Kit Harington discusses the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale and the choices Jon Snow made before his final exit in the last scene…
For eight seasons, Kit Harington had to learn what made Jon Snow tick, which is why it was easier for him to understand the choices the character made in the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’.
In those last six episodes, Jon was in love with Daenerys Targaryen before finding out that she was actually his aunt when he discovered that his real parents were Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Still, Jon stuck by Daenerys’ side even if he could no longer share her bed but the distrust between them only grew deeper as her thirst for conquest and vengeance became stronger than her desire to do what was right.
In the end, Jon plunged a dagger through Daenerys’ heart to prevent her from becoming what she feared most — a Targaryen who ruled by fire and blood — and a queen who would ultimately threaten his real family with the Starks.
“It’s that horrible conflict in a relationship: “Do I stay or do I go?” We’ve all been through it at some point … except this one involves a knife, “Harington said when speaking with the Hollywood Reporter. “So, the stakes are even higher. But that’s the way I looked at it: “Do I leave my lover?” It was the same kind of thing between Jon and Ygritte [Rose Leslie] earlier in the series, betraying someone he loves for the greater good. But what it really comes down to, the real crux of it, is the decision is made when she puts it between her and his family.
“Jon essentially sees it as Daenerys or Sansa and Arya, and that makes his mind up for him. He choose blood over, well, his other blood. But he chooses the people he has grown up with, the people his roots are with, the North. That’s where his loyalties lie in the end. That’s when he puts the knife in.”
No matter the parents who gave birth to him, Jon was always most loyal to the Starks who raised him and that played a major part in his decision to end Daenerys’ tyrannical reign before she got even more powerful, which would then make her a greater threat to Sansa, Arya and the rest of his family in the North.
“It was said a long time ago, and I agree with it, that Thrones really is about dysfunctional families. It’s about mothers, brothers and sisters, but it’s also about how far your blood will stretch in your decision making,” Harington said. “That’s the ultimate choice Jon is left with. He’s faced with someone he loves as his lover — who he is related to — but his loyalty is with the people and the part of the world where his roots are, the people who raised him.
“As much as he was an outcast from that group as a bastard, and even though Jon became the legitimate heir to the throne, he will always be of the North. He’ll always be a bastard of the North. He’s always done the honorable thing, and Tyrion [Peter Dinklage] appeals to that: “Do the honorable thing. Do the right thing. Do the hard thing, but do the right thing.” At the end of it, it’s beyond honor for Jon. It’s his family.”
When the series ended, Jon was sentenced to live out his days as a member of the Night’s Watch who would serve at what remained of The Wall but he didn’t stay there long as he soon rode north with the Free Folk alongside his good friend Tormund Giantsbane.
According to Harington, suspicions about Jon Snow’s ending were absolutely true — that he abandoned the punishment he was handed for killing Daenerys and ultimately chose to live out the rest of his days north of the Wall with the people who always treated him as one of their own.
“I loved it,” Harington said about Jon Snow’s ending. “When I read it, that bit really made me cry. What really made me cry was on the paper: “End of Game of Thrones.” But as far as an ending for Jon Snow, this character that I loved for so many years and had grown so close to, and had meant so much to me … seeing him go beyond the Wall back to something true, something honest, something pure with these people he was always told he belongs with — the Free Folk — it felt to me like he was finally free.
“Instead of being chained and sent to the Wall, it felt like he was set free. It was a really sweet ending. As much as he had done a horrible thing [in killing Daenerys], as much as he had felt that pain, the actual ending for him was finally being released.”
Harington is currently up for an Emmy award for his portrayal as Jon Snow during the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ with the ceremony scheduled for September 14.