There isn’t a television show out there that people are more invested in right now than Game of Thrones. If it wasn’t evident now, it sure as heck was at the end of season 5 when *SPOILER ALERT* Jon Snow’s character was tragically murdered and the internet shouted out with sadness.
Thankfully he didn’t stay dead for long, but that didn’t mean Kit Harington wasn’t grilled by countless people about the fate of his character before his resurrection. Below are some fun tidbits from behind the scenes involving his death, his resurrection and the work that went into the whole storyline.
You may also know he’s comfortable picking up a blade, but do you know which movie genre he says he never wants to do? How about his upcoming project with Adele? It’s understandable that he’s a huge fan of the show, but which character on Game of Thrones is his favorite? You’ll also be shocked by the story of when he got too drunk and broke his ankle only weeks before filming was about to start.
Harington has also openly attacked one of the most critically-acclaimed series of all time, so let’s just hope it wasn’t one of your favorites! There’s more to Kit Harington than just the luscious locks of Jon Snow, but the only way to find out is to read below.
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15. His Reaction To His Death
It’s a weird thing to be an actor and have your character die. Unlike when you die in real life, you get to see the public reaction to not being able to see you anymore. When Harington was asked what his thoughts were on the public reaction to his death, he said
“I’m glad that people were upset that he died. I think my biggest fear was that people were not going to care. Or it would just be, ‘Fine, Jon Snow’s dead.’ But it seems like people had a, similar to the Red Wedding episode, kind of grief about it. Which means something I’m doing — or the show is doing — is right.”
14. He Was Temporarily Paralyzed
While there is no doubt that Harington is well known because of his time on Game of Thrones, he was also the lead in the 2014 movie Pompeii that also stars Kiefer Sutherland. While the movie was not exactly well received, during the filming Harington had what may arguably be one of the scariest moments of his life.
“I was in my trailer, and I felt absolutely fine, but they called me to set, I got up, and my legs just went from underneath me, and I ****ing couldn’t stand, Every time I got up, the same thing happened. I just stayed in bed for 48 hours and then I was at work again. But it’s weird when that happens.”
13. He Broke His Ankle
When it comes to being young and dumb, everyone has made their own fair share of mistakes. But when you’re a huge actor on a hit television show, you can imagine those mistakes will be talked about by all the major websites. It was back in 2013 when Harington fell and broke his ankle after a night of drinking. He had been attempting to climb into his house which was on the first floor. When talking about it, Harington said,
“Everyone always says you must have done it on set horse riding or running across glaciers or something cool, I was an idiot. The ‘invincibility of youth’ and all that. I couldn’t even blame it on a film set. And I had avoided skiing for ages because I thought I’d break my ankle!”
The series was set to start filming season 3 only a few weeks later. The team ended up rescheduling some shooting and used a double for some of the scenes where Snow would be walking in the distance.
While he said the producers were okay about it, he admitted “I bought the line producer a nice bottle of whiskey because I felt so guilty.”
12. Where He Wants To Be In 10 Years
There isn’t really a better way to start out your television career than being a main character on a show as big as Game of Thrones. That doesn’t mean that Harington isn’t keeping his eyes on the future about what might be on the horizon. When asked about his dream roles, Harington stated,
“I’d love to play Prince Hal in Henry IV parts one and two, then Henry V, to do film, and I’d love to go back into a top-quality TV show, because that’s where storytelling is at its most exciting and dangerous at the moment. Also, I’ve written three TV shows with my best friend Dan West, two of which we have sold, so I would like to see myself producing. I met Dan at drama school – we live together and write together. It’s like a sexless marriage.”
There is no doubt that Harington is getting some great experience learning from the people on Game of Thrones, and if there does come a chance to watch a series that was written by him, we can imagine it will be fantastic.
11. When He Found Out He Wasn’t Dead
One of the toughest days to film as an actor has to be the last day on the set. While it’s tough for movies, television shows often form an even closer community as the cast is together over the course of several seasons. For Harington though, the big secret wasn’t that he was dying, but that he was coming back. He describes below how he found out he was coming back.
