s done, he’d cower and cry.
The bastard Ramsay, on the other hand, sends men and women to be flayed alive before breaking his fast in the morning. The amount of effort and viciousness he puts into torturing Theon could never even be fathomed by Joffrey, and Ramsay takes all of the hope that Sansa had in escaping her past agony and destroys it with new, unspeakable acts. Joff may have been a sociopath, but Ramsay just seems way more sadistic than Joffrey ever did, and that’s saying something.
Just imagine what Ramsay would do if he had the same power that Joffrey had. He’s the newly legitimized heir to the North, but that obviously doesn’t wield nearly the same strength. A King Ramsay would be a whole new King Aerys because he’d be more of a mad king than Joffrey ever was.