In the final days of filming Game of Thrones, Kit Harington (Jon Snow) received a visit from GQ, to discuss and reflect on his time over the show’s soon to be historic 8 season run. “The last season of Thrones seemed to be designed to break us,” says Kit. And it’s a fitting start to the interview – no one in the cast has wielded a sword more often, or spent more days on and off set preparing for battle after battle than Kit (Don’t @ me, fact-checkers). “Everyone was broken at the end. I don’t know if we were crying because we were sad it was ending or if we were crying because it was so fucking tiring. We were sleep deprived. It was like it was designed to make you think, Right, I’m fucking sick of this….I’ll miss it one day – but I’m done.”
Back in the days of auditioning, at the ripe age of 22, Kit had been asked to read for the far-distant, once unattainable season 3; the producers had him reading Jon’s attempt to convince Ygritte not to attack the Wall, all while hiding his betrayal to the Wildling cause. That’s mighty ambitious of them, doncha think?! Flash forward to a failed pilot, a greenlit pilot, a successful season 1, and another 7 in the can, and here we are. But as he looks for his next big role, Thrones always overshadows everything: “Of course I want to be in a film that gets a run at the Oscars. I’d love that. But am I seeking the red carpet-ness, and everything that goes around it? No. ’Cause I’ve done that. I’ve been to the SAG awards nine years in a row with Thrones. What’s more to experience about it?”
Looking back on his time as a producer and lead actor on 2017’s HBO miniseries Gunpowder, he says “That gave me a taste for it. I never really knew what a producer was but I worked with some of the best there are on Thrones, and I really see now why they love what they do.” But he’s very cautious about always searching for ‘the next best thing.’ “Most actors, whatever they tell you, are seeking fame. Seeking notoriety. Because that’s the goal, isn’t it? That you’re on the red carpet. That you’re at the award ceremonies. That you’re in something where people stop you in the street. And I’ve had that the last nine years. And I think there would be something a bit wrong with me if I was still seeking it.” We hear you Kit, we hear you. The most important thing though, is the off-screen romance GOT led to with his costar Rose Leslie (Ygritte), “I thank the show for everything. But more than anything else, I thank it for introducing me to her.” (collective dawwww)
Next up: Following his previous West End performance as the titular role in Doctor Faustus, he now is appearing in a revival of Sam Shepard‘s seminal play, True West. After all the grueling and time-consuming work of Thrones, Kit feels ready to move on to ‘normal life’: “It doesn’t stop you imagining the grass is greener, it doesn’t stop you desiring the security of the nine-to-five lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, making his rounds of the awards circuit promoting his 2018 BBC miniseries Bodyguard, our dearly departed King Robb (Richard Madden) will never be able to shake the mantel of his former employer. As is custom, talk turned to Thrones: “Absolutely, I can’t wait for the new season of it, yeah…Jon and Daenerys, I think they can do it [rule Westeros] together, I think that would be good.”
And finally, HBO head honcho and CEO Richard Plepler confirms to Variety that he has seen the rough cut (no CGI, no finalized music, etc.) of the final 6 episodes of GOT: “It’s a spectacle. The guys have done six movies. The reaction I had while watching them was, ‘I’m watching a movie…They [GOT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] knew the bar was high. They’ve exceeded the bar. I’ve watched them twice without any CGI and I’m in awe. Everybody’s in for an extraordinary treat of storytelling and of magical, magical production.”
What do you make of the rough cut news? Any feelings on Kit’s post-Thrones career? Do you feel Richard Madden has chosen poorly? Let us know in the comments below!