“Game of Thrones” was committed to keeping Jon Snow’s fate a secret. The character was stabbed several times in the Season 5 finale, and despite knowing he would return, actor Kit Harington had to act as if he was leaving the set of the HBO drama for good. However, a select few got to know that Jon Snow was going to be resurrected in Season 6.
In his Entertainment Weekly cover story, Harington explains he had to tell a few key people in his life that he wasn’t unemployed even though producers told him not to. “I couldn’t keep it from them — my mum, dad and brother,” Harrington revealed. “I just said, ‘I am still in ‘Thrones,’ but don’t tell anyone.’ Because otherwise what you’re saying to your family is, financially, ‘This is where the money stops from ‘Thrones.’ ”
The actor was also allowed to tell one former cast member about the situation: Rose Leslie. The actress, who played Ygritte in “Game of Thrones” Seasons 2 — 4, is Harington’s girlfriend. “I told her from early on,” Harington explained. “In fact, [producer] Dan [Weiss] said to David [Benioff], ‘He’s going to tell Rose, isn’t he?’ She was allowed to know.”
Harington’s co-stars weren’t as privileged. He had to tell everyone he was leaving and make a big speech on his last day of filming. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, even wrote him a long goodbye letter. However, he couldn’t keep all of his co-workers in the dark. “I had to be honest with some people and say, ‘I can’t tell you what it is, but it’s not what it seems.’ I did end up letting people in, slowly.”
The 29-year-old’s family and girlfriend kept the secret. Jon Snow’s fate wasn’t leaked until a photo of him filming a scene was posted on the internet in September. Even then, fans didn’t know exactly how Jon would make his return. It wasn’t until episode 2 aired that it was finally confirmed that Jon Snow was dead and Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) resurrected him.
After filming her scenes with Harington, Van Houten had to join the lies as well. “It was difficult. From [the cast], from family and God knows how many people at conventions that have asked us,” she laughed to the Daily Beast. “We had to keep with a straight lie. And I don’t like lying, but it was definitely necessary.”
Jon Snow’s new lease on life raises a plethora of other questions. Find out how the character will change HERE.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO.