Take a Bow: Kit Harington

Jon Snow The Iron Throne

Bastard. Man of the Night’s Watch. Lord Commander. King in the North. Heir to the Iron Throne. Kit Harington took on a variety of roles as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, but through them all he remained true to his portrayal of the honorable, brooding son (in spirit if not by blood) of Ned Stark. Kit didn’t just play Jon Snow, he became Jon Snow.

Kit was fresh from drama school and his first major acting role – in the National Theatre’s adaptation of War Horse – when he auditioned for the Game of Thrones pilot. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss remember it well. “The moment Kit walked into [casting director] Nina Gold’s office we thought, ‘Oh, man, please let this kid be good.’ He looked like the Jon Snow in our imaginations: dark, brooding, sensitive, and very, very ugly. He opened his mouth and he was better than good. He was Jon Snow.”

Hopefully they were kidding about the ugly part – have they seen him? Nevertheless, Kit was a perfect fit for the moody and sullen teenager who never felt like he belonged. He wasn’t only good at brooding, however – he was also a talented fighter. Kit proved himself to be an excellent swordsman early on, so he was given numerous opportunities to show off his skills: sparring at Castle Black, facing off against a White Walker at Hardhome, and fighting for his life during the Battle of the Bastards and the Long Night, just to name a few.

Kit was able to reveal his romantic side in season two, when Jon captured the wildling Ygritte (Rose Leslie). She then captured his heart, and their doomed love affair was the highlight of Jon’s time with the Free Folk. Jon’s anguish at abandoning Ygritte to return to the Night’s Watch, and then again as she tragically dies in his arms, was played by Kit to heartbreaking perfection.

ygritte and jon

Life sometimes imitates art, and this onscreen romance became a real one as Kit and Rose began dating after working together on the show. They eventually married last June, with several of their cast mates in attendance. At the Emmy awards later that year – when asked what being part of Game of Thrones has done for him – Kit remarked, “I met my wife in this show. It gave me, hopefully, my future family, and my life from here on in.”

While Kit had the good fortune to meet the love of his life while working on Thrones, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Playing Jon has tested the limits of Kit’s endurance, physically and emotionally. Hardly a season went by without him being subjected to harsh weather, gruelling fight scenes, and tragic events, but through it all Kit put his heart and soul into whatever he was asked to do. Perhaps his biggest acting challenge was pretending Jon was truly dead at the end of season five and having to keep the secret for a year.

“It was probably one of the darkest periods I have been through in my life,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “I think it must have had something to do with being a walking cliffhanger: I didn’t enjoy it. You want to be a lead, and then you get all the spotlight of the biggest show in the world onto you for a few months.” Jon’s death and subsequent resurrection in season six propelled his character into the spotlight for the remainder of the series.

(5) Helen Sloan - HBO

Jon later shared that spotlight with Daenerys – who sailed to Westeros and eventually joined his cause to defeat the White Walkers. She became his second love, which was unfortunately just as doomed as his first. Theirs was a complicated relationship: initially antagonistic, then cooperative, and finally romantic. Kit’s range was definitely put to the test as Jon navigated the complexities of his alliance with the dragon queen.

In the final season, Kit was pushed to his limits (along with the rest of the cast). He admitted to GQ Australia, “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 remember everyone walking around towards the end going, ‘I’ve had enough now. I love this, it’s been the best thing in my life, I’ll miss it one day – but I’m done.’”

Not only did he endure 55 nights of shooting for episode three, “The Long Night,” Kit’s emotions were put through the ringer as Jon learned his true parentage, causing a rift in his relationship with Daenerys. The consequences were ultimately tragic, forcing Jon to murder his lover to save the realm. Kit cried when he read the script, and you can certainly see the anguish on his face during the scene.

The finale ended with Jon riding off with the Free Folk beyond the Wall, away from the politics, fighting, and intrigue he despised. Kit, too, has earned a well deserved respite from the challenging role of the reluctant hero who always tried to do what was right. Kit truly brought Jon Snow to life and put everything he had into the role. I’m sure we are all grateful for his efforts, and I look forward to his future work. Thank you, Kit, for eight wonderful seasons.

Jon and Tormund The Iron Throne

87 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Kit was a perfect Jon Snow. From awkward teen who felt unworthy compared with his siblings desperate to prove his worth and in need constant need of a hug, to a man that everyone wanted to follow (and hug).

      Unlike the Lannisters, the Starks, and especially Jon, don’t like the sound of their own voices making it one of the toughest roles to play well. Book readers had the benefit of ‘hearing’ introvert Jon’s internal monologue and could understand his angst, but so the writers were left with a choice of turning Jon into a chatter-box, of leaving it to Kit to express Jon’s near constant state of existential crisis with nuanced acting far more in keeping with the GRRM’s character. It’s to Kit’s credit that he was able to make the audience identify with a character who didn’t have lengthy dialogue or who came out with wise-cracks.

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    2. Night King: United his army with magic

      Jon Snow: United his army only with his personality. And did that as a ”bastard”.

      He really was the promised saviour. If he does not exist, Westeros would been destroyed. (And don’t come with Arya’s skills…he was the reason why Arya came back to Winterfell after Hot Pie told that he’s the King)

      1, There was two ”goals” for him. He wanted to save the living against the dead when the time comes. He succeeded.

      2, He wanted to know who his mother really was. Done.

      Meantime, he fall in love with Dany, and because of her, he doesn’t want to be King. That’s why they used Jenny’s song as well.

      But he returned where he really belongs. It doesn’t matter who his really father is. Jon was more Stark than Ned other children. He is a true northener. What matters is how he raised. ”Then i’m fire and blood too?” No Jon, you’re not. 🙂

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    3. Kit was the perfect choice to play Jon. He is easily one of my favorite actors and people from the cast and I feel like he portrayed Jon beautifully. Jon was the character that attracted me to the series, both the books and the show, and Kit was what helped that along. For me, the last season or two wasn’t as good as others but I never stopped loving Jon or feeling like Kit was doing an amazing job.

      Thank you for all the hard work you put in Kit. I’m proud to share the name Har(r)ington with you.

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    4. Thankyou Vanessa, I’ve been waiting for this Take a Bow. Jon Snow has always been my favourite character, books and show. I have loved Kit’s sensitive portrayal of him and you are correct when you say he became Jon, I think The Last Watch proved that. I wish Kit and Rose every happiness in the future. Take a bow ‘The White Wolf’

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    5. Hodor!

      I didn’t care for this character all that much in the books, but was interested in what was happening at castle black so he grew on me. Enjoyed how kit portrayed him in the show, and watched him grow as an actor through the series. Glad to see him to north; wonder what he will see now that the NK is gone. Or is he?……Eager to see him in other roles, and wishing him and Leslie much happiness!

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    6. The greatest of all time. Thank you Kit, I’ll always be grateful. I’m looking forward to many a rewatch. My watch has just begun 🙂

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    7. I can’t recall if it was from the HBO documentary that aired after the finale or in an interview, but Kit said that taking off Jon’s costume on his last day felt like peeling off his own skin. He dedicated himself completely to this character and it showed!