“It was one of the first days after we started filming [season 5]. I was with the whole cast, doing the pessimistic thing. I was saying, ‘I really think this is it, I think I’m dead. It’s been a great ride.’ And they were like, ‘No, f—off, you’re not!’ [and then he got pulled aside]…Me and Dan, we know this, a couple producers know this, and George knows this. Now you’re going to know this — and you can’t tell anybody. Not your mom, not your dad, not your family — not anybody. You can’t tell anybody… You are back next season, you are alive. Melisandre brings you back. And you’ve got a s—load to do next season. You’re going to be doing a lot.’”
10. He Had To Tell His Family But Lied To The Cast
While it was outlined above that Harington had to make sure not to tell anyone, he admitted to an interviewer that he did have to spill the beans to his close family.
“I couldn’t keep it from them — my mum, dad, and brother. I just said, “I am still in Thrones, but don’t tell anyone.” Because otherwise what you’re saying to your family is, financially, “This is where the money stops from Thrones.”
Harington also admits that it ended up being an awful experience to have to keep it a secret. “At first I thought I would find it fun. This will be a fun game. But I had to lie to a lot of close friends and cast members and crew. I don’t like lying. The longer it went, the more I felt like I was betraying them.”
9. He Denied Interviews
One of the toughest things that Harington had to deal with was lying to his friends and family, but at least if they get persistent he would be able to look at them and tell them to bugger off. It may not be quite as easy a task to do if you get put in an interview situation where you know all the questions are going to be about your fate.
After the death, Harington went his his agent and said “don’t put me in front of cameras, don’t put me in interview situations. I think it’s better I lay very low rather than outright lying, or be put in situations where people are going to ask tricky questions where I won’t be able to talk openly without telling a real stinker.”
8. His Love Of Theater
Harington may be rocking it in front of a camera, but the actor also has a deep passion for theater. One of his big breaks as an actor came when he was in drama school and was able to land the role of Albert in the adaption of the play War Horse, a play which won two Olivier Awards. It was because of his role in War Horse, that Harington was able to audition for the role of Jon Snow.
Earlier this year, Harington returned to the stage and played Doctor Faustus at London’s Duke of York’s Theater.
When talking about the stage, Harington mentioned how “In film and TV you work and prep in isolation. You have a sense of company, but that company is fractured. It comes together and moves away, whereas in theatre you spend five weeks with the same people, really creating something together. That’s what I missed. And the applause, I guess (laughs).”
7. 7 Days In Hell
When you get the opportunity to work alongside Andy Samberg in a hilarious documentary-style spoof of an intense tennis rivalrly (especially one that culminates in a 7 day long tennis match) why wouldn’t you take that opportunity? The movie 7 Days In Hell premiered on HBO in 2015. When talking about the movie, Harington described how it took under 7 days to film and that the bulk of the action was filmed over 3 days. When it was first pitched to him, Harington said,
“I was in L.A. and I read it and it just made me crack up on paper. And they said, ‘Look, we’ve got a very short amount of time to shoot this and we’d love you to come be a part of it and we’d love for you to consider it.’ And I said, ‘Yes’ because it was a no-brainer for me. It was really funny.”
6. Why He Came Back When He Did
Even though a lot of fans had a pretty strong idea that Jon Snow was going to make a triumphant return this past season, it still did not happen until the end of the 2nd episode. While you may have wanted to see Snow swinging his sword around a bit sooner, one of the show creators talked about how they wanted to make sure they got it right.
“[We needed] to milk Jon Snow’s death, otherwise he’s only been dead for 50 minutes. We wanted to let his death sink in and let the other characters play that emotion. At the same time, his body would start to decompose, and storywise we had a lot of pressing action that takes place with Jon Snow this season, so we didn’t just want him lying on a table for three episodes.”
