June 18, 1986 (Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK)
Hey, remember 3 weeks ago when Robb was still alive and we still had hope? If his storyline taught us anything it's: never bang a nurse. And if you absolutely have to - for the love of God, don't marry her.
Seriously, though, today on the occasion of Richard Madden's 27th birthday I've been continuing my frantic art making for tumblr meme and I realized it's unbelievable how much I'm going to miss him and his on-screen mother Michelle Fairley on the show. Though because of the writers ridiculous bias towards Daenerys, Robb and Catelyn didn't get enough of screen time, it's mostly because of Madden and Fairley that it was impossible not to want good things to happen for the Starks.
Madden made for a really convincing hero - even though we never saw Robb in the battle I've never questioned the fact he was capable of winning every single one. He was a bit of a boy, a bit of a man and he was all honor and bravery - well, with one slip regarding honor which meant his doom in the end. But the best scenes he had were those when he was truly a king - mighty, brave and confident, which gave us all the feeling he is immortal and undefeated. And then the show runners laughed while George R.R. Martin probably ate popcorn.
I adored his scenes with Michelle Fairley in which Robb acted like a boy, because that was all he knew, but whenever his mother questioned his decisions he reminded her he was her king as well as her son, if only with one fierce look. To think Jon Snow outlived him. Oh, God. We are doomed.
I think Madden did really good job showing Robb grow up - from carefree boy in Winterfell who laughed during feast and interrupted Arya when she was throwing food at Sansa to the king who had to order executions, kill men and make difficult decisions. Yet even after he became the King in the North (in one of the show's most powerful moments) we still saw glimpses of that boy - when he yelled "mother!" with such joy and relief whenever he saw Catelyn after long time of being apart and whenever he smiled, which happened all too rare after he took over the duty of avenging his father.
While I always thought Madden was doing remarkably well with the material that was given to him, his last episode really showed the extent of his talent - I was sure Fairley would steal the show with ease but the look of utter hopelessness in his eyes when Robb saw dead Talisa was just shuddering. A lot of how effective the sequence of Red Wedding was lies in its execution but it would have never worked without these actors really making us feel like they were really mother and son - and Fairley and Madden achieved that, through 3 seasons of smiles, loving looks, difficult conversations, hugs, tears of joy and screams of agony.
In his last word to his mother when Robb says "mother", as he did several times in the past, it hurts so much - we don't really see the King dying and with him the hope for the Starks dying as well, we see the boy pleading for his mother to give up and let him go, because he doesn't have the strength to fight anymore.
It's insane to me how horrible the death of Robb played out on screen - I knew about Red Wedding, I read the chapter many times yet seeing Catelyn watch him fall on the floor was the most painful Thrones has ever been.
This is getting dark fast so let me just say I'm genuinely shocked at HBO's cruelty - they finally showed us Madden's bare ass in episode 7, only to have him killed in episode 9.
Richard Madden was born and raised in Scotland and was in several TV series prior to being cast on Thrones - Hope Springs and Sirens. Madden is dating Jenna-Louise Coleman. Let's just state the obvious here - if these two have a child it will be a superbaby.
I'm definitely going to miss him on Thrones but I'm glad he has many projects happening right now - including A Promise, where he is starring alongside Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall and Cinderella where he is so appropriately cast as Prince Charming.
I'm much more excited about Maleficent (if it stays clear out of nauseatingly sweet and fake-looking visuals known from Alice in Wonderland and Oz: The Great and Powerful I think it will be great) but whatever happens, Cinderella still features Cate Blanchett as evil stepmother so that's amazing.
I'm not so sure about Lily James being Cinderella - having seen her in Downton Abbey, season 3 I can safely say she really lacks looks and talent even for a role like that. Holliday Grainger was recently cast as one of the evil stepsisters - now she at least is beautiful so it's a shame she will not be playing the lead in this one.
After all, a Prince like that deserves the finest Cinderella.