But now, Madden’s starring in a new role on the Discovery Channel miniseries Klondike, which is another period drama in which he looks delicious.
The former King of the North is stepping into a new role as hopeful gold prospector Bill Haskell in the historical Discovery Channel miniseries Klondike, which starts Jan. 20.
The three-part series, which is based on a true story, focuses on Haskell’s journey to stake his claim during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s. There’s a whole lot of drinking, epic beards, and enough sexual tension to require a fainting couch while viewing. Know what else there’s a lot of? Similarities to Robb Stark.
Both shows are pretty much all about snow — except in Klondike, winter has most definitely come. They’re both kings of the north, respectively, and have a penchant for attracting wolves into their lives, dire and otherwise.
Which is why it seemed like a great idea to sit down with Madden and have him play a game of Would You Rather…? with us. Luckily, he obliged.
Without further ado, a game with Richard Madden…
2. Who should die: the Count or King Joffrey?
“Joffrey,” he said, quite matter-of-factly. “Everyone wants to see him dead. The Count, yeah, I think he’s just a really bad, bad man. But obviously, bad things have happened to him to make him like that. Joffrey, I think he was just born bad, so we should kill him.”
Count: 1, Joffrey: 0
4. Would you rather have to wear Bill Haskell’s wardrobe for the rest of your life, or Robb Stark’s?
“Bill Haskell’s, because I had the same costume for five years on Game of Thrones,” Madden said, leaning forward. “It stank by the end of it. They didn’t wash it between seasons to keep it really authentic, and it was absolutely filthy. So your cloak, your trousers, and your boots are just caked in dirt, and it looks really amazing on camera.
“I’d come back to film, and smell it, and it’s like, ‘Oh! That stinks. It’s just been in a cupboard for six months. Great. I’ll just slip my feet into those nasty boots again.’” He laughed. “So, I’d take Bill Haskell’s, because it was cleaner, and there were multiples of things. And there’s such a progression with Bill’s costume: from the start, when he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, to the end when he’s got that massive bear coat on.”
Bill Haskell’s bear coat: 1, Smelly and authentic Game of Thrones coat: 0
6. Would you rather have drinks by a fire with Jack London, or George R.R. Martin?
Some background: Jack London (Johnny Simmons) is part of the miniseries, as he did spend time in the real Klondike and wrote about his experiences there.
“Jack London, any day. He’s fascinating, and Johnny Simmons is a nut,” Madden said with a laugh. “So I could sit and talk with him for days. He’s a brilliant actor. He was one of the actors that I think I enjoyed working with the most on this. Because he’s so present and connected all the time.”
The Call of the Wild: 1, A Song of Ice and Fire: 0
7. Would you rather have a lifetime supply of firewood — invaluable in the Klondike — or a dire wolf?
“It depends where I’m living!” Madden said. “You know, if I was living in New York, a dire wolf would be cooler. If I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere, firewood more useful.” He took a beat to weigh his options. “Maybe firewood, because it’s less work. Eh, it’s the dire wolf. I have to take the dire wolf.”
Warm and cozy: 0, Cute and cuddly: 1
9. Who would you rather have as a sidekick: Joe Meeker in Klondike, or Hodor from Game of Thrones?
“Joe Meeker, because he’s got your back no matter what. Hodor’s not really got it all up here,” Madden noted, tapping his head. “He’s massive, so in terms of in a fight, you’d want Hodor; but in terms of life, it’d have to be Joe Meeker. Also, I think I just quite like having Tim Blake Nelson beside me all the time, because I love him.”
Love of oranges (watch Klondike, you’ll see!): 1, Love of saying “Hodor”: 0
10. Would you rather save Byron in Klondike from his fate, or your brother Bran from falling?
“Byron, of course, because he’s my best buddy, and he’s not got anything in the world, and Bill looks after him all the way through it,” Madden said. He seemed to get a bit misty-eyed, actually. “And Bill couldn’t look after Byron there, and I think that’s what drives Bill through the whole piece. I’ve moved myself, just talking about it.”
BFF: 1, Brosef: 0
11. Tea with Sabine, the prostitute in Klondike, or Ros in Game of Thrones?
“Sabine, because I think there’s more to her. She’s not as far gone as Ros was, I think. And I think Ros was more manipulative,” Madden said. “I think that Ros had a bit of a bad side to her, whereas I think Sabine doesn’t.”
Klondike ginger: 1, King’s Landing ginger: 0
12. Would you rather live in a world without gold, or a world without the Seven Kingdoms?
“Live in a world without the Seven Kingdoms. They’re a lot of work, and everyone’s killing each other all the time. Although, it’s probably just as dangerous living in the Klondike as it is in the Seven Kingdoms,” Madden said with a laugh. “Everyone’s killing each other anyway.”
And yes, everyone really is killing each other in the Klondike.
Golden world: 1, Seven Kingdoms: 0
Oh, and Madden was a really good sport and even played a bonus edition of Fuck, Marry, Kill with us:
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