Lord Roose Bolton is the Lord Paramount and Warden of the North, formerly a bannerman of House Stark. He is known for being ruthless and cruel, as well as ominously quiet and powerful. He is known as the leech lord because he regularly covers himself in leeches to keep himself healthy. He has a bastard son, Ramsay, who is even more infamous for cruelty and sadism than Roose himself. He suspects that Ramsay had poisoned his older, trueborn son, in order to secure Dreadfort for himself.
Appearance and Character
Roose Bolton is a man of average height with a soft and hairless body, a plain face and short fingers. His eyes are pale and frightening, paler even than his son Ramsay's. In combat, he wears dark mail and a pink fur cloak. He is extremely hard to read.
He is a cunning, mysterious and intimidating man, almost as authoritative as Tywin Lannister himself. Even his allies are terrified of him, and find him hard to trust. Loyal to himself and his house's success, Roose is pitiless and completely implacable, rarely sharing information with other people if he can avoid it and if he can be put at risk by it. Roose is a keen strategist in his own right, one of the orchestrators of the betrayal of House Stark and the Red Wedding, and beforehand one of Robb Stark's most dangerous and noteworthy lieutenants.
Many in Westeros who know of him think Roose to be a strange man. He rarely, if ever, raises his voice, forcing everyone else to focus completely on what he has to say. He has a tendency towards leeching, thinking that it leads to a long life and disposes of 'bad blood'. More notably, Roose isn't as partial to alcohol as other lords, sipping it if he is served and preferring hippocras. Roose is apparently far crueller than he looks, capable of more savagery than his son, and Theon Greyjoy believes him to be more dangerous than all the Freys combined.
Despite his capacity for savagery and cruelty, Roose is in fact a very careful individual, subtle and careful in his own twisted way. He loathes his bastard son Ramsay's openly animalistic behaviour, and the renown it has earned both Ramsay and his house, because he is more inclined to utterly discreet acts of cruelty - he celebrates the fact that he did not earn such renown, and that nobody has as much knowledge of his crimes as they do Ramsay's. His motto is "A peaceful land, a quiet people".
A Game of Thrones
Roose serves as a bannerman to Robb during the War of the Five Kings. He marches his men on Tywin Lannister's men but suffers a defeat at their hands and retreats, losing a sizable portion of his forces but managing to scrap together the remaining troops. His other troops are held at Harrenhal.
A Clash of Kings
Roose's men remain at Harrenhal. However, when Tywin Lannister vacates the castle, Arya Stark secretly liberates the men held captive, who proceeded to take over the castle. Arya goes on to be his cupbearer under the name Nan for a brief time. When Robb Stark declares himself King in the North, Roose pledges allegiance to him.
A Storm of Swords
Secretly, Roose plots with Tywin Lannister against his liege and executes a stunning betrayal during Edmure Tully's marriage and personally murders Robb Stark. Roose becomes Warden of the North, and the de jure lord of Winterfell, due to his bastard son's marriage to Jeyne Poole, who was disguised as Arya Stark.