Kit Harington has been playing Game of Thrones's Jon Snow since he was 24 years old. In the lead-up to the epic HBO series' final season, Harington—now 32—spoke with Variety about how he has personally evolved just as much as Jon Snow has over the past eight seasons, and how he and his iconic character have grown up together. But it hasn't always been easy.
“My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon, when he died and came back,” Harington said. “I really didn’t like the focus of the whole show coming onto Jon—even though it was invalidating my problem about being the weak link because things were about Jon.”
Though Harington had already learned how to deal with his newfound fame, his interactions with fans became different during this time.
“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,” Harington admitted.
Even though Jon was dead in the show, Harington had been spotted on the set—and was still sporting his famous Jon Snow locks, which led fans to wonder whether he was really dead at all.
“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," Harington said. The public's fascination with the actor's every move (and hairstyle) became a lot to deal with.
“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” Harington said. “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."
Fortunately, fans got their answer about Jon Snow's fate during Game of Thrones's sixth season. Now the question is whether he'll learn his true parentage in season 8, and what that will mean for his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen.
Game of Thrones returns on April 14, 2019.