Saying goodbye is never easy – how are you feeling about the end of this chapter of your life?
Very emotional. The Thrones cast have been together over a seven or eight-year period. We've all changed, even our bodies have physically changed. I look back at who I was nine years ago when Thrones started and I get emotional thinking about that Kit from all those years ago. He's so different from me now. I remember when I'd go on a red carpet and there would be flashbulbs, it was a dreamlike experience. Now I take it for granted a bit.
What was the last table-read like?
There was a standing ovation and there were tears. I broke down. I just started sobbing and there were a lot of people that were exactly the same. I almost get teary now even thinking about it.
It looks like the prequel is going happen. What do you know about it?
It's different. I think what they're doing with the prequel is very wise because they're treating it as something completely separate. I know nothing about it by the way but I do know that it doesn't have the same creative team, it has different showrunners. I think stylistically they will probably take a lot from Game of Thrones but I believe it's in a completely different period of time.
What advice would you give the actors going into it?
If it's anything like the journey we went through, I'd say to them, "You're about to have the best time of your life." The great thing about Thrones was that we didn't expect anything. We found ourselves in this fantasy world in the first season and we were thinking, "Oh, this is just never going to fly." So you never know. I think they have to enjoy it as a fresh new show. We should all enjoy it as a fresh new show and not make comparisons.
How do you relax? Do you meditate?
Well, I used to go and smoke all the time, that was my meditation but I had to quit. It was an ultimatum from my then-fiancee [now wife, Rose Leslie].
So Rose is a good influence on you?
What was it like for Rose to see you in an intimate scene with Emilia Clarke [Daenerys Targaryen] in the last season?
Well it's odd isn't it? Emilia, myself and Rose are all very good friends. Those scenes are part of your job because you're an actor but it's still weird. Usually when you do those scenes it's with someone you don't know well but in this case, Emilia and I had been best friends over a seven-year period before we had to kiss. It's just strange.
And what about when Rose [The Good Fight] does a love scene? How comfortable are you watching her?
I don't think it's ever comfortable. I went to see a movie she did called Honeymoon where she spends half the movie snogging another one of my friends, Harry Treadaway. I sat there and about five minutes into the movie I had to close my eyes. Then I realised I was sitting between Harry and her and I was thinking, "This is awful, this is awful. I'm watching this movie where they play a couple on a honeymoon." So, it's never pleasant.
So you had to give up smoking. What about drinking?
I like a full-bodied red wine. A good Barolo. The best thing is a homemade beef bourguignon with a glass of barolo. Amazing.
Looking back on your journey into celebrity – is there anything you'd do differently?
Fame is a really odd situation to be in. There's no point in really thinking in the sense of what would I have done differently. To be honest, there are times when I've been a prick and I've been egotistical and got wrapped up in myself. But I've always had people around me who've been truthful with me. So no, there's not much I'd change because the mistakes I've made in the world I found myself in have made me who I am. And today, in this moment, I'm happy with who I am. There's a lot that the notoriety of the show has brought but it's all been part of the journey and I don't think anything can really prepare you for something like this.
What kinds of roles are you looking to do now?
Strangely - and I think this may be because of the head space I'm in at the moment, I want to do a comedy, maybe because there's almost nothing comedic about Jon Snow. There really isn't. I wasgiven a couple of jokes this year and it just didn't feel right, because he's not a humorous person. So now I really want to go and do something farcical and ridiculous and just excise all the morbid stuff from my life.
For more insight and analyse on this week's episode of Thrones, download The Worst Game of Thrones Podcast in the World from iHeartRadio or listen here.
MORE THOUGHTS ON THRONES:
• Emilia Clarke on Game of Thrones: Season eight will blow fans minds
• TimeOut predictions: Who will win Game of Thrones?
• Behind-the-scenes of Game of Thrones' epic press day
Game of Thrones screens Mondays at 1pm on Sky Soho, with repeat screenings at 8.30pm, and is available to stream on Neon.