The once unknown actor Kit Harrington quickly rose to fame thanks to his role as the fearless, illegitimate child Jon Snow in the wildly popular TV show Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones, which aired in 2011, quickly captured the hearts of millions thanks to its talented cast as well as its amazing storyline based on George R. R. Martin’s books of the same name.
Season eight of Game of Thrones, which will be the final season of the show, will air in 2019. That's quite a wait but few fans are complaining - they know that the final season will be well worth the wait. Plus, no one even wants to think about the show ending and once season eight airs, there's no more denying that the show is about to end. Some fans are already tearing up. Others still can’t grasp the reality. Indeed, it will be a sad day when the last episode of the show premieres.
For Harrington, this was the show that launched him into stardom so there’s a lot he has to be grateful for. Still, we’re sure that once the show ends we’ll see plenty of the talented actor. For now, let’s learn more about him – there’s so much fans of Game of Thrones don’t know about the talented actor!
20 A Black Eye Helped Him Land The Role Of Jon Snow
We can’t imagine anyone but Kit Harrington playing the role of Jon Snow and we’re sure that the casting team thought the same when they first set sight on the actor. However, few fans know that Harrington came to the audition sporting a black eye.
Apparently, the night before the audition Harrington went to McDonald’s with his date. Since all the tables were taken he asked a couple sitting at one table if they could join them.
The couple agreed but then halfway through the meal the guy got really nasty and started calling Harrington’s date names. Of course, Harrington had to challenge him to a fight and ended up losing. But on the bright side, the black eye may have landed him the role! (Source: VanityFair)
19 he is descended From Aristocrats
Harrington may play an illegitimate child on Game of Thrones but in real life he is descended from aristocrats. Indeed, his uncle - named Sir Nicholas John Harrington - is the 14th Baronet Harrington.
Harrington’s family tree is also full of MPs, clergymen, peers and even one inventor – Sir John Harrington who was the inventor of the first British flushing toilet!
Sir John Harrington was also an author, translator and English courtier and was known as Queen Elizabeth’s “saucy Godson” before he fell out of favor with her thanks to his controversial writings and poems. (Source: DailyMail)
18 He doesn't like Taking Pictures With His Fans
Everyone gets tired of the spotlight that comes with fame at one point or another and Harrington is no exception. While signing autographs and getting his picture taken was a novelty at first, nowadays he sees it as a chore. So much so, that he often denies his fans pictures.
In an interview with The Guardian, Harrington admitted that some people get upset by his refusal to have his picture taken, because he gets uncomfortable, snappy and grumpy.
“But you just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin. Especially me and Rose, we never do a photo together. Because then it makes our relationship feel like… puppets. Like we’re a walking show.”
17 No One Knew About Jon Snow’s Return Except For His Family... And One Police Officer
When Jon Snow was killed off on Game of Thrones, fans couldn’t believe it and assumed that Harrington would return to the show eventually. They were right of course but Harrington still had to keep his return a secret so as not to spoil the plot of the show.
Not even the cast of the show knew that Harrington would return next season (and Sophie Turner even wrote Harrington a long farewell letter telling him she loved working with him). Indeed, the only people who knew about his return were Harrington’s parents and his girlfriend. And one police officer.
Harrington confessed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he was once driving home from his parents when he was stopped by a police officer for speeding.
Luckily, the police officer was a fan of the show and agreed to waive the ticket if Harrington told him whether he was dead or alive next season. Of course, Harrington told him and the officer let him go, before adding, according to Vanity Fair – “On your way Lord Commander. Keep the speed down this far south of the Wall.”
16 He Punched His Co-Star Iwan Rheon Twice
On the show, Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, played by the actor Iwan Rheon, are mortal enemies and few fans can forget the thrilling showdown between the two characters that occurred in a scene better known as the “Battle of the Bastards.”
The fight was pretty brutal on screen but few know that Harrington actually punched Rheon during the filming of the scene. Indeed, he punched him not once but twice. It was an accident, of course.
Apparently, it’s very hard to film a punching-someone’s-face scene without actually hitting them.
According to Vanity Fair, Harrington said – “I actually did punch Iwan in the face twice by accident. Which he took really well. He was really nice about it. So I had to buy him a pint after that one.”
15 He has to do things he rather wouldn't do
You know all of those dead animals you see on the show? You’d think they’re fake, right? But it turns out that they’re not – they’re very much real and the actors have to help gut them.
