Kit Harington Says ‘Thrones’ Led to Bad Mental Health: ‘Directly Due to Nature of the Show’

Harington previously revealed he had a “full-on breakdown” filming the "Thrones" series finale.
Kit Harington in the "Game of Thrones" finale, "The Iron Throne"
"Game of Thrones"

Kit Harington confirmed this week on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” (via The Hollywood Reporter) that the end of “Game of Thrones” is what led him to check into wellness rehabilitation center in May 2019. The actor’s publicist confirmed at the time that he was seeking professional treatment “to work on some personal issues.” Harington checked into the wellness center just ahead of the “Thrones” finale, which became one of the more polarizing events in recent television history.

“I went through some mental health difficulties after ‘Thrones,’ and during the end of ‘Thrones,’ to be honest,” Harington confirmed to SiriusXM host Cagle. “I think it was directly due to the nature of the show and what I had been doing for years.”

Harington made the decision to take an acting break after “Thrones” so that he could “really concentrate on myself,” adding, “I’m really happy I did that.” The actor decided he “wanted to come back to work” just as the pandemic hit in the early part of 2020. During the pