Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Game of Thrones star shares training pain

Richard Madden

Richard Madden has joked about the devastating effect his intense horse training for Game of Thrones had on him.

The actor portrays Robb Stark, King of the North and Lord of Winterfell in the sprawling fantasy drama, which follows seven families as they battle for control.

Robb spends a great deal of time atop his trusty steed, so had to learn not to be afraid of the animal before the cameras started rolling.

"When I got the part I went into full-blown horse training - Robb has grown up with horses, so I started going riding four times a week. I couldn't walk properly for three months. But now I'm really confident on the horse," he told Radio Times magazine.

Gwendoline Christie portrays Brienne of Tarth in the mythical show, which is based on the novels by George R. R. Martin. The character is one of the best swordsmen in the country, which is what attracted Gwendoline to the role. She has relished playing such a strong woman.

"To be involved in something that is genuinely challenging gender stereotyping is what I've always wanted. I don't have to worry about whether I look attractive. Brienne looks like a bag of dung - that's the character and that's fine - so I can focus on other things," she said.

"People used to come up to me and say, 'Excuse me, how tall are you?' [She's 6ft. 3ins.] Now they say, 'Excuse me, are you in Game of Thrones?' And that is delightful. I can die happy."

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