Tuesday 22 October 2019

'The focus on you is f***ing terrifying' - Kit Harington struggled with attention surrounding Jon Snow death cliffhanger

Actor revealed he had therapy at height of show's success

Kit Harington (Matt Crossick/PA)
Kit Harington (Matt Crossick/PA)
Kit Harington said he experienced grief filming the show’s final series (Chris J Ratclife/PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Kit Harington has revealed that the attention he received in the wake of his Game of Thrones character's death affected his mental health.

The English star (32) said he questioned his ability to act as scrutiny intensified at the end of the fifth season of the hit HBO fantasy series.

His character had ostensibly been killed off only to be resurrected in season six and that time in between seasons was particularly tough for the actor.

"When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f***ing terrifying," he told Variety.

Kit Harington returns as Jon Snow in the final series of Game of Thrones (HBO/Sky/PA)
Kit Harington returns as Jon Snow in the final series of Game of Thrones (HBO/Sky/PA)

"You get people shouting at you on the street, 'Are you dead?' At the same time you have to have this appearance. All of your neuroses - and I'm as neurotic as any actor - get heightened with that level of focus...

"It wasn't a very good time in my life. I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there -- like I think a lot of people do in their 20s.

"That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn't talking to anyone. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f***ing act..."

He compared it to being at a party that has reached a peak and wondering what more he could find from it.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones (Sky)
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones (Sky)

Game of Thrones' final season will play out across six episodes next month and Harington said it was the toughest shoot yet as his character is pivotal to the end of the series.

It was, he said, "in extreme weather and just in heavy fucking costumes.

"I was there the whole time this year. I felt a bit like people were coming in and out, and Jon Snow was just f***ing there the whole time."

That environment led to relationships fraying towards the end of filming, although he added that everyone is "loves each other again" now that filming has wrapped.

"You have these in-jokes, and these relationships that thrive for eight years. That's a long time for those jokes to be going, and they never felt old or tired," he said.

"In the last season, I was like, these are getting tired now. And I think they got tired because we could see the end coming.

"That's a way of emotionally detaching from something: relationships very slightly starting to strain, just on the edges, just frayed. Now everyone loves each other again."

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top