‘Winter is here,’ Kit Harington warned us, before ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

Oh, Kit Harington, you were there, and I was there, and you never said a thing. Certainly not during our chat on camera in March, when you shook your head over the high body count of fellow “Game of Thrones” cast members and smiled just as if you didn’t know you were joining them.

But not even off camera when I joked about all the hair rumors — how you had been spotted with short hair, prompting some to believe your character, Jon Snow, was dead.

“Really?” you said, looking at me as if I should really find better things to do than read GoT blogs.

But maybe there were hints, as there always are when something has ended even though no one says the word. You spoke of Jon ruefully, as if he would never learn the ways of the world, and compared him to his father, who also died for his beliefs.


It’s easy to read between the lines when you know what you’re looking for.

“Winter is here,” you said of Season 5. And now we know, you weren’t kidding.

Here are a few other bits and pieces from our conversation before the knives came out:

Will Jon Snow ever get off the Wall?


I don’t know. The one time he could have left — there were a couple times — he could have gone down to try to avenge his family, and he could have left with Ygritte, and he didn’t, so it’s going to be pretty hard to tear him away from the Night’s Watch now. He’s grown there. ... It’s going to have to be some sizable event to drive him south.

Has winter come for Jon Snow?

I think it comes this season. It’s a phrase, more a metaphor really. You’ll see winter arrive quite strongly this season. … If you watched the first episode, everyone is at the darkest place they’ve ever been in, their lowest point. It only gets darker from there.

What do you know and when do you know it in terms of your character?

The funny thing is that everyone involved in “Thrones” knows what’s going to happen before the actors do. So you turn up for your horse riding assessment, and Camilla, the horse mistress, is giving you knowing looks, and winks and suggestions because she’s had all the scripts and we never get them — we get them a couple weeks before we start.

This season that was just done was really fascinating; it drifted from the books. There were so many elements about it that were new. We had to sign off on things and hand back the sides at the end of the day. It all got very “Star Wars.”

Has anybody had to work backward from a death scene?

Yeah, I think people have, and it is a little bit annoying. Ideally, if you do die on “Thrones,” you want that to be the last scene you film, but it doesn’t always work like that.


Is this the season Jon Snow becomes a man?

This is the season he becomes a politician. He has to start thinking up here [head] and less in here [heart]. He has to learn to be a strict politician, he has to learn to be brutal, he has to learn to make huge sacrifices and give away some of his inherent goodness to get to where he wants to be. And I think that’s something his father wasn’t prepared to do.

No, and he dies for it.

And he died for it. And I think Jon’s slowly learning that.

Do you have a new ally, or are you a loner all the way through?

I think the cliché to attach to Jon is “It’s very lonely at the top.” Poor Jon. He’s always lonely.

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