‘Game of Thrones’: Who Plays Jon Snow?

The popular HBO show Game of Thrones has featured many familiar faces over the years, including industry veterans like Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage. The show has also been instrumental in launching the careers of several young stars. None of these fresh-faced actors shine brighter than Kit Harrington, who plays Jon Snow.

As a young English actor with a natural affinity for dramatic roles, Harrington quickly became a global star after he was cast in Game of Thrones in 2010. 

Kit Harrington’s early career

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Harrington was born in 1986, and got his start on stage, acting in a wide variety of dramatic roles. He studied drama and acting in high school and, upon graduation, moved to London to further his career. His first big onstage role was that of Albert in the play War Horse. His work in the play started gaining Harrington a good deal of attention in theatre circles, and critics started noticing the young actor.

During his work on War Horse, Harrington was partially responsible for the great success of the play. Ultimately, War Horse won two Olivier Awards, which recognize excellence in theatre. Although Harrington loved the stage, he decided it was time to try something new. In late 2010, Harrington tried out for an upcoming HBO show called Game of Thrones. While he didn’t know it yet, his time on the show would ultimately make him a household name all over the world.

Kit Harrington’s role as Jon Snow

In 2011, Game of Thrones premiered on HBO to immediate success. A fictional show based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones is a big-budget fantasy that follows the lives and fortunes of a great many characters. In order to be successful on a show with so many players, an actor must really make an impression on an audience — and Harrington did just that.

Although his role as Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, was a leading one, it was also quite challenging. Harrington had to play many serious scenes in difficult filming situations, including sub-zero temperatures on location in Iceland. After Harrington was launched to worldwide fame on Game of Thrones, he started landing roles in films such as Pompeii and 7 Days in Hell. However, over the past eight years of the show, his main focus has definitely been Game of Thrones.

In addition to fame and wealth, Game of Thrones brought Harrington into contact with his future wife. Harrington met his co-star, Rose Leslie, on set, and the two started dating after playing star-crossed lovers on screen. In June 2018, Harrington and Leslie tied the knot, in a grand ceremony in Scotland. Many of their co-stars from Game of Thrones attended the ceremony.

What’s next for Kit Harrington?

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With the final season of Game of Thrones well underway and the very last episode set to air in May, Harrington is thinking to the future. Even though he is well-known to be a private person, staying under the radar and giving very few interviews, he recently spoke out about his upcoming projects. He revealed that he’s open to doing a wide variety of projects, and would prefer to work in both theatre and film, like his heroes, English actors Ben Whishaw and Benedict Cumberbatch. Of course, with his theatre roots, it is likely that he might want to return to the stage at some point, either in a drama or a lighthearted comedy.

The actor that plays Jon Snow is actually one of the hottest stars in the world, with a world of possibilities to explore once Game of Thrones ends.