Watch HERE (interview begins about ten minutes in).
Some fun facts:
- He hates the sausage jokes
- He based Ramsay on Heath Ledger's Joker.
- He considers Ramsay a liability to Roose.
- He is very deliberate to not yell as Ramsay.
- He enjoyed the finale (as if he could say anything else)
Since the deaths of King Joffrey and knife-wielding mutineer Karl Tanner, Game of Thrones' League of Crazy has been run singlehandedly by Ramsay Snow. His hobbies include flaying enemies, hunting civilians with dogs, and brainwashing Theon Greyjoy into a subservient, pet-like creature. After teaming up with Reek (the lord formerly known as Theon) to takeover Moat Cailin, Roose Bolton's illegitimate son was finally awarded the family name. To learn more about the newly-christened Bolton, we called up Rheon to find out why his character's such an evil bastard, and to hear some theoretical father's day plans.
GQ: Ramsay is one of Game of Thrones' most deranged characters. Why is he so crazy?
Iwan Rheon: It goes back to the old nature vs. nurture debate, I'd say. Ramsay's probably always been a bit messed up, but I think the situation in which he was conceived is a massive factor, with his mother getting raped under the corpse of her new husband by Roose Bolton. He was always a problem child, and under the wing of Roose, he hasn't learned the best things
I mean, flaying's not such a bad skill to have in Westeros
Yeah, yeah. Well, I don't know… [laughs]
In Episode 8, Ramsay's reaction to receiving the family name was oddly moving.
I think it's a huge thing for him to have. He was rejected by his father for so long, and the Bolton name is all he ever wanted. We'll have to see what he does now that he's achieved his goal.
Why do you think Ramsay cares so much about having the Bolton name? Given the daddy issues, I thought he'd be more interested in torturing Roose.
It's his father that gets respect, so taking on the family name is his way to a better life, and more power. The one thing he craves more than inflicting pain on the innocent is getting his father to love him, in a weird sort of way.
That makes sense, I guess going crazy on Roose wouldn't benefit Ramsay that much.
Yeah, he's not stupid. He's a crafty little shit. [laughs]
Sunday was father's day. What would've been Ramsay's ideal way of spending it with his dad?
Probably some hunting and flaying I'd imagine!
Since Joffrey died, Ramsay's left as one of the few clearly villainous characters on the show.
I have a lot of fun playing him because he's happy. I know it sounds horrible, but he finds so much joy in what he does, and I think that's the key to the character. I guess that's what makes him different than Joffrey—he does his own dirty work and he really enjoys it.
From Gendry to Jon Snow, bastards are important to the show. What do you make of Ramsay's status as a bastard?
You get through Westeros based on your name, so it's a very difficult world to be in as a bastard—you're not treated quite like the legitimate children. It's a strange social distinction they have. I think it's hard for him, if you can find any sympathy towards Ramsay. [laughs]
We recently learned that, after lots of brainwashing, Reek loves Ramsay. How about the other way around?
I think he loves what he does to Reek—it's one of his greatest sources of pride, the achievement of completely breaking down Theon Greyjoy into a submissive servant. To Ramsay, he's not even human.
What's it like hanging with Reek actor Alfie Allen after having to do all these sadistic scenes with him?
It's cool, man. It's fun. We'll finish work, get dinner, go for a game of pool, and have a couple beers. People will see us and be like, "How can you guys hang out?" I just say, "Well, do you believe in dragons as well? It's a world of make believe—a wonderful one—but you don't take it out of work with you. We just have a normal evening.
Lastly, how would you convince someone to join House Bolton? It's definitely the least chill house.
Now that he's the ward of the North, Roose would do it with the promise of land and money. Ramsay would do it through some sort of manipulate, aggressive way.
He would probably serve them sausage, and then be like…
"Oh, by the way…"
Source, 2, 3