According to Stuff, Harrington has confessed that upon his arrival on set he is often told to gut chickens – “It's very real - if there are rabbits hanging in the background, you can guarantee those aren't fake rabbits. That realism is also why people respond to it - if you do fantasy cheaply, it doesn't work." Although it can be argued that a lot of people will have problems with that
14 He Is Obliged To Keep His Hair Long
Jon Snow’s most defining feature is no doubt his long, curly hair. But few fans know that the actor behind the famous character is actually legally obliged to keep his hair long for the duration of the show.
His co-stars apparently think that he was silly to sign a contract with such a clause. Indeed, Natalie Dormer, who played Margaery Tyrell on the show, has said he's dumb for doing so because he could just opt for a wig.
Harrington, according to the Independent, is less than happy with this requirement – “I screwed myself over there. I don’t want the bother of it all really. If you look a certain way or you have a certain look it dominates what people think you are. So I’ll cut it off quite soon. As soon as I’m allowed."
13 He Is Scared Of Flying And Has To Touch The Plane Three Times Before He Gets On The Plane
Being able to jump on a plane and be in another country within hours is amazing. And Kit Harrington used to think so too, at least until he developed a fear of flying. According to Conde Nast Traveler, Harrington’s fear of flying came out of nowhere–
“I've gotten worse actually. I used to love it, but now I imagine being 30,000 feet in the air. Each time I fly it feels more unnatural. I get more jittery.”
So how does Harrington cope with his fear of flying? Apparently, touching the airplane three times before he gets on it helps ease his nerves. The actor agrees that this may seem a bit weird and OCD, but hey – whatever works.
12 He Broke His Ankle While Trying To Get Into His House Through A Window
Filming with an injury is no walk in the park and Harrington learned this the hard way. A few years ago the actor came home from a night of partying only to realize that he lost his keys. He decided to climb in through his first-floor window but it was far harder than he’d thought it’d be. And he fell.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Harrington said –
“Everyone always says you must have done it on set horse riding or running across glaciers or something cool. 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!”
Season three of the show was full of action so the crew found it challenging to hide Harrington’s injury but they managed to do so by pushing back the filming dates of key scenes as well as by using a double for a few scenes.
11 He Is Obsessed With Harry Potter
If you thought there’s no way you could love Kit Harrington more than you already do, just know this – he is obsessed with Harry Potter. And he’d love to play in any upcoming Harry Potter film. He apparently even considered auditioning for Harry Potter but was a year or so too old.
Harrington confessed that he’d obviously be in Gryffindor because, according to his interview with The Cut,
“No one wants to be Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw is boring, Slytherin is full of psychos, as people know.”
Harrington also said that he doesn’t know whether he’d be a good character or a bad character in the wizarding world, but he does know how he’d hold his wand – just like the actor Ralph Fiennes (who played Lord Voldemort), with his hand up. That’s good to know.
10 He Wants To Play Batman
Can you imagine Kit Harrington as Batman? The reason we ask is because Harrington would love to play the tormented superhero. Or any superhero really.
He thinks that superhero films have become much too serious lately and that they need to go back to being more light-hearted and fun.
According to MTV News, Harrington said – “I'd camp him up again. He's gone way too dark and serious. I'd like proper spandex. Superhero movies got all too serious -- they need to get silly again." And we’re sure Harrington would be the perfect candidate to do just that.
9 His Greatest Fear Is Crowds
Kit Harrington hates spiders. He also hates needles. But his biggest fear is certainly crowds. Indeed, the actor, who plays the fearless Jon Snow, confessed that he suffers from claustrophobia.
So, according to Harrington, filming the “Battle of the Bastards” was no walk in the park. It may have even been the hardest scene he has ever filmed.
The actor said, according to Hidustan Times – “I’m mortally afraid of crowds. I panic. It was one of the most terrifying things and most uncomfortable - 15 bearded Irishmen crushing you. There was a moment where he could’ve just lay down and let go of the hell he’s in, and sleep, like drowning, but it cuts to the heart of Jon, that he fights his way up to the top.”
8 Prior To Game Of Thrones He Had No Idea His Hair Was Curly
When we think of Jon Snow, and in consequence, of the actor who plays him – Kit Harrington – what springs to mind is, usually, his curly hair. But believe it or not, before his role as Jon Snow, Harrington had no idea that his hair was curly.
