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Game of Thrones star explains Ramsay's horrifying 'Home' murders

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HBO

This story contains a major revelation from Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode “Home.”

Ramsay Bolton just hit a new low.

We weren’t sure that was even possible. But after Sunday’s night roller coaster Game of Thrones episode “Home,” the sadistic young heir went on a family killing spree to shore up his uncertain birthright. Ramsay knifed his father Roose in the heart, then killed his stepmom Walda. But his main target was their newborn child who might have become his father’s new heir apparent.

“It shows a level of ambition we’ve not yet seen,” says Ramsay actor Iwan Rheon. “His problem solving is quite basic. It’s very similar to how a lot of how totalitarian dictators solve their problems by getting rid of anybody in their way, with a very Stalin-y way of doing it.” 

Ramsay could have waited to find out whether his father stood by his illegitimate son. But let’s face it: Ramsay’s not very comfortable with uncertainty, or demonstrating patience.

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“His stepmother gives birth to a baby boy, and that’s alarm bells right there, and his father’s warned him [about his uncertain place in the family after losing his bride Sansa Stark],” Rheon says. “Instead of maybe trying to wait and see, it’s, ‘You have to go, mate, sorry.’”

The writer of the episode, Dave Hill, says Ramsay has always held the possibility of killing his father in the back of his mind.

“He’s never ruled it out,” Hill says. “What he cares most about is power. As long as he was the sole son, the only possible heir, it was fine.”

As for Ramsay’s stepmom, that was a casualty that Hill says even Rheon was surprised to read in the script. “He doesn’t bear his mother any ill will,” Hill explains. “She’s a very sweet woman in the wrong place, wrong time.” 

Rheon notes that unlike some of Ramsay’s actions, this particular decision wasn’t premeditated — and wasn’t entirely without emotional cost either. “It’s not calculated, it’s reactionary,” the actor says. “And it has an effect on him, which he didn’t expect.”

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Agrees Hill: “Ramsay’s sad, he’s not a complete psychotic madman. He regrets having to kill his father. He’s actually trying to live up to this father’s standards and become the man his father wanted him to be — in his own sociopathic killer way.”

For more coverage of Thrones‘ second episode of the season, “Home,” here’s our first interview snippet with Harington (“Sorry!”), our deep-dive recap, and our new Game of Thrones podcast (subscribe and listen to the new episode posted below).