The White Walkers may be an unstoppable force and an unkillable foe, but where are the living, breathing human villains to root against?
I doubt there was a single viewer not squealing with joy when Ramsay Bolton the biggest bastard in Game of Thrones was eaten alive by his own dogs. Ramsay has raped, beaten, flayed, castrated and murdered his way through the show for three seasons, and, frankly, its just a shame Melisandre couldnt resurrect him so he could die twice.
There was a collective cheer, too, when Joffrey choked to death on poison, Tywin took an arrow to the chest on the toilet, Viserys got his golden crown, and when Jon hanged Alliser Thorne.
We love a villain on Game of Thrones, but not as much as we love a villains gory, well-deserved and preferably poetic death (Viserys finally getting his golden crown was one of the shows most satisfying comeuppances). After all, the baddies job is simple: to make our heroes lives miserable until they ultimately triumph over them.
But with the loss of Ramsay Bolton a man who made Joffreys excesses look reasonable Game of Thrones villains are suddenly thin on the ground. We know the show is nearing its endgame, with only 14 episodes to go (if the showrunners are to be believed), but thats 14 episodes without a decent villain besides the White Walkers.
Whos left? Walder Frey, a man who is petty and ineffectual without Lannister backing? Theon and Yara Greyjoys uncle, whose name weve barely even learnt? Ellaria, over in Dorne, who murdered the king then vanished from our screens? Littlefinger but is he even a villain? Six seasons in and were still not sure. Now that Sansa Stark and Jon Snow are in his debt, we might finally find out what he hoped to achieve by marrying her off to Ramsay and taking over the Eyrie.
Then theres Cersei, the last of the great evil Lannisters, but shes no longer a full-blown villain. Her walk of atonement was a turning point she was shown as vulnerable and defenceless on top of the things we already knew she was: a grieving mother, overlooked daughter and unhappy wife. By pitting her against the High Sparrow and his merry band of religious extremists, shes being remade into something like an antihero.
Similarly, its hard to see the High Sparrow as all-bad. Hes the only one since the Starks with the guts to stand up to the Lannisters, and hes right about the corruption of the high-born families, and the people of Kings Landing certainly seem to agree with him, given the violent hatred they showed Cersei on her walk of atonement. But the High Sparrow is also threatening to execute Loras Tyrell for being gay, so we still wish him a horrible death.