What Has Richard Madden Been up to Since ‘Game of Thrones?’

Richard Madden might have been ‘thankful’ he left HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones when he did, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss it. Sure, it might have been like running a marathon, but he made some significant friendships and got tons of experience working on one of the biggest TV shows in the world. Most importantly, it opened doors for him.

Since leaving Game of Thrones, Madden has raked in even more impressive credits in film and TV alike and earned some awards. He was snubbed at the 2019 Emmys, but he won big at the Golden Globes for his role in Bodyguard. Since then, he’s entered into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Eternals and was even thought of as the next James Bond.

Richard Madden at the screening for 'Rocketman' at the Cannes Film Festival.
Richard Madden | Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Richard Madden left ‘Game of Thrones’ at the perfect time

Speaking to Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors, Madden said he was “thankful” he left Game of Thrones when he did at the end of season three. His character, Rob Stark, died heartbreakingly during the brutal Red Wedding, but Madden couldn’t see himself chugging along with the series for too much longer.

“I died at the end of Season 3. It was such a hard thing to finish because from first pilot to my death was five years,” Madden said. “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. The actors on it now must be 11 years into playing these characters. Give these guys some medals, because that is a marathon.”

Madden told GQ he hates goodbyes. When he finishes a job, he says “See you tomorrow” to all the people he’s worked with and gotten close to, even though they both know he won’t be there the next day. So that’s more than likely what he did after he filmed his death scene. Then, he cried all the way home on the plane.

After he left, Madden played the Prince Charming in Cinderella opposite Lily James. GQ writes he was “getting worryingly close to simply being known as ‘that guy from Game Of Thrones,’ or possibly ‘that guy from Game Of Thrones who got killed,’ or maybe even – and most worryingly of all for him – ‘that guy who plays a lot of princes.'” So he went out and got himself an award-winning role to wash away any thoughts he might be typecast.

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After ‘Game of Thrones,’ Richard Madden’s next best role was in ‘Bodyguard.’

In 2018, Madden starred as David, a veteran turned bodyguard for the home secretary, in Bodyguard. GQ writes that the series “crammed so much into each episode it occasionally felt like a series of newspaper front pages that all happened to one guy.”

They continue to say that the second episode got people thinking Madden would fair nicely as 007. Scenes in the episode saw David in a crisp suit and “blind-reversed a car out of gunfire, grabbed a semiautomatic weapon and went hunting for the assailant on a nearby rooftop.”

Madden says he can’t believe the success the show earned, and the six one-hour episodes only took five months to shoot, a pale comparison to Game of Thrones. It was no less vigorous a shoot, however. Filming Bodyguard took just as much of a toll.

“We were just so deep in, you don’t really know what’s going on anymore,” he explained. “People will say, ‘Did you know it was going to be a hit?’ You go, ‘I was just trying to survive it. I’m just trying to get to the end of the week.'”

As mentioned, Madden won a Golden Globe Award for his efforts. Following that success, he said, “I’m just riding the wave,” and quickly earned roles in Rocketman and the World War II film 1917.

RELATED: ‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Richard Madden and Angelina Jolie May Be Joining the Marvel Universe

Richard Madden is starring in ‘Eternals’

While he waited to film reshoots for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals during quarantine, Madden recorded eight hours of a sci-fi podcast called From Now. He plays the lone survivor of a lost space mission, and it’s now being developed into an Amazon series. He also made his own perfume.

Right now, however, Madden’s role in Eternals is one of the most talked-about things. Madden will appear as Ikaris, a millennia-old Eternal that has all the superpowers under the sun. The film is directed by Chloé Zhao, Academy Award-winning director of Nomadland, and stars Angelina Jolie and Madden’s on-screen brother from Game of Thrones, Kit Harington.

Madden told GQ in another interview that Zhao’s film is “above just another superhero movie. It’s about, ‘OK, so how do they interact with the world now, when they’ve done everything?’ What are these people like? And what do they value and care about? What doesn’t affect them?” Meaning there’ll likely be a battle of morals for the aliens who’ve seen and done everything you can think of.

RELATED: Marvel Reportedly Confirms ‘The Eternals’ Will Resurrect Another ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Star

Next on Madden’s list of projects is Citadel, which should premiere in 2022. Hopefully, he gets more roles between now and then, though.