The last season of Game of Thrones is coming and the cast is getting all nostalgic. And a bit anxious, too! Kit Harington looks back on all these years on the show and forward to what his life looks like after it, while Iain Glen speaks of what we can expect from season eight. Also: apparently using the show as a tool for tourism really, really works!
At ET Canada, Harington eliminates the possibility of participating in the planned spin-offs, though considering they’re all supposed to be prequels, probably set dozens if not hundreds of year before Jon’s time, this isn’t a shocking revelation. So Harington’s time in George R. R. Martin’s world of fantasy is definitely over … but what a time it’s been!
“It’s a weird one when you find that career-defining thing in your first job,” Harington reminisces. “[The second] season was the most significant for me because we realized it was a show that was successful, we were suddenly in this incredible location – and I was with the girl that I fell in love with,” he adds, referring of course to his former co-star and current fiancée Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte in seasons two through four.
As for Harington’s future, the end of the show made it uncertain … yet ultimately exciting: “I freaked out. That’s ending, what am I going to do now? And then I suddenly realized that next year I can do two films and a play. Or I could do another show which I’ve never been able to do since being on ‘Thrones’. And… I could take two months off and spend them with Rose! We can go off somewhere! I suddenly got really excited about it. I’ve always wanted to do a boxing movie. But before I get too old!”
Meanwhile, talking to The Express Tribune, Scottish actor Iain Glen doesn’t look back on the show or forward beyond it, but at what we’re most interested in: the last season. In this interview, he addresses the expectations of season eight, namely whether it provides a satisfying conclusion, from a fan perspective as much as a cast member:
“Yes, I hope [it does]. I can’t tell but I am one of the few people who have read the script and I know the ending. When I read it, I thought it was rather brilliant. I am a bit of a fan of the series as well so it satiated my expectation and hopes,” Glen assures us, though he warns that “with something this big like Game of Thrones, you cannot please everyone.”
As for the twists and turns we can expect, he was as coy as one may expect: “There may be surprises but you will just have to see what happens up ahead.” So elucidating!
In other news, Spanish newspaper El Correo reports that Itálica’s Roman amphitheater, whose remains can be found in the modern town of Santiponce, Seville, has seen a great boost in tourism since it appeared in the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” You may recall these nearly forgotten ruins appeared as the Dragonpit of King’s Landing:
Itálica might have been the birthplace of two Roman emperors, but it’s never been the economic engine for Santiponce that the site’s history deserved. That is, until Game of Thrones! Since appearing in the show, it’s reported that visits to the Roman ruins went up 43% in 2017, almost reaching the established limit of 200.000 visitors.
Itálica may never become the most visited landmark of Andalucía (the south’s largest and most iconic region,) but these numbers make the old roman city the historic site with most visitor growth of last year. Surpassing it in overall visitors are Granada’s Alhambra, followed by Córdoba’s synagogue, Málaga’s Roman theater, and Almería’s Alcazaba, the latter of which we know well as the main Dornish location in season six.
This tourism bump isn’t unprecedented in Spain. For example, the Basque Country’s San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, which provided Dragonstone with those iconic stairs, was flooded by tourists last year. It seems that, wherever Game of Thrones goes, it leaves a mark!