Happiness is fleeting. Especially on Game of Thrones.
Heading into the HBO drama’s penultimate season, “Jon is in a weird place,” Harington, 30, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “There are White Walkers knocking at the door. The world is in disarray. People are dead. And yet, on a personal level, he’s become legitimate in a way he never thought possible.”
The Brit, dating former costar Rose Leslie — she played his love interest, Wildling Ygritte — takes Us to Westeros.
Us Weekly: How does Jon’s new responsibility motivate his actions in season 7?
Kit Harington: It weighs heavily on him. At the end of season 6, he’s in a really good place because he’s King in the North. At the end of season 5, he was dead. So this is a huge turnaround. But it’s not easy. He has a lot on his plate. He’s in charge of a whole region of the world. He has to fight a lot of people within his own ranks. Don’t expect to see skippy, fun-loving Jon.
Us: What are the side effects of dying and coming back to life?
KH: There are a lot of physical side effects. He’s got constant diarrhea [Laughs]. You don’t see that side of things on the show! No, the major side effects for him are psychological. He’s one of the few people who has gone to the other side and come back. Now, he has to make the most of life. He has to save people. There is no afterlife for him.
Us: How will he react if he learns his true identity?
KH: Jon is quite hard to shock. Think of what this man has been through. He’s seen a Night King raise a horde of dead men 100,000 strong, and he’s come back to life himself. As far as finding out his true identity, if he has one, it’s low on the list of things he’s looking to find out.
Us: So what does he want then?
KH: To find his siblings, save his friends and bring stability to the world. This is what makes Jon Snow genuinely good: If he could find out his identity or bring peace to the world, he’d choose peace. He wouldn’t even think about it. He’s very selfless. He’s a lover.
Us: Now in power, do the White Walkers fear Jon?
KH: They’re intrigued by him. There’s a moment where the Night King looks at Jon from the top of a cliff, and you get the feeling that there’s something he doesn’t like about Jon. It’s terrifying. They’re definitely out to get him.
Us: After all these years apart, would a Stark family reunion be bittersweet?
KH: I think it would be the same family dynamics just with people who have grown up. Sansa and Jon reunite and within a half an hour, they’re arguing like they used to. Arya [Maisie Williams] and Jon would be very caring toward each other. I think he would be worried about Bran [Isaac Hempstead Wright], if I’m honest. He last saw Bran when he was a little kid and in a coma. Now, Bran’s seeing s--t. I think it would be intense.
Us: What could potentially tear apart Jon and Sansa?
KH: Sibling rivalry. Or Littlefinger [Aidan Gillen]. He still has a strange connection to Sansa.
Us: Will they compete for the Iron Throne?
KH: They would have to go head-to-head for the North first.
Us: OK, be honest: Who is the best fit for the throne?
KH: Tyrion [Peter Dinklage]. He has his head and heart in the right place. He’s also prepared to do bad things to keep people safe. Jon is probably the most moral person, but that’s not the best person to lead.
Us: How do you keep spoilers safe?
KH: The hard thing is doing interviews like this. I’ve become a bit of an expert at it. The fun bit is leading people astray. You pretend to give away a spoiler.
Us: Have you been lying this whole time?
KH: I might have been! Or I could have been telling the truth. No one knows. It becomes a game to try and not give away things. Or if I do, I try and make it seem like lies.
Us: Feeling very manipulated right now...
KH: I’ve become very good at it [Laughs]!
Us: Whose death has shocked you the most in the past six seasons?
KH: I still think Ned Stark [Sean Bean]. When I read the books, that was a game changer. That never happens in a classic hero’s journey. Kill the hero at the end of book one? After that, I don’t know. The show sells itself on surprise deaths. In a way, people should now be looking for the surprise death.
Us: Will viewers ever see Jon with another love interest?
KH: No, Ygritte is the only woman for Jon. Always. There will be no one else.
Us: Is it hard to fathom Thrones coming to an end?
KH: If you asked me between season 5 and 6, I would have been like, “This is mad. This can’t be my entire existence.” Now, I’m getting emotional about it. I’m going to miss this.
Us: How do you want to see Jon go out?
KH: I never want to predict it . If I tell you what my ideal scenario at the end of the show is, I feel like I would be cursing it. I’d just like to see Jon fulfill his dream of seeing his family and world safe. I can’t say if I make it through the season. But I do know where the end is for me.
Us: Will you snag anything from the set?
KH: My plan is to raid the place. I’m just going to steal everything!
Game of Thrones returns to HBO Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET.
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