Richard Madden recently revealed that he is grateful to be one of the actors killed off early in Game of Thrones. The 32-year-old actor—who won a Golden Globe this year for his starring role in Bodyguard—played Robb Stark until Game of Thrones's third season in 2013, when he was memorably murdered at the infamous Red Wedding.
Madden spoke about the experience in an interview with Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, saying:
“It was such a hard thing to finish because from first pilot to my death was five years. But five years was a great time to be on the show. It helped me so much with my career and experience. I learned a lot from shooting 30 hours of television. You really start to learn the trade doing that. And then I was thankful to leave it.”
Three seasons was enough for Madden, and he praised the actors who made it until the end. “Give these guys some medals, because that is a marathon,” he said.
While Madden may have the benefit of hindsight now, he was in a very different emotional state following his final days of filming on Game of Thrones. In a 2018 interview with GQ, Madden shared that he cried so hard on the flight home from the set that he actually frightened other passengers. “I was sobbing and covered in blood," Madden said. "I looked like I’d murdered someone and got on that flight which, in fact, I hadn’t—I’d been murdered."
While Madden's Game of Thrones send-off was as traumatic for the actor as it was for audiences, at least his death scene has gone down as one of the series's most iconic (which is saying a lot, considering Game of Thrones's total body count).