Even though Game of Thrones is one of the most critically-acclaimed television series of all time, actor Kit Harington, who plays the flowingly-haired Jon Snow on the HBO blockbuster, wasn’t so sure about the show’s chances during the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards.
It wasn’t that Harington didn’t have confidence in all the hard work the cast and crew put into Season 7, quite the opposite in fact. But after taking a year off from the awards due to eligibility issues in 2017, the actor thought the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences might not have the show in the front of their minds when it was time to give the awards out. That idea turned out to be all for naught: Game of Thrones ended up winning the award for Outstanding Drama series for the third time.
“It was exciting to be at the Emmy Awards again and to win, because we weren’t expecting to a win this time,” Harington told Men’s Journal. “We were away for a while, and I wasn’t even sure we’d get nominated, which in some ways sounds mad. But we missed a year and sometimes they’ll wait for a final season to give the awards. I thought Season 7 was brilliant, and I’m glad they recognized that.”
Harington was front-and-center for Season 7 of the series, helping to forge alliances between warring Houses and trying to convince everyone in Westeros that they needed to fight back against the marching White Walkers beyond the Wall. The explosive, jam-packed season helped set up quite a few intriguing storylines for the final year of the show.
For as much as he’s sad that the series is ending after Season 8, Harington said that he’s thankful and lucky to have been part of the show for so long. Being on the show has catapulted Harington into stardom, and even helped him meet his wife, Rose Leslie, who played the character Ygritte on the series. The two married at Wardhill Castle in Scotland during the Summer of 2018.
“The whole experience has been incredible,” Harington says. “I’ve felt very fortunate to work with so many amazing people.”
Harington’s role as Jon Snow has also helped make him a global star, and he’s now the face of Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men fragrances. The most recent release is The One Grey, a new fragrance that has bold and elegant smell, combining the scents of cardamom, vetiver, as well as hints of grapefruit, warm tobacco, and grey woods.
Harington spoke with Men’s Journal following the Emmy Awards and spoke about his experiences filming in 40-degrees below zero in Iceland, working on the final season of the show, and what he kept from the Game of Thrones set.
We know you can’t tell us any spoilers about the final season of Game of Thrones, or HBO will swoop in and kidnap us. But generally, what are you excited about and for fans to see of Season 8?
This is going to be so boring, but it’s a minefield to say anything. Even in the past when I’ve said something it gets taken the wrong way, or that I revealed something. Even if I’ll say that it’s going to be an exciting season, it’ll get put out in the wrong way. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this when I actually have to promote the thing, but I don’t want anything to get taken wrongly. I’ll say this about Season 7, it was just brilliant to work on. The intensity of doing episodes, and getting to do more than I’ve ever done on the show, it was fantastic and a wonderful experience, and it’ll be exciting for fans to see what’s next.
Season 7 had some of the most thrilling scenes the show has ever had, including the journey in “Beyond the Wall.” What was it like to shoot those scenes and work in the locations you’ve been able to film in?
We filmed a lot of that in Iceland. It was brutal, being out there in minus-40 degrees and the freezing wind. It can be quite an experience. Overall, I love location work. I’m more of a person that thinks there is a benefit of filming on location, whether its Game of Thrones or something else. You get to go to these incredible locations and step on to these amazing sets in places where people would have to pay to come visit. If you’re in film, that’s what you want to do. You can’t really complain when you are bitterly cold, because you’re in some of the most stunning places in the world like Iceland or Croatia and so on.
Did you keep anything from the Game of Thrones set?
I actually didn’t take anything too crazy. I kept some of the armor that I use for Jon Snow’s outfit, like the wrist protectors I’ll wear in his costume. I thought those were pretty cool.
What have you enjoyed about your experience working with Dolce & Gabbana in the past and on this campaign?
It’s exciting to work on something global and to work alongside people who enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. It helps when you like the fragrance personally already when you wear it. It’s a great scent and I enjoy it. It’s kind of surreal to me to find myself walking through an airport and you see your own face staring back at you. Doing this type of stuff is a different side of work for me because it’s not exactly acting, but you also get to be creative and performative with it, and DG are great collaborators in that sense. Plus, you get to wear some nice suits and look great for a day [laughs].
You looked very sharp at the Emmys with the Game of Thrones cast. Do you have any style tips for regular guys?
I was wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit at the Emmys, so that was fun to be able to look sharp like that. As an actor, you get a lot of help with your style, but advice-wise, I’d say that I don’t really have any tips, but for me getting dressed up is about feeling comfortable. I’d say for anyone to keep that in mind, because if you feel comfortable and feel good about yourself, you’ll look better too.
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