Some of Kit Harington’s favorite Jon Snow scenes might not be what you expect. Ahead of Sunday’s Game of Thrones return, the actor spoke to Entertainment Weekly about filming the intense six-episode final season and his post-GoT career and more.
When the show returns April 14, Snow will arrive at Winterfell with his newfound love and queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) as they help prepare the North to face the Army of the Dead. But behind the scenes, the cast faced an exhausting 10-month shoot under some of the most difficult conditions in the production’s history.
Here’s Harington on…
The perfectionist season 8: “Every episode is big … it’s just more exhausting than it’s ever been. It’s relentless. What would have been a one-day shoot two years ago is now a five-day shoot. We’ve had walk-and-talks that would have been a half day end up being 3 or 4 days. That’s the scale of it. They really want to get it right. They want to shoot [every scene] every single way so they have options [during editing].”
The challenge of wrapping the story in six episodes: “You have to do a conclusion in six episodes. Not every person is going to be happy with the conclusion of something so big. The whole nature of the speed of the [story] has to be different from earlier seasons. I think if you watch it all back to back years later [fans will] think it went so quick.”
His favorite scenes: “I’m very proud of ‘The Battle of the Bastards,” the one [long continuous take of Jon Snow fighting] through the horses. And I’ll always be proud of seasons 2 and 3 with [his wife Rose Leslie as Ygritte]. While I think there were storylines people enjoyed more, just when Rose and I are walking through the wilderness — those are some of the favorite shots I’ve done.”
His post-GoT life: “The goal of acting is to gain some recognition and fame. That’s not what I’m looking for anymore. This gives me the freedom to try things I want to do. I’ll produce a bit, maybe try directing and try roles that not many people will see but will give me some satisfaction. Maybe do something completely different. This has given me freedom. I have a house that I own. I keep nicking beers from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss’] fridge and I left them a note saying, ‘I owe you two beers and one career’ — and that’s how I feel. They gave so many options to go and do things.”
Harington recently hosted Saturday Night Live where he showed off his newly clean-shaven look and spoofed his GoT role.
After watching each new episode of Game of Thrones be sure to check out EW.com as we’ll have deep-dive recaps plus interviews with cast members breaking down some big moments posted through Monday.
- Game of Thrones season 8 showrunners interview: ‘This is where the story ends’
- Read EW’s complete coverage of Game of Thrones’ final season
- A guide to the two biggest prophecies on Game of Thrones