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Top 10 Game of Thrones Villains

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
For a series with a lot of grey area, these Game of Thrones villains bring out the darker side. We’ll be taking a look at the characters as they appeared in the popular HBO series who have demonstrated themselves to be decidedly more antagonist than protagonist. Many of these folks have either done a lot of killing, ordered a lot of death and destruction, or have had their hand in massive plot twist or two, so consider this your dragon-sized spoiler warning. WatchMojo ranks the most vile Game of Thrones villains. Who’s your favorite Game of Thrones villain? Let us know in the comments!
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For a series with a lot of grey area, these are the characters that bring out the darker side. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Game of Thrones Villains.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the characters as they appeared in the popular HBO series who have demonstrated themselves to be decidedly more antagonist than protagonist. Many of these folks have either done a lot of killing, ordered a lot of death and destruction, or have had their hand in massive plot twist or two, so consider this your dragon-sized spoiler warning.

#10: Euron Greyjoy


He is a literal pirate, and just like a pirate he seems to get a genuine kick out of pillaging, plundering, and generally messing up other people’s days. The brother of Balon Greyjoy and uncle to Theon and Yara Greyjoy, you’d think that family ties would be at least one check to the balance out some moral and ethical decision-making. But no, this guy takes what he wants. And if that means killing his own brother, then he’ll do it. After seizing control of the Salt Throne of the Iron Islands, he joins forces with Cersei Lannister, so you know he’s bad news.

#9: Gregor Clegane


Known to many as The Mountain, this landed knight is infamous for his size, strength, and cruelty. Prior to the events of “Game of Thrones,” during Robert’s Rebellion in overthrowing the reigning Targaryen family, Ser Clegane not only brutally murdered a baby, but also sexually assaulted Princess Elia Martell, wife of Rhaegar Targaryen, before murdering her as well. And no fan will forget what happened to Oberyn Martell when he faced off against the Mountain in combat. Sadistic and powerful, he was (and still sort of remains, in an undead way) a terrifying force to be reckoned with.

#8: The High Sparrow


Just because you’re pious doesn’t mean you’re a good person. This religious zealot takes his faith to the extreme and when Cersei gives him an inch of power, he takes a mile. With the likes of Septa Unella and the Faith Militant at his disposal, he is able to rise to heights of power that rival even that of the King and Queen Mother. While at first it seems like he might be a real force for good, and there was a certain schadenfreude in seeing Cersei brought so low, overall the High Sparrow is the human embodiment of Taking It Too Far. Demanding perfection with no room for error, all his good intentions eventually pave the road to ruin.

#7: Walder Frey


This bannerman of House Tully seemed just like a greasy, cowardly old man most famous for not joining Robert’s Rebellion until it was clear who the victor would be. With more children than he can care to name properly and a revolving door of increasingly younger wives, he at least was loyal to his liege lords. Despite his many failings and sour feelings over losing out on his chance to marry off one of his many daughters to Robb Stark, he helped House Tully and by extension House Stark in the War of the Five Kings. Then the Red Wedding happened. In hindsight, given this guy’s predilections, one of TV’s most brutal moments was sort of inevitable. More like Lord of the Double-Crossing, right?

#6: Tywin Lannister


There are villains you love to hate, and then there are villains you hate to love and Tywin falls under the latter. He is pitiless and calculating, but oh so smart and sensible about his ruthlessness. He wouldn't waste time or energy being petty or cruel. This is a man who has his eyes on the prize, and that prize is to secure and maintain the position of his family as a ruling house and to bring order back to a chaotic world. He's neither a protagonist or an antagonist (although he antagonizes the Starks and their allies at every turn). Rigid self-interest and order is at the heart of everything he does.

#5: Petyr Baelish [aka Littlefinger]


When first introduced, it seems like King Robert Baratheon’s Master of Coin might be on the side of the heroes. He is scheming and a little sketchy (what with all those brothels), but who in Game of Thrones is one-hundred percent above board? However, it soon becomes obvious that this master manipulator is on no side but his own, using whatever means necessary to acquire information on both friends and rivals as a way to pull the strings in whatever direction suits his purposes best. Not one for loyalty, from betraying Ned Stark, to manipulating Sansa, to killing Lysa Arryn, he always thought he was smarter than everyone around him – too bad he didn’t count on the loyalty between sisters.

#4: Joffrey Baratheon


While he’s not number one on this list, he is certainly winner of Westeros' Most Punchable Face award. This spoiled little psychopath united all “Game of Thrones” fans under the banner of "Eff That Guy." Cruel, petty, and sadistic, he's everything you don't want in a leader. Even before he decided to chop off Ned Stark's head and launched the country into a massive and needless civil war, this pasty-faced puke was tormenting everyone around him just for kicks and in general causing distress and havoc wherever he went. The Purple Wedding was just as satisfying to watch as the Red Wedding was horrifying.

#3: Ramsay Bolton


The character that almost makes you long for the predictable ways of Joffrey Baratheon. The Bastard of Bolton is like Joff on steroids. Torturing people mentally, physically, and emotionally is considered a good time; murdering family members because they're in his way is just another typical afternoon; sexual assault is of course also on his unending list of depravity. He’s so bad that he makes his terrible literally back-stabbing father seem honorable. There are villains you love to hate, and then there's Ramsay Bolton, who you just hate.

#2: Night King / White Walkers


In Westeros, the White Walkers were almost a forgotten threat, relegated to legend and stories to scare children. However, the once forgotten then distant threat has been gradually building and approaching throughout the show’s run and now, under the leadership of the Night King, they’ve broken through The Wall. Winter, as the Starks always warned, has arrived. While it is known that the Children of the Forest created him, not much else is known about the Night King or his motivation other than his seeming desire to transform the world of the living to the land of dead and cover it all in ice. That’s pretty evil.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are some dishonorable mentions.

Viserys Targaryen

Craster

Maester Qyburn

Lysa Arryn

Alliser Thorne

#1: Cersei Lannister


Perhaps the most complicated of the human villains and one of the most interesting, Cersei Lannister can be as cruel as any of them, but has a real capacity to love. Cunning and bold, her greatest strengths are also her weakness and are what make her the most dangerous. Her desire to be taken seriously as an intelligent and powerful woman in a man's world also gives her motivations a sort of sympathy and twisted logic. However, the Night King’s approach coupled with her narcissistic refusal to take the threat seriously could spell doom for everyone. That the fate of Westeros potentially rests with one so unbalanced adds just another level of danger to her character.
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