Kit Harington’s Jon Snow managed to make it through the battle at Castle Black in Sunday’s “Game of Thrones,” and like his character, the actor ended the episode exhausted.
“It was two solid weeks of night shoots and you get into a very strange headspace when you’re doing that because you’re getting home at 6, 7 in the morning when it’s getting light and then you sleep all day. … Humans aren’t nocturnal creatures, so we all got very disorientated and quite emotional by the end, really,” Kit told AccessHollywood.com. “I don’t know whether it’s the emotions of characters leaving the show and actors that you’ve worked with for a long time leaving, but it was quite — I remember Richard [Madden, who played Robb Stark] talking about The Red Wedding and how kind of emotional he got during that, just because of the intensity of shooting that many scenes, that many night shoots and it was the same for us.”
In Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” several characters exited the series including Jon Snow’s love, the Wildling Ygritte, a character played to fullest by Scottish actress Rose Leslie.
“That was pretty much my last scene that I filmed. It was also Rose’s last scene, which was really nice ‘cause we’d gone through a lot together in the series, and as characters and as actors, and so it was nice to say goodbye to her in that way — that we got to share that last scene together,” Kit said. “And very emotional. You grow very close to your fellow actors on a show like this where you’re working so closely together and you become very, very good friends.
“It’s a sort of really horrible moment saying goodbye to someone on the show, like Mark [Stanley] as well, who plays Grenn. I’ve worked so closely with him over the last four years that the fact that he’s not going to be in next season is really horrible,” Kit said.
While Grenn lost his life defending the Night’s Watch from a giant who was trying to infiltrate Castle Black through the gate in The Wall, Ygritte died after being shot with an arrow by the youngster Jon took under his wing after the Wildlings attacked the boy’s village earlier in Season 4.
“The really genius moment about it was the decision to let Olly kill her. Olly shoots her in the back with an arrow and Jon sees that the boy that he’s mentored the whole season is the person that kills his only love,” Kit said.
“I really enjoyed filming that. It’s a weird mixture, isn’t it, because you don’t enjoy it and you do enjoy it and I’m hoping that it’s gonna have the payoff that viewers want. I don’t know, it’s the only time we ever used slo-mo in the whole f***ing ‘Game of Thrones,’ so it’s gotta mean something, right?” he added.
No dancing in Belfast until dawn, or drinking until closing in a pub, after Rose’s last scene as Ygritte, there was a simple celebratory drink on set.
“We popped some champagne back at basecamp. Me, David Benioff, Rose, I think Kristofer Hivju, [who plays Tormund Giantsbane] was there. … It was kind of one of those huge weights lifted off your shoulder moment,” Kit said. “You sort of exhaled. … You always think you’re gonna wanna go out and celebrate and party, but actually, we were so drained, we were so tired that we had like a couple glasses of champagne and then like passed the f*** out and sort of addressed everything the next day when we were traveling back to London.”
“Game of Thrones” concludes its fourth season, this Sunday at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.
-- Jolie Lash