Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows on television, a bona fide cultural phenomenon. The HBO adaptation’s surprising popularity started out as a great thing for all its stars, because who doesn’t want to be part of a hit series? But after 7 massive seasons, the hype surrounding Thrones continues to grow faster than one of Daenerys’ dragons. With that has come a legion of fans tracking every move of every cast member and endless requests for photos anywhere they go.
As far as Jon Snow actor Kit Harington is concerned, it’s all getting a little old. He recently shared his mild frustration with The Guardian:
Thronesmania is, he acknowledges, “bizarre and weird”. “Like, being in Spain and there being a crowd of 500, maybe 600 fans camped outside the hotel every day, and you have to get through them. It feels like being Bieber or something.” When Snow became the brooding heart-throb of the Thrones world, Harington became a kind of boyband pin-up, too. “Yeah,” he sighs. “I don’t particularly enjoy that.” He catches himself. He speaks of his “privilege” often and is acutely conscious of anything that sounds like he’s whining. “I don’t know. Do I? I’m glad I’ve experienced it, but that’s what I mean about it being eight years, then it’s done. You couldn’t go on for much longer. It’s a bit incessant.”
This isn’t the first time Harington has expressed what sounds like relief that his time working on Game of Thrones is coming to an end. And to be fair, the show has put Jon Snow and thus Kit Harington through the ringer with lots of scenes beyond the Wall (filmed in the cold Icelandic outdoors) and a massive battle per season for the past four seasons.
It’s enough to turn a man off period pieces, real or imagined. Harington’s wish list for gigs moving forward was pretty simple.
“No more swords, no more horses – and maybe I can cut my hair,” he told The Guardian. And then he ended up producing and starring in the BBC’s Gunpowder, which has swords, horses, and keeps Harrington in long locks. “Yeah. Hahaha. I always say things and end up backing down on them. It was weird, though, because I walked right into it. I pitched a TV show where I have long hair and a beard, and it got made. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to play swords and horses.”
Gunpowder may be a special exception, given that Kit Harington is a descendant of Gunpowder Plot ringleader Robert Catesby. It’s that familial connection that led him to champion the project and push the three-part mini-series into existence through his own production company. That kind of greenlighting power is a perk of being one the last men standing on Game of Thrones. The intense fan attention? Not so much.