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The Daily Raven Special: Interview with Richard Madden

So this happened. A trip to the HBO studios in Santa Monica, CA, where I, the freakishly fantasculous FaBio met with our resident raven-tressed mistress-of-Ravens, Simone Boyce, as well as HBO’s PR über-goddess, Mara Mikialian, there with the expressed purpose of interviewing one Richard Madden.

The King in the North. (…The King in the North…)

How did it go? Well bloody well see for yourself!

Fire And Blood: This interview was a complete pleasure to do. Richard Madden (“The Lovely Richard”) is a consummate gentleman, an easy guy to just hang with, and pretty much the nicest actor I’ve ever met. He smiles a lot, and—especially when the cameras aren’t rolling—laughs even more. He laughs as freely and joyfully as any person I can recall. (Yes, ladies, his accent is awesome.)

Of course part of it could have been because he had the jet-lag giggles, having just flown in from Miami, and before that South and Central America. But he was lively and didn’t yawn once.

And my god does he understand his character. As he told me, he’s lived in Robb’s boots for three years now—the longest of any role, by far, in his young career. When talk turns to Robb, Richard gets this look—like this fierce, intense look, and you feel like he’s slipping right back into Robb’s skin. One mention of the abuses Sansa has been suffering is enough to make him immediately pace a room, a look of almost ferocious protectiveness coming across his features.

Yes, it makes him even more striking. This is our King in the North. Hope you enjoy the interview.

5/1 UPDATE: This interview was originally published on Saturday, we’re bumping it up for those who may have missed it. Enjoy!

104 Comments

  • Great interview.

    Love Richard’s performance as Robb. He has a great interpretation of the character.

    KING IN THE NORTH

  • He is so frelling YUMMMMY! His body language at the beginning of the interview is so nervous and shy … too adorable for words!

    Reading about RW was bad enough (I still mourn Robb), but watching Richard’s Robb die on screen will be too painful to imagine. I’ll be a sodden wreck for weeks.

    Sorry for the shallow post, I’ll be back with a less hormonally motivated posting once I’m done swooning.

  • OMG! That was awesome! Thx so much WiC.

    That was a really fun interview. Everything was spot on, the vibe, the questions, the atmosphere.

    Simone looked totally beautiful and radiant and she really did a really good job to help Rich stay comfy. I feel Simone gave WiC a really great representation and had a good connection with Rich, you can tell they were both having fun.

    It was so cute how Rich was telling us how he kept reading “A Clash of Kings” and kept thinking, “Okay, where is Robb?”. He probably was all bummed out that he wouldn’t be in a lot of scenes until he talked to D&D and told him that had a lot of stuff for him.

    Richard Madden is a complete gem. He is so humble and kind and most importantly I think he really has a great understanding of Robb and the books and does a great job in his portrayal.

    Thanks again WiC and Simone, that was a very cute interview that had me smiling from ear to ear the entire time. =)

    EDIT: Oh yeah how could I forget… KING OF THE NORTH!!!

  • You guys did a wonderful job with the questions for this interview! It was definitely one of the best I’ve seen with a member of the cast so far.
    Also, the fact that Richard Madden has such a good grasp of his character should reassure people who fear that the writers might take the show in a different (hence disappointing) direction. These guys really have a great understanding of the source material.

  • Wow, this interview makes me love him even more. Richard Madden has such great grasp of his character.

    And I love the fact that this interview is so MEATY. Lots of great questions! Great job!

  • scott glennon,

    What to call us? That’s easy……”Bannermen”

    I think you are on to something as far as calling Game of Throne fans something like “Bannermen”. I think that can be worked out to something really cool.

    Good idea!

    We are all Bannermen (fans/supporters) of one house or another. Makes sense to me. Hope someone can take that “Bannermen” idea and build upon it…

  • I LOVE that accent! Great interview; Richard seems so different from Robb; he laughs, he smiles, he uses his hands to convey his meaning where Robb is very still and calm. I love his shout outs to Maisie, Sophie, Isaac, and Art as well as Kit and Alfie. It’s cool to see that the actors are friends off screen since they don’t get to spend time together anymore on screen. I hope we get more of the video interviews. Also, Simone: you rock! You’re doing WIC proud!.