You see, prior to the show, the actor always had short hair and kept his face clean-shaven at all times. So when the Game of Thrones crew asked him if he could grow out his hair and his beard, he didn’t even know he could do it but he wanted the role so he said he’d give it a go.
7 He doesn't like Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey was a drama series that aired in 2010 and ended in 2015 and which garnered a lot of fans thanks to its talented cast and great storyline. But Harrington wasn’t a fan of the show. In fact, he hates it.
You see, Harrington thinks that Americans are far too obsessed with royalty and the class system.
Even though the actor comes from an aristocratic background himself – his uncle is a baronet – he himself is against the class system.
In a Rolling Stones interview, Harrington confessed that he thought the show Downton Abbey was seriously messed up and that he's glad the modern world has come a long way since – “I really disagree with Downton Abbey on lots of 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?"
6 He Used To Work In A Bookstore Which Turned Him Against George R. R. Martin
Before Harrington became an internationally acclaimed actor, he worked in the downstairs section – full of fantasy, science fictions and self-help books - of the Waterstones bookshop. Apparently, he hated it because of all the heavy lifting he had to do.
So what was Harrington lifting that was so heavy? George R. R. Martin’s books! Apparently, Martin’s books sold so well that the actor had to keep replacing them almost every single day. And we all know how thick, big and heavy Martin’s books are. Harrington even confessed that he cursed the famous author which is kind of funny when you think about it now. (Source: Inshorts)
5 His Ideal First Date Involves Dinner And Good Wine
Unfortunately, it’s not likely that Kit Harrington will ask any of us on a date anytime soon for he is happily married to his ex co-star Rose Leslie. But still, we can dream. Ever wondered what Harrington’s definition of an ideal date is? We’ll give you a hint: it involves dinner and good wine.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, Harrington said – “You don't want to seem too eager, too romantic—otherwise, it just looks a bit try-hard. But I do think a first date should be intimate. So I'd choose a nice dinner somewhere cozy, not too crowded, with good wine.”
4 He doesn't like His Birthday
There are two types of people in the world: those who love their birthdays and those who hate their birthdays. Harrington falls in the latter category. But it’s not his fear of growing older that makes him detest his birthday. Rather, it’s the lack of attention he gets from his family, as he was born on the 26th of December, also known as Boxing Day.
Harrington said, in a W Magazine interview – “It's always the same... my whole family just descends on my birthday and I get no attention. So I always end up getting really grumpy and selfish on my birthday. It's always the same... I go to my local pub.”
3 He Prepared For His Bottom Reveal Scene By Doing Squats
Remember the scene where Jon Snow showed us his bottom? Apparently, Harrington did not use a double for the saucy scene but rather diligently prepared for it himself, because, according to him, if you’re going to show your bottom to millions and millions of people worldwide you have to do your homework.
So, how did he prepare for the scene? Well, apparently he did a lot of squats to get his bottom in shape.
His efforts paid off – fans were smitten with his bottom and as you can probably recall, social media exploded with screenshots of the scene and countless of compliments.
2 He Loves Horror Movies
Would you take Harrington for a guy who loves horror movies? We wouldn’t either but apparently he is a big lover of all things terror. His favorite horror films are The Shining, The Wicker Man, and The Ring but he doesn’t say no to films by David Lynch either.
Although Harrington has confessed that Lynch is sometimes too much for him. He couldn’t get through the 2006 Inland Empire even though he tried it three or four times – it was just too scary. And he hasn’t even attempted to watch the 1977 Eraserhead. He has, on the other hand, seen Mulholland Dr., but he barely got through it.
1 He Cried After Reading The Script For Season 8 Finale
When fans think of Game of Thrones coming to an end, they get a bit emotional. Some even cry. But you’ll be glad to know that the cast is just as emotional about the inevitable end of the show. In fact, Harrington even admitted that he cried when he was reading the script for the finale.
According to Independent, Harrington said – “I cried at the end. You have to remember that eight years of it - no one really cares about it more than us. It's been an institution longer than any other institution I've been in. School, drama school, anything. I get a bit weepy thinking about it. It's going to be a strange year saying goodbye to everyone and having last scenes with this person and that person. Not only are you attached to it, loads of people around the world are attached to it."