When Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) finally escaped the Lannisters' clutches in King's Landing last season, "Game of Thrones" fans worldwide were thrilled for her -- until Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) delivered her to Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), the only human being in Westeros who is arguably more sadistic than King Joffrey. Sure, Sansa and Littlefinger's endgame is probably to kill Ramsay after their wedding day, but she still has to put up with weeks to months of Ramsay's grinning and flaying and daddy issues-ing until it's time to walk down that aisle.
But is there more to Ramsay than initially meets the eye? After Sunday night's (May 10) episode, "Kill the Boy," it would be easy to think that that might be the case. From his "emotional" origin story scene with his father to his curiously gentle (so far) treatment of Sansa to his never-ending weirdness with Reek, MTV News hopped on the phone with Iwan Rheon to get the scoop on his lovable "Game of Thrones" weirdo.
MTV News: First thing's first, when we caught up with Ramsay last night he was butt naked. What was that like -- shooting for what I imagine was days, completely naked with a total stranger?
Iwan Rheon: It was not the first time it happened, to be honest. You just have to get on with it. It’s not the first time I went to get my ass out for the camera crew.
MTV: But did she really bite your lip that hard? That looked like it hurt.
Rheon: Yeah, she was going for it. She did. It was pretty hard. [Laughs]
MTV: No personal offense, but I don't think that anyone was expecting for Ramsay to have a girlfriend. Were you surprised at that development?
Rheon: Yeah, it is quite a surprise. He’s probably not the most caring and attentive lover. But I think she’s a bit of a crazy b--ch herself, isn’t she? Having a crazy bastard and a crazy b--ch -- it’s perfect.
MTV: was curious last night as to where Ramsay was going with the whole Theon thing. For a while he had Reek all to himself, but now there are serious political implications with Sansa being back. Is Ramsay thinking about Theon differently?
Rheon: He knew how important Theon Greyjoy was [before], but I think he got a little bit carried away, doing what he did... He managed to change Theon Greyjoy into basically a puppet; a subservient creature who wouldn’t even slit his throat when he had a razor next to it, which is extraordinary. He’s so afraid of him... That’s some serious work from Ramsay.
Now, I think he might possibly be a little bit too overly confident with him. I don’t think he intended for [Sansa] to find him like that. He had to make a move. I don’t think he was ready to show her Theon; that wasn’t part of the plan. She sees him and his hand is forced, he’s got to do something about it, and that’s his reaction. So I think he’s still figuring out what to do, to be honest. I think he’s enjoying it, but it’s a dangerous path, because he’s got to have some humanity left -- Theon, or Reek, whatever you call him.
MTV: That has to be a weird dynamic on set, yours and Alfie Allen's. Have you guys found ways to alleviate all of that weirdness?
Rheon: We just do it. Alfie is a great actor, and he just throws himself into it. It’s very difficult for him, this role, I really admire how resilient he is with it, because it’s very thankless. It’s always negative.
But yeah, we just get on with it. You have to remain professional and just do the scenes. And we get on off set, so it’s cool. That’s just our job, and we have to do it to the best of our ability. We’re just playing, like how children play "Cowboys and Indians"... I’m not sure if "Cowboys and Indians" is PC anymore.
MTV: Do you think that Ramsay is capable of reining it in with Sansa? Because it's not like with Joffrey where he could torture her and get away with it... Ramsay doesn't have that kind of power.
Rheon: He’s got to behave himself a little bit better -- he’s a lord now. I think his dad said to him, "Listen boy, no more f--king about"... I think having his father there is a huge influence on Ramsay, because the problem with Theon was he was left alone with him while his father was off fighting a war. Ramsay was left at the Dredfort to his own devices; he was bored. So I think having his dad there is good in terms of Ramsay’s behavior, because he has to try and behave a little bit better.
But he’s over the moon with the whole situation -- it couldn’t have turned out better. It’s the name for him, that means loads. If he marries her and they have children, then he’s got a really firm grasp on the north... Ramsay is excited... I don’t think he expected it to be quite so good when his dad told him he was getting hitched.
MTV: So what you're saying is Ramsay is better boyfriend material than Joffrey.
Rheon: Ehhhh. [Laughs] Possibly. I don’t know. It’s a difficult one, they’re both pretty awful. I think that would have to be down to a personal choice.
MTV: How does it feel as an actor, knowing that you have a wedding coming up on "Game of Thrones?"
Rheon: It was cool. Obviously you are a bit worried as an actor that you’re going to get killed or something, but it’s nice to get to work with different actors on the show. You don’t always get an opportunity on a show like this. Some of those guys get around a lot, but I’ve been very isolated a lot of the time.
I got a really interesting storyline -- Sansa going to Winterfell is just a huge, epic moment.
MTV: You got the "How I Met Your Mother" story that Jon Snow fans would die for, but it was pretty damn disturbing for viewers. How do you think Ramsay processed the whole thing?
Rheon: I think it’s the kind of story that he’d already heard... He’s been around. He’s a pretty bright kid, and he probably got into a few fights about somebody calling him a bastard; he probably overheard somebody saying the story.
But I think hearing it from his dad in the way that he said it, and the way that he ended it [with] "You are my son" -- it’s a huge moment for him emotionally. He’s having all of these things confirmed. It’s being told that he’s Roose Bolton’s son, which he wanted for so long. [But] I’m sure he’ll go off and think about it, and not be quite as caught up in the moment as he was.
MTV: So you don't think Roose was being genuine?
Rheon: He was saying it to get Ramsay to tow in line and behave himself -- possibly meaning it to a certain degree, but if he gets a legitimate son, how long is Ramsay going to live? [Laughs] He’s a nutter. Everything has a Machiavellian element to it.
MTV: Finally, I have to ask: What's your favorite kind of sausage?
Rheon: That’s a very interesting question! I’m a fan of sausages, actually. I quite like a red wine and venison type of vibe. I don’t think you can really beat that. I’m not sure if it hit the States yet, but it will be soon, don’t worry.