Emmy contender chat: Kit Harington declares: Winter is upon us

Emmy contender chat: Kit Harington declares: Winter is upon us
The actor who portrays Jon Snow on the HBO series "Game of Thrones" joins us for a live chat.

If you thought Season 4 of "Game of Thrones" was tough on the bruised and brooding Jon Snow — friends dead, girlfriend dead, White Walkers imminent — things are about to get worse. And for a man still recovering from an attack that included, say it with me, giants on mammoths, that's saying something.

Kit Harington dropped by The Times studio having survived Monday's San Francisco premiere, where he got to see fellow cast members, many of whom he has never shared a scene with.

"There are people who have been around for seasons that I haven't even met," he said with a laugh.

And, yes, he says, the rumors are true. Season 5, which premieres on HBO on April 12, gets even darker, especially for Jon. "Everyone's at their lowest point," he said of the first episode. As for any particulars (Will Jon ever leave the Wall? Meet his mother? Stay loyal to the Watch?), well, he can't say. "HBO snipers are everywhere," he said. He did hint that Jon needs to decide what kind of man he really is. "He becomes a politician," Harington says, adding later: "It's lonely at the top."

Further than that he would not go, explaining that everyone is sworn to such secrecy, on set and off, that he is often the last to know what is going to happen to his character — the costume and set designers, his riding instructor, the grips all get earlier warning than he does.

And as for winter, well, whether one considers it as a metaphor or a weather system, it's well on its way. "Winter is here," he says, and it's his favorite season yet.