Spoiler alert! Do not read this episode if you have not seen Sunday's episode of 'Game of Thrones,' "The Rains of Castamere." Major spoilers from that episode follow.
Sunday's episode of 'Game of Thrones' came to a rather intense conclusion. "The Rains of Castamere" ended with the Red Wedding, a massive sequence in which the Starks found themselves betrayed and murdered by Lord Walder Frey (David Bradley) at a wedding feast. Robb Stark (Richard Madden) was forced to watch as his pregnant wife Talisa (Oona Chaplin) was brutally murdered before being stabbed in the heart himself by the treacherous Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton). His mother, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), completely devastated, slit Frey's wife's throat before having her own cut.
It was a shocking, bloody fifteen minutes of television. It was also one of the best scenes on television this year.
But the sequence's importance doesn't rob the sting from Richard Madden. The character he had grown used to playing for three years was brutally murdered -- and though he understands why it had to happen, he shared his mixed feelings about it with HBO.
"[Michelle Fairley and I] went into that scene with heavy hearts because we really love the show and we love working together especially," Madden said. "The scene was a really hard thing to push through, but the scripts were great and the whole episode was so operatic almost, with how the writers placed little details throughout the sequence of events in the episode.
"There's a moment where we look at each other, and it's Robb Stark essentially saying goodbye to his mother and giving up. There's a moment of tragedy and utter relief, actually, because these two characters have fought and fought and fought and it's finally over. I think Michelle and I really felt that on that day, and so did the crew. It was a really big emotional moment because we're one big family that's plowed on through this for years."
Calling the shoot "horrific. . . a really distubing day," Madden thought of his father while filming: "He read all the books and after the Red Wedding, he put the book down and didn't go back to it for a couple of months. I think it was because he ties Robb Stark so closely with me. The journey of that character, the fondness that we all have for each other as a cast and a crew, the character's point of view in the story; it was really moving and not very nice. There was just the total sense of exhaustion. I left set, went straight to the airport and got on a plane because I didn't want to be there anymore. I flew home to London. And I cried the whole way."
You can read the whole HBO interview here. The 'Game of Thrones' season 3 finale, "Mhysa," airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.