Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden relive pained reactions to the Red Wedding


If you were shocked by the Red Wedding, imagine what it was like for the cast. Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) couldn’t talk to the showrunners for a week.

No matter how many times you’ve seen it, read it, or thought about it, the Red Wedding still haunts your dreams. There’s just no forgetting the scene where Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), Robb (Richard Madden) and Talisa Stark were killed at Edmure Tully’s wedding, along with all their men, and the Northern cause set back for seasons.

And if it’s bad for you, imagine how rough it is for Fairley and Madden, who were forced to endure the bitter deaths of treasured characters over the course of multiple takes. In an in-depth oral history from Entertainment Weekly, the pair remembered what it was like, and how they reacted.

Unlike a lot of episodes on Game of Thrones, the episode with the Red Wedding — “The Rains of Castamere” — was shot chronologically, meaning everything led up to the big event. “Every day we edged closer to the slaughter,” Fairley recalled. “By the end of the week, you were getting emotional. You know it’s coming and it’s calm and it’s a wedding but as the week progresses you’re nervous and you have to remain concentrated. But you have to remain [looking] fooled as well.”

And then came the aftermath. According to co-creator Dan Weiss revealed, Fairley was so shaken up by the proceedings she refused to speak to the showrunners for a week after filming. “We tried to call Michelle afterwards. She wasn’t answering. A week later she wrote an email saying, ‘Sorry, I haven’t been able to talk to anybody because I’ve been so shattered.’”

Fairley later copped to feeling like a “walking shell” in the wake of the shoot. Madden was equally rocked. “We were mentally exhausted,” he remembered. “I cried my eyes out, completely — as did a lot of the crew and other actors. It was very emotional. The wrap party was that night, but I had to start filming another job the next day. So I washed my blood off and got on a plane.”

As Madden says, it wasn’t just the Starks who were going through it. “I remember turning to the script supervisor after one take where Richard was dying and I was like, ‘That was a good take,’” remembered showrunner David Benioff. “And she was just bawling. It’s a bittersweet thing. You’re making all these people sad. But on the other hand, that’s kind of the idea. If we shot The Red Wedding and nobody got emotional, it would be a failure.”

No worries there.

Next. The 50 most iconic looks from Game of Thrones. dark

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h/t IndieWire