Resurrecting Jon Snow took a lot of work — but it was also a lot of fun.
Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten tells EW that last Sunday’s “Home” resurrection scene was rather intensive to shoot, with director Jeremy Podeswa wanting to get every shot just right. So that meant spending many hours cleaning and touching Snow’s corpse, with actor Kit Harington laying on a table basically naked.
“It took forever to resurrect him, forever!” says van Houten. “It was such an important scene, we shot it from so many angles. I think I washed his body 50 times. There would be a lot of people who would be very jealous, including my mother and sister. I was joking about that with him — ‘if only my mother could see this’ — and he loved that.”
Harington tells EW he had no complaints about spending two episodes on his back, especially since his days on the Thrones set usually involve exhausting action scenes in freezing cold. “It was such an easy two episodes; I loved it,” the actor says. “I’m in a warm room, which is unusual for me.”
As for van Houten’s attentions, he called the experience, “very weird, like a teenage boy’s wet dream — you’re laying there naked and Carice van Houten is washing you.” The actress also cut Harington’s hair — which was actually hair extensions (because as we also reported today, Jon Snow is getting a new hairstyle).
Podeswa praised Harington for gamely playing dead for nearly a week of shooting. “Kit’s fantastic in so many ways, he’s a wonder actor and a wonderful person and was really patient,” he says. “He was great pretending to be dead and really gracious.”
Like most actors on the show, van Houten had no clue when shooting season 5 that Harington wasn’t going to be permanently killed off at the end of the season (see our exclusive on how Harington had to tell his castmates he wasn’t coming back). “I had thought for a long time he was just going to die,” she says. “Then we got wind he was probably going to come back but nobody was sure about it. It’s funny because on Twitter when he died a lot of people who wanted to kill me in episode 9 [when Melisandre orchestrated the murder of Shireen] came back and said, ‘We’ll forgive you if you resurrect Jon Snow.'” But at the time the season 5 finale aired, the actress didn’t know a resurrection was actually going to eventually happen.
On Twitter after Sunday’s episode aired, van Houten tweeted to her followers: “Happy now?”
Harington is on the cover of this week’s EW where we chronicle the incredible two-year story of how the actor and the Thrones team killed off his character, then secretly brought him back to life for the Lord Commander’s greatest season yet. Buy the issue here, or subscribe to receive digital access the moment the story is posted online. For more coverage of Thrones‘ second episode of the season, “Home,” here’s our first interview snippet with Harington (“Sorry!”), our interview with Ramsay Bolton actor Iwan Rheorn on those gruesome murders, our deep-dive recap, and our new Game of Thrones post-show podcast.