      Jon didn’t start out being one of my favourite characters, but from season 4 onward, he really started to grow on me quickly and his death in season 5 left me dazed (but it didn’t take long for me to realize the story needed him, so he would be resurrected). So much of that was Kit’s dedication to this role and his growth as an actor. Season 6 gave him some of his best material I think, and Kit delivered in spades!

      There’s also a recent article where Michelle Clapton (the costume designer) says that Kit is very sensitive, and that he’s taken the end of the show and some of the negativity around the final season quite personally. Wishing him all the best, and thank you, Kit, for giving us a stunning and memorable portrayal of Jon Snow!

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    8. Jon Snow together with Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter and Aragorn will be remembered as one of the greatest fantasy heroes of all time.

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    9. Thank You so much Vanessa for this wonderful tribute!! Jon Snow has been my favorite character from season one, episode one!! Kit Harington was the perfect choice to play him! He WAS Jon Snow!! I am fine with the way his character ended, he didn’t want to be a King and would have been happy in the North! I did want he and Dany to end up together, but not was not George’ vision! He will always be my King from this day until my last day!! 🙌🏻❤️👑⚔️

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    10. I will miss Kit’s character, Jon. I loved him first for his relationship to Arya — the role of an older brother couldn’t have been truer. And having been an outlier in my own family, I share the feeling of not fitting in. I appreciated his role in the Stark family — loving the family yet standing on the outside looking in. Kit Harington played all that extremely well. His prowess with a sword goes without saying, he was excellent. All throughout, he struck the right note as a bastard son of a harshly honest and upright man, Eddard Stark who he loved and wished to emulate.

      All my very best to Kit and Rose as they navigate their careers and their lives together. Maybe it was only me, but Daenerys was never real fit for Jon. For me, he belonged heart and soul to Ygritte.

      Now, I need to start the show all over again for, in some seasons, the third time.

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    11. Loved Jon Snow from the start to the END, he was my favourite character!

      Kit did such an amazing job portraying him that I can’t even imagine anyone else in this role. He’s an excellent actor and a beloved character! It’s incredibly hard to say goodbye to Jon, but I like to imagine he makes a new start among the wildlings who love and respect him.😊

      As for Kit I wish him all the very best and every success in the future, plenty of wonderful roles to express his amazing talent, and a fulfilling, happy life! ❤️

      I only know one king and his name is Jon Snow(aka Aegon Targaryen) ! My KING IN THE NORTH! ❤️

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    12. Thanks for providing some fantastic moments and great entertainment and I wish you well in your life and future career.

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    13. It’s kind of fascinating what characters end up grabbing you the most and for me, that was Jon. Daenerys drew me into the story, I was rooting for Arya from the start, I found myself relating to Sansa’s book 1 antagonistic relatonship with Arya (uncomfortable real life parallels! ;D), but then — out of nowhere — Jon became my favourite, just because of who he was as a character. Others can sum it up way better than I can so I’ll leave it to them 😉 Somewhere in book 2, I was counting pages to see when his next chapter would begin. It might have been around his meeting Ygritte 🙂

      I loved Kit Harington as Jon Snow, I can’t imagine anyone else playing him, I thought he did so well with Jon’s near-constant state of conflictedness, the nature of his heroism, how Jon was always searching for how to accomplish the best, most right thing, and his struggle with trying to figure out what the right thing was — and sometimes (as in the case of killing somebody he loved to save the world), he still can’t even feel that it is right. That’s pretty gutting and Kit Harington did it so well.

      Alt Shift X said something interesting in one of his abridged (“abridged” – god bless his tangents, half the reason I love them) reads of ”A Clash of Kings” that I feel really sums up Jon’s character, totally, and he says it far better than I ever could:

      […] Jon’s response is, “I will be troubled and keep my vows,” which really just like sums Jon up as a character. Like, Jon doesn’t find it easy to do the right thing, he is deeply troubled, he hurts, and he suffers, and he makes mistakes, and sometimes, he breaks his vows but ultimately, he stays true to his goals of doing the right thing, and trying to protect people, and trying to uphold the values of the Night’s Watch in the way that his father — well, his Uncle Ned Stark — taught him to behave. And that is what makes him heroic in the same way that we can only be brave when we’re afraid, we can only be honorable when we’re troubled, it’s only meaningful that we do the right thing, it’s only heroic when we find it hard to be heroic and there were better, more tempting options. It’s no sacrifice unless you’re losing something and that in fiction, and truth perhaps, is heroism.

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    14. My favorite character, hands down. Kit did an AMAZING job and I will forever be grateful to him for bringing him alive so spectacularly. I feel horrible that he’s had such a hard time with the show ending, I hope he’s able to find the peace he needs and that he and Rose get the family and life they want. <3

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    15. Jon is my king now and always. I will always love him as a character and I hope to see Kit in other projects. In fact, I loved him in “Pompeii” where I first saw him (and that movie had a much better ending than GOT) and “Gunpowder” was also rather good. And sure I wish him and Rose the very best. I don’t want to get too personal but, to me, their wedding was the best thing that happened in GOT universe.

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    16. Karen,

      Maybe it was only me, but Daenerys was never real fit for Jon. For me, he belonged heart and soul to Ygritte.

      I just didn’t see the chemistry, the relationship wasn’t believable to me, but that wasn’t the actors’ fault.

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    17. Kit you will be missed, for now, until we will see you again on screen in another great role. I will miss you not only on GoT but also in interviews. You were always a person of honesty, and one that is true with his emotions, which I really like when people have that.

      Hope to see you again soon.

      and ps. Ugly? Did they really look at Kit? His appearance is the same as his personality, one of the most beautiful out there walking on this earth.

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    18. Karen,

      So you probably like one of my favorite scenes …

      Jon & Ygritte – from “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” – “Oh! A spider! Save me Jon Snow…”

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    19. rhard: Jon was more Stark than Ned other children. He is a true northener.

      I say he was more Ned then his siblings, not any more Stark, nor anymore Northern either.

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    20. Jon Snow became my favourite character since season 4 episode 1. From that moment Kit had really become Jon Snow. Kit should have gotten an Emmy for season 4 and 5. (And Nikolaj CW should have gotten one for season 3, Peter Dinklage for season 1 and 2).
      I loved every moment he was on screen. I think he’s a much better actor than people give him credit for. I’ve also seen him in a few other shows like 7 days in hell and with Seth Meyers, and also Saturday Night Live. He was really good in all of them.
      I hope he’ll overcome his personal struggles now GOT is over and have a lovely family with Rose Leslie, they looked so happy in the pictures of their wedding day. He’s got so much potential, I really hope to see more of it.

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    21. kevin1989,

      They’re joking 😉 D&D often make jokes like that about him because he’s so obviously not ;D I think they’ve done the same to Sophie Turner in some commentaries too 🙂

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    22. mau:
      Jon Snow together with Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter and Aragorn will be remembered as one of the greatest fantasy heroes of all time.

