Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington has opened up about the “mental health difficulties” he experienced during filming and after the show’s end. In his appearance on The Jess Cagle Show this week, the actor reveals he took a year off from acting once the show concluded, and discusses how working on the intense and violent HBO show took its toll on him off-camera.
“I went through some mental health difficulties after Thrones, and during the end of Thrones, to be honest,” he explains. “I think it was directly to do with the nature of the show and what I had been doing for years.”
Harington famously played the heroic Jon Snow in the fantasy series over the course of 62 episodes. He’s talked before about how the reception of his character in the beginning of the series affected him, namely when people called his Jon Snow “boring.” He also contended with the built-in pressures of playing such a prominent character. In 2019, it was reported that Harington checked into a mental health and wellness facility for “personal issues.”
After taking a much needed year off following GOT’s wrap up, Harington stepped into a lighter role in Amazon’s second season of Modern Love, based off The New York Times column of the same name. He’s to star in one of the many romantic storylines as Michael, a man who sparks an unexpected connection with a woman (played by Lucy Boynton) while on a train ride.
“Doing this Modern Love episode was a bit like, you don’t have to live in that intense place all the time. Why don’t you do something that takes the weight off?” Harington says. “Why don’t you do something fun? I think that was part of my thinking on this one.”
Despite being one of the most prominent characters in Game Of Thrones, Harington made it clear he would not be return to the role for any of the spinoff series, even before the original series reached its end. While he might not suit up as Jon Snow any time soon, he will appear as a different type of hero—the Black Knight—in Marvel’s forthcoming Eternals, directed by Chloé Zhao.