What Is ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington’s Real Name? It May Surprise You

We all know Kit Harington for his role as the beloved Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones. But how much do you actually know about the actor himself?

Join us as we dive into everything you need to know about the man who perfectly portrayed the honorable lord of Winterfell — starting with his real name.

Kit Harington
Kit Harington on the red carpet at an award show in September 2019 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Kit Harington’s real name

Harington was born as Christopher Catesby Harington on Dec. 26, 1986, to a playwright mother and a businessman father. His name was inspired by the famed playwright and poet Christopher “Kit” Marlowe, according to Mental Floss.

Growing up, Harington lived in London, England before moving to Worcestershire when he was 11 (via Worcester News). He took an interest in acting three years later after seeing the play Waiting for Godot and chose to develop his skills at Worcester Sixth Form College school, per Metro.

At 18, Harington moved back to London to attend drama school. He enrolled at the Central School of Speech and Drama and graduated from the institution in 2008. In his final year there, he secured a starring role in a production of War Horse — a part that earned him attention from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

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Kit Harington’s career

After seeing him in War Horse, the creators invited Harington to audition for a fantasy series that would become the pop culture behemoth Game of Thrones.

Reflecting on the audition in an interview with Rolling Stone, Weiss said he remembered thinking, “This is what Jon Snow looks like,” and told Benioff, “Please let this kid be good.”

It turns out that he was amazing. “It wasn’t a studied thing – some kind of actor who practices brooding in the mirror – it was a capacity to say a lot without saying a lot,” Benioff said of Harington’s performance at the audition.

After landing the role of Jon Snow, Harington made his debut on Game of Thrones in its inaugural season in 2011 and became a fan-favorite. His performance earned Harington several award nods, including a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

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Speaking about his success to Worcester News, Harington said it was just a matter of luck.

“It worked out for me and all the right things happened at the right time,” he explained.

Game of Thrones continued for eight seasons before its conclusion in 2019.

Kit Harington now

Since Game of Thrones wrapped, Harington has continued to build his resume, which includes work on movies such as 2019’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Next up, he is slated to appear in the Marvel film The Eternals (2021) alongside stars such as Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and others.

Beyond his professional career, Harington has also said he is looking forward to starting a family with his wife, fellow Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie. The pair reportedly began dating in 2012 before getting engaged in 2017 and marrying a year later.

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