PHOTO: PETER LINDBERGH FOR JIMMY CHOO
The long-awaited new season of Game of Thrones returns this month, along with—thank goodness—the resurrected Jon Snow. Here are 25 tidbits of trivia on Kit Harington, the beautiful Brit who found stardom in that role, and, some would argue, the fantastic fable’s main attraction.
1. The reincarnation scene for the sixth season of GoT took “thousands upon thousands of takes,” the actor says. Eventually, “I kind of had to say, ‘I don’t know how else to do it now, guys.’”
2. He showed up for his original Game of Thrones audition with a black eye. The night before, he had gotten into a scuffle at a McDonald’s while defending his then-girlfriend’s honor and got punched in the face.
3. In real life, he’s been in a romantic relationship with Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte on Game of Thrones (who deflowered Jon Snow in the role).
4. One of his ancestors invented the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I, called “the John Harington.”
5. His other notable ancestors include Sir Richard Harington, the 12th Baronet Harington; Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville; and Sir William Molesworth, 6th Baronet.
6. He was born in London in 1986 to a businessman and a former playwright.
7. After graduating from London’s prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008, Harington immediately landed the lead role in War Horse on London’s West End.
8. Before going into acting, he originally wanted to become a journalist, a cameraman or a war correspondent.
9. He admitted to Elle magazine earlier this year that he always cries on a plane, elaborating, “There’s something romantic about being on a plane going somewhere, being at that altitude. I like a good cry every now and then. It releases something.”
10. It was his lifelong dream to be on Sesame Street, which he grew up watching. “It backfired on Mum, because I would want to stay home just to watch Sesame Street,” he admits.
11. Harington confessed to Jimmy Fallon that he had spilled the beans to a police officer about Jon Snow’s fate after season five in order to avoid getting a ticket.
12. He told GQ that having to maintain his unruly locks and facial hair precludes him from playing various other roles he might otherwise land. “I like it to look greasy and medieval, so it gets very tangled,” he said after confessing he forsakes shampoo. “It does keep you restricted. I can’t go off and play a US Marine.”
13. When asked in an interview if he would happily comply with “brandishing his manhood” onscreen, he replied, “I’m not saying. Because I don’t know. It would have to be fucking well-deserved.”
14. His real name is Christopher Catesby Harington, but he only found that out when he turned 11 because he had been called “Kit” all his life from birth.
15. He admits to being afraid of spiders but says his worst affliction is claustrophobia. “I’m mortally afraid of crowds,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “I panic.”
16. He plans to remain in television after the final season of Game of Thrones has aired, although he has also said, “I’ll enjoy the madness quieting a bit. I’d like a few years of relative obscurity.”
17. Harington told Esquire magazine he literally has to approve a new bobblehead design every day. “I’m not joking,” he told the magazine. “I’m asked, ‘Are you happy with how this looks?’ I’m like, ‘It’s a fucking bobblehead—what do you want me to say?’”
18. Harington is only five-foot-six.
19. Despite shooting the show in Iceland for years, Harington only knows one word in Icelandic: “Takk,” which means “thank you.”
20. He told Interview magazine that his go-to monologue for a last-minute audition is a speech from Henry V that Hal gives to the French messenger about tennis balls that he’s delivered.
21. Harington is currently working on a film called The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Kathy Bates, Bella Thorne and Susan Sarandon.
22. He is a horror movie buff and a big David Lynch fan.
23. However, video games scare him. “I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to computer games,” he has said.
24. In 2013, he won Actor of the Year at the Young Hollywood Awards, which celebrate the best emerging young talent in film, music and television.
25. Harington told CNN he’s interested in trying comedy “after Winter has come.” “I don’t really aim to get into that next big Oscar film,” he said. “That’s not really my route.”