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Robb Stark shocker: 'Game of Thrones' actor talks heart-breaking twist

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Ned Stark died maintaining his honor. His son died following his heart.

On Sunday night, The King in the North’s rebellion to avenge his father came to a heartbreaking conclusion when he was betrayed by the scheming Lord Walder Frey. Yes, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) is dead. And so is his mom. And his pregnant wife. And his men. And it was all pretty horrific. True, Robb broke his word — marrying field medic Talisa (Oona Chaplin) instead of a key ally’s daughter as he promised. But ultimately he may have died because he didn’t grow up fast enough to win the Iron Throne. Robb had all the battlefield prowess, but not yet the wariness and manipulative social expertise of more experienced players like Tywin Lannister to avoid a deadly trap.

But we’ll always have Madden’s terrific performance. The Scottish actor took a relatively modest character from the books and helped build him into a memorable figure who every bit the equal of the show’s major players. “Thrones has been amazing and I’m really sad to let it go and not be a part of it,” Madden says. “But I knew from the start that this would be my character’s [fate].

Note: The following interview includes Madden’s answers from an exclusive interview with EW conducted months ago, as well as responses from a press conference call with reporters last week (questions paraphrased).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first learn your character’s fate? READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Fallon's 'Game of Thrones' parody will be a ball -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

He titilated you with The Jersey Floor. He intrigued you with Downton Sixbey. And now he’s going to enchant you with Game of Desks, an elaborate parody that spoofs TV’s most beloved epic fantasy.

In this exclusive clip from Late Night‘s latest lengthy send-up, host Jimmy Fallon enters an elevator as himself — and exits it as a long-haired, bearded, fur-and-leather-clad refugee from Westeros, ready to punish a writer from “the Late Night‘s Watch” for writing bad jokes

We can’t know for sure which of Games‘s characters will get the parody treatment when the full clip airs tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET — maybe Jay Leno will be looped in as the deposed Mad King Aerys? The video does at least give us a glimpse at Late Night‘s take on Varys, King’s Landing’s gelded Master of Whispers. Here, Fallon announcer Steve Higgins plays the part by stepping into elaborate robes and looping a very special necklace around his throat. Put it this way: If you touch the pendant, he’ll turn his head and cough.

READ FULL STORY

'Girls' beats 'Game of Thrones' at BAFTA TV awards

It’s not just New York City twenty-somethings who can’t stop watching Hannah Horvath and Co.

The British Academy Television Awards were held last night and the award  for International Program went to Girls, beating out Game of Thrones, Homeland, and The Bridge. But Game of Thrones didn’t go home empty handed — the HBO drama did win the Audience award (which Girls was not nominated for).

Elsewhere, fans looking for their next option to binge-watch should consider the Olympic-themed Twenty Twelve. The U.K. sitcom, starring Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville, won Olivia Colman the BAFTA for Situation Comedy and Performance in a Comedy Programme. On the more serious side, Last Tango in Halifax won for Drama Series. Last Tango in Halifax follows two teenage sweethearts who are reunited 60 years later courtesy of Facebook.

Shocking losses included The Girl, starring nominees Toby Jones, Sienna Miller, and Imelda Staunton, as well as Parade’s End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which just concluded an HBO run in the United States.

A full list of winners can be found on the BBC’s site.

Read more:
British cult hit ‘The IT Crowd’ to return for finale special
Peabody Awards honor ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Girls,’ The New York Times (and a bunch of other stuff)
BAFTA announces 2014 awards date, two weeks before Oscars

'Game of Thrones' star Natalie Dormer talks 'Elementary' arc as Irene Adler

As we say in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly hitting stands Friday, behind every man with a thirst for sex and power is an equally clever, manipulative woman… who could be played brilliantly by Natalie Dormer.

The 31-year-old Brit, who broke out Stateside in 2007 as the seductive Anne Boleyn to Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ King Henry VIII in The Tudors and now embodies King Joffrey’s shrewd betrothed Margaery Tyrell on HBO’s Game of Thrones, begins a three-episode stint tonight as Sherlock Holmes’ iconic love Irene Adler on CBS’ Elementary (through May 16′s two-hour season finale). “It’s a real privilege to be asked to play that one woman who has gotten under Sherlock’s skin,” Dormer says, noting that Elementary creator Robert Doherty was a fan of her work on the 2011 cult supernatural British TV show The Fades.