      Totally, they are the memorable heroes. Like Star Wars, most viewers didn’t become familiar with his character from the book, but from the actor portrayed on screen. With the character Jon Snow, I feel I know his inner thoughts and turmoils and psyche from minimal dialog. Not the same with Luke, a less complex character. It is in tribute to Kit’s acting and immersion in the role.

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    23. It’s a shame how Kit & Jon were wasted in season 8. It felt like D&D were punishing Jon for being a badass throughout the previous 7 seasons, so they had to push him aside in the final season… Ridiculous.

      He couldn’t even get a 1 on 1 fight with the Night King. Nor even kill a Walker. Give Arya the final kill but at least let Jon & the NK cross swords… If not that, you surely have to let him kill Viserion and let him & Rhaegal develop their own bond right? Or definitely re-establish his connection to Ghost? Nope. We got none of that.

      It’s a shame how Kit/Jon were sidelined. He and Maisie were my 2 faves so I guess I’m left with a bittersweet feeling with the last season. Maisie got a chance to kickass. Just a shame it seems to have been at Kit’s expense. Those were my 2 endgame choices and they should have shared the load as the 2 remaining Stark Warri. The Others take the rest (except for the Hound & maybe a couple others).

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    24. After the let down that Season 8 was for me, I decided not to comment anymore here. Just to much disappointment and negative feelings to share on a fan site.

      But when I saw this article I wanted to wish best to Kit Harington who was really good in the role of Jon Snow. Not just that, but from his interviews I got the impression that he is a great person in real life as well. He came across as thoughtful, open and genuine. His interviews were interesting things to read with real insights into the show and how it affected him and not only parroting away the usual lines many actors do in such situations.

      Aegon the IceDragon:
      It’s a shame how Kit & Jon were wasted in season 8.It felt like D&D were punishing Jon for being a badass throughout the previous 7 seasons, so they had to push him aside in the final season…Ridiculous.

      He couldn’t even get a 1 on 1 fight with the Night King.Nor even kill a Walker.Give Arya the final kill but at least let Jon & the NK cross swords…If not that, you surely have to let him kill Viserion and let him & Rhaegal develop their own bond right?Or definitely re-establish his connection to Ghost?Nope.We got none of that.

      Sadly, this! But, actually you were lucky. Imagine me with my favourite characters being Jon and Daenerys. The feeling was just bitter and more bitter! Unfortunately, happiness wasn’t meant for the two of them.

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    25. If Jon was a badass in the first 7 seasons, he was because Benioff and Weiss wrote him in that way. So it’s completely ridiculous to assume that they were punishing their own creation.

      But I don’t expect anything rational from this entitled fandom any more.

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    26. mau:
      If Jon was a badass in the first 7 seasons, he was because Benioff and Weiss wrote him in that way. So it’s completely ridiculous to assume that they were punishing their own creation.

      But I don’t expect anything rational from this entitled fandom any more.

      Agree!

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    27. Thank you, Vanessa, for a wonderful tribute. From the very first episode Jon was my favorite character (followed by Arya) and Kit played him wonderfully from that episode until The Iron Throne.

      Thank you, Kit. I wish you and Rose nothing but happiness.

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    28. The one and only Jon Snow.. It could be no one else. Credit to the man who encapsulated Jon from the pages to the screen.
      I hope he has success and happiness in all his future endeavours. Kit Harrington, a truly talented actor. He brought my favourite character to life.

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    29. Kit was indeed a perfect fit for Jon Snow…am the qualities of that character…came to like in our living rooms..he deserves all the success possible in this industry…we trust his future will bring him not only success but real joy,happiness and fulfillment.

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    30. Jon Snow is a really difficult character to play, and write for television, because so much of his essence is internal in the books.

      Kit Harington rose to the challenge and brought Jon Snow to life so well that he is now the definite Jon Snow. It is not Kit Harington’s fault that the writing for his character took a downturn in the last few seasons. Kit Harington did an amazing job with what he was given.

      Kit Harington is a very talented actor, and seems like a sensitive, ambitious but down-to-earth person. I want to thank him for being our Jon Snow and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

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    31. For me, it’s quite simple: without Jon’s character and the way Kit played him, I think I wouldn’t have got past a few episodes in season 1, and would never have read the books (I’m a show first, books in-between viewer). What kept me watching first was Jon/Kit – and Tyrion/Peter. Then Tywin/Charles Dance (and then, well, everything and everyone else!). I found they were the most interesting characters (though certainly not the easiest to play), and those whose interactions with other characters were the strongest. My favorite scenes on the show almost all involve one or two of them (among them, all Jon/Tyrion scenes, and all Tyrion/Tywin scenes). Plus, Jon/ Arya, Jon/Sansa, Tyrion/Sansa, Tywin/Arya, Jon/young Bran, Tyrion/young Bran, Jon/Ygritt, Jon/Mance, etc. He interacts wonderfully with the young actors (Arya, Olly, Bran).
      I remember reading/hearing back then Kit was a dull actor, of an unidimensional kind, and wondering whether we were watching the same show. I came to the conclusion that some people mistook Jon’s untalkative, brooding , introvert character with an actor’s limitations, and this was made possible because Kit played Jon so well people didn’t realize he was *acting* ! When the shell of brooding or defiance cracks for milliseconds, it gives so powerful moments! And he managed to keep the general traits of the character while making us feel his evolution — growing up, “killing the boy”.
      I wish Kit a happy life and a great career. I hope that he will have strong roles on stage; and that the film industry will understand his range and potential and won’t endlessly cast him as a brooding hero. In particular, I think he would do a tremendous job in a good and subtle comedy (just look at his face when Davos presents him to Daenerys saying “

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    32. Rational? Yes I like a rational story. Entitled? Yes, isn’t everyone entitled to voice an opinion even when it isn’t positive?

      Anyhooo…. for me Kit Harington is the star of this show. I enjoyed his portrayal as much as I enjoyed others in the early seasons but as time went on he stood out for me. He wasn’t an actor playing a role, he embodied Jon Snow. The lines blurred. Kit didn’t need dialogue, his internal struggles, his strife and his emotions were played out on his face time and again. He touched me emotionally in a way none of the others did, although I found many of them to be excellent and I had many favourites.

      As an actor he was so committed and drove himself physically to exhaustion many times. Thank you Kit, you are a star! You stood out and made Game of Thrones special for me. Bravo!

      PS Having said I wouldn’t post here again I made an exception because Kit is a one off.

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    33. It’s a pity everyone is tired of writing and said all they had to say before the goodbye to Jon. Seems he’s forgotten and an afterthought even on the fan pages these days.

      He gave a great deal of heart to the show. That should have been rewarded in the last season, so I don’t give D&D a pass. I’m not sure where their head was in the end.

      But loyal fans didn’t get the basics of an ending that was built up and held us captive for years. The the leads didn’t get character endings that made sense either.

