Kit Harington Rejected Superhero Roles Until ‘The Eternals’—Here’s Why

Kit Harington is world-famous for his prominent role in the HBO TV series, “Game of Thrones.” His character, Jon Snow, earned him global recognition and multiple accolades; two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination.

The character, Jon Snow, was revered as a relentless and charismatic leader. Snow being an outcast of the Stark family and treated differently made him a fan favorite, as people could relate to his plight. In addition, Harington being easy on the eyes earned him more love from female fans. After the show, he took a break from acting to focus on his wellbeing, before making a comeback in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Eternals.

Why did Kit Harington reject the superhero role?

Harington revealed that Eternals wasn’t the first comic role he was offered. In an interview with Total Film magazine, Harington spoke of previously rejecting a different superhero role. At the time of the offer, he was still invested in the Jon Snow role and wasn’t ready to detach. 

Harington was still filming Game of Thrones and he termed his role then as very demanding. He said, “It didn’t feel like the right thing at the right time, and I think I was right to. My head was very in the Jon Snow world then.” 

Although Harington never mentioned what role he turned down, he also stated that he didn’t like the role and that it wasn’t a good fit for him. In an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, the actor spoke of his mental health struggles while filming Game of Thrones.

He needed a break, which explains why he wasn’t ready to take up a different role. “I think I took a sort of break after ‘Thrones’ where I said, ‘I don’t want to work for a year. I want to really kind of concentrate on myself. I’m really happy I did that,” he said.

Kit Harington on Playing Black Knight in ‘Eternals’

Harington made his MCU debut in Eternals as Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, cast alongside prominent names including Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden. If you’re well acquainted with the legend of the Black Knight, you know how he lost his glory when he turned villain. After being gravely wounded, the Black Knight falls in battle and passes his magical sword down to his nephew, Whitman. He sets Whitman on a mission to restore glory to the Black Knight name.

Unlike the superhero role he turned down, Harington said Whitman felt right for him. The character’s immortality sold him on the role. He felt he could relate to Whitman and execute the role with ease.

What’s the Future of Black Knight and Harington in the MCU?

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington wearing a suit and standing in front of a golden wall
Kit Harington | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Whitman is the third reincarnation of the original Black Knight. From previous comics, we can see that Whitman has a rich history. He featured in The Defenders and was involved in the Avengers-Defenders War. Marvel fans hope to see more of Whitman, especially since he’s portrayed by an outstanding actor.

Although he’s just a mortal, Whitman’s lineage sets his character up for longevity. He was previously possessed by his forefather, Sir Percy and whose spirit travels back in time to possess former Black Knights. Harington said he’s not sure whether the character proceeds or not, but he’s also hopeful. 

Kit Harington is definitely a household name in Hollywood and is only growing more prominent. If his Eternals role is acclaimed, it will set him up for a bright future in the comic world. Perhaps even a solo Black Knight series. In the meantime, all we can do is speculate, but seeing how well Harington’s career has faired, we can expect greatness. In the actor’s own words, “And hopefully, I think this is the tip of the iceberg for my character. I hope.”

RELATED: ‘Eternals’ Star Kit Harington Once Chose the DCEU Over the Marvel Cinematic Universe