Game of Thrones is responsible for showing some of the most horrific and disturbing images on TV. Put aside all the half-rotten zombies and the many beheadings, it was the sick pleasure characters like Ramsay and Joffrey took in torturing people that was most unnerving.
The show was criticised for its gratuitous depictions of violence from the get go. Ned's beheading was shocking, but it paled in comparison to the death of Oberyn Martell. Things only seemed to ramp up as the series developed. Theon's torture scene springs to mind for being particularly unwatchable, as well as the disturbing implications of Sansa's wedding night.
Yep, for all the entertainment Game of Thrones brought, it left viewers with a plethora of traumatic images burned into their psyche.
But really, viewers got off lightly. The showrunners certainly mined George R.R. Martin's books for impactful and memorable content, but they left several sinister stones unturned. The following list contains the darkest and most disturbing things ever to come out of Martin's mind. Thankfully, their omission from the show is only a good thing.
10. The Death Of Lady Hornwood
After watching all the horrific things Ramsay got up to in the show, it would be hard to imagine how you could make an individual more abhorrent. Well, that's all in a day's work for George R. R. Martin.
One example of book Ramsay's cruelty is his treatment of Lady Hornwood. This is a character who doesn't appear in the show. In the books she's used more as a tool to demonstrate how sadistic Ramsay is, rather than having much significance on the main plot.
During the early stages of the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters, Lady Hornwood's husband and son are killed. Ramsay takes advantage of the situation by kidnapping and marrying her, in order to lay claim to her lands.
He locks her in a tower where she is later found dead. It's believed she starved to death, due to her apparent attempt at eating her own fingers. Gruesome stuff. But that's just the half of it.
What this actually hints at is something much darker. Later in the books, Theon recalls Ramsay flaying the skin from his finger tips; the pain of the exposed digits was so excruciating he begged Ramsay to cut them off. With this knowledge, it's likely Ramsay did the same to Lady Hornwood, who was driven so mad that she gnawed off her own fingers.