[Top 15] GoT Most Entertaining Villains (Ranked)

The Squad

They say that a show is really only as good as its villain. For Game of Thrones, this theory definitely holds true as it houses some of the most despicable, evil, and unhinged villains in cinema history, but many of which are very nuanced and have more to their character than simply just being evil. This little bit of nuance that these characters have is what separates them from other villains in other shows.

This is because this allows us to see them as being more than just evil people, but as people with actual goals and ambitions that they will stop at nothing to fulfill. For the most part, many of the villains in this story are often more interesting than the heroes! So, let’s rank all the best villains of the show!


15. Meryn Trant

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BHkQNN3CHw

Many would be forgiven if they don’t really recall who Meryn Trant even is. Trant was a member of the Kingsguard under Robert Baratheon and stayed a member under the following ruler as well. Though he never really had many ambitions and original evil acts himself, he was a vicious dog of the crown who did whatever they said without question.

This included things such as murdering innocents and even stripping and beating Sansa on Joffrey's orders and even killing renowned fighter, Syrio Forel, on Cersei’s orders. He even falsely spoke out against Tyrion in his trial, causing fans to hate him even more as he was just a complete and utter tool to be used by the rulers. Thankfully Arya put him in his place.


14. Janos Slynt

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCreYytA9f4

If there was an award for the most miserable and pathetic character in the entire show, it would go to this loser. However, as a villain he still did his job. Janos was originally just a lowborn knight who eventually got promoted to the rank of Commander of the City Watch, an occupation which really let weird illusions of grandeur get to his head.

As the Commander, he too was much like Trant in the sense that he served to be nothing but a puppet of Cersei. His evil deeds included murdering little babies and betraying Ned despite promising his loyalty. Thankfully, he got sent to the Wall as soon as Tyrion became the Hand of the King where he was beautifully executed by Jon later on.


13. Viserys Targaryen

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIFAUtlseXo

Viserys was an annoying, petulant and egotistical brat that put his own little sister through so much torture in hopes of getting what he wanted. His hopes were to return to Westeros with an army so he could fight for the throne and win it, always craving power over everything else. Towards the end, it drove him insane.

Some of his most evil acts include him beating his sister and always yelling at those that he considered to be beneath him. Inside the tent on one of the wedding days, he gets drunk and yells obscenities to Dany, Drogo and even the rest of the Khalassar, as well as trying to steal the dragon eggs earlier on. Also, the last thing that he said to Dany in the very first episode where they meet Drogo for the first time was just pure evil and despicable.


12. Qyburn

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2UUVVaTwMM

Upon our first introduction to Qyburn, he doesn’t even really seem like a bad guy at all. In fact, we actually end up liking him! This is because after Jaime loses his sword hand and starts his redemption arc, Qyburn is the maester in charge of treating Jaime's wounds and taking care of him, due to which people really start to like him. This all, however, changes in Kings’ Landing.

After reaching Kings’ Landing, Cersei takes Qyburn under her employ where he assures her that he will always help her and will always stay loyal to her. This causes him to rise up the ranks of power, committing many heinous crimes, the worst of which was taking over Varys’ role as Master of Whispers and having hundreds of little children work for him. He even gets these little children to ruthlessly stab Grand Maester Pycelle to death, as well as being the twisted mastermind in charge of turning Gregor Clegane into a zombie.


11. Ser Alliser Thorne

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg-2dAxNQ8g

Ser Alliser Thorne is one person on this list that wasn’t a villain throughout most of his run but was always seen as being very antagonistic to Jon since the very beginning. Even in his most villainous scene, where he kills Jon, his actions are very nuanced as he wholeheartedly believes that what he is doing is justified. This is made even more clear in his death scene where he shows having no regrets.

Though he was always a villain in Jon’s eyes, he was an extremely brave character that gave everything he had in service to the Nights’ Watch. This can be best seen when he rides with some of his brothers and leads the charge against the Wildlings in one of the best episodes of the show. Alliser was definitely a stand out character and an exceptional villain.



10. Masters of Slaver's Bay

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGavfUdW8A

These villains aren’t really the most memorable villains in the show, but they are a very instrumental part of Dany’s storyline and her character development. Though they don’t even have much screen time, they are always a problem for Dany that pop up and cause problems for her, testing her resolve as a ruler.

Their most evil act was done offscreen, but it was the crucifying of young children in a way for them to be pointing the path to Meereen. As upsetting of a sight as this was, it was ultimately something that Dany fixed very well by then crucifying those same masters.


9. Walder Frey

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuNidAQnR7k

There are few things worse than a liar. Walder Frey was the Lord of the Twins and was a powerful ally to the North in their war against the Lannisters, and was even pretty useful to Robb as he did help him in some battles and helped Robb gain some victories. However, 1 small mistake from Robb caused everything to start going wrong for him regarding the Freys.

Walder was the mastermind behind the infamous Red Wedding, a moment and episode so shocking that it cemented this show with its legacy of being ruthless and unforgiving. After Robb’s mistake, Walder decided to align his entire house with Tywin, destroying the North’s entire military effort in one fell swoop.


