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Kit Harington opens up on how ‘Game of Thrones’ has changed his life

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake

Kit Harington opens up on how ‘Game of Thrones’ has changed his life

Kit Harington opens up on how ‘Game of Thrones’ has changed his life

Kit Harington bids farewell to his alter ego, Jon Snow, the most popular character in the phenomenon we know as ‘Game of Thrones’. He chats exclusively with MiNDFOOD about how the series has truly changed his life.

Kit Harington’s life changed exponentially when he signed on to Game of Thrones nine years ago. Not only did he meet his future wife, Rose Leslie (now starring in The Good Fight), when she played his love interest Ygritte, but as he explains, he became a man, quite literally, during the course of the series.

Your premiere for the first episode of the final season was last night. I imagine you might be a bit hungover?

Actually, I feel fresh as a daisy. For the final premiere, I’m not hungover enough.

Playing Jon Snow presented myriad skills for you to learn. Does anything come to mind that makes you think, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I did that?’

I had my last scene on a horse, and it might sound bizarre, but I suddenly went, “I don’t get to come back and go horse riding anymore!” And I have to tell you, after all these years, I turned into quite a good horseman! (laughs)

What did you keep from the set?

I wanted to keep my sword but they were very tight with their props. I wasn’t able to keep my costume either because it’s worth so much now. So all I kept were my gloves and braces – basically because they couldn’t pry them from my hands on the day (laughs). So, unfortunately, I’ve kept very little because it’s all going to be in a museum. But I’ll tell you what, I’m going to get the GOT armorer and pay him to make me a replica of my sword. Then I’m going to hang it above my fireplace at home!

What’s the weirdest fan encounter you can recall? I know you must have some crazy ones.

Just yesterday, I had a lady say that she had given up her appointment for back surgery to wait outside the hotel here [in New York] to get an autograph. And I said to her, “I think you should have gone for the back surgery.” So that gives you an idea.

How do you look through your Game of Thrones journey?

It’s been a hugely strange journey with “Thrones.” I was in my 20s when we started, which is an abnormal journey for a guy going through at that age, to be thrust into this position of fame because of a TV show you happen to be in.

Sounds like you didn’t deal with celebrity too well?

I struggled with it right around the 28-year-old mark and I really kind of freaked out about it. But I feel over the last couple of years, I’ve changed. I think women have it slightly earlier I think, but men at around 28, 29 suddenly go into a transition into being an adult. And I think I may look at myself at 40 years old and go, ‘What the hell were you talking about! You were just a kid!’ But I don’t feel like a young man, I feel like a man now, an adult man, and I think it’s a really interesting age to be going into the parts that will be coming up for me. It’s a fascinating age for a man in their 30s. I wish it was so for women. That needs to change.

Your co-star Emilia Clarke suffered two brain hemorrhages. It must have been frightening for the cast?

Yes. I’m happy for Emilia that she’s got to come out and talk about that now. Obviously, for all of us, we knew what happened to her during those two occasions where she was in hospital with her brain hemorrhages. It was alarming and terrifying for all of us at the time, but for her, it was seriously life-changing. It’s one of her things she really champions with her charity, and I think, from an outsider’s perspective, I have such admiration for how brave and how fiercely strong she was to go through something like “Thrones,” which is one of the most demanding jobs, with those two things happening to her. As my best friend, I think she’s extraordinary.

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