  • Banneratics? Bannatics?

    Someone use the term “Bannermen” in a clever way to describe us fans please?

  • Right. Rational hat back on. Thank you WIC and Simone for the lovely interview. Very well done to you especially, Simone.

    I’m so glad the show is adding depth to Robb, I’ve always felt the books needed a Robb POV, especially in ASOS. I still have questions about him that have gone unanswered. I’m not sure the show will answer them for me, but Richard’s deeply thought out and well executed portrayal of Robb certainly adds dimensionality, and depth, to a character that was in much need of both in the books.
    And like I said earlier, all this awesomeness will only make RW excruciating to live through on screen. If they do it right, it’ll be an event that will down in TV history, I have no doubt.

  • This was a really thoughtful, chill, fun interview. I love how informed and opinionated he was about the character and the series. Plus, he seems like such a nice guy! Props to Simone and FaB for doing such a great job with the questions and keeping Richard at ease. Really great watch, congrats!

  • Arthur:
    Banneratics? Bannatics?

    Someone use the term “Bannermen” in a clever way to describe us fans please?

    Bannerans? Banneroos? Banneracs?
    The last one sounds too much like anoraks, probably not a good idea. :)

  • Richard is awesome for doing this! And his Robb is awesome!

    Really good and fun interview, all in all. I’m looking forward to hear more from the guy in future interviews.

  • This was just great. I really like him, and kudos to you guys for getting him questions good enough to bring that out of him. The chemistry between Simone and Richard was a real treat.

  • This was great, it was really cool to hear Simone mention WiC right at the start. I know we’ve had exclusive interviews before, but this was the first video one, right?

    This also got me thinking about what’s coming up later this season. Sounds like more Roose (yes!) and some interesting Robb/Cat stuff. I’ve avoided most of the previews, so it’s really exciting not knowing what’s coming next.

  • Dee,

    Bannerans? Banneroos? Banneracs?
    The last one sounds too much like anoraks, probably not a good idea. :)

    Heh, nice ideas.

    I still like the combination of Bannermen and Fanatics, “Banneratics”.

    But it still needs tweaking…

  • Dee,
    and Arthur,

    Nah, just “Bannermen”. It’s used both in the books and on the show to describe-as you say-fans/supporters of one house or another. So whether you’re a fan of the books or the show-or both-you can hear the term and know exactly what is meant. As a fan myself, I would then consider myself a “bannerman”.
    BTW, Simone, great interview!

  • Ok… I seriously want to hang out with this guy and have a few Guiness’ with him and the kids….. errr…. well… the kids can drink lemonade and eat lemon cakes, lol!
    But I am also confused. On the one hand if I understand correctly, he didn’t read ASOS but on the other hand he already knows what bastards the Freys are? So… does he actually know or doesn’t he know what’s in store for Robb?
    In any case: “THE KING IN THE NORTH”!!!
    Oh: and how about calling us ‘Thrones’ Fans simply ‘The Children of Winter’?

  • You don’t need to read any of the future books to call The Frey’s bastards, that scene from season 1 made my skin crawl. Great interview, Richard is such a cool guy.

  • Udi: But I am also confused.

    I’m sure he knows at least that he’ll die at the hands of the Freys in the 3rd season. He’s signed on for no more than three seasons, I guess, so he should assume he’ll die, and even if he didn’t want to be spoiled on how, someone would eventually have spoiled him.

  • What a great interview – Richard Madden is a top bloke.

    Loved his word association answers : Theon = “bastard” as if it’s obvious and undeniable!

    Also what to call us? Would it be too confusing to call us “Georgians”?

  • Richard Madden’s supposedly 5’11” (1.80m) yet somehow he looks tiny next to Simone who’s 6’0″. His head, in particular. Also, the camera angle was clearly awkward for him.

    The interview was decent by Hollywood standards, i.e. all the questions were light and fluffy. Richard touched briefly on how Robb is becoming a man by pretending to be one, but Simone didn’t follow up by asking him how he intended to portray Robb’s loneliness at the top.

