Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 ahead.
By the end of HBO’s mega-popular medieval fantasy epic Game of Thrones, Jon Snow AKA Aegon Targaryen has been through a lot. He’s had to kill two women he loved; was stabbed to death (and came back to life) because of an alliance he formed with a group of people reviled by those he worked with in the Night’s Watch; lost the father and mother who raised him and two of his brothers to the hardships of war; and even rejected his rightful lineage as king. And it looks like some of the pressure of being main protagonist to HBO’s most successful show of all time is spilling over into Snow actor Kit Harrington’s real life as well.
It was reported on Tuesday that Harington had checked himself into a wellness center to deal with increased levels of “stress and alcohol use ahead of Game of Thrones‘ finale,” which “really hit him hard,” according to a statement made by his rep to a report with Page Six. “Kit has decided to utilize this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues,” the rep said.
Harington has been at the center for nearly a month now, “undergoing psychological coaching, practicing mindful meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy to combat stress and deal with negative emotions at the facility.”
The 32-year-old actor has been open about how the stress from acting has affected him in past seasons of the show’s filming, especially when the focus began to shift to his character Jon Snow as the main protagonist. “When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f**king terrifying,” he said in an interview with Variety. “You get people shouting at you on the street, ‘Are you dead?’ At the same time you have to have this appearance. All of your neuroses — and I’m as neurotic as any actor — get heightened with that level of focus.”
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“What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms…or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.”
“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” he went on to say. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f**king act.”
Harington also has a message for critics excoriating Game of Thrones final season: “They can go f**k themselves,” he told Esquire.
“I know how much work was put into this,” he continued. “I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights, working or otherwise, people had on this show. Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down. Now if people feel let down by it, I don’t give a f**k — because everyone tried their hardest.”
We here at Celebgum wish Harington a speedy and efficient recovery process.
What do you think of Harington’s comments on Game of Thrones final season? Let us know in the comments.