The Ten Most Evil Characters In “A Song Of Ice And Fire”

This post contains spoilers through A Storm of Swords or season four!

On Sunday, I discussed whether or not there are any truly good characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and realized that… there are. I also promised to write about the other side of the spectrum, the truly evil characters. Well, here it is. As with last time, everything in this post is just my personal opinion – but I’d love to hear yours. Let’s debate who is the most evil character in the series!

Note: The characters of A Song of Ice and Fire often do horrible things to one another and to discuss them properly, I will have to mention some of those things. I won’t go into much detail because then I’ll get grossed out, but I’m just letting you know. Don’t like violence? Don’t read this post. Watch this adorable cat video instead – it’s even another top ten list!

10. Melisandre. Lovely name. Shame that she killed one of my favorite characters. For that reason – and for how thoroughly she has manipulated Stannis Baratheon, and for her use of shadow-assassin-things – she makes this list, but only just. She simply doesn’t have enough influence in the series to rank any higher in my book.

9. Viserys Targaryen. One of my favorite villains in the entire series. However, the reason I like him is the very reason he can be only number nine: He’s all talk and no action. Viserys is deranged and cruel, yes, but he also lacks the power / charisma to make any of his plans work. He’s a fascinatingly arrogant-yet-weak character.

8. Qyburn. He’s an ex-maester (kind of a cross between a scholar and a monk), and with good reason. He was kicked out of his duties as a healer after he performed experiments on living people instead of cutting open the dead. No wonder Cersei likes him. She says he looks grandfatherly, actually. Eugh.

7. Tywin Lannister. I’ll get a lot of criticism for placing him here, won’t I? But to me, while Tywin is definitely scary, his evilness has always seemed rather abstract. He is involved in a lot of brutality – the Red Wedding, for a start – and treats his younger son terribly, but he tends not to be out there in the thick of it. Tywin works behind the scenes.

6. Walder Frey. Definitely the creepiest character listed here, Walder controls an important river crossing using an army of his hundred (or so) descendants. His forces carried out the Red Wedding, killing a would-be king and several thousand of House Stark’s soldiers. Like I said – a creepy guy.

5. Gregor Clegane. What he lacks in intelligence, Clegane makes up for in cruelty and sheer size. He’s called The Mountain That Rides for a reason. This photo of his actor and Cersei’s actress should make it really clear why you don’t want him coming after you. I never thought I would feel sorry for Sandor (his brother) but whoa. Sticking your sibling into a fire doesn’t do wonders for your relationship.

4. Cersei Lannister. Cersei is utterly gorgeous. Too bad that she’s vicious. And paranoid. And literally insane. And she killed her own husband, the king. I find her terrifying and yet fascinating. It’s like watching a train wreck. I never know what she’s going to do next, if she’ll treat someone nicely or send them to Qyburn.

3. Ramsay Snow. I never thought I would feel sorry for Theon Greyjoy, either. But the symbol of Ramsay’s House is a flayed man. And I’ll leave it at that, because I’m getting grossed out.

2. Joffrey Baratheon. I suppose he can’t help being horrid. With a grandfather like Tyrion and a mother like Cersei, he was raised around evil. Due to inbreeding – his parents were siblings – he’s also crazy. (Are you noticing a theme here? He’s actually a Lannister. Don’t trust Lannisters.) Thirteen years old and already a mad king…

In Sunday’s post, I included an unusual version of a song from A Song of Ice and Fire, so I thought I’d do that here too. Following is an a capella rendition of “The Rains of Castamere” – a famous Lannister song.

…am I keeping you in suspense or something? Oh, all right. Number one.

1. Petyr Baelish. He was born to a small, insignificant House and that matters more than I ever imagined it would. It means that A) Petyr wants power and B) others underestimate him. He is calm and calculated, with none of the insanity that affects just about everyone else on this list. Although Ned Stark was instrumental in starting a battle for the Iron Throne, ultimately he was only investigating what Baelish started. I’ll never forget the moment when I realized the extent of this man’s actions. He’s just one guy and the other factions are made up of entire Houses, but I’d say Petyr Baelish’s chances of winning the game of thrones are very good indeed.

And what about you, readers? Which A Song of Ice and Fire character terrifies you the most? Is there anyone you wish I had included?

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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6 Responses to The Ten Most Evil Characters In “A Song Of Ice And Fire”

  1. Charley R says:

    I agree with most of these – although, as I’ve read all the books, I disagree with a few of the lower-ranking ones (I won’t say who or why because spoilers.

    Totally agree with your top three, though. All three are awful because not only do they DO evil things, but they also enjoy and justify what they do. Littlefinger is an interesting character, and I know a lot of people like him, but I think it’s his treatment of Sansa that really pushes me over the edge. He’s a complete egotistical predator, and I want to stab him in the face so hard.

    Valar morghulis – all men must die … but can these three go first?

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah… I was just doing my best, since I’ve only read about 3/4 or AFFC and for all I know, most of the characters on this list (who weren’t already killed) could be dead.

      I think I do like Littlefinger, actually. I like most of those mentioned here – not as people, but as characters. I wouldn’t want to meet them but they’re fascinating to read about, if that makes any sense. Littlefinger is creepy (I wrote a whole thing about Sansa & Petyr but the post was already long so I cut it) but WOW. I’m always anxious to know what he’ll do next.
      Also, I completely forgot about the incident with Lysa and the Moon Door… AAAAAH THE LATEST GOT EPISODE WAS SO GOOD.

      Well, one down and two to go! 😀

      • Charley R says:

        Indeed. I have a LOT of respect for Tywin, actually, he’s far and away one of my favourite secondary-ish characters. He’s just .. awesome. I’d love to have the kind of charismatic power he has. Even if he is a nasty piece of work to his kids.

        IDK man I just love Lannisters. Except Joffrey. I crowed with joy at his death, ehehehehe!

    • nevillegirl says:

      What do you think about Tyrion? Personally… I’d put him on this list, if it went to #11. But apparently I’m in the minority for disliking him…

  2. matttblack42 says:

    Out of all these characters, Joffrey, The Mountain and Tywin got the most hatred from me. Particularly the Mountain, that jerk. I was so disappointed in Arya for not including him in the three names Jaqen Hagar (or however you spell his name) gave her. I forgave her though, because she’s cool.

    I don’t think Melisandre’s evil, since she genuinely thinks she’s doing the right thing.* Sure she may have killed Renly, but at least she gave him the coolest and perhaps the most original death I’ve read/seen in a long time.

    Also, if you don’t want the show to spoil the books for you, you may want to quickly read the rest of A Feast for Crows. With the way the show’s going so far, there’s going to be one major scene coming up soon that you haven’t read yet. (Trying to be as vague as possible here.)

    *Though to be fair, many horrible people throughout history also thought they were doing the right thing, and that didn’t turn out so well.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I guess the Mountain just terrifies me so much because it’s probably possible to win against some of the other characters on this list. They’re physically weak, or you could outsmart them, or whatever. But the Mountain? You can be smart and it doesn’t matter, not if he’s like eight feet tall and you can’t get out of his way.

      True. I haven’t seen much of season two, but I did see Renly’s death and WOW THAT WAS ACTUALLY KIND OF NEAT even though it made me sad.

      Haha, I’m not too worried about it. Not after I spoiled ADWD for myself…

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