    After all, he’s seen Jon’s leave to join the Night’s Watch, his brother’s been crippled, he’s lost his father, as far as he knows both of his sisters are prisoners, he’s been made the King in the North, he’s in charge of leading nearly 20,o00 men in a bloody war, he’s had to promise to marry a Frey girl, he sent Theon back home and his mother to Renly on uncertain missions to win allies, he has to keep officers twice his age from committing war crimes or cutting a deal for Jaime Lannister behind his back and, he just got schooled by a pretty field medic.

    All of this happened to him in the space of just a few months and all he’s got to show for it is his direwolf’s wet fur in a tent somewhere in the Riverlands. Robb’s supposed to be just somewhere between 18 and 21 years old at this point and he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet we’ve hardly seen a moment of self-doubt, even in private. Good leaders question the wisdom of their decisions, if only to keep from becoming too cocky.

  • sjwenings,

    Probably right. It just kills me that Michelle Fairley and possibly also Richard Madden might have no clue as to what future awaits their characters. And in that case I am sure I am not alone in dying to see future interviews with them when they find out!

  • Fantastic interview.

    I laughed when he said Gleeson is the nicest guy, because I’ve noticed that in literally every single interview where Joff comes up, everyone takes great pains to assure the audience that Gleeson is in fact the nicest guy.

  • Arthur,

    Fannermen? Of course, using ‘bannermen’ is problematic because the term may alienate female viewers (like me)…

    Personally, I think we’ve gotta have “thrones” or “throne” in the term somewhere. It’s how we refer to the series, and it’ll say “game of thrones fans” off the bat. What was the problem with thronies, anyway? I’m assuming if there was a problem with that, Throniacs, Thronatics, Thronionados are off the table as well. I quite like Thronosseurs myself. Might be a bit too uppity-sounding, though. :)

  • Bemma,

    *Thronoisseurs, rather. The thronoisseurship: the devout fan base of the HBO hit television series Game of Thrones.

  • I smiled the whole way through this interview. That’s the effect Richard Madden has. He’s so committed to Robb, so enthusiastic, and he’s obviously put a lot of thought into the character. Seems like a really good guy.

    I think Simone Boyce did well, but, as with most interviewers, she stuck to her set questions and didn’t pick up on things Richard said to pose new questions. The recent interviews with Richard, Kit and Alfie in Miami that are available in audio only had three interviewers who were able to pose new questions in response to things the actors said. Those are the best interviews with Richard and Kit that I’ve heard/seen/read.

  • Ida: http://weheartit.com/entry/27489740
    Don’t know if people have seen it already, but I havn’t so. Here it goes!
    Love it, can’t wait for the SanSan moment!!

    Ooh! There it is! And it looks like we’ll actually see the Sandor we know from the books. He seems too calm and nice (at times) on the show. But theres the intense, creepy angry Sandor we all (almost) know and love!

  • Richard Madden seems like such a nice guy and he really seems to love playing Robb Stark. He does such a fabulous job playing Robb, I think he’s going to have a great career after Game of Thrones, I’m sure his amazing good looks and charm won’t hurt his career either lol It’s nice to see an actor that loves what he’s doing and seems genuinely nice (and level headed). To the King in the North, may you find more success once you have left Game of Thrones. P.s I’m so not ready to see the Red Wedding… Freys’ = bastards, no arguing there lol

  • Simone used “lemoncakers” the other day, which I thought had settled the whole moniker thing. Does it really matter what we’re called, as long as we always support the bottom?

    aimlessgun:

    I laughed when he said Gleeson is the nicest guy, because I’ve noticed that in literally every single interview where Joff comes up, everyone takes great pains to assure the audience that Gleeson is in fact the nicest guy.

    I for one would love to see an interview with Jack Gleeson sometime soon, it must be difficult to play a villain this far beyond the pale. How does he prepare himself mentally for scenes in which his character orders and takes sexual pleasure in public humiliation, brutal beatings and serial murder? How does he cope with being told he’s eerily good at portraying pure concentrated evil and madness? Also, he must by now be worried that some deranged fan might physically assault him at some point.