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    34. Thank you for this beautifully written tribute to Kit.
      Jon Snow quickly became my favourite character ( along with Arya) as I read the books. Once the series began, I saw Jon instantly in Kit’s expressive face with those deep brown eyes. It was a pleasure to watch Jon’s journey through Kit’s portrayal. I strongly agree with AnnOther that some may have thought Kit was limited in his range but he was playing Jon to perfection. When he let his guard down, Jon’s face could light up in happiness or explode in anger. Kit definitely pushed himself physically for this role which makes me respect him as an actor so much more. Kit didn’t just play Jon Snow, he became Jon Snow.
      I was saddened to learn of Kit’s internal struggles as the show came to an end but have read that he is doing much better. I can only wish he and Rose well .
      I so look forward to seeing him in other roles, as I very much enjoyed Gunpowder, the story of Kit’s own ancestor’s involvement in the plot to blow up parliament.
      Many thanks Kit for being such a talented, young actor who brought a hero to life before our eyes.

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    35. ash,

      Here’s one of (what I think) are the three significant scenes in the evolution of Jon Snow

      at 2:59

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZJTuep3w5g

      Jon: “My father was Ned Stark. I have the blood of the First Men! My ancestors lived here, the same as yours!”
      Ygritte: “So why are you fighting us?”
      [No retort from Jon. He realizes she’s right.]

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    36. Ten Bears,

      Ooooooooh! That’s a good one! I kind of credit Ygritte for setting the spark that would turn Jon from a boy who dreamed of being a hero to a man who’d unify the living against the dead 🙂

      Well, not Cersei 😉

      (A part of my twisted heart would love to see Jon with Cersei. I think it’s because I went to art school.)

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    37. Adrianacandle,

      Second scene of Jon’s evolution (S1e3): Jon complains that the Night’s Watch brothers (e.g., Pyp and Grenn) “hate me because I’m better than they are!” – until Tyrion explains that their backstories were much worse than Jon’s relatively privileged upbringing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SwmQ2WNq4E

      Of course, after this Jon’s attitude changes and Grenn and Pyp become loyal friends.

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    38. Adrianacandle,

      The third scene (in my view) was when he unchained Tormund in S5. (The beginning of a beautiful friendship.) I have always thought that was an overlooked scene in which Kit was stellar. Lemme find the link…

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    39. Ten Bears,

      Oh yes!! I love that scene!! It’s the official birth of an unprecedented alliance and the end of a thousands-year old feud. I’ve always loved Tormund and Jon together — in both the books and the show. Even in the most tense and antagonistic of times, there’s a connection between the two.

      And I agree, both KH and … KH… (goddammit, they have the same initials) are stellar in it.

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    40. Adrianacandle,

      Here’s the third scene in Jon Snow’s evolution. Kit Harington was really good in this: S5e5, Jon unchains Tormund

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwfGBeVx9pI

      For the sake of continuity, I’m also including the scene from “Hardhome” (S5e8) in which Jon “King Crow” Snow meets with Wildling leaders.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qxutn-AJ2o

      Kit Harington was really good in that too. He convincingly showed how Jon Snow had become the Great Conciliator.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      Yes, I agree. Those are such great great scenes and I’m so happy to watch them again, they’re really great in retrospect too. Thank-you!!

      And they really show Jon’s evolution and his growing relationship with the wildlings. Jon, as a boy, dreamed of being this great conqueror leading men to glory — like Robb would do (before Robb accepted an invitation to a certain wedding) as a chosen king leading the North. But Jon, though also a chosen leader, ends up being something the opposite of a conqueror leading men to glory. He becomes the conciliator and unifier who people choose to follow, including people who refuse to bend the knee, to lead them in the battle to survive. Not to glory but just to live.

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    42. I always liked Jon (who wouldn’t?), but it took a while for him to really grow on me. The fact that it happened at all was due entirely to Kit Harington’s performance, criticized by some as wooden but, imho, simply understated—like the character he played so convincingly. Kit perfectly embodied Jon’s youthful pain, self-doubt, resentment, and naïveté, and as Jon grew he was equally adept at showing his honesty, integrity, courage, and conflicted heart. A few months ago, during our pre-S8 rewatch, Saner Half surprised me by declaring “Of course Jon Snow is my favorite character!” In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all.

      Thank you, Kit, for breathing life into one of the great fictional heroes of our time. Jon Snow will be greatly missed. I wish you and Rose Leslie the best—by the old gods and the new, what incandescent onscreen chemistry!—wherever your lives take you next.

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    43. Kit is a fantastic actor. He nailed the action scenes, the monologues and the very tricky non-verbal scenes where his unspoken actions needed to show us the conflict in Jon’s mind. I think it’s fantastic he’s found rewarding roles in the theatre and also voicing HTTYD but I really hope he’s given another great TV or film role soon. When he’s ready of course. He’s been playing Jon since he was a kid, I’m not surprised this is a difficult transition… I really think he had a fantastic future ahead of him

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    44. Adrianacandle,

      Though some people were disappointed in Jon’s fate, I thought it had been telegraphed early and often: to be the shield that guards the realms of men, including and especially the Free Folk, as he told Tormund in the unchaining scene. (I had scribbled out a long version going through the various scenes; this is an overview.)

      Another thing that was emphasized often (including Tormund’s pre-BoB speech to his fellow Wildlings) was that if it weren’t for Jon Snow. there would be NO surviving Free Folk.

      That’s the significance I attributed to Jon’s final scene escorting the Wildling children back north. All of those kids would’ve been wiped out by the AotD or by the Boltons/Umbers were it not for Jon. THAT was always his destiny. To save the Free Folk, not to sit on the stupid Iron Throne or go one-on-one with the NK. It’s why the Lord of Light resurrected him: to finish what he started in saving the Free Folk from annihilation.

      In the unchaining scene (S5e5); the Hardhome powwow (S5e8); the Hardhome boat-boarding; the survivors’ arrival at CB; and the pre-BoB request that the Wildlings help fight the Boltons (e.g. “they know you’re here” and that most were women and children; and if the Boltons defeated the Stark army. they’d come after the FF next); Jon stressed the survival of the FF children. Smalljon Umber betrayed the Starks solely to get Ramsay’s help in wiping out the FF.

      King Crow rescued an entire race. EVERY single one of those children accompanying Jon and Tormund at the end of S8e6 owe their lives to him.

      “I have the blood of the First Men. My ancestors lived here, the same as yours”, he told Ygritte. His ties and allegiances were always to the North; the Free Folk were loyal to him.

      Forget the “Aegon Targaryen, heir to the Iron Throne” crap. He was Jon Snow, savior of the Free Folk. That was his destiny, and he fulfilled it.

      All Hail King Crow!

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    45. So many of you have said it all, and nothing I can write would add to it.
      Thank you, Kit, for the swordsmanship and the horsemanship and the swirling skirts of your battle tunic . I wish you and Rose all my very best for the future. and I look forward to your future roles. But don’t wait TOO long before riding a horse again…..

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    46. Ten Bears,
      Adrianacandle,

      Still one of my favourite scenes that encapsulates much of Jon’s evolution, foreshadows, and adds layers and meaning to his death & resurrection, is Aemon’s line to him: “Kill the boy, Jon Snow, and let the man be born!”