6. What They Did To Hide His Comeback
When you’re a famous celebrity, it’s only natural to assume that you are going to have paparazzi following you on occasion. This becomes even more apparent if you’re someone like Harington, whose potential resurrection definitely ran the high chance of being caught by outside cameras and put on the internet prior to the episode airing. But in order to try and really give off the illusion that he was done with Thrones, Harington went to a larger extent and cut off his trademark hair.
“I wanted to sell it a bit more. I know this hairstyle is very synonymous with the character. I wanted to appear with shorter hair straightaway so it would sell the lie….. I was put into a different apartment. But they couldn’t put me on a private jet back and forth to Belfast. I’d go stir-crazy if I tried to stay in all the time.”
On the same grounds as talking about the need to try and blend in, Carice van Houten mentioned “It was dangerous to have dinner with Kit anywhere, the guy has to eat and live, but we tried our best to hide him.”
5. He Hates Downton Abbey
Acting is a profession that takes up a lot of time, so you may not always have time to keep up with hit television shows. I can also imagine that because you work in television, you may view other television shows in a different light than a typical viewer. When it comes to interviews, actors are also often asked their opinion on other hit television shows and you typically hear a polite answer or one that talks about some element of the show that the actor respects. Yet that was far from the case when Harington was asked about Downton Abbey. When talking to the RollingStone, Harrington vented about the critically-acclaimed television show.
“I really disagree with Downton Abbey on lots of f***ing levels, It celebrates the class system, and its kind of overall message seems to be, ‘Wasn’t it good when everybody knew their place within society?’ Why should we hark back to those times? It was bullshit. We got out of that, and thank the **** we did.”
4. What Sophie Turner Did
While there were definitely some cast mates that were not convinced that this was the end of Jon Snow, one actress that was absolutely buying it was Sophie Turner. Turner recalled a time when Harington looked at her and told her that he was done at the time. “I thought he genuinely thought that [at the time]. I don’t know if he was bulls—ting me or not. He probably was.”
While he definitely lied to everyone at one point or another, Harington did mention in an interview how “Sophie Turner, bless her, wrote me a really long letter about how much she loved working with me — and I still got it. That made me chuckle. She bought it hook, line, and sinker.”
3. He Filmed A Bunch In Iceland and Northern Ireland
When it comes to filming a lot of the scenes for Jon Snow’s character, most of it is done in Iceland and Northern Ireland. You can imagine being able to travel for work is a pretty amazing experience, and when Harington was asked about Iceland, he gushed about the country.
“I’ve fallen in love with that country; I cannot say enough good things about it. I’ve honestly never been anywhere quite like it. I did actually go there on a school trip when I was much younger and I remember loving it even then.”
2. He Doesn’t Want To Do A Rom-Com
Harington is currently in pre-production on the upcoming movie The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Harington is the lead, but he is accompanied by Bella Thorne, Natalie Portman, Nicholas Hoult, Susan Sarandon, and even Adele (you read that right) and that’s just to name a few. When talking about the role, Harington also admitted his disdain for rom-coms.
“I’m playing a young TV star about to break into movies, who is very troubled and finds himself wrapped up in scandal, and is unfairly set upon. It’s about his descent. I like doing anguish, deep depression and darkness. I don’t know why, maybe that’s who I am. Nothing interests me less than doing a romantic comedy.”
Looks like we’ll have to keep watching Emilia Clarke if we want to get our Game of Thrones rom-com fill.
1. Tyrion Is His Favorite
As you can imagine, actors on Game of Thrones have often been asked about what other character they wished they could have been cast as instead. Harington responded,
“I’ve always loved Tyrion. I couldn’t play him, obviously, but I think Peter does such a wonderful job with him. When I was reading the books I always loved reading Jon Snow’s parts because that’s who I was going to play. But then I’d also get excited when I got to Tyrion’s sections. Their dynamic together is intriguing as well because they like each other. I guess they’re both outsiders.”