Why Kit Harington Had to Use a Body Double For THAT Scene on ‘Game of Thrones’

The eight-season run of Game of Thrones featured a world with plenty of violence and debauchery. In the midst of it all, numerous actors bared all on camera for a multitude of different reasons.

But for star Kit Harington, showing off his naked bum during season 3 wasn’t an option. Instead, he used a body double in THAT scene for a very specific reason.

Game of Thrones Kit Harington
Kit Harington | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

‘Game of Thrones’ was Kit Harington’s first TV acting credit

Before he landed the role of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, the only credits Harington had on his resume were two theatre roles from London’s Central West End. Harington starred in War Horse in 2008 and 2009, and in Posh in 2010.

Despite his lack of experience, Harington was able to snag a leading role in what would become the biggest TV show on the planet. It made him a star almost overnight, but he told GQ in 2014 that he never saw himself as a leading man.

“I didn’t really think I’d be a leading man in any respect whatsoever,” Harington confessed. “At drama school in my third year I was resigned to the fate of being Young Male Rape Victim No. 2. That was the kind of category I was put in. I’ve got a very baby face underneath all of this fuzz.”

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His baby face, though, was a big factor in Harington getting the role. At the beginning of George R. R. Martin’s books, Jon Snow is around the age of 14. This is how the showrunners asked him to play the character in the pilot.

But when he tried to pass as a teenager while being in his early 20s, it didn’t work. Producers told Harington that he was too clean cut and he needed to grow his hair and beard.

The Jon Snow look was in the actor’s contract

When Harington said “yes” to the role of Jon Snow, he had no idea that it would lock him into a specific look for the next decade. But, that’s exactly what happened. Harington’s long locks and beard became so popular that they ended up in his contract.

The cast and crew shot Game of Thrones during the second half of every year. No matter what projects Harington was involved with during the first half of the year, he was contractually obligated to show up on the GOT set looking like Jon Snow.

“It does keep you restricted,” he said at the time. “I can’t go off and play a U.S. Marine.”

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Harington wasn’t comfortable with all of the attention he received due to his looks, and he hated talking about his appearance. During the early days of GOT, he tried to deflect a question about his hair by telling the interviewer that his secret to the Jon Snow look was not washing his hair.

He later acknowledged that it was “kind of true” because he didn’t want Jon to have “flowing locks.”

“I like it to look greasy and medieval,” he explained. “So it gets very tangled. By the end it’s pretty horrible.”

Kit Harington explains why he used a body double in THAT ‘Game of Thrones’ scene

Fans will remember that during season 3, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) lures Jon Snow into a cave and seduces him. Jon was seen naked from behind as he jumped into a rock pool. But, it wasn’t Harington in the shot. The actor says he used a body double for a very specific reason – “young male stupidity.”

“When it came down to it I had a broken ankle,” Harington explained. “So the only time you saw my ass, it wasn’t my ass.”

The actor broke his ankle about six weeks before shooting began. It happened after a night out in London, when he returned home and realized he’d left his keys inside of his apartment.

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Since he had climbed up to his second-floor window before, his liquid courage convinced him he could do it again. He couldn’t.

His roommate found him on the sidewalk in agony. Doctors were surprised that the way he broke his ankle didn’t end up breaking his hip and leg. Harington remembers being nervous about telling his agents, and he thought he had messed up his job. Luckily, they ended up shooting around the injury.

All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.