8. The Mountain

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQoC0E-Abm4

Gregor Clegane was a monster with a reputation almost as horrifying as him. He was 8 ft tall and was the very definition of brutality and mercilessness, and was 100% loyal to Tywin and the Lannisters. This loyalty caused him to eventually turn into Tywin’s right hand butcher as he would do everything at Tywin's command.

He is also a ruthless fighter and absolute fiend. Much like the Red Wedding, he was the reason so many fans went on to further continue to be so shocked with this show due to how brutally he absolutely destroyed Oberyn Martell in Tyrion’s trial by combat. His worst crime, however, happens off-screen, which was what he did to Elia Martell and her children.


7. The Night King

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpSu11n2OKw

This dude is also known as the biggest letdown in the entire show. As a villain who was built up from the very first scene of the show, The Night King was the leader of the mysterious White Walkers, intent on destroying the whole world and completely covering it in ice and death. He was the mastermind behind one of the most elusive and deadly forces in the entire show.

All his build up and confrontation with Jon was thrown out the window in season 8 where the inept writers completely destroyed his character by having Arya kill him. Still though, he was really good while he lasted in the previous seasons and was one we loved to watch grow in power despite nothing coming out of that.


6. High Sparrow

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I_TN7oAA_U

This character is one that sets himself apart from his contemporaries in the sense that he is extremely infuriating due to his condescending attitude towards everyone else. This character is one that popped out of seemingly nowhere and started to preach his religious fanaticism.

While he was an absolute nightmare for everyone on the show, it has to be stated that he was super captivating to watch because he stole literally every scene that he was in. His most evil act was having Cersei parade through the streets of the capital while she was naked, causing all the people to throw garbage at her.


5. Ramsay Bolton

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikV6I92JbJk

What an amazing villain. Though Ramsay is a villain who is absolutely crazy and brutal in his methods, he is not like the others who are similarly insane. He is calculated and smart with his cruelty, he thinks all his plans and actions through and is a brilliant tactician.

Ramsay’s best moment comes in the Battle of the Bastards, where he completely overwhelms Jon and his forces who then have to be saved by the Knights of the Vale. He is also the one responsible for completely destroying Theon mentally, as well as being the mastermind behind many different and dangerous things in the show.


4. Joffrey Baratheon

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW6wfXPeJTw

This insufferable brat is unfortunately one of the most compelling villains in the history of the whole show, and for good reason. He was the most entitled and stuck up character in the whole show and while his grandfather ruled the kingdoms for him, Joffrey would use his power and influence as the King in order to get away with the most heinous and unspeakable crimes.

Joffrey’s crowning achievement in being a sadistic prick was when he, despite the royal pardon, called for Ned’s head to still be chopped off. This caused the War of the 5 Kings, one of the most destructive and bloody battles that the continent has ever seen. Moreover, he would routinely torment Sansa for no reason. I hate him.


3. Cersei Lannister

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHYL-uiLJ14

Cersei is never really shown to be a good person, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her reasons for doing what she does. Despite being a character that people hate and don’t sympathize with, she goes through her fair share of trials and tribulations.

One good aspect of her personality is that she really and truly does love her children and will do absolutely anything in her power to keep them safe. This is a great aspect of her personality because while she does undeniably evil and abhorrent things, her ultimate goal is to do them for her children.

As we see her kids die one by one in the story, there is a very subtle change in her story that makes all the difference to it. This change has her still being power hungry and ruthless even after her children died. This makes the viewer think that maybe Cersei was only convincing herself and others of doing this for her children and perhaps what she always wanted was power. This very act of thinking about this is a sign of a very well written character.


2. Littlefinger

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rc6CHH-E-4

While he very clearly is a villainous character in the show, he is definitely one of the most nuanced characters as well. He has always been a character that has had to survive due to his intelligence, due to which he has honed his skills to be able to be 5 steps ahead of everyone else at any given moment.

Though Varys and Tyrion are always stated to be around the same intellectual level as Baelish, he really set himself apart by how calculating and genius he truly was. Littlefinger was a character that always had contingency plans for his contingency plans, and always knew how to get out of any situation he was in.


1. Tywin Lannister

Best Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCcDm2fGKXI

Though Tywin was essentially the big bad guy for the Starks in the first 4 seasons, he wasn’t really ‘evil’. Tywin’s main objective is to take care of his family and his legacy, as well as seeing that they are never taken advantage of. These are very relatable goals, due to which Tywin is often the favorite villain, or even favorite character, of many fans of the show.

The role of Tywin is really only as amazing as it was due to Charles Dance being the one chosen to play him. The legendary actor brings a regal presence to the character that absolutely leaves him in control of every single scene that he is in. Though he is cold, calculating and ruthless, he is one character that will always put the needs of his family and his legacy ahead of everything else.

He is utterly unique as a character as no one else is written and played like him, often being the reason he is so loved by fans and remembered so fondly. 

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Being naturally attuned to magic and bearing the strength of a thousand men, it's safe to say I'm used to adding a creative flair to my stories, always striving to tell engaging tales.
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