    So far though, the only teeny tiny bones we’ve been thrown are HBO’s character profile for Joffrey – season 2 and short quotes in few articles (collected on Jack’s web site).

    I suppose I can understand Jack not wanting to do a lot of interviews since he’s decided to abandon acting in favor of academic studies after his part in GoT wraps up. Still, acting contracts usually include a requirement to participate in marketing efforts. So, is HBO giving Jack Gleeson a bye or, would they prefer viewers never find out just how nice a guy he actually is?

  • Off topic.

    Just watched the only scene I liked in the twilight saga: New Moon…

    Those wolves look amazing as they were chasing that vampire off the cliff. I can’t wait for the Stark babies, Greywind, Ghost, Summer, Nymeria and Shaggydog to be full grown like that. =]

  • Richard Madden’s supposedly 5’11″ (1.80m) yet somehow he looks tiny next to Simone who’s 6’0″.

    I’m really glad you clarified that, because the whole time I was watching, I was thinking, “Wow. He’s really small.”

    He’s certainly not small as Robb Stark, though. Not on my screen. I think he was a perfect casting choice. I love how the “unknowns” have turned out to be some of the fan’s favorites on this show.

    Not the most insightful interview… as representative of WiC.net, I was hoping for something, I dunno, a bit more informed… but, yeah, nice, congenial job done.

  • Name could be “Thronies”, I don’t know lol….

    Great interview, though. So I guess he hasn’t read what’s to come in ASoS. He’s in for a ride….

  • Thanks so much for making this happen, WiC, Richard Madden and HBO! Such a delight to watch–as others have mentioned, Richard’s enthusiasm is infectious!

  • Bannermen sounds good to me. Lemoncakers not bad either, but too much context-demanding.

    Very nice interview, he was pleased with the questions and they were original enough to keep me interested, if not completely in-depth like some would like. Almost spoilery once or twice, and yes we need to police spoilers better on this site, by this time any regular already knows what to expect and when about certain events from future books. Time to kick off the red herrings, bannermen!

  • Great interview! He seems like such a nice person and I love the fact that he’s so into the show. And that he’s so connected with Robb.
    But I have to say… I haven’t read the books and I read and watch these interviews… and even though there are no direct spoilers I can kinda read between the lines and guess what’s going to happen in the third season. (the stuff I’m going to write next aren’t spoilers, but they could be cause I’m kinda connecting the dots here; still, I’m going to black it out) There have been subtle implications that Robb dies in the third book. The biggest implication was when Richard said in one interview that his dad couldn’t pick up the third book again after a certain scene (called The Red Wedding, I think) because he thinks of Robb as his son. And I’m freaking out now because I don’t like spoilers and because I love Robb so much and I don’t want him to die. But if he must die, I would have wanted it to be a surprise.
    But maybe I just got it all wrong, I don’t know. I hope I did.

  • Cool! This is fun. Simone looked great, totally professional. I loved it!

    Just an idea for the future – What would make these even more fun, was if you know ahead of time that someone from WiC is going to interview someone from the show, post up a thread for us, and let us contribute questions we’d like to see asked, and then you guys screen through and pick the appropriate questions to include.

  • Great interview.

    I have one small complaint. It’s very minor, though. The most important quality for a good interviewer is giving the person being interviewed your undivided attention. Simone kept looking at the camera and smiling while Richard Madden was answering a question. It was sort of jarring. Almost as if she wasn’t interested in the answer. I know that wasn’t the case, but it looked like it. It was almost more as if she was thinking and inviting the viewers to think, “Look! I’m interviewing Richard Madden!” instead of, “Listen! Richard Madden is answering a question!” Ask the question and then pay rapt attention to the answer. Otherwise, why ask the question?

  • purplejilly,

    I totally agree and suggested that before. Have a little segment at the end with like 3 WiC fansite questions… That would be really nice and give us a little opportunity to have our voices heard.

    It would also give WiC another thread that would generate traffic and give us all something to talk to one another about.

    Just a little “heads up” next time type thing would be awesome!

