Kit Harington Once Revealed the Hardest Part About Filming ‘Game of Thrones’ — and It Wasn’t ‘Battle of the Bastards’
At the same time, he was creating lifelong friendships and falling in love with his future wife. Harington definitely had his highs and lows. But what was the hardest part about shooting the iconic HBO series?
Kit Harington had no idea what would happen with ‘Game of Thrones’
Back in 2009, Harington was a young 22-year-old who was fresh out of drama school when he landed the role of Jon Snow. While looking back at a picture taken after the first pilot read that featured him with Richard Madden (Robb Stark) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Harington says that was the day they all met. And, they had no idea what was in store for them.
“We were completely fresh off the boat. This was a huge job for us: a pilot for HBO. American TV. That was massive. I remember it was very, very exciting,” Harington told Esquire. “It’s just remarkable looking at it now and thinking we had no idea what was going to happen with the show. We were just young actors happy to be working—literally a world-at-your-feet sort of thing but no expectations from it.”
Harington says that day was the start of a very close friendship between the three. They were the “young lads” of Game of Thrones. For three seasons, he says that they were “inseparable,” and to this day they are still “best mates.”
Making ‘Game of Thrones’ was all about bar culture
Harington says the cast was a lot like family. They spent a lot of nights together in the bar of The Fitzwilliam, their hotel in Belfast.
“It was like our common room!” Harington shared. “That, for me, is what a lot of making Thrones was—bar culture.”
He explained that on a lot of jobs, everyone goes back to their apartments at the end of the day. Everyone has their own lives and families, and they “sort of isolate.” But that wasn’t the routine on GOT. The actor believes that this made a big difference in the success of Game of Thrones.
“I think part of what made it successful was the fact that we got on like a family. Everyone who came in was welcomed into the family. No one was the lead of that family—it was an ensemble. We were just genuinely happy in one another’s company,” Harington said.
He added that they all made each other laugh, cared for each other, and would pick someone up if they fell. Harington says that over ten years of anyone’s life, “sh*t gets real.” All of that was accentuated in a bottled environment of being on a famous TV show.
Harington noted that sometimes the only people who can guide you through those problems are the people who also know what it’s like to be on a famous TV show.
Kit Harington reveals the hardest part about shooting the HBO series
Throughout all of the good times on the Game of Thrones set, there were also quite a few challenges. For Harington, the hardest part was keeping all of the plotlines a secret. In 2014, he told Glamour that in addition to keeping secrets, it was also difficult to film in such harsh conditions.
“Secrets of plotlines! They’re both pretty hard! The other day I said something, but I can’t say it again! Half of me is really, really nervous about the finale because it’s quite eccentric these last two episodes and the whole season, which has been a brilliant season, but there’s a whole load coming up. I’m terrified we’ll ruin the season, but I don’t think we will. I think they are quite special episodes, really.”
Aside from keeping the plotlines secret for the entire run of the series, Harington believes that the last season was also designed to “break us,” and everyone was broken at the end. He wasn’t sure if everyone was crying because they were sad the show was ending. Or, if they were crying because “it was so f**king tiring.”
“We were sleep-deprived,” Harington told GQ Australia. “It was like it was designed to make you think, ‘Right, I’m f**king sick of this,'” he continued. “I remember everyone walking around towards the end going, ‘I’ve had enough now. I love this, it’s been the best thing in my life, I’ll miss it one day – but I’m done.'”
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.