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Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington on Jon Snow’s Wet-and-Wild Moment

Kit Harington. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

To become a brother of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow swore an oath that included a vow of celibacy; now, in order to prove he’s no longer a crow and show that he’s on the side of the wildlings beyond the Wall, he has to forsake those vows. The best way to do that, other than giving up crucial defense info? Have sex with Ygritte. “We shouldn’t,” he tells her. “We should,” she insists. And so in last night’s episode, in one of the more romantic sex scenes on Game of Thrones thus far (cue the waterfall), Jon Snow finally loses his virginity. (Remember, as Jon once told Sam, he nearly did it with the prostitute Ros, until he thought better of potentially fathering a bastard child). Kit Harington, who plays Snow, chatted with Vulture about magic, his “cursed hair,” and his long-awaited sex scene.

How’s your foot? When we ran into each other at New York Comic Con, you were injured.
I was still limping then, wasn’t I? Being wheeled around in a chair. It’s much better. I finished physiotherapy and it’s completely healed. And it only infringed on my scenes a teeny bit, but not as much as you might think, because we were able to shuffle some of the scenes. It could have been a lot worse. Most of my stuff, I could do, although I did have to use a body double for certain bits early on. But I could do my fight scenes and everything.

Don’t tell me you used a body double with Ygritte!
[Laughs] No, not with her. Mainly, early on, when my foot was still bad, for the wide shots, when there were running scenes. But apart from that, I could do everything. And that was a lovely scene to film, with Rose Leslie. It’s one of the rare moments in the series where you get quite a tender, happy moment between two people. We were looking forward to filming it, because it was so beautifully written, and then when we did it, it’s so beautifully lit. I enjoyed it a lot, and it wasn’t too awkward. I think Jon’s the only one on the show who hasn’t had sex yet, it seems to be, so that was nice. You’re rooting for him to finally, for want of a better word, get laid. So it was good to get that on the show, as it was.

How did you prep it beforehand?
Rose and I had some spooning practice in the second season, with that scene on the top of the cliff. And you obviously talk it through beforehand. But it’s also a very clinical procedure, you know? It’s very strange. I’ve never done a love scene before, and especially a nude scene, so it’s very strange being naked in front of a hundred or so people. So we obviously rehearsed it a few times — fully clothed, mind you! But this wasn’t sex for manipulation. There were no power games going on. And it’s not just lost. It’s a love scene, and I think that’s important to identify, for this show. There are very few love scenes [on Game of Thrones], so we wanted to do it justice. It was important that we didn’t screw it up. Hopefully it worked.

How have you enjoyed working with new actors this season, since Jon’s been over with the wildlings?
Ciarán Hinds was an honor, really. He’s incredible, and such a generous actor. I wish I had more with him. He leaves you wanting more. And Mackenzie Crook is absolutely brilliant. He’s done so many lovable, goofy guys [such as Ragetti in The Pirates of the Caribbean], and now he’s playing a real badass. I was a huge fan of The Office, so I did geek out a bit when I found out he was doing the show, and then you meet him and become friends, and he’s your mate on set, versus being Gareth from The Office.

I’m hoping we get to see more of him as a Warg, where we see him become his eagle, as a parallel to Bran learning to become his dire wolf. It seems like we’re getting more magic this season.
In the very first episode, you see a giant, so it smacks you in the face from the word go this season. You’ve got more of the White Walkers, and over the season, it escalates. I love it, really, because it’s not like it’s a world in which Jon knows there are giants, so it’s a surprise to him and to us. I mean, we’ve heard since the first season the old tales of years ago that these creatures existed, but it seemed all myth and legend, and now we’re learning that the whole idea of “winter is coming” means that these beasts are coming out of the woodwork, and throwing everyone’s lives into disarray. So it’s kind of a shock to them as well.

People used to call you a bastard. Now that Ygritte’s catchphrase is becoming more prominent, are they also coming up to you and saying, “You know nothing?”
Yes! I get that a lot on the street. And if I’m with someone who hasn’t seen the show, like a friend of mine or something, it seems quite a naughty thing to say, just off the cuff: “You know nothing, you bastard!” But yeah, I do get that quite a bit. I take it as a compliment.

How do you monitor fan response? Are you still seeking out the fan mash-ups and spoofs?
My brother seems to look those up and send them to me, like the funny high school one where they’re all running for prom king. I like that one. But otherwise, I miss out on them, because I try to avoid things on the Internet. I do like that it’s entered into pop culture that way, and that it’s got a rabid fan base. Jon Snow is a fan favorite from the books, so it’s great.

Until you cut your hair. Sophie Turner [who plays Sansa] says you’re obsessed with it, that you go through your ringlets in the mirror.
[Laughs] The girl is lying. No, I would never have to have this cursed hair had I not had Game of Thrones. And now because it takes so long to grow back, I have to keep the ringlets, definitely. If I didn’t have to have this, I’d have short hair. Luckily, I don’t have to do much to it. I don’t particularly take care of it. I never wash it. It just does what it does.

You don’t deep condition it or do anything to protect it against the elements when you’re shooting in Iceland?
No. I mean, one day maybe when I get a hair commercial or some hair sponsorship, maybe? Maybe I will then. But until then, I dream of when I can chop it all off!

Kit Harington on Jon Snow’s Wet-and-Wild Moment