When we last saw Robb Stark (Richard Madden), he was leading the North to war against King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) to avenge his father's death, and after a string of victories that stretched south into the Riverlands, it looks as if the King in the North is on an unstoppable streak. However, as the late Ned Stark's eldest son will learn, this game of thrones is not all about winning the battles.
In Season 2 of HBO hit fantasy series "Game of Thrones" (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET), the newly-appointed King of the North will need to start using his head more than his sword. He's already sent his mother Lady Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) off to negotiate an alliance with King Renly (Gethin Anthony) in Highgarden, and he also has his captive, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), at his -- and his direwolf Grey Wind's -- mercy.
Yet, Robb Stark is still his father's son, and his honorable nature is something that actor Richard Madden says might get the Young Wolf into trouble. After all, fans of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" know that oftentimes, honorable men have no place in war.
"Honor is a Stark trait, and it's going to be a real problem for Robb," Madden told HuffPost TV. "What I love so much about him is that he follows his heart in everything he's does. He's one of the only characters where everything comes from a sense of good, and being just and fair. But this whole situation has become much bigger than him just looking after his family. He's looking after 20,000 men, and they've all got mothers and wives and daughters and sons all behind them, so now he has 20,000 families to look after. He's got a great heart, and he cares about people a lot, but that will also end up causing him a lot of problems later."
Madden also talked to HuffPost TV about what's to come for Robb Stark. Apparently, this means that viewers will get to see a bit more of Robb this season.
First question: Team Robb or Team Jon? I'm only slightly kidding.
[Laughs.] What about Team Theon? I think some people might be on his team too!
Really? I don't think so. I think everyone would just like to see Robb and Jon [Kit Harington] reunite.
I would love to have scenes with Kit again. I really would. I think there was a lot left unsaid between those two brothers, and I would love for them to meet again. I just don't see how it's possible. We're so far apart! Maybe we can do a spinoff series of Jon Snow and Robb Stark? I wonder if people would like that? "The Adventures of Jon Snow and Robb Stark"? Yeah, that would be cool. Or, what about "Beyond the Wall"? Yeah, that would be good too.
When I talked to Kit, he said that, "The ones who are most suited for power are the ones who don't really want it." Even though he's King in the North, Robb doesn't want the Iron Throne.
No, he wants to go home. He wants to have his family, bring them home and do what he is supposed to do, which is be Lord of Winterfell. But it's a responsibility that he's happy to take. There's this fantastic speech later on in the show where he talks about what that means to him. What I love is that even though that's what he wants to do, he can't because there are other factors playing, and he's not selfish in any way. For someone so young, he's such a man, especially in this season. He makes a lot of tough decisions, and he's acting like a man. But sometimes, the mask can drop and you're like, "My god, he's just a boy, acting like a man." This whole season, he's leaning by doing. Everything is a new experience -- a first time -- for Robb.
Here at HuffPost TV, we do weekly power rankings, and I just wanted to let you know that Robb is currently No. 1.
Yes! Awesome! Although, it's kind of funny, considering what happens, but I'll take it.
But right now, he's making some good decisions. He has Jaime right where he wants him, and now Catelyn is off talking to Renly.
Yeah, and he's won every battle. He's got a lot of power at the moment. I like that you've got power rankings. It's great. What's so good about it, though, is that I don't think Robb sees it like that. He's in that scene with Jaime in the cage, almost posturing this sort of arrogance and confidence, which he needs to, but he knows that this situation is unpredictable. He doesn't know what's going to happen. He doesn't feel like he's got lots of power. He needs to make everyone around him feel like he does, but he never feels like him and Catelyn are at the top of the list. He never stops working and trying to make things happen. You won't see Robb get complacent.
Unlike, perhaps, King Joffrey, who I think everyone would like to personally kill at this point in the series.
It's funny because Jack [Gleeson] is such a great guy, but he just plays that part so, so well. Joffrey is straight-up crazy, and no wonder, you know? Look at his mother and father! He's got problems. If people hated him in Season 1, just wait until you get to the end of Season 2. You're really going to hate this guy. A lot of people ask me, "Are you going to kill Joffrey? Are you going to slap him? I want to slap him!" I'd love to see Robb and Joffrey together. I think that would make for a great scene.
I'm sure everyone would love to see that, especially after what he's doing to Sansa [Sophie Turner].
Oh my god. If Robb knew half of that, he would tear Joffrey apart.
Kit also said that he's read all of the books in the series because he wanted to know as much as he could about Jon Snow. Have you read all of them? Or do you go season by season?
