Kit Harrington Says His "Darkest Period" Was When Game of Thrones Became a Hit

Marissa G. Muller

The exact moment that Game of Thrones became a hit is hard to pin down, but for Kit Harrington it's easier to identify. According to the actor, who plays Jon Snow on the HBO show, that time was his "darkest period." Ahead of the eighth and last season of the show, which premieres April 14, Harrington opened up about the toll that its success took on him.

“My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon, when he died and came back,” he told Variety in a recent profile. “I really didn’t like the focus of the whole show coming onto Jon—even though it was invalidating my problem about being the weak link because things were about Jon.”

In Harrington's words, “it wasn’t a very good time in my life.”

“I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable,” he said, “I had a shaky time in my life around there—like I think a lot of people do in their 20s.... When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f—ing terrifying.”

When Harrington realized he was having trouble coping with the newfound attention on him, he turned to therapy. “That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people,” he said. “I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f—ing act.”

It wasn't until well after he became a household name that he was able to finally enjoy the moment. “It’s like when you’re at a party, and the party’s getting better and better. Then you reach this point of the party where you’re like, it’s peaked,” he said. “I don’t know what I could find more from this. You realize, well, there isn’t more. This is it. And the ‘more’ that you can find is actually in the work rather than the enjoyment surrounding it.”

If it sounds like Harrington is ready to move on, which he's hinted at before, he is; but he didn't expect it would be so emotional to do. “[It was] a huge heave of emotion. I’m just blubbing,” he said of the end of filming the series. “The end of Jon’s journey, whatever that may be … I was satisfied with how his story ended.” On the last day, specifically, Harrington remembered, “I took off the costume, and it felt like my skin was being peeled away. I was very emotional. It felt like someone was shedding me of something.”

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Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in Los Angeles, California, March 2013.
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Kit Harington at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in London, England, March 2015.
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Kit Harington at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in San Francisco, California, March 2015.
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Kit Harington and Rose Leslie at the premiere of Game of Thrones season seven in Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in San Francisco, California, March 2013.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in London, England, March 2015.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in Seattle, Washington, March 2013.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in San Francisco, California, March 2015.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six in Hollywood, California, April 2016.
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the premiere of Game of Thrones season seven in Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
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Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in Hollywood, California, March 2013.
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Alfie Allen at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in London, England, March 2015.
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Alfie Allen at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six in Hollywood, California, April 2016.
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Alfie Allen at the premiere of Game of Thrones season seven in Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
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Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark, at the launch party for the first season of Game of Thrones in London, England, February 2012.
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Isaac Hempstead Wright at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in Hollywood, California, March 2013.
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Isaac Hempstead Wright at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six in Hollywood, California, April 2016.
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Isaac Hempstead Wright at the premiere of Game of Thrones season seven in Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
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Jacob Anderson, who plays Greyworm, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season four in London, England, March 2014.
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Jacob Anderson at the premiere of Game of Thrones season seven in Los Angeles, California, July 2017.
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Richard Madden, who played the late Robb Stark, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season three in Hollywood, California, March 2013.
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Iwan Rheon, who plays the vile Ramsay Bolton, at the premiere of Game of Thrones season five in London, England, March 2015.
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Iwan Rheon and Sophie Turner at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six in Hollywood, California, April 2016.
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