For roughly the past three months, to fill the time until Game of Thrones returns to the air sometime next spring, the world has been playing a game called “Make Kit Harington Mess Up and Admit That Jon Snow Will Still Appear on the Show.” Well, I hope you’re happy, world: It appears that Harington has finally gone and done it.
Mr. Harington, as you are no doubt aware, is a 28-year-old English actor with brooding good looks and long, dark hair who is contractually obligated to say he is no longer appearing on Game of Thrones despite much evidence to the contrary. Normally, this kind of thing would not be a problem. And, by normally, I mean any previous period of the Earth’s history, between when single-celled organisms first appeared in the planet’s primitive oceans right up to the point when human beings started regularly using the Internet. Those were innocent times and simpler times, before anyone could buy a remote-controlled drone and fly it over film sets.
It must be weird for Kit, who, more than any other person involved in the production of the show, bears the responsibility for selling the Jon-is-dead line to a world that is by and large skeptical. It must be stressful to be hounded across multiple continents, for every word and mannerism to be parsed for clues, for the length of your hair to be constantly eye-measured by strangers and documented on blogs. I feel for the guy. I feel as bad for Kit Harington as I have ever felt for a rich, famous, and handsome person, because it’s obvious the dude is just worn down by having to keep this secret that no one at all believes.
In a recent interview in the Belgian magazine Humo, Harington admits to being frustrated at only being offered emo-boy-with-sword roles. So much so that he had to tell his agent to stop pitching them to him. He talks about having to avoid Internet fan sites, lest their comments wound him. He talks about the intense physical and mental grind of working for six months out of the year on Thrones. And he seemingly inadvertently admits to Jon Snow not being in-the-ground-dead. Which, again, everyone already knew. It’s just that we all took a weird sort of pleasure from making Kit, in particular, squirm. Be free, young Harington.
Translated by the redditor the_narc_died from the original Dutch:
“… I had to pass on amazing parts because I was attached to Game of Thrones. So the show is like a double-edged sword to me: I owe a lot to it, but at the same time it has almost completely drained me. Oh well, I try not to think about it too much. The important thing is that I now know exactly how long I am still under contract, and in the meantime—”
How many more seasons would that be?
“Nice try [laughs]. I can’t talk about that. Let’s just say that Game of Thrones will remain a part of my life for a while, I’ll probably be in my thirties when it’s over. One thing’s for sure: The day I’m no longer on Thrones is the day I’ll bury myself in movie projects [laughs].”
All told, there was roughly a two- or three-week period right after the finale aired when it was at least plausible that Jon Snow was really dead. “I’m not coming back,” Harington told Entertainment Weekly in a piece that went up mere minutes after the final episode of the season. And, though no one believed it, we all respected his willingness to toe the company line.
That esprit de corps lasted until July, when Harington was photographed in Belfast, where much of the show is filmed, getting off the same flight as Tom Wlaschiha, who plays the assassin Jaqen H’ghar. Earbuds in, manbun in full flower, Kit strode with a weary-but-determined air about him that seemed to say “Is this really what my life is going to be like now?” Yes, dude.
Now, though, it appears Harington has finally decided to be free. It must feel good. It only took numerous photographs of him being in Northern Ireland and at various filming locations, pictures of him at Wimbledon still with the long hair, drone footage of future scenes that he is known to take part in, and the accrued skepticism of the entire world.
RIP, Jon Snow Is Dead, June 2015–September 2015.