Richard Madden Is ‘Thankful’ He Was Killed Off ‘Game Of Thrones’

The “Bodyguard” star looks back at his time on the HBO smash hit and seems pretty happy he got out early.

Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark on the first three seasons of “Game of Thrones,” seems pretty grateful for the Red Wedding in retrospect.

The actor, who recently starred in Netflix’s “Bodyguard,” sat down with actress Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors discussion published Tuesday.

Adams mentioned she binge-watched Madden’s HBO hit just to check out his acting skills.

Richard Madden as Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.”
Richard Madden as Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.”

Because of her viewing tendencies, Adams said she wasn’t aware of how many seasons she watched and described the experience as “just one long epic,” and asked Madden to specify when his character actually died.

In response, Madden offered way more than just the simple answer of “Season 3.”

“I died at the end of Season 3,” Madden said. “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.”

He added: “The actors on it now must be 11 years into playing these characters. Give these guys some medals, because that is a marathon.”

Since the HBO smash hit wound down last month, many of its stars have become more transparent about how playing their roles for such a long time have affected their lives off-camera.

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner at the "Game of Thrones" season finale premiere in Belfast in April.
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner at the "Game of Thrones" season finale premiere in Belfast in April.
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Both Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), who were on the show since they were young girls, have expressed struggling with mental health issues that seem directly correlated to their “Game of Thrones” fame.

It was also confirmed last month that Kit Harington, who played the show’s central hero Jon Snow, had checked into a “wellness retreat” shortly after the show’s finale to seek treatment for “personal issues.”

Earlier this year, Harington was frank in another interview with Variety about the emotional toll of playing Snow for so many years. He said his rapid rise to fame and his eventual role as the show’s focus spurred him to seek therapy.

Kit Harington attending the “Game of Thrones” premiere in April.
Kit Harington attending the “Game of Thrones” premiere in April.
Liam McBurney - PA Images via Getty Images

“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” he said. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone.”

He also expressed how leaving the show was difficult for him in an interview with Esquire published in April.

“I felt fine ... I felt fine ... I felt fine ... Then I went to do my last shots and started hyperventilating a bit. Then they called, ‘Wrap!’ And I just fucking broke down. It was this onslaught of relief and grief about not being able to do this again,” he said.

So, maybe Madden is on to something.

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