      Chills-inducing!

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    47. mau,

      You fit in quite well with this entitled fan base because your previous post was as irrational as any. Ridiculous indeed.

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    48. Ten Bears,

      YES!!! Absolutely! I think that is beautifully, beautifully put. I couldn’t have said this better myself!! You articulated so many things I’ve wanted to say but couldn’t!

      Despite my divisive feelings about how it all went down, I think Jon going off into the real North (as Tormund calls it ;D) with the people who have chosen to follow him unwaveringly since his resurrection — people who were once enemies of the North for thousands of years but became Jon’s most loyal allies through peace and a shared goal — is quietly fitting.

      In addition to what you’ve articulated so well, I think Jon’s story is full of irony and inner conflict. He’s a hidden king who believed he was heir to nothing when he was unknowingly heir to everything. He felt like an outsider all his life and found his place with outsiders. He was never meant to be the conqueror he dreamed of but a savior and a unifier of people. He is a monarch who never asked to be knelt to, who rejected the throne, but ends up chosen by the very people who refuse to kneel. Jon is meant to unify the living against the Northern threat and devotes everything to this, only to fall in love with the Eastern threat — a far more difficult threat to defeat on a personal level. The defeat of the Northern threat is cause for celebration — just like you said, Jon is with the people, the children, who survived because of his efforts. Meanwhile, there is nothing celebratory for Jon about having to defeat the Eastern threat — after witnessing the death and destruction caused by somebody he loved and supported, having to kill Dark Dany (sob) is something he’ll struggle with the pain of forever (“It doesn’t feel right”).

      Jon going North does feel far more fitting. I think his Targaryen blood will play more of a role in the books (or maybe it won’t? Maybe there’s nothing to the double magic blood in a hidden prince here). Yet, the Old Gods found it fitting to send Jon a wolf, one of the only two surviving direwolves now left, just as some mystical force found it fitting that Dany receives her dragons. Jon doesn’t belong in the south, he doesn’t belong in those political games or on an established throne. I agree his purpose was fulfilled — he was the shield that guarded the realms of men.

      Maybe those battles Alliser Thorne warned Jon that he’d be fighting forever will be the eternal inner conflict he’ll always face. I don’t think Jon will ever be at peace — angst, pain of the past, and brooding is what makes Jon who he is 🙂 But maybe it’s because he’s of fire and ice, two conflicting elements, and he’s always having to choose between duty and love, and must live with those decisions. Like Frodo, Jon will be forever impacted — but still, also like Frodo, he gets to sail away into a perhaps better place, a place he’s always belonged in the most and ironically, a place entirely different than the one he would have been born into had the Targaryen dynasty survived. Jon is deeply of the North and King Crow 😉

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    49. Enharmony1625,

      Yes, yes, yes!!! I always get chills when I see that scene too! I think that was a defining moment for Jon — and how Aemon says that line to him is so goosebump-inducing — and especially considering what followed after: unifying two enemies who have hated each other for centuries over a common goal and knowing you’ll be hated by half the people for it.

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    50. “Jon later shared that spotlight with Daenerys”.
      I beg to differ. He didn’t share it, he was completely overshadowed by Daenerys since he entered her arc. The showrunners committed a grave mistake, one that Martin didn’t ever want his baby ASOIAF to fall victim to, namely they focused on Daenerys primarily since s7 (and the Lannisters in s8) and thus they missed 90% of the true story, large part of which is the conflicts in Jon Snow’s heart. By doing this the showrunners killed Jon Snow a third time (bc his first assassination is his show adaptation and his second is his literal death in s5). They completely wrote off any line that would throw any light into Jon Snow’s mind, heart and conflicts of his soul in s8 (but it began in 07.03) because it would give away his final decision to be done with the tyrant (one that skeptical fans knew was coming no matter how they tried to conceal it), and they made him a means to address the audience, in particular in his scenes with Tyrion, which made him look terribly out of character. Showfans and book readers know that Jon Snow wouldn’t hesitate to kill Daenerys when it came to it; they know that he’d choose his family on all occasions, which is why Jon Snow is such a close parallel to Ned Stark, which is why even visually Jon was made to resemble Ned in everything since s6. People know in addition that in the conversation with Aemon in Jon’s opinion Ned would do “the right thing”, and Jon in s8 finally has his answers (the right thing is to protect his family, because he chooses the Starks); if only we’d actually see it on screen!
      The story they gave us when it comes to Jon Snow is far too condensed, succinct but sometimes also with incomprehensible fluctuations and ooc moments because the script suffers terribly from this meaningless intention of the showrunners to focus on the “oh shit” moment instead of committing to good, full and satisfying character arcs. No character in GOT this season served any real purpose unless it was meant to drive the ultimate antagonist mad, and this was a terrible disservice even to the character of Daenerys (because it isn’t in character for her to go mad but she does what she does to make a point). All in all, I don’t think the showrunners or HBO loved Jon Snow the way the fans loved him, and perhaps they didn’t know him the way the fans know him, because they focused on Daenerys and Tyrion and tried to give them the ending they’d love for them, but even in this they failed miserably. (honestly, it will become a lesson to other producers, what to not do when you’re making a TV series; it doesn’t make sense to explain everything in the behind the scenes videos, people need to see things on screen and understand them).
      Anyway, in all this poor scripting and obscure character arcs the actors shone, so much so I really have no words to really praise them (and I am not native English, lol). Kit Harington is one of the best actors of his generation; his microexpressions are worth gold. I hope he gets an emmy this season, because he deserves it and he’s worked really hard. And I also hope he gets Longclaw bc it became the natural extension of his hand (HBO can keep a copy if they so please). He should rest a bit and come back to give us more great roles and complex characters on the big screen. I hope that he has a great career and a wonderful life from now on.

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    51. In season 2 Jon had an interesting interaction with a crow ranger called Qhorin Halfhand.
      Had never seen Simon Armstrong before was impressed with this actor.

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    52. Efi,

      I agree with you, that Jon or rather Jon’s character was indeed somewhat marginalized in these last two seasons and there where definitely a lot of issues with the writhing.
      However I think the scene between Tyrion and Jon right before Dany’s killing was actually a glimpse into Jon’s mind. I don’t think the decision to kill Dany would be clear for Jon, because for him, killing Dany is huge!
      It’s a decision that basically goes against everything that is important for Jon. First of all Jon is not a murderer (and I would hope any decent person would at least have second thoughts about killing even the worst kind of human being, and Dany isn’t the worst). Then there is the issue that Jon swore fealty to her and oathbreaking doesn’t come easy to Jon. The only times he considers it, is indeed to save/help members of his family. But speaking of family. Dany is Jon’s aunt, which means that killing her makes him a kinslayer. This would certainly give him pause, even though the show downplayed the significance of kinslaying.
      And lastly Jon loves Dany. Yes, the show didn’t do a very good job of convincing us of their love, but it’s still a fact. So Jon loves Dany and he loves his siblings/cousins. I think deciding between them would be really hard and I think in the books he would have the same argument inside his head that he has with Tyrion in the show. And because in the show we can’t see into Jon’s mind, we were given this scene with Tyrion.

