Kit Harington was famous for two things as Jon Snow on Game of Thrones — his pout and his hair. Harington’s locks were such a big deal that they were almost their own character. They even had their own Game of Thrones contract! But what you may not know is that Harington actually faked Jon Snow’s signature hair in the Game of Thrones pilot that fans never saw.
Kit Harington didn’t know he had curly hair before ‘Game of Thrones’
Harington was in the right place at the right time to land the role of Jon Snow. Game of Thrones was his first ever TV acting job. And he managed to score an audition during drama school when he caught the attention of producers while starring as Albert Narracott in War Horse.
Show creator D.B. Weiss remembers Harington’s first audition well. He told Rolling Stone that he whispered to co-creator David Benioff, “This is what Jon Snow looks like, please let this kid be good.”
But at the time, Harington had short hair and no facial hair. According to BuzzFeed, he’d never tried to grow it out before Game of Thrones. And he had no idea his hair was curly.
“I always had short hair before I did this, and then they went ‘Could you grow your hair and a beard?’ And I went, ‘Well, I’ve never grown my hair, and I’m practically pre-pubescent in the facial-hair stakes, but I’ll give it a go!'” Harington said.
He faked Jon Snow’s signature locks in the pilot that fans never saw
Most Game of Thrones fans are aware that there was a pilot shot for HBO that never made it to air. Those who were a part of it have shared that it was pretty much a disaster — and it didn’t even have Emilia Clarke playing Daenerys Targaryen.
“The pilot really didn’t work. No one’s ever seen it, it’s in some back room somewhere, and I’d like it to stay there!” Harington told BBC Breakfast.
When it came to his appearance as Jon Snow, Harington shared that he “had a horrible wig on.” And he is more than okay with the fact that no one has seen the failed pilot episode.
Kit Harington was contractually obligated to keep his hair long
Jon’s hair changed a little bit over eight seasons, but he was contractually obligated to keep his shoulder-length curls throughout the entire series.
“It has its own contract, definitely. I never thought I’d say that about my own hair,” Harington said in 2014, per Us Weekly. “I’m just not allowed to cut it, and I didn’t realize this until recently. I wanted to cut it. I’ve had long hair for ages and they were like, ‘no, no, no, that won’t be happening,’”
Of course, Harington did follow through as soon as Game of Thrones wrapped in 2019 and cut his hair “short short.” Just before he chopped off the locks, he explained that he wanted to make himself less recognizable, and do some things “with a completely new look and tone.”
“The beard will be harder to get rid of — I quite like the beard. I like having the long hair and beard both, but it will be like a ritualistic thing. I can’t go into my next role looking the same. This role was brilliant, but I’ll need to get rid of Jon Snow,” Harington said, per Pop Sugar.
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.