I go season by season. I don't like to preempt myself, and I feed on knowledge. That's why I like to engulf each book and really pull from it, and I know that if I read too far ahead -- which is hard to not do because all I want to do is just plow through them -- there's no element of surprise. It's nice to read the book and then read the scripts. Sometimes I'll be reading the books and Robb will make a decision that I never saw coming, and if it surprises me that much, I want the audience to be as surprised when they see it happening.
[SPOILER ALERT] But I'm sure your character's fate has been spoiled to you by eager fans.
Oh yeah! Straight away. People are like, "Oh my god. Do you know what happens to your character?" On the street people are like, "Oh my god! Your character!" And I'm like, "I know, already! Okay? Don't tell me!" I know exactly what happens, and people have told me a lot of details about it, but I'm like, [Covers ears] "Be quiet! Be quiet! I don't want to ruin it!." I want to see it happen for myself and read it and feel it as I go along, rather than be spoiled.
Of course, there are differences between the books and the series.
Exactly! There are differences. We're not doing the books; we're doing the TV show. It is going to be different, so there will be some things that the book readers won't be familiar with, and that's exciting. It keeps us all guessing. The storylines do change, and what's funny is that what can start off as a small change, can actually end up being quite different from the books -- but it all stems from the honesty of the books. We're making a 10-hour movie every year, and things have to be different. I think fans will really like what we've done this season.
Fans will probably enjoy seeing you on screen more than they thought because Robb really isn't in "A Clash of Kings" as much as you're in Season 2.
Completely! I was like, "OK, this is great. We've been given another season. This is fantastic," and then I start reading, and I'm like, [Page flipping] Aw, this sucks! I'm not in this! What's going on? I'm just not in this." Thankfully -- and brilliantly -- [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] have given Robb a lot to do this year, and you get to see him because he's talked about a lot in the book. People will get to see Robb, and then there's a great story coming up for him about this woman that comes into his life.
I've seen the first four episodes, and I was really happy to see that in Episode 4, we finally get introduced to your new lady friend, who goes by Jeyne Westerling in the books, and as book fans know, she plays quite a significant role in Robb's life.
Oh, yes. Although, that's not her name in the show now. They've changed it, but Oona [Chaplin] is just fantastic. I'm so glad it was her that was cast in this part because we have such great chemistry. I've watched a couple of scenes back, and there's just something about when Oona and I get together that works really well on screen, so hopefully people will agree.
It will also be the first time Robb has really been with a woman. Now, the sex scenes in "Game of Thrones" have been somewhat polarizing for the audience -- some people love them and some people think they're too much. But I think that in this show, sex is pretty much seen as currency.
Yeah, totally agree. There are a lot of people who complain about the amount of sex and nakedness on the show, and you can see a bit of it and say, "Oh, wow, this is quite a lot of sex," but in their world, sex isn't taboo. It's just currency, and it's natural. People do have lots of sex in this show, and that's why I like it. I don't find it gratuitous. It's like, "Yeah, whatever, sex is sex." I like that David and Dan don't shy away from it. They're not throwing in lots of sex to make it sexy. They're doing it because it's just casual currency. It means nothing to a lot of these characters, or they're using it for certain reasons. It's not just, "Let's see more tits and ass."
That's what's so interesting about the relationship between Robb and Jeyne because you do see genuine feelings there.
That's what is so good about it. There is so much sex in the show, and it's really easy and sometimes, it just happens, or there's lots of women and one man [laughs] or whatever! But with Robb and this woman that's come into his life, I think that Robb's not really experienced in that way, and anything that happens between them comes out of their true feelings for one another. It's not just sex. It's not easy for anyone in Robb's position. This is the first time that he's ever had proper feelings for a woman, so as their relationship develops, things come from a really heartfelt place.
Now, about those direwolves. They look pretty terrifying this season.
We've done it a few different ways. We had real wolves, and then we had CGI wolves, and then we had some kind of weird hybrid, where we had real wolves, but they had CGI effects to make them bigger. I don't even know how it works now. I'm on set with a lovely big metallic ball on a wooden stick, that I can pretend to stroke and rub. So it's not really the same, but that's okay. In Season 1, it was good to have those scenes with the puppies, but then they grow up. I think I'd much rather have a wooden stick and metallic ball than a real direwolf on set.
Can't get enough of the Seven Kingdoms? Check out "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington's answers to fan questions below. "Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
A: I haven't read the latest one. I've read the first four, and it was a while ago now. I steamed through them very quickly when I found out that I had gotten the part, and then I had to put them down and concentrate on the series. There are bits that I have to keep going back to and just remind myself about because I've forgotten a lot ... I won't name and shame those [in the cast] that didn't read the books, but there are some people that don't want to know what happens in the books because they find it more useful, as actors, to just concentrate on the scripts. They don't want to know what happens to their characters. It can influence how you think about your character. I'm not personally like that. I like to know as much information about who I'm trying to play as possible ... I wanted to know as much about Jon as a could, that wasn't in the script.
