'Game of Thrones' Season 4: Is Joffrey or Ramsay more evil?
But he's not the only disturbed son with too much power on the HBO fantasy drama. Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton who viewers were introduced to in Season 3, also has an absolutely, horrifyingly twisted worldview. In Season 3, he toyed with and tortured Theon Greyjoy, using tactics like flaying him and chopping off his genitals to both get information from him and (seemingly) have fun.
So while Joffrey has been a despicable villain for going on four seasons now, Ramsay might arguably the more evil character. That's certainly what George R.R. Martin, the author of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, and Michael McElhatton, who plays Roose Bolton, think of the two men.
"Ramsay is actually probably worse," Martin acknowledges to Zap2it at the "Game of Thrones" Season 4 premiere. "The thing about Joffrey in the books -- which, of course, is my version of it -- is you've got to remember he's a 13-year-old kid. So, I don't know if any of you have children, but if you have a 13-year-old son, I would suggest you don't give him absolute power of life and death over large amounts of people, because you might not like what comes out."
McElhatton also finds book Ramsay to be worse than Joffrey -- but he's a little biased when it comes to the character. "[Ramsay] probably will replace him [as most evil]," McElhatton says. "God, I hate Joffrey though. Don't you just absolutely hate him? I quite like my son -- not because he's my son or anything like that, but Joffrey is just awful."
He adds, "Joffrey has it all. At least with Ramsay, he didn't have it easy growing up. He's aspiring, he's trying to get power -- and he's not going about it in a very decent and reasonable way, but Joffrey is just a bad person who revels in being bad and knows that he is bad.
"He has no redemption. He has no redemptive qualities at all, whereas Ramsay, I think, does, where he does crave the love of his dad, and he doesn't get it. It's very moving, actually. Bizarrely."
"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.