Richard Madden on the Red Wedding

I have no idea when HBO posted this interview with Scottish actor Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but I thought I would share it with you in case you were rewatching  “The Rains of Castamere” in anticipation of the big event (aka the premiere of Season 4).

In the interview, Madden expresses his thoughts about Robb Stark as a character and his experience.

After HBO cast his son, Madden’s no-doubt proud father read the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. However, after reading the Red Wedding scene, he set the novel down, presumably disturbed, and stopped reading for a few months. As Richard Madden told HBO, “I think it was because he ties Robb Stark so closely with me.”

Here’s how Madden described shooting the Red Wedding  to HBO:
“There’s a moment where we look at each other, and it’s Robb Stark essentially saying goodbye to his mother and giving up. There’s a moment of tragedy and utter relief actually, because these two characters have fought and fought and fought and it’s finally over. I think Michelle and I really felt that on that day, and so did the crew. It was a really big emotional moment because we’re one big family that’s plowed on through this for years.”

Madden, Michelle Fairley, and the rest of the cast and crew were close and found shooting the massacre emotionally draining, “… it was really moving and not very nice. There was just the total sense of exhaustion. I left set, went straight to the airport and got on a plane because I didn’t want to be there anymore. I flew home to London. And I cried the whole way.”

Madden also noted that he felt he wouldn’t have closure until he had seen the episode (broadcast): “It will be really difficult to watch because it will dredge up a lot of emotions that I’ve pushed aside for a while.”

Madden appears to have recovered from his last weighty experience with HBO. Recently, Madden starred in the historical mini-series Klondike on the Discovery Channel in the United States. According to IMDB, he also has two other projects in the works. Notably, he is playing Prince Charming in Cinderella in 2015.

To read more of the HBO/Richard Madden interview, go to HBO.com’s website.

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Jamie Adair is the editor of History Behind Game of Thrones, a website about the history behind George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the hit TV show, "Game of Thrones."

2 Comments

  • Reply March 18, 2014

    Olga

    I just watched all three seasons again and I had the damn ‘Rains of Castamere’ song stuck in my head for DAYS. I kept thinking it was worse watching it than reading it, but then I remember what I was like after I read it in the books. I think it took me three days of swearing at George and wandering around in a daze before I started to recover.
    “Robb Stark essentially saying goodbye to his mother and giving up” That’s really sad. You don’t get that sort of perspective in the book, everything is from Cat’s perspective.

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Jaime Adair

    That’s so true. I think I was a bit down for a few days as well. The look on Robb Stark’s face when he gave up was shattering. Film can be so much more visceral than books in some ways.

    A kind of corny example, but I read Stephen King’s “Pet Cemetary” as a teenager and then I saw the film. For me, the film was so intensely scary that it was almost unwatchable. (I can read horror, but I can’t always watch it!) Film goes straight into your brain without filters – so it can feel more real – whereas print gets filtered a tiny bit through the act of reading. Seeing the Red Wedding was more horrifying in some ways than reading it. (E.g., seeing the blood spraying from Catelyn’s throat was really something else.)

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