Being killed off of a popular show is not every actor's career highlight. However, Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden has found the bright side to no longer starring on the series. His reason is an interesting one. In a recent interview, Madden said:
I can't wait for the new season. I kind of don't recognize that I was in it anymore because I've been watching so many years of it, and they talk about Robb Stark and I know who he is but I don't see myself in that role. I'm just a viewer now, which is so good. That was one of the bad things about being in the show is you got the scripts so you knew what was going to happen next, and I've not had that for years, so now I can just truly enjoy it as a viewer, which is thrilling.
It sounds like Richard Madden is as pumped as the rest of Game of Thrones' fans to watch the final season, thanks to no longer knowing what is coming in the script. When you think about the potential downsides to starring on Game of Thrones, not being able to enjoy watching it is not typically one of the first things that comes to my mind. So, what Madden shared with THR is enlightening.
Like many actors before and after him, Richard Madden experienced a deadly end at the hands of Game of Thrones' narrative. His character, Robb Stark, was killed off in Season 3 during one of the show's most infamous episodes. It is hard to believe that "The Rains of Castamere" aired five years ago. Yes, it happened half a decade ago. Now, Madden has moved on to Netflix's Bodyguard series.
In another twist, Game of Thrones has now been on the air for longer than Robb Stark was initially a character on the show. Robb Stark was killed off in the series' 29th episode overall. The Season 7 finale marked the show's 67th episode. So, 38 episodes have passed since the "Red Wedding" changed Game of Thrones forever.
Game of Thrones served as the career breakthrough for many of its original stars. Richard Madden is among them. This year he received acclaim and recognition for his starring role on Bodyguard. (Something Robb Stark really needed in Season 3.)
Richard Madden's perspective on the experience of starring on Game of Thrones has had time to settle. It is a testament to his portrayal of Robb Stark that his presence can still be felt on the show so many seasons later. The actor recently opened up about how fans' reaction to his Bodyguard character and Robb Stark have differed.
Obviously, Robb Stark's death was one of the most traumatic moments of the series. It was not just Robb who died in the scene. His pregnant wife and his mother were also murdered. The lethal sequence marked a turning point in the series. It announced Game of Thrones would be breaking with expectations.
Ned's death made the anyone-can-die notion clear to this viewer. However, it was Robb's shocking demise that solidified it. Although the series is based on a set of books by George R.R. Martine, for TV-only viewers, these deaths were large shocks. Anytime we think a character is safe, remembering Robb Stark's fate serves as a painful reminder that Game of Thrones' fans have to remain on guard.
It is exciting to hear an actor express being a fan of a show they were actually on. Like many viewers, Richard Madden can now enjoy the twists and turns that undoubtedly await viewers in Season 8.
When he was on it, Game of Thrones was still operating off of George R.R. Martin's novels. Making spoilers an easier thing to come by. Now, the show's final twists will be holding viewers, like Richard Madden, in suspense up until the last moment.