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    53. Exquisite write-up, Vanessa. Kit created a wonderful, wonderfully vulnerable character who remained the moral centre, indeed the heart and soul of the show. He is responsible for many of the moments that Thrones will be remembered for – the image of Jon drawing his sword as he awaited the Bolton Calvary remains one of my all-time favourites of any show. Wishing Kit and his family every happiness and looking forward to following his career!

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    54. Thank you Vanessa for your lovely tribute to Kit. You said it so much better than I ever could.
      I fell in love with Jon Snow in Brans first chapter of A Game of Thrones and Kit’s wonderful performance brought him to life perfectly. I may have had some problems with the show and how it IMO dumbed down Jon but Kit’s subtle und IMO often underrated portrayal of this internal character always kept me engaged.
      I wish him all the best in his future career and hope to see him soon in other roles.

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    55. Great tribute! Kit is the reason I started watching, and the reason I finished watching. As a book reader first, I think I saw Kit’s performance as really miraculous, given how few words Jon Snow actually says in the books. Kit seems like a genuinely good human being, who works very hard to be kind and honest, and not get caught up in the regular celebrity BS. As he said, his whole life is because of this show, and he dedicated everything to it. No wonder he needed a break once season 8 came out and the trash-talking began. In The Last Watch, when he finds out he kills Dany, you can see him mouth “f***” after it sinks in. I’m virtually certain the first thought in his mind was “oh sh** how am I going to properly convey this?” Whether the actors liked the way things ended (I’m generally okay with how things ended, just not the warp speed at which they happened — something I expect to be dealt with in book form – which let’s be honest, has always been more complete, just by the nature of the medium) they absolutely gave everything they have, especially these younger actors whose careers were just starting.

      I wish Kit and Rose a long, happy, fulfilling life together, and I really hope Kit can land some great roles if he wants to, and show that good guys can get ahead in Hollywood. Best of luck in all you do and thanks so much for sharing your talents with all of us!

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    56. reznalp,

      Yeah, perhaps I need to clarify that I am not one of those who have any questions about s8, or about the characters’ arcs in it (I have my interpretations, which do not agree with the interpretations of most people).
      Actually though, Jon Snow we appreciate would never justify a killing or a (mass or not) murder. In the scene with Tyrion, he points out that Jon is dangerous to Daenerys and that she’s bound to have him put to death at some point. Jon replies “that’s her right; she’s the queen” (or sth similar, I must say I don’t quite remember bc I only watched the ep once – I can’t stand watching it again). So, Jon is in conflict about murdering Daenerys but he has no problem if Daenerys murders him? That’s a huge inconsistency. This is what I’m talking about that it’s the showrunners talking to the audience. He could have just said “she wouldn’t do that; she’s my aunt”, or sth similar, but nope; he justified his own murder because she was “his queen”. He then finds Daenerys and tries to see what her intentions are, pleading that she shows mercy. Like, what? Don’t wipe out another city, Dany, please? We can forget about all this; we can forget that you killed thousands of innocent people; you’ll still be wonderful queen.
      The Jon Snow we know, the one from s1-6 and even s7 wouldn’t behave like this, that’s why he was scripted almost entirely out of character. As for whether he loved Daenerys, I’m one of those who believe he didn’t, and he’s not going to in the books either. The show undercut each and every scene they had together, usually with an underwhelming powerplay. Once is a mistake, two is a coincidence, but all the times Jon shared common time/scenes with her, is very telling and points to a consious choice of the showrunners. Jon Snow wouldn’t ever love such a bend the knee/burn them all/they don’t get to choose woman. That’s ooc for him. This is why having some extra lines about his motives, about his thoughts, would be very helpful for the viewers. And, finally, note what he says: love is the bane of duty. If he loves Daenerys, and she’s his queen, as he’s been made to constantly remind us throughout s8, where’s the conflict? It doesn’t make sense to say that. He needs to kill her for those he loves already. Love is his own family, Daenerys is his duty. It’s actually Tyrion that flips it around (duty: a murder, kills love: for Daenerys, wtf??? -since when is a murder “duty”?), once again the mouthpiece of the showrunners; once again we are told that Jon loves this person. No, he doesn’t. Jon had problems with Ygrit’s wild nature and murderous instincts, he’d love Daenerys who had to be constantly convinced not to burn KL? I don’t think so. And, in any case, we should know how he felt about her. Perhaps a discussion with Arya? But noooo! too explicit for them.
      Luckily Kit played Jon as tormented as possible from the get-go, so personally I don’t have any questions, but then again: interpretation.
      As I said, the script suffered; and it was a choice to suffer, to make this as ambiguous as possible for not displeasing any sides of the fandom. By doing this they just let down everybody, because the stories are incomplete and one can choose one’s own interpretation of what was happening on screen.

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    57. Jon Snow is the epitome of the ‘gary sue’ character on paper. He basically accumulates just about every good trait or advantage a character in this series can obtain. He is male (big plus in this world), a great fighter complete with special sword, raised by a noble man, highly educated, good-looking, natural leader (decent men and women love him), honest, humble, heart, birth-father was a Targaryen, birth-mother was a Stark [two of the biggest families in this series, each with magical connections] has a magical connection (a warg in books) with a direwolf, a dragon (flys), has all the best people love/like him (Sam, Arya, Ygritte, Bran, Robb, Ned, Tyrion, Dany, Sansa, Tormund, etc…), gets to be the badass fighter in every battle he is in (yes even in S8), really the biggest ‘flaws’ he has is that he cares too much, is too honest, and isn’t always the best at communications, oh and bad people get jealous of him. LOL

      I’m sure I missing a few, but seriously there are a lot. Usually such a character like this would irritate or bore me, I tend to like the more ‘interesting’ characters with ‘flaws’ or regrets. Could use a little more personality too. But I do love an underdog and even with all of Jon’s advantages, they never seem to be much of an advantage to him! His high-born upbringing makes him an outsider among the other NW recruits, he wants to be a ranger, but he is made a steward to the lord commander, etc… almost at every point in his journey Jon never really gets what he wants, or an easy path… and eventually even a person like me starts to like and root for the guy, even as I roll my eyes when he gains yet another special advantage, because usually it won’t last long and will eventually backfire on him, poor guy, lol.

      A lot of this was due to Kit himself, in the beginning Kit’s story line wasn’t one of my favorites, I already read the books so I kinda ‘knew’ his part of the story pretty much, so wasn’t as invested until the Others (cool seeing them, lol) showed up, seeing some of his scenes play out was okay, but in the beginning I found Sam more engaging in the NW aspects of the show… but somewhere in season 3-4 Kit really started to become Jon Snow for me and I really started to like Jon and his journey a lot more. Jon and Dany really do get the most epic moments on the show, and they leave a real impression on you.

