'Game of Thrones' Season 4: Michael McElhatton dishes on Ramsay's 'impossible task'

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game-of-thrones-ramsay-roose-hbo.jpg Spoilers for "Game of Thrones" Season 4, episode 2, "The Lion and the Rose" are contained in this article.

Now that we've all had a couple of days to get our obsessing of Joffrey's death out of our systems, it's time to start examining some of the other major developments in Sunday's "Game of Thrones" episode. While "The Lion and the Rose" ended with the death of one of the show's major villains, it also showed Ramsay Snow being at his most disturbed.

Following Ramsay's hunt of one of his former followers, he proves his worth to his father, Roose Bolton. Though Ramsay's maiming of Theon is something Roose initially considers to be a mistake, Ramsay proves that turning Theon into Reek is actually a good move for his family. 

This is the second time people close to Roose have done what he considers a bad call with their prisoners, which explains why he is so irritated with his bastard son initially. Michael McElhatton, who plays Bolton, discusses with Zap2it Roose's mentality when he reunites with his bastard son.

"[Roose] trades two people: He trades Jaime and he trades Theon, who were both sons of very, very wealthy, powerful men. Both are maimed, interestingly enough, and he chastises both Locke and Ramsay for maiming both parties. He's furious with Locke for cutting off the hand -- 'You've damaged the merchandise' -- and the same with Ramsay and Theon," McElhatton says.

He continues of Roose's test for Ramsay, "I think we find out in that scene in episode 2 that, initially, he thinks the guy is just a psycho, and then he realizes, by the end, the thing that's revealed [with Theon as Reek]. So he offers [Ramsay] what he thinks is an almost impossible task to take Moat Cailin."

Season 4 episode 2 is the first time McElhatton acted opposite Alfie Allen as Reek, and he admits it's a transformation that's a bit disturbing to witness in person. "I think Alfie does a brilliant job portraying him," McElhatton says. "You wonder, how is he going to come back? Is he going to come back from that, or can you come back from that, having endured all the mental and physical torture and debauchery that he's gone through?"

McElhatton already explored Roose's interesting relationship with Ramsay with Zap2it, and admits feels like the new Warden of the North has some love for the Bastard of Bolton. But he also thinks Ramsay could be Roose's downfall.

"Ramsay could be his Achilles heel. We'll see," McElhatton says. "George [R.R. Martin] hasn't written it yet, but 'love at your peril' would be a good motto for 'Game of Thrones.' Anybody who has any affection or care for anything."

He calls the relationship between Roose and Ramsay "very Shakespearean," and promises a payoff for their story arc before the end of Season 4. And while Joffrey might be dead, expect Roose and Ramsay to stick around for a while longer.

"Season 5 they say [Roose] comes into it a lot more, and we get into some dastardly stuff," McElhatton teases.

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo/Video credit: HBO