If you were hoping to get a glimpse of Kit Harington in one of the proposed prequel / spinoff shows that HBO is working on to continue expanding the universe of Game of Thrones, consider your hopes officially dashed. Harington has come out and said that, even though it was difficult to have to leave his time as Jon Snow behind, he’s not looking to return to any of the Seven Kingdoms any time soon.
It was emotional to leave the job definitely. But I wouldn’t say I was sad: if like me you go all the way back to the pilot of Game of Thrones that’s almost 10 years of your life – that’s really unusual in an actor’s career. It was a huge emotional upheaval leaving that family. But would I want to go back and do more? Not on your life.
Well, alright Kit, tell us how you really feel, why don’t you? While Kit Harington can be honest about the fact that he was “emotional” when it came time to finally leave his Game of Thrones “family” behind, he’s also very emphatic about the fact that he’s not interested it hopping back into the fantasy world created by George R.R. Martin.
OK, so I can admit that him dismissing the possibility of going back to the land of direwolves and wights with “not on your life” makes it sound like he had a bad time while working on Game of Thrones, but I seriously doubt that to be the case. As he said, he worked on the show for almost 10 years, if he were unhappy with any aspect of the working conditions or his storyline, certainly as one of the most recognizable and important parts of the series he would have been able to work something out with the producers. And, if not, he could have walked away knowing that his shortened time on Game of Thrones would still be likely to bring him awesome new opportunities.
So, I think two things are really at play here. One, when Harington signed on to star as Jon Snow he was just getting started as an actor. If his IMDB page is correct, Game of Thrones was actually his first filmed credit. Instead of being annoyed by major parts of his experience on the show, he probably just wants a chance to get out and explore what else he can do as an actor. Maybe he wants to try a Hallmark Christmas movie or, since pretty much all of the series was filmed in locations around Europe, he wants to take jobs that will let him work in other locales.
Also, being so closely associated with one character / genre can really be a double edged sword for actors. Away from his time on Game of Thrones, Harington has almost exclusively done historical and / or fantasy films and television shows that have often kept him in the heroic Jon Snow vibe. If he wants to flex his acting muscles a bit more, now that the show has wrapped up, it would be a good time to step away from those genres and try to shake the…ahem, Snow, off of himself. I’m sure he won’t forget about his time as Jon and what the role did for his career, but it makes total sense for him to want to distance himself from the show and any potential roles that wouldn’t allow fans (and directors, for that matter) to see him clearly as a totally different type of character.
Secondly, maybe ol’ boy is just tired. Doing a TV show is a lot of work. Even though Harington was part of an impressively large ensemble cast, work still probably involved a lot of long days on set which took up time that could have been spent with family, friends or working on other projects. He got married recently, and while his wife is also an actor who understands the time commitment involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if they want to hang out a bit before both of them are tied up on set for months on end. Not being a major part of the cast of a beloved TV show also means that he’ll have more time for other work. He can finally do that romantic comedy that he’s been dreaming of doing. (Fine, this might be what I hope he does soon, but you get my point.)
Seeing as how the Game of Thrones prequel that has moved along the furthest at this point is said to be taking place thousands of years before the story we all know and love began, though, it would be possible for Kit Harington to play a long lost ancestor of his original character. Of the several ideas that are being worked on, the one that has gotten a pilot order from HBO should deal with some intriguing aspects of the past that fans have been clamoring to get more information on.
Apparently, the (still untitled) prequel tale won’t feature King’s Landing, dragons or the Targaryen dynasty, of which we now know Jon Snow to be a part of. But, the series, which has already cast Naomi Watts in an important role, will deal with a period in history that sees the world shift from the Age of Heroes to “its darkest hour.” This means it sounds a lot like we’ll be treated to a vision of Westeros during the Long Night, that harsh winter that lasted an entire generation, and the show will, reportedly, also show fans “mysteries of the East,” old-timey Starks and the real origins of the White Walkers.
While we all wait to see if Kit Harington will stay true to his words to the BBC and stay far away from any future Game of Thrones prequels, the good news is that we still have Season 8 of the fantasy epic coming up, starting in April 2019, and it promises to be a doozy filled with death, blood, tears, disappointment, massive battles and probably some naked bodies.