Kit Harington reveals which 'Game of Thrones' storyline led him to seek therapy
The eighth and final season of HBO's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones begins airing on Sunday, April 14. Finally, fans will see what happens during the battle of the living and the dead, which characters will ride dragons with Daenerys, and who will sit atop the Iron Throne when the dust settles. (If it's Ed Sheeran, I'm going to be pissed.)
For actors, it's rare to book a part on a successful TV show, let alone a cultural phenomenon like Game of Thrones. However, fandom can be a double-edged Valyrian sword. On one hand, it's thrilling to work on a popular show; on the other hand, you have to deal with unwanted attention from obsessive fans.
In a new interview with Variety, Kit Harington, who plays wise, pretty-boy bastard Jon Snow, revealed that one 'Game of Thrones' storyline actually led him to leek therapy: In the season five finale, Snow appears to die after getting stabbed numerous times by his own brothers in the Night's Watch. Fans were desperate to know if the beloved character was really dead.
In this case, even those who read the books didn't know the answer, since George R. R. Matin has not completed writing the last two volumes of A Song Of Ice And Fire. The mania was so widespread that President Barack Obama allegedly asked the head of HBO if Jon Snow was really dead at a state dinner. To which the executive reportedly replied, "Mr. President, even your security clearance isn’t high enough to give you the answer to that."
"It wasn’t a very good time in my life," Harington recounted. “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."
In order to figure out if Jon Snow would return in season six, the world began following Harington's every move. "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," the actor said. "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."
Of course, Jon Snow came back to life in season six, but nobody knows if he'll survive the last six episodes. (Well, Harington's wife, Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte, reportedly knows the ending. And so does Joe Jonas, who's engaged to Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark - but that's it!) Hopefully, Jon Snow's ultimate fate is clear, or fans might harass Harington on the street forever!