Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon says viewers will get to see a new and possibly much more cunning side to Ramsey Bolton when the hit HBO series returns later this month. The Season 5 finale saw his new bride Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) flee his masochistic rule at Winterfell with the help of his tortured slave Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). Despite the bleak future for his character, Rheon tells Entertainment Weekly that he’s pretty excited about the “clever” writing this season.
“The writing is so clever, you get to play against what you usually do. The audience knows about Ramsay now, so you don’t need to always be doing evil stuff,” he told EW. “You can be really nice and that makes it more sinister – and that’s the fun thing to do with Ramsay. We’re trying to play against what you know.”
Rheon also revealed a bit about the shake up of Ramsay’s storyline in Season 6. “I get to do loads of different things and show sides to Ramsay that you haven’t seen before,” he said. “This season fills him out a bit.”
Iwan Rheon: Ramsey Bolton will change in Game of Thrones season six – but not for the better https://t.co/RQ1WP15Wc9 pic.twitter.com/YyOOv0zHet
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Fans of the show have been buzzing with excitement for months on the spoilers posted all over the internet, most especially about the fate of Jon Snow. His comeback was uncertain until the character’s actor, Kit Harrington, confirmed his return to the set during an interview last April on The Jonathan Ross Show, where he talked about shooting scenes but only as a corpse. How George R.R. Martin’s Emmy-winning HBO phenomenon will handle the aftermath of Jon Snow’s death remains to been seen.
The new season is said to be more murderous than the previous seasons, and the show has now passed the books in terms of published material. The Season 6 description describes what’s to come.
“Following the shocking developments at the conclusion of season five, including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing, survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.”
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While the rest of the cast is remaining mum about what’s to come, Rheon says fans will get to see him explore the emotional conflict that Ramsey experiences while dealing with the loss of Sansa, and his father’s reaction to it.
“His father is obviously not pleased,” says Rheon. “Without Sansa, he doesn’t have as much power as having a Stark and an heir. Without her, he is not what he was.”
“Ramsay is quite tactical though, too – and you’ll see that in this season. You’ll see him change a bit, and take his responsibilities more seriously,” he adds.
Rheon confirms that Ramsey is still “a complete scumbag,” and viewers will see how he’s forced to adapt to a rapidly changing world when the sixth season returns, per NME.
“He’s a fun character to play. Obviously some scenes are disgusting and I dreaded doing them. But in this kind of environment [on the set] it doesn’t feel like you’re actually doing it.”
Iwan is best known for portraying Simon Bellamy in the British series Misfits (2009–11), and he has also starred as Ash Weston in the ITV sitcom Vicious (2013–2016). He was cast for the third season of Game of Thrones in the role of Ramsay Snow, and in the DVD commentary for Season 3, Episode 3 “Walk of Punishment,” executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed that Iwan was actually their runner-up and second choice to play Jon Snow.
The April 24 premiere is titled “The Red Woman,” and a brief episode description reads, “Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.”
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24.
[Image courtesy Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]