Game of Thrones ‘worst war criminals’ RANKED by Red Cross
The distinction between war crime and warfare can be blurry in the harsh world of Game of Thrones but the Red Cross crunched the numbers on the abundance of atrocities in the show to identify the worst war criminals in Westeros.
While the great houses of Westeros have yet to sign up to the Geneva Convention, as the HBO fantasy drama enters its eighth and final season, experts in war law at the Australian Red Cross have offered the show an inventive send-off, ranking its characters according to their brutal, if fictional, crimes.
Torture, sexual violence, slavery and the use of child soldiers were all common crimes but who came out as the worst offender?
Warning: The following contains spoilers for those who have not watched seasons 1-7 of Game of Thrones.
Top of the pile will come as no surprise to Thrones fans. Ramsey Bolton is truly one of the most despicable villains in the history of television. His many crimes include rape, sexual slavery, enforced pregnancy, perfidy and attacking civilians. He racked up 17 violations and viewers will surely be scratching their heads wondering how that figure isn’t much higher.
Ramsey’s father Roose, who is fond of flaying his enemies, was third on the list with eight war crimes to his name.
The character who came in second may bewilder many because she is one of the show’s few, seemingly, good people. Despite this, Daenerys Targaryen has racked up 15 war crimes including inflicting unnecessary suffering, executing without trial, torture and declaring no quarter.
However it’s not all bad news, the Red Cross volunteers note that Daenerys has shown compliance with laws of war including protecting civilians and targeting only military objectives.
In a curious coincidence, which may be a harbinger of things to come, Jon Snow and the Night King are battling for fourth place with six violations each. Jon racked up four of his for use of child soldiers, while his other two were for torture.
Viewers may be surprised at how few war crimes some of the more heinous characters committed. Joffrey Baratheon only committed three violations, the same amount as his mother Cersei. The Red Cross noted that Cersei’s most infamous act, killing hundreds of people by blowing up the Sept of Baelor, fell outside the scope of armed conflict so was not considered a war crime.
While fans might dispute whether or not Daenerys Targaryen immolating her opponents with dragon fire constitutes “superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering,” the “tongue-in-cheek” list is an interesting method of highlighting some of the real-life protections that organizations like the Red Cross attempt to enforce and preserve.
The list hasn’t drawn entirely positive feedback however. Some felt that an organization tasked with no less than “alleviating human suffering” should probably keep their focus on crimes that are actually happening, rather than assessing the application of contemporary international law to a fictional universe modeled on the middle ages.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!