Kit Harington has addressed the mental toll that Game of Thrones took during the end of its run in a new interview, admitting that he took a year-long break after the HBO series wrapped up to “really concentrate on myself.” That was in part due to the “nature” of Thrones — dark, violent, and intense throughout — Harington noted, which “directly” broke the 34-year-old English actor. Though it’s the first time Harington has spoken about it, it’s been reported in the past. In May 2019, a month after Thrones finished, Harington was said to check into a wellness facility for “personal issues”.
“I went through some mental health difficulties after [Game of] Thrones, and during the end of Thrones, to be honest,” Harington told Cagle on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show earlier this week. Harington played Jon Snow on the HBO series. “I think it was directly due to the nature of the show and what I had been doing for years. […] I think I took sort of a break after Thrones where I said, ‘I don’t want to work for a year. I want to really kind of concentrate on myself,’ and I think I’m really happy I did that.”
That said, Harington doesn’t regret it: “Part of the journey since it finished… was just becoming proud of that show, and not running away from it. Not running away from what it was, and who I played in it, but just owning it and being proud of everything about it.”
And he’s also able to look at the bigger picture: Harington met his wife Rose Leslie — she played the wilding Ygritte on Thrones — on set, and the two have had a child since: “My child is a direct result of Game of Thrones. I still have very, very good friends from that show. It did nothing but wonders for me.”
Harington’s year-long break away from cinema ended up being much longer though, thanks to COVID-19: “Just when I was wanting to come back to work the pandemic hit.” He will be next seen in the second season of rom-com anthology Modern Love, available August 13 on Amazon Prime Video. Harington filmed it for fun: “You don’t have to live in that intense place all the time. Why don’t you do something that takes the weight off? Why don’t you do something fun?”