Kit Harington has revealed he hated filming his dragon-riding scenes for the final series of Game Of Thrones – and that he he didn’t get to kill the Night King. The actor, who starred as Jon Snow from the start of the show in 2011 until the final series earlier this year, also said he loved his character’s ending – heading back to the North, leaving Bran behind as King – despite hugely divided opinion among fans.
Speaking to the media, Harington said his dragon scenes in the final Game Of Thrones series, which saw him riding the beasts for the first time, were even harder to film than the tough battles and gruesome deaths. He said his co-star Emilia Clarke, who played Mother Of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen, had been “moaning about it for seasons”, but he realised she wasn’t exaggerating when it came to shooting for himself.
“Emilia had been moaning about it for seasons, and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. You have not been through the mud in Northern Ireland. A buck in a nice warm room? Boo hoo’.But she was absolutely right. It was horrific. It’s not acting at all. It is not acting, it never will be acting, and it is not what I’d signed up for… It is very uncomfortable as a man.”
Speaking about his reaction to Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams) killing the evil Night King, one of the most anticipated deaths in the entire show, Harington said: “I was a bit p****d off, only because I wanted to kill the Night King! “I think I felt like everyone else did, in that it had been set up for a long time, and then I didn’t get to do it. But I was so happy for Maisie and Arya. I was secretly like, ‘I wanted to do that!’
“But it was a really great twist, and it tied up Maisie’s journey in a really beautiful way. Over the seasons, we’ve seen her build up these skills to become this hardened assassin, and she uses it all to kill our main antagonist.” Meanwhile, author George RR Martin, who wrote the original Song of Ice And Fire books that inspired the show, has also been speaking out about the final series.
He is still writing the final instalments of his novels, with Game Of Thrones the show having overtaken the published books – the last one released in 2011 – in its sixth season.
In an interview with The Observer, he said he felt the show had actually slowed him down. “I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down,” he said. “Having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there.” When asked whether the show’s ending affects his own, Martin said: “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all.”