Unsure if her schedule would align with the show’s, Doherty and fellow exec producer Carl Beverly wouldn’t tell her much about the arc when they first met. “We had this kind of really amusing conversation where they were like, ‘We love you!’ And I was like, ‘I love you!’” she recalls. Though she got all the details when she officially signed on, she’s still going to be “reasonably coy” with us… READ FULL STORY

How 'Game of Thrones' producers would write a 'Parks and Recreation' episode (and vice versa)

Parks and Recreation characters love a good Game of Thrones reference. So what would happen if the creative overlords of these two vastly different TV worlds swapped jobs for an episode? Treat yourself to the results. (Parks and Recreation‘s season 5 finale airs tonight on NBC at 9:30 p.m.)  READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke to guest on 'Futurama' -- EXCLUSIVE

A question asked frequently by Futurama fans at Comic-Con and other conventions is: Will Zoidberg ever find love? Turns out, that very question will be explored in an upcoming episode. EW has learned that the disgusting decapodian will make a romantic connection with… wait for it… it’s pretty shocking… oh, right, you already read the headline… Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke! READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' ratings hit ANOTHER series high

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Will True Blood get dethroned?

Following the previous week’s dragon-unleashing stunner, HBO’s Game of Thrones climbed in the ratings Sunday night for the fifth episode of the season.

Thrones delivered 5.3 million viewers for its first airing at 9 p.m. That’s up 8 percent from the previous week, which was also a record high, and had built on a previous record high this season. The show was watched by 6.7 million across two plays. So far, Thrones is averaging 13.4 million viewers for season 3 once all airings and DVR playback is accounted for — almost 2 million more than the season 2 average.

There’s some significance to hitting last night’s number. Last year’s True Blood premiered to 5.2 million viewers. Could Game of Thrones overthrow True Blood to become the network’s most-watched series this year? (Yes, they’re on the same network, so it’s all gravy for HBO, but it’s still fun to pit these two shows with heavy online fandoms against each other and see which comes out on top).

Here’s EW’s recap of the Thrones episode and be sure to check out our interview with the cast about the episode’s “hot tub” scenes.

'Game of Thrones' cast talks tonight's steamy hot tub scenes

Just because characters in Game of Thrones are busy struggling for survival in an unforgiving realm doesn’t mean they never bathe — they just often look like they never bathe. Sunday’s hour featured two dramatic pivotal scenes where major characters bared their emotions (among other things) while washing off the grime of the last two seasons.

In the first, Night’s Watch spy Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Wildling warrior Ygritte (Rose Leslie) found solace from the bitter cold and tribal infighting in a cave’s hot spring.

“That was incredible,” Harington told EW after shooting the scene. “It’s something I think we were blessed being able to shoot. That scene in this really dire, dark world where nothing good happens and there’s very little joy. That scene is one of the very few happy moments where you can escape from the grimness and horror of Westeros. We wanted to pay tribute to that scene because in [George R.R. Martin's] books it’s so beautiful.”

The scene was shot in one day and, in case you’re wondering, yes, the water was warm. “There are promises you are made on film sets about water being warm,” Harington said. “Bulls–t, you know it’s gonna be cold. But they made a lovely warm bath for us.”

Leslie called the scene “a very bizarre experience, but it was completely necessary.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' does it again: Another ratings record

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Sunday’s stunner episode of Game of Thrones continued the HBO fantasy hit’s streak of setting new ratings records.

The fourth episode of the third season delivered 4.9 million viewers for its 9 p.m. telecast, up 4 percent from last week, with 5.9 million viewers for the night across two plays.

That marks a new series-high initial airing for the show, which returned to its best ratings yet last month and then hit another new benchmark last week. Episode four’s recap is here and here is an interview with producers and Emilia Clarke about the episode’s climax.

'Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke, producers talk tonight's stunning dragon unleashing

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The reason Game of Thrones exists as a TV series can be traced to a few key sequences in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels that several years ago convinced writer-producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss that they must somehow find a way to adapt the seemingly unfilmable saga. Tonight’s episode contained one of those scenes.

Sunday’s Game of Thrones contained a stunning conclusion where Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) turned the tables on a city run by cruel slave masters. Faced with having to give up one of her priceless dragons in order to acquire an 8,000-man army, the exiled princess questing for the Iron Throne risked everything by deciding to use one asset (the army) to keep the other (the dragon), and free a city of slaves in the process. The meticulously constructed sequence satisfyingly weaved together an action sequence (dragon attack!), a plot twist (she broke her word!) and character development (Dany becomes a leader!).

“It’s a hallmark of a number of scenes in [A Storm of Swords] where, in retrospect, I should have seen it coming because George laid out all the pieces, he had given you all the clues,” Benioff said. “The best kind of surprises aren’t the ones that come out of nowhere. The best ones are where after you see it you’re asking yourself, ‘Why didn’t I see that was coming?’ I remember reading [Dany planning to give up Drogon to the slaver] and thinking, ‘Oh, this is kind of disappointing.’ When the real plan was revealed I think I even called [Weiss]. This was before we had met with George, when we were still trying to figure out if this show was possible. The culmination of that scene was one of those moments when we were like, ‘We got to make this f–king show.’ It was very gratifying seeing that wish fulfilled … I think it will be one of the most staggering things ever put on television.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' sets ratings record for latest episode

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Give HBO a hand: Game of Thrones ratings rose to new heights this week. HBO’s fantasy hit delivered series-high ratings for the third episode of its third season on Sunday night — 4.7 million viewers at 9 p.m. Across two plays, Thrones had 5.8 million viewers.

When the season premiere set a ratings record on Easter Sunday, I predicted the show would climb to new heights in the coming weeks (though didn’t expect it to happen this soon). EW’s recap for the episode, titled “Walk of Punishment,” is here. We also posted an interview with producers and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the episode’s shocking final moments.

Meanwhile, HBO’s second season premiere of Veep was down from its series premiere last year. Veep had 1.2 million viewers, down 14 percent. Across two plays the episode totaled 1.5 million viewers.

'Game of Thrones': Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime's big surprise

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Sunday’s Game of Thrones concluded with an abrupt and shocking act of violence: A band of mercenaries cut off the right hand of the infamous knight Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The scene then smash-cut to black and over the credits played a rocking rendition of “The Bear and Maiden Fair,” a popular tavern song in the world of the show, performed by indie band The Hold Steady. Coster-Waldau and Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss spoke to EW about this week’s big moment.

“Jaime comes from a family where, if all else fails, yo1 can always buy your way out of a situation,” Coster-Waldau says. “Then he meets a man where that doesn’t work.”

That man is Locke,* a henchman aligned with one of Robb Stark’s bannermen, House Bolton. And what’s quite important is that Jaime is right handed. The kingslayer lost his “sword hand,” the one that’s helped him gain a reputation as one of the deadliest swordsmen in Westeros. Coster-Waldau teases that the loss is going to be very tough for Jaime to handle (so to speak).

“It’s a horrifying experience and the question is, ‘Can he deal with that?’” Coster-Waldau says. “He’s defined as one of the greatest swordsman of all time. He draws a lot of confidence from that. And if you have something that so clearly defines you — not only the way you see yourself, but also the way the world sees you, and then you lose it …  Now anyone can kill him! And it’s not like he’s the most popular guy.” READ FULL STORY

'Elementary' nabs 'Game of Thrones' actress for pivotal role

Elementary fans are going to meet the most important woman in Sherlock Holmes’s life.

CBS has announced that Natalie Dormer is set to appear in a three-episode arc, playing Sherlock’s former lover Irene Adler, whose death at the hands of Moriarty has previously been mentioned on the show.

“We’re moving to the next chapter in our show — and in some ways, to a previous chapter in Holmes’ story,” executive producer and creator Rob Doherty said in a statement. “Irene Adler is perhaps the most pivotal relationship in Sherlock’s life, and I can’t think of an actress better suited to the challenge than Natalie.” READ FULL STORY

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