      Kit seems like a really sensitive and nice guy, I really hope he doesn’t let the fandom/business crush him and that he gets the supports he needs – seems like so many of this young cast has gone though a lot of unnecessary angst due to being on this very popular show so early in their careers that I hope they can all pull though and manage to live happy lives. I look forward to Kit’s future projects.

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    58. Efi,

      If he loves Daenerys, and she’s his queen, as he’s been made to constantly remind us throughout s8, where’s the conflict? It doesn’t make sense to say that. He needs to kill her for those he loves already. Love is his own family, Daenerys is his duty. It’s actually Tyrion that flips it around (duty: a murder, kills love: for Daenerys, wtf??? -since when is a murder “duty”?), once again the mouthpiece of the showrunners; once again we are told that Jon loves this person. No, he doesn’t. Jon had problems with Ygrit’s wild nature and murderous instincts, he’d love Daenerys who had to be constantly convinced not to burn KL? I don’t think so.

      I wanted to address it. If you reply, I think I’ll have to agree to disagree until this becomes a topic in another thread because I’m not sure a tribute thread is the best place for this discussion.

      Jon’s primary duty throughout the series is to protect the people and this is what Jon has fought for. Assassination in this case (and in the world of Westeros) would be duty. Tyrion calls Jon “shield that guards the realms and men” and cites Daenerys having become the people’s greatest threat. I do feel the show was suitably clear with this — I know you don’t think Jon loved Daenerys and whether or not their love story is convincing is its own debate but this is what the show intended. Jon fell in love with and believed in the Dany who risked everything to save his group, who lost a dragon-kid and yet still vowed to fight by his side, who was willing to give her all to defend the people she wanted to rule. Feelings don’t die in an instant and I think Jon will always love the girl Dany was rather than what she became. Those whose loved ones become violent criminals — those feelings don’t just die.

      I think Jaime’s quote about oaths is pretty relevant here:

      So many vows. They make you swear and swear. Defend the King, obey the King, obey your father, protect the innocent, defend the weak. But what if your father despises the King? What if the King massacres the innocent? It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or another.

      I’m certain that Tyrion mentioning Arya and Sansa refusing to bend the knee gave Jon a sense of real urgency and pressed his Big Brother Instinct but the thing that decided it for Jon was when Dany said, “[Everyone else] doesn’t get to choose.” Of course Jon doesn’t want to kill Daenerys and again, I know you don’t believe it but according to the writers, he loved her. This decision is enormous, of course Jon is going to struggle — he’s killing a person who he had put his faith in and who he cares for. Jon’s never had to do anything like this before, even with Ygritte.

      But I agree KH was awesome in the role — he became Jon Snow for me and I loved how his Jon Snow interacted with other characters 🙂 I am so pleased with the cast we got and I loved the air of togetherness they always had about him.

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    59. *I loved the air of togetherness they always had about them.

      *Tyrion calls Jon the “shield that guards the realms of men” and cites Daenerys having become the people’s greatest threat.

      And I noticed this typo with only 4 seconds left on the edit lock! Curses!!

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    60. Mr Derp:
      Keeet!Keeet!

      (So very glad I’m not the only one who went there!!!)

      One of my favorite scenes…

      “Seth Brings Jon Snow to A Dinner Party”

      https://youtu.be/BabsgCQhpu4

      … because Jon Snow might not know things, but Kit Harington gets it!

      (How to Train Your Dragon Audition was fun, too!)

      https://youtu.be/GL9sgRLdR_E

      The ability to laugh at oneself, and have fun is out of reach of too many folks in the world.

      Long live Kit!!

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    61. Kit Harington gave everything he had to Game of Thrones over the course of its eight-season run, both on the battlefield and in the backrooms. Almost every year the writers asked him to top himself in terms of the action setpieces and the tortured interiority he had to convey, and every year he delivered. He was always a major character, but over time, he rose to become the clear male lead on the show, and Kit assumed that responsibility bravely. Jon Snow has become a modern fantasy icon thanks to his efforts.

      If the finale truly belonged to one character, it was Jon … and Kit was outstanding. He matched Peter line for line in a stellar scene, and his confrontation with Dany in the destroyed throne room was spellbinding. It destroyed Jon to do what he did, and I felt every ounce of Jon’s pain because it was all there so perfectly on Kit’s face.

      I sincerely hope that Kit finds peace after his recent personal struggles, and that he goes on to have a long and successful career. He’s already proven that he can handle drama (in addition to his tenure on Thrones, I love his work in the devastatingly sad but beautiful and criminally underseen Testament of Youth). And he’s proven he can do comedy as well (Seven Days in Hell, his hilarious recent turn hosting SNL). His future is bright.

      To our Lord Commander, King in the North, and now King Beyond the Wall! The White Wolf lives on …

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    62. Jared,

      I’ve been waiting for your comment. Seriously!!! I love your comments so much.

      I haven’t seen Testament of Youth yet, but my dad did and highly, highly recommended it. I need to go find it now.

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    63. Farewell Jon Snow.
      I imagine I won’t have the pleasure of rooting for a character quite like you again & one of the reasons is due to Kit’s earnest, thoughtful portrayal. The older I get the harder it is to get fully invested in works of fiction and to find a connection with a fictional character but this show and Jon brought that youthful enthusiasm back to me for a bit. Best of luck to Kit and Rose and all the other fab actors of GOT who brought their best to the table for all of us to enjoy for many years.

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    64. Efi,

      What a wonderful tribute. I enjoyed reading it, and echo your same thoughts on the choices the writers made. Nothing can be done about it now but many of us will always daydream about what could have been.

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    65. Wolfish,

      Testament of Youth is super, duper sad – but it’s really great and he’s fantastic in it. I also wish more people had seen it, because it gives me faith that Kit has a future outside of Jon Snow. He still plays a brooding character, but in a unique way that I think shows he has good range.

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    66. Jared:
      Kit Harington gave everything he had to Game of Thrones over the course of its eight-season run, both on the battlefield and in the backrooms. Almost every year the writers asked him to top himself in terms of the action setpieces and the tortured interiority he had to convey, and every year he delivered. He was always a major character, but over time, he rose to become the clear male lead on the show, and Kit assumed that responsibility bravely. Jon Snow has become a modern fantasy icon thanks to his efforts.

      If the finale truly belonged to one character, it was Jon … and Kit was outstanding. He matched Peter line for line in a stellar scene, and his confrontation with Dany in the destroyed throne room was spellbinding. It destroyed Jon to do what he did, and I felt every ounce of Jon’s pain because it was all there so perfectly on Kit’s face.

      I sincerely hope that Kit finds peace after his recent personal struggles, and that he goes on to have a long and successful career. He’s already proven that he can handle drama (in addition to his tenure on Thrones, I love his work in the devastatingly sad but beautiful and criminally underseen Testament of Youth). And he’s proven he can do comedy as well (Seven Days in Hell, his hilarious recent turn hosting SNL). His future is bright.

