After Game of Thrones ended in 2019, series star Kit Harington, who played the lead character of Jon Snow, took a long hiatus from appearing in any major project. While the break was certainly well-deserved for the actor who appeared on the HBO series from 2011 to 2019, Harington has recently revealed that taking the year off after the series concluded was necessary for his severely impacted mental health.
While Game of Thrones has been lauded for its setting, characters, performances, and storyline, it has attracted massive criticism for the insane amount of violence and gore it included. Be it severed hands, hanging intestines, crushed skulls, or violent sexual assaults, the HBO series had it all. And when it comes to Kit Harington’s character in the series, Jon Snow has survived, almost died, and actually painfully died more times than we can count on one hand. And that doesn’t even include all the other horrors he had to suffer, be it the outsider-like treatment from his stepmother, the deadly Battle of Castle Black, going up against the White Walkers, being betrayed by his own brothers, or witnessing the death of his beloved Ygritte.
Given the trajectory of his character and the overall theme of Game of Thrones, it would have been shocking if Kit Harington had not been affected by the increasing violence and depressing storyline of the series. In a recent chat with SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show (via The Hollywood Reporter), the actor revealed that acting in Game of Thrones for nine long years meant going through mental health difficulties both while he was on the show and after it ended. While Jon Snow appeared extremely put together on the show, the physically and emotionally violent “nature” of the series “directly” affected Harington’s mental well-being.
Thus when Game of Thrones ended, Kit Harington made the decision to rest for a year to concentrate on himself. After his break, he wanted to start working again but the pandemic extended his hiatus. Now that he is back on the field he is enjoying the fact that he is not in “that intense place” anymore. He wants to alternate between doing something taxing and “something fun”, as a part of which he recently wrapped up filming an episode of Amazon Prime’s Modern Love.
While Game of Thrones has concluded, its expansive fictional world is set to continue with many new spin-off shows that are currently in various stages of development. The prequel series, House of the Dragon, which will tell the story of House Targaryen set some 300 years before the events of GoT, is currently being filmed. The Hollywood Reporter recently disclosed that HBO Max is now developing two more animated Game of Thrones shows, in addition to another animated series on the streamer which had been planned earlier. While the initially pitched series, Flea Bottom, has been scrapped, HBO is still pondering about the fate of the other spin-off shows- 9 Voyages, 10,000 Ships, and an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Tales of Dunk & Egg novellas.