Now that GoT is coming to an end, Kit Harington talks with Michele Manelis about Season 7, his love/hate struggle with acting, and his appreciation for a good red wine.
How will you feel when you finally leave Jon Snow behind?
Whenever I finish shooting the last episode, I don't know how emotional it's going to be but it's going to be really strange. Thrones has been with me throughout all of my 20s. It's been a journey, a strange journey. It's remarkable having come into a show not having done any previous work in television or film, and it becoming this crazy-big, cultural phenomenon. I think I am in a unique position. I don't think it's happened to too many people, ever.
What can you reveal about this season and subsequent finale?
For Jon? Well, he's got problems to work out, and that is the same across the board for everyone. We pick up where we left off. Everyone has their same issues and their same problems. No one is in a good place at the start of this season, no one is happy. But then again, when is anyone happy in Game of Thrones?
How are your costumes this season?
Oh, it's so uncomfortable this year. Usually it's all right, but this year it changed and the King of the North costume is essentially a heavy leather duvet with another mat of leather on top. And with the swords and everything, wearing that all day as it all sits on your shoulders, it adds another 20 kilos. I complained about it all year. And they did nothing.
How has Jon evolved over the years?
Well, he's not the kind of mopey teenager-type anymore. He's more of a man on a mission.
How will the last men - and women - standing commemorate the end of an era? Will you be like The Lord of the Rings cast and get tattoos?
Since Season One, there have been seven or eight of us who have made it through. If those seven or eight of us make it through to the final season, Dan and David [D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the show's creators] and I will get the same tattoo. I am going to make them both go first, because I swear they won't do it. So maybe I will commemorate GoT by getting a tattoo. That's something that we have to figure out.
What about souvenirs from the show?
There is only one souvenir, and I said at the end of Season One, "I want my sword." That sword is now worth a few hundred thousand pounds and I don't think I am getting it, but I am still hinting heavily so I might get a replica of it. But that is what I want.
What did your parents do while you were growing up?
My dad ran corporate events and my mum was a playwright and a creative writing teacher. My father has one of the biggest personal libraries I have ever seen, he is a huge reader and so is Mum. So books and going to the theatre and writing were in my life from a very early age. I was taken to the theatre once a week when I was young, which, I think either makes you love or hate theatre and it made me love it. My brother, on the other hand, hated it.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I didn't think that I wanted to be an actor until later on but then I read a school report recently and I said when I was 11 years old that I wanted to be an actor. And that was something I blanked out about. I thought I wanted to be a journalist, a war correspondent. It's funny for me to look right back and realise that that's a false memory, and in reality, I wanted to be an actor at a very early age.
Did you ever think you'd made the wrong decision?
Yes. I have days when I go home and I think I don't want to do this anymore and when Thrones is done, I am done and I am not going to do it anymore. I say to myself, "I want to quit! I want to quit!" But then I don't know what else I would do. I love acting and I can only hope I try to get better at it and hope that it stays available to me so I can keep trying to do that.
What don't you like about it?
Acting has caused a lot of discomfort at times. I am bad at watching myself. I remember the first time that I had to watch myself I nearly cried. I thought I was so much better than I was on screen, I thought I sounded different and I thought I was doing something different and that's been a struggle since that first time watching myself. At the end of the day, I love it and I am very fortunate to be able to do it. It pays me well, so I think I would be mad to throw it away. I go to work each day not feeling like it's work.
How do you relax? Do you like wine? What do you like to drink?
It's red wine for me. I like a full-bodied red wine. I have got into barolo recently. That, with a good homemade beef bourguignon, that combination is amazing.
What's been the best thing about being on Game of Thrones?
Meeting my girlfriend, Rose Leslie [who played Ygritte]. That has been the greatest gift of all.
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