      To our Lord Commander, King in the North, and now King Beyond the Wall! The White Wolf lives on …

      💕💕💕

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    67. Kit was never one of the actors on the show whose work attracted constant acclaim in press coverage, etc., and he was often singled out as a weak link. I think that was always unfair, and he was asked to shoulder progressively more of the show as it went on, never being less than competent.

      I gather he’s in a bit of a rough patch in his personal life right now, and wish him all the best in sorting things out and then hopefully moving forward in both his life and career.

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    68. Adrianacandle,

      Well, we do agree that we disagree, lol. I won’t address the issue of whether or not he loved her, because as I said it’s a matter of interpretation. You see it, I don’t.
      But the thing is, if you want a romance, then give us a damn romance! That’s why I’m saying that the script suffered from this ambiguity. It’s not right that you address this issue in a behind the scenes video, because not many people see them. What matters is what people see on screen time, in an episode when it airs, otherwise you’re leaving the viewers with lots of questions that affect the quality of the show.
      Did he love her? Did he not? Is he conflicted? Is he not? That’s not the way to go about this. At this point, book Jon Snow wouldn’t have any doubts about it.
      The showrunners are not supposed to be fighting the viewers, they’re not supposed to be antagonizing their intellect, or challenge it for that matter. Choose a story and say it, show it, for heaven’s sake! Be consistent with your story, do justice to your characters. Everybody loves a complete story.
      But I wanted to address this:
      “Assassination in this case (and in the world of Westeros) would be duty”. In my opinion it’s one of the traps of ASOIAF/GOT, one that many people fall into, and one that had me troubled at first.
      The makers of this story, book-wise and even show-wise intended to question our morals, or put them to the test, and have us decide how much are we willing to justify our heroes’ crimes. A crime is a crime, even in Westeros -that’s why Jamie is condemned, in his case the murder of king Aerys being surrounded with an extra ethical layer represented in the oath breaking (that scene with Catelyn is one of the best moments of GOT imo) that parallels Jon’s killing of Daenerys (Jamie and Jon are exact parallels, books and show). This is the reason why no matter how good Daenerys’ intentions, no matter her “noble” goals, I will never approve of her crimes.
      But at the same time, cases like these bring out the inherent hypocrisy of Westeros, one that was not resolved with the ending the showrunners gave us. So I refuse to decide which murder/assassination is justified, because no one is. People deserve a fair trial, a subject which was addressed in s7 (LF’s trial-the three queens set up as foils to each other) but not in s8, because Jon didn’t get a trial. Themes of violence, murder and justice underly the entire ASOIAF series, are part of the foundation on which ASOIAF was built by the author. ASOIAF was always intended as an anti-war, anti-crime, anti-violence work and the difficult questions it poses are the reason why it’s so popular.
      I am completely, wholeheartedly against violence, this is why the entire GOT show leaves such a weird taste in my mouth, and the fact that Tyrion killed his own father and Shae, betrayed just about everybody and still got rewarded with everything he ever wanted in the last ep, being awarded with an office that much resembles that of a modern prime minister, and indeed, becoming effectively the ruler of six kingdoms, is to my mind a blatant divergence from the spirit of the books.

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    69. Efi,

      I think it was the intention of the writers to give us a complete story (on that note, there are quite a few questions about everything ;D) and I don’t think there was any of the ambiguity you’re saying there was in their romance or another hidden narrative. Nor do I think they are intending to be antagonizing anyone’s intellect. I think it could have been done better, but it was their intention to give us a romance and I think they did.

      Oh, I think book Jon would have plenty of doubts. Book Jon always has doubts. Book Jon is made of doubts 🙂 I think that’s part of the appeal of Jon, his constant reflection and introspection, he’s always trying to figure out what the right this is and he’s conflicted over just about every decision he makes. There’s always, always a downside. I think that Alt Shift X quote I posted above in my first comment summarizes Jon 🙂

      As for the rest, I think Jaime addresses some of what you’re saying in his vows-speech to Catelyn and in both cases, Jon and Jaime’s ultimate duty was to protect the people. However, if you like, we can take this back over to this thread where we were already discussing these issues? 🙂 I talk about assassination, the love vs. duty issue there too but if you’re game for another go around, let’s do it!

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    70. Thank you Vanessa for this “Take A Bow.” I loved Kit’s portrayal of Jon Snow.

      “Kit cried when he read the script, and you can certainly see the anguish on his face during the scene.”

      One of my favourite moments of The Last Watch because it just goes to show how much Kit was invested in Jon Snow and his storyline as well as the depth to which Kit dived into this character. He indeed became Jon Snow and was emotional on his behalf. I loved his ending for the parallels it had with Aemon Targaryen. Both Kings who turned away from their crowns to serve a greater cause. I also had the pleasure of seeing Kit in True West. I was in the second row so only a few feet from him! He was as amazing on stage as he was on television and I can’t wait to see him in future projects. Thank you, Kit!

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    71. As Kit has said multiple times, portraying Jon Snow was emotionally and physically draining but I hope he realizes how impactful the role was to many people. His goodbye scene with Arya was the first time GoT made me smile, and starting a new life beyond the Wall with Ghost and Tormund at his side was the last. In between, he elicited more tears, joy, heartbreak and frights than I can enumerate!

      Did I want Jon to kill the Night King after everything he went through? Yes! Did I want the years of R+L=J speculation to actually be meaningful in the grand scheme? Yes! But Kit played the stoic and ever faithful hand that Jon was dealt to perfection and I am content with his journey.

      Be happy, Kit, you nailed it and many fans agree!

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    72. As many already wrote, Kit became Jon, deep down, and it was the best personification of Jon I could ever hope to get as a book reader. Simply perfect!

      I’ll be keeping an eye out for Kit’s new roles, after having watched some of his other performances, including Testament of Youth and Gunpowder. I would not mind seeing him in a comedy role, I bet he’d be excellent.

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    73. KKR,

      After watching that film for the first time I thought, ‘well, I’m never watching that again. Too heartbreaking’. But i’ve seen it a number of times since, because it’s simply too beautiful and compelling a movie.

      Alicia Vikander is outstanding and Kit does a fine job too. The subject matter is obviously so tragic, even more so with the characters being based on real people. The final scene, with Max Richter’s incredible score rising in the background, has never failed to bring tears to my eyes.

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    74. Well it’s no secret Jon Snow is my favourite character in the series. The one genuine character who doesn’t crave power or place personal gain ahead of the greater good. It’s fair to say Kit was still learning his acting craft when he first joined but he improved noticeably as the seasons past and the character evolved. I am slightly disappointed he didn’t end up king but glad he had a relatively happy ending.

      Thanks Kit I wish you every success in the future, although it will be hard for a while at least not to see you as Jon Snow.

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    75. Efi,

      I agree with just about everything you said. I think…

      What did you mean by “People deserve a fair trial, a subject which was addressed in s7 (LF’s trial-the three queens set up as foils to each other) but not in s8, because Jon didn’t get a trial.”?

      I didn’t think LF’s trial-by-ambush was a fair trial at all. (Why he turned into a whimpering tub of goo instead of talking his way out of the “charges” is another story.)

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