  • Jay Sutherland:
    Simone, how many times did you nod in that video? I think somebody should count. :)

    I think it was a self-defense mechanism to keep from being hypnotized by That Voice. ;) I’ve joked before that I’d love to have Richard Madden’s voice just narrate my life in all of its banality (the Guide to Westeros features on the DVD made it worse). Richard Madden Voice at the grocery store: “Bluberries are in season. You know you want them. Take ‘em. Do it.” Richard Madden Voice at the bar: “Your favorite beer’s not on tap? Only bottled? This is a tragedy. A TRAGEDY.” And I shall wrinkle my brow and feel the weight of injustice upon my shoulders.

    Joking aside: Great job, team WiC! (I know how limited time is in these press blitz situations.) Mr. Madden comes across as completely bullshit-free; his obvious investment and enthusiasm in this show and his character is so cool to see and hear. And I officially second the request for a Pocket Madden.

  • Nagga’s Kin,

    Dude, unclench. It’s Saturday night, go have a beer.

    Speaking of,

    H, aka Vee: I think it was a self-defense mechanism to keep from being hypnotized by That Voice. ;)I’ve joked before that I’d love to have Richard Madden’s voice just narrate my life in all of its banality (the Guide to Westeros features on the DVD made it worse).Richard Madden Voice at the grocery store: “Bluberries are in season. You know you want them. Take ‘em. Do it.” Richard Madden Voice at the bar: “Your favorite beer’s not on tap? Only bottled? This is a tragedy. A TRAGEDY.” And I shall wrinkle my brow and feel the weight of injustice upon my shoulders.

    Fabulous idea. Can we switch out every other day with Benedict Cumberbatch?

  • We should be called Bannerwomen. That term is super fabulous and inclusive and a fantastic term for all fans of GoT, fa’ r’hllor. We’re all bannerwomen. Go bannerwomen!!

    Also, the lovely Richard is lovely.

  • We ARE Thronies. Like or not.

    Star Trek fans are Trekkers/Trekkies…
    Farscape fans are Scapers….
    and True Blood fans are Trubies.

    The nickname of a group of fans needs to have some relation to the title of the obsession….
    it needs to be recognizable even to the casual viewer. Bannermen/women is cool but a bit too obscure….. you can still be a bannerman/woman of the houses you are fans of, but you are still a Thronie.

    Oh and BTW… TwiHards do NOT like to be called TwiTards. Trust me…. ;)

  • Zack,

    There is an exception to every rule…. :)

    I stand corrected….

    and agree that we can call ourselves whatever we want…. it truly only matters to us….

    ETA: What else would you call Serenity/Firefly fans?????? They truly had no other choice!

  • What is Richard saying at the very end in the black-and-white portion? My audio isn’t so great…

  • There’s also that “bannermen” aren’t exclusive to GoT… I mean, it’s pretty ambiguous. Flag-bearers appear in many medieval fantasies, and so does the term bannermen.

    That said, I’m starting to get the issue with Thronies: it’s too reminiscent of “Bronies,” which apparently means “bros” who love the recent incarnation of My Little Pony. I think the two are distinct enough that the vast majority of people won’t even put the two together.

    Weirwood mentioned Trekkers. How about “Throners”?

  • Spryte:
    What is Richard saying at the very end in the black-and-white portion? My audio isn’t so great…

    Indeed, perhaps use lapel mics next time to get stronger audio, you can see that Simone is holding the mic 2~3 inches from her face where as when she holds it toward Richard’s face it is 6~9 inches away. . . Avoid this by using lapel mics and a sound check before the interview.
    Also use a noise sample to apply a bit of noise cancelling.

    Otherwise a good interview, content wise. Look forward to more.

