It’s hard to believe that it’s finally here. We’re about three months away from the arrival of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, which returns in April and which HBO teased a bit of footage from during Sunday night’s Golden Globes. The footage was brief, but we got our first glimpse at key moments like the arrival of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in Winterfell, where Sansa Stark pledges her kingdom to the cause of the dragon queen.
Speaking of Jon Snow, the actor who portrays him has given an interview to GQ Australia that’s just now been published (Kit Harington actually participated in the interview this summer, shortly before filming his very last scene for the show). In it, Kit sounds at times exhausted but also valedictory, about having come so far with a TV franchise that will still be entertaining fans for years to come.
From his interview: “Everyone was broken at the end. I don’t know if we were crying because we were sad it was ending or if we were crying because it was so fucking tiring. We were sleep deprived … I remember everyone walking around towards the end going, ‘I’ve had enough now. I love this, it’s been the best thing in my life, I’ll miss it one day — but I’m done.'”
Elsewhere, Kit explains that it seemed at one point the final season of the show, which contains just six episodes that are long enough and splashy enough to feel like six separate movies, “seemed to be designed to break us.”
Before he took on the role that would see his character eventually elevated to the status of the King in the North, Kit Harington was 22 years old. Today, he’s 32. He’s been at this for nine years, and as the interview makes clear, his work on the show has included almost three dozen duels, 67 episodes, an unprecedented battle sequences, sex scenes, a death scene and tons more. For his final day on set, he smoked with his fellow thespians one last time and then gave up the cigarettes completely. Turning a page, and all.
“After the first season I would say to people, ‘We definitely won’t get a second season.’ Then after the second season, I went, ‘Definitely not a third, no.’ Everyone was, like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me, Kit? Of course we’re gonna get a third.'”
Kit went on to marry co-star Rose Leslie. He muses towards the end of the interview that their future kids would be able to watch the show and see how their parents got together, which is of course a nice thought. For now, he muses, the weight is off his shoulders. “It’s done now. I can be proud of it. We’ve got eight seasons, and they can sit on a bookshelf (as DVDs) at home ’til the end of time.”