Kit Harington ended his eight-season run as Jon Snow on Game of Thrones more than two years ago. But the HBO fantasy series will always be a big part of his life. After all, that’s where he met his wife, Rose Leslie.
While reflecting on the experience during a recent interview, Harington revealed that he reached a major revelation about Game of Thrones when he went to “take a pee” during season 2.
Kit Harington checked into rehab before the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale
Just days before the Game of Thrones series finale aired in May 2019, Harington checked into a Connecticut rehab facility to deal with mental health issues and alcohol addiction.
“Things that have happened to me since Thrones ended, and that were happening during Thrones, were of a pretty traumatic nature, and they did include alcohol,” Harington told The Times UK. “You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person, you feel like you are a shameful person. And you feel that there’s no way out, that’s just who you are.”
The 34-year-old explained that getting sober is the process of telling yourself that you can change. One of Harington’s favorite things he’s learned recently is that the expression “a leopard doesn’t change its spots” is completely false. Instead, Harington says “a leopard actually does change its spots.”
The ‘Game of Thrones’ star went through serious bouts of depression
Harington says that learning he could change was “the most beautiful thing” and “it really helped.” He explained that he clung to the idea that he could “make this huge, fundamental change” in who he was and how he went about his life.
“I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things,” Harington confessed. “Maybe [speaking about this will] help someone, somewhere. But I definitely don’t want to be seen as a martyr or special. I’ve been through something; it’s my stuff. If it helps someone, that’s good.”
Kit Harington had a major revelation when he went to ‘take a pee’ during season 2
Looking back on the series, Harington says there is one singular moment that stands out the most. And it happened when he was taking a pee break while filming in Iceland during season 2.
“I remember shooting up on this incredible glacier in Iceland, and I went off to take a pee, just in… somewhere in the wilds of Iceland,” Harington told Sirius XM’s Jess Cagle in a recent interview.
“And I just looked out over this glacier and I thought, ‘God, I got the best job in the world.’ And that always sticks out to me because if I’m ever feeling grumpy about my lot, which, believe me, I can do amazingly, I think of that. And I think, ‘Now you’ve got a pretty special job.’”
He blames ‘Game of Thrones’ for his mental health issues
The role of Jon Snow on Game of Thrones was Harington’s first TV acting credit, and he landed the job in his early 20s. Harington believes that the “nature” of the violent, intense, and emotional series is what broke him. He says that making the decision to “really concentrate” on himself made him “really happy.”
He took a break from acting for a year, but when he was ready to go back to work the pandemic hit. However, he will be appearing in Eternals later this year — which was filmed before Hollywood was shut down. And, he was also able to shoot an episode of Modern Love for season 2.
Kit Harington is learning to be proud of ‘Game of Thrones’
Even though not everyone was thrilled with how Game of Thrones ended, Harington notes that the series had “a real cultural impact.” And, it’s something that he’s “really proud” to be a part of. However, it wasn’t always that way.
“Part of the journey since it finished was just becoming proud of that show, you know, not running away from it and not running away from what it was and who I played in it, but just owning it and being proud of everything about it really,” Harington said.
Season 2 of Modern Love is now playing on Amazon Prime Video. Eternals is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 5, 2021. All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.