I recently finished watching the 3rd season of Game of Thrones (I haven't read the book, I should admit).

One thing does bother me. Ramsay Snow

kept Theon Greyjoy as his prisoner in order to get some information and as a hostage.

But why do we see such terrible tortures? And most of all, why

the castration of the prisoner

that is an irreversible act? Now, it's clear, that the value of the hostage after such procedure decreases very significantly - we can see that

in episode 10, there the father refuses to trade for his son any of the lands.

This is definitely not required to retrieve information - they already had all the information they needed before. Therefore, this procedure is not just cruel, it's also very unprofitable, and can expose serious threats -

I think in season 4 we shall see that, since the sister of Theon marched to his resque.

So, why would Ramsay do that - is he just a psychopath, who tries to satisfy his wicked wishes, despite the cost?

The difference with Lannister Jaimie is that

Jaimie lost only his hand

and this does not give his father very big reasons to start a revenge war.

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    If you read the books it's clear, Ramsay is just a psychopath. He's a sadist, he enjoys inflicting suffering. Remember that you've only just met him on the TV show and that more of his character and motivations may be revealed in future - you shouldn't expect to be given all info up-front. – user8719 Feb 7 '14 at 8:32
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    The Bolton sigil isn't a flayed man for nothing... – Ash Feb 7 '14 at 8:34
  • I was also really confused about this, having not read the books. I picked up on the fact that he enjoyed torture, but it seemed like he was really angry with his captive, rather than just crazy, and I couldn't figure out why he'd be so angry with him.... for a while, I honestly thought I'd missed an episode that explained what Ramsay's captive had done to piss Ramsay off so much. – Matt Feb 7 '14 at 16:26

The truth is that Ramsay Snow is a very angry and deranged man. Ramsay comes out of nowhere in the show. But in the books you're aware that he's pretty crazy early on.

For example, in the second book he forces Lady Donella Hornwood to marry him, increasing Bolton's lands. He then locks her in a room with no food, she ate her own fingers then starved/bled to death. He's mentioned a bit more, here and there, but he is a minor character until he pretends to be Reek when Theon captures Winterfel.

He posed as Reek to gain Theon's trust, and as Theon insulted him he grinned and took it. Once the tables turned he decided to make Theon his new Reek, the castration, hammer to the mouth, flaying, it's not meant to be reversible. Ramsay isn't ransoming Theon, he's breaking and training him.

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    It's Ramsay Bolton to all you smallfolk! The true-born heir to the Dreadfort. I'm going to need a bigger dungeon... – TheMathemagician Feb 7 '14 at 15:10
  • I can only imagine what was going through his head when Theon was calling him Reek. I'm like to get flayed and fed to his dogs (can we say what he calls them here?) just for posting this. – Will F Feb 7 '14 at 15:13
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    I just got to the point where Ramsay was introduced in the book, and it wasn't Theon calling him Reek so much, it was the other ironmen. It wasn't long before Theon told him to go take a bath and make himself more presentable. – BraveLilToaster Feb 7 '14 at 18:24
  • Hammer to the mouth? Literal or figure of speech? – Mkalafut Apr 30 '14 at 20:27
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    @Mkalafut: Tyrion is supposed to be an ugly deformed dwarf, not the handsome Dinklage they have in the show. – einpoklum May 18 '14 at 19:13

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