A: Yeah. I think Jon is one of those people who saw Arya and realized that she was different. In this world, we see that women are supposed to be very proper in their dresses, and they're supposed to be beautiful and marry rich men and become wives of Lords. Their only real purpose is to give their husbands children, and it's the men who go off and do the noble thing and fight, but Arya isn't like that. She even says that she's not that type of woman, so by giving her the Needle before he leaves her -- and he knows that he won't see her for a while -- it was kind of like him saying, "I understand you. I understand that you're an outcast like me, that you're not what people expect you to be, so go and fight." He shares that quality with his father, who then notices that she has this sword and gets her trained to use it ... It's infuriating, this series, when you see these bonds being made, and then they're taken away from you, like with Jon and Arya. But I think that makes it all the more exciting if they finally do reunite again.
A: I did actually ask this, strangely enough, when we were sitting around on set waiting with Alfie [Allen], Richard [Madden] and a few others. I said, "Who do you reckon would win in a battle royale if we were all thrown into the throne room and got to choose our weapons?" And everyone went, "Me!" Not me, as in Kit, but me, as in everyone chose their own characters. I don't know. I think Jaime Lannister would be pretty hard to take out, but that's what is so intriguing about this series. You can't really pick because it's as much about intelligence as it is about strength and your ability with a sword. But if I must answer, then I'll have to say Jon Snow.
A: Richard Madden and I are very close, off set, and I've always wanted more screen time with him -- with my brother Robb. I felt like we were cheated, as far as the amount of scenes that we got together. We got practically one scene in the first season, and actually, I really enjoyed that one scene that we had. I felt that Richard and I built quite a rapport onscreen, so I'd love to have more screen time between Jon and Robb.
A: Yes. Absolutely, 100 percent yes. People always say, "What do you want from this series?" There are lots of things that I want from this series, and it has given me so much, but the one thing I want is a RPG to play as Jon Snow. If they make that game, I will play it, hands down.
A: I'd love to play Tyrion, but I feel like everyone wants to be Tyrion. You know who's got the best one-liners? Bronn, Tyrion's right-hand man. He's got some great one-liners, and he has some great ones coming up in the second season. He's just a wonderful character who is hired by Tyrion to be his personal bodyguard, and he does everything for money. He's there saying, "You know what, I'm not doing this because it's good or bad, but as long as you pay me, I will fight for whatever cause." I think that would be a fascinating part to play. I also like Tywin Lannister. A lot of people hate Tywin, but I think that he's actually quite a pragmatic guy and quite interesting.
A: There's a character called Melisandre, played by Carice van Houten, who is a witch-type character, and she's fascinating. I loved her character when I read the books, and she's linked with Stannis, played by a guy named Stephen Dillane. They're just brilliant. I also really like the story of Brienne, who is a character played by a new actress to the series called Gwendoline Christie. That's a fascinating one because it introduces a whole new idea of what women are in this world, and I really like her storyline.
A: Dire wolf, 100 percent. It's a man's best friend! Cooper, the dog who played Ghost, is lovely. He's sadly nonexistent in Season 2. Cooper was adorable. In fact, he was too adorable at times. I had to kind of whisper in his ear before a take and tell him to try and be stern and hard and silent. I'd say, "Just try and be cool Cooper," but he was just a puppy. He'd wag his tail and his tongue would hang out. He didn't really look like a dire wolf, but we got on well, me and that dog. Unfortunately, he's gone because they have to get big. Just wait until you see them in Season 2. They're just insane.
A: I have a really dull answer. I'm pretty eclectic, so at the moment I'm listening to a band called M83. I really like them. I love jazz. I really do love jazz. That's a big thing for me. I go to a lot of DJ nights. There's a DJ in London called Jamie Jones, and I'm a big fan of his. Then we have Arcade Fire. They're great. The song "Seven Devils" by Florence + The Machine is brilliant. It was used in one of the trailers for the show. I haven't seen it yet, but I think Florence Welch is just an incredible singer. It's such a haunting song.
A: I'm a massive box set fan now. I'm heavily into "Breaking Bad." I've seen all of them. I'm desperate for the new ones to come out. "Mad Men" is another one I love. I've seen all of them, and I'm waiting for the new series. I've just finished watching "The Sopranos," the whole thing, for a second time. I'm about to start on "The Wire" for a second time. Other than that, I'm about to start watching "Homeland." I haven't watched it yet, but I hear great things about it. I like Damian Lewis, so I'm looking forward to it. I loved him in "Band of Brothers," which is another one of my favorites. I love American TV at the moment.