'Game of Thrones' star Kit Harington reportedly checked into rehab for stress and alcohol use
Kit Harington, who played brooding outsider Jon Snow on the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, secretly checked into rehab nearly a month ago, The New York Post reports. According to their unnamed sources, the 32-year-old actor checked into the luxury Connecticut health retreat Privé-Swiss weeks before the show's finale May 19. The issues are said to be stress, exhaustion and alcohol abuse.
"The end of ‘GoT’ really hit Kit hard," an anonymous insider told the outlet. "He realized ‘this is it - this is the end’, it was something they had all worked so hard on for so many years. He had a moment of, what next? He’s in the clinic predominantly for stress and exhaustion and also alcohol."
Watch Kit Harington react to Jon Snow killing Daenerys at the season 8 table read
According to The Post, "The British actor has been undergoing psychological coaching, practicing mindful meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy to combat stress and deal with negative emotions at the facility, which costs over $120,000 a month." Harington's family is reportedly encouraging the retreat, which includes his wife, actress Rose Leslie, whom he met on the set of the show. "His wife Rose is being extremely supportive," the source said.. "Right now, he just needs peace and quiet.”
Last night HBO aired the Game of Thrones documentary The Last Watch, which revealed how deeply Harington was emotional invested in the series. When the scripts were sent to the actors, he elected not to read them, so he could share his genuine reactions at the table read. At the moment Jon Snow killed his tyrannical ex-lover Daenerys Targaryen, the actor covered his mouth and sobbed.
Watch Kit Harington gag kissing Emilia Clarke
Harington played Jon Snow for a decade and the role propelled him to international stardom. Every season attracted more viewers, turning Game of Thrones into a pop culture phenomenon. Obsessive fans speculated over how it would end, and fiercely criticized some story choices. (George R.R. Martin has not written the last two volumes of A Song Of Ice And Fire, leaving the showrunners just an outline.) However, days after the final season premiere, Harington was feeling defiant.
"I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season - and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here -but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgment on it, in my head they can go f*ck themselves," Harington told GQ. "Cause I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show."
Watch Kit Harington's monologue on Saturday Night Live
The final season of Game of Thrones was a huge success in terms of ratings, with HBO drawing its biggest audience ever. However, many viewers were not satisfied with the content. The final six episodes are the show's lowest rated on IMDb, and received equally harsh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Some outraged fans - 1.6 million and counting! - even signed a petition, demanding that HBO remake seasons 7 and 8 "with competent writers."
Detractors say that Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were talented at adapting George R.R. Martin's story, but struggled to tell that story once they ran out of source material. As a result, the later seasons were arguably sullied by poor pacing, inexplicable character behavior and an emphasis on CGI spectacles over dialogue. Hopefully the criticism hasn't gotten to him and he gets well soon.