How ‘Game of Thrones’ Prepared Kit Harington for His ‘Eternals’ Role

For better or worse, Game of Thrones has come to an end. However, at least fans of that HBO series can look forward to seeing what the actors who played their favorite Westeros residents will be doing next. In particular, Kit Harington — who played the heroic Jon Snow on GoT — seems poised to be a breakout star.

So, when Marvel Studios announced that the actor would be joining the cast of The Eternals, the news took fans by surprise. After all, Harington had previously expressed an interest in diversifying the types of roles he played, and his Eternals role does sound like it hews close to what Harington did for eight seasons on GoT.

Kit Harington at Game Of Thrones premiere
Kit Harington at Game Of Thrones premiere | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Who is Kit Harington playing in ‘The Eternals’?

Directed by Chloé Zhao, The Eternals features a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry and Salma Hayek. The title refers to an immortal alien race, but Harington is actually playing a character named Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight.

Descended from a long line of warriors, the Black Knight notably wields a powerful sword called the Ebony Blade, a cursed artifact that is passed down from generation to generation. Since details are scarce for The Eternals, it’s unclear if Harington’s role will remain true to the Dane Whitman version of the Black Knight or conflate elements of the various characters who have picked up the mantle over the years.

Why Black Knight is such a good fit

Nevertheless, it’s easy to see how Eternals marks a relatively smooth transition for the actor. Both Jon Snow and Dane Whitman are adept at swordplay and rise above a dark past to become a hero. In the comics, the Black Knight not only joins the Avengers but becomes a leading member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, especially in the absence of Captain America.

Moreover, The Eternals set will be something of a reunion for Harington, as the film gives him the opportunity to work alongside other GoT alum like Madden and Chan. The latter in particular will likely share a lot of screentime with Harington, since her character of Sersi — no, not that Cersei — becomes romantically involved with Dane Whitman in the source material.

“I’ve been friends with Gemma Chan for a long time,” Harington said at ACE Comic Con (via ComicBook.com). “So I’m looking forward to working with her.”

How ‘The Eternals’ is a smart career move

While the role bears some similarities to Harington’s time on GoT, jumping aboard the Marvel Cinematic Universe will likely prove to be a wise move for the actor. This is, after all, the most successful film franchise in the world, and that level of exposure — one far greater than even the phenomenal success of GoT — is certainly worth the potential risk of typecasting, particularly if it leads to an extended (i.e., lucrative) run with the MCU.

After spending nearly a decade on such a culturally impactful series, at least Harington has the experience of having already dealt with such passionate genre fans. He knows what to expect, even if MCU and GoT fans alike are still waiting to see how the currently-in-production Eternals will turn out when it hits theaters on November 6, 2020.