  • Spryte:
    What is Richard saying at the very end in the black-and-white portion? My audio isn’t so great…

    To answer the question (sorry).
    I think this is the closest I get to a transcription:

    Richard: “…the whole time, yeah.”
    Off-screen:[not audible, must be funny though]
    All:*Lauging*
    Simone: “Do you remember it all?”
    Richard: “Say it again, with not such a strong accent, because I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
    Simone: *Evil Laugh?* [Just Kidding]
    Off-screen: “[didn’t get this part]…American accent, New York…[didn’t get this part either]”

  • Udi:
    Ok… I seriously want to hang out with this guy and have a few Guiness’ with him and the kids….. errr…. well… the kids can drink lemonade and eat lemon cakes, lol!
    But I am also confused. On the one hand if I understand correctly, he didn’t read ASOS but on the other hand he already knows what bastards the Freys are? So… does he actually know or doesn’t he know what’s in store for Robb?
    In any case: “THE KING IN THE NORTH”!!!
    Oh: and how about calling us ‘Thrones’ Fans simply ‘The Children of Winter’?

    I believe what he actually said is that he doesn’t like to get ahead of the current season. But since he finished shooting Season 2 awhile ago, it would stand to reason (assuming someone didn’t already dial him in, a la what happened to Charles Dance) that he’s at least read the third book up to where the Red Wedding is because he’s getting ready to shoot the third season and wants to be up to speed. That’s the only possible explanation for him calling the Freys “bastards” (sure, they’re kind of creepy beforehand, but they were actually pretty decent allies before the betrayal).

  • New Wolf,

    Well, if you want to be totally unspoiled about the series you should really avoid any GoT websites, interviews, etc. I know it’s hard, especially since we have a year in-between seasons, but it’s the safest. Even though this site really does go to pains so as not to spoil it for non book-readers, there will always be careless posts, hints are even honest people who simply forget to use the ‘spoiler tags’. I (of course) won’t tell you if you connected the dots correctly but I will say this (in the hopes of “unspoiling” you a bit): 90% of all the guesses I have read (of non book-readers) about what will happen in future episodes and seasons, were completely wrong. Not saying you are or aren’t but this is my experience from reading hundreds of posts and then seeing the reactions. Hope this at least will restore some of your anticipation for season 3 and beyond.

  • I like Bannermen by far the best of any names suggested. I don’t care if It’s obscure to some people! They don’t matter! bwahaha.

    I liked the interview haha, Freys? – Bastards, Theon? – BASTARD. I have a man-crush on Richard Madden now lol.

  • Bravo Simone, you did a great job :) I think Richard is a great bloke, he looks/sounds/acts like somone with whom you could talk with a beer in your hand for hours. ‘t was a really good interview.

  • aimlessgun,

    Poor Jack. I feel almost as sorry for the actor as I loathe his character. It’s a shame that he doesn’t get to do the fun stuff – interviews and comic-cons and fan meets – because idiots who can’t separate actors from characters might do something even stupider than Joffrey would do.

    Gleeson is giving Dinklage a run for his Emmy (nominations notwithstanding) and I say that as a Dinklage-as-Tyrion partisan.

  • The biggest implication was when Richard said in one interview that his dad couldn’t pick up the third book again after a certain scene (called The Red Wedding, I think) because he thinks of Robb as his son.

    This made me choke up. Ned’s gone, but now Robb has Richard’s dad rooting for him.

  • Thronies! Short, pertinent, easy to remember, clear to real fans but just obscure enough to exclude non-fans. “Are you a Thronie?” “Only Thronies allowed.” “You wouldn’t understand; you’re not a Thronie.”

    Count me in.

  • Upset over ‘Bannermen?’ Really? It’s a term. Like saying ‘Mankind’ or ‘firemen’.

    If you want a female specific term, go with ‘Spearwives.’ It’s more latter book but perfectly valid.

    Otherwise, Bannermen seems to be a good way to encompass the fandom, male and female.

  • Sweet, sweet Richard. I love his enthusiastic and cheerful attitude. Great interview. I just wish his seating was a bit more angled towards the camera and closer to Simone so we could have gotten a better audio.

  • Awesome Interview! God I love his accent! I saw him in a masterpiece theatre program last night on PBS. This guy is good!

  • Hear, hear to Bannermen, even though I’m a chick. For the love of the Godswood, meow! THE KING IN THE NOOOOOOOORTH. Richard is Robb, love, love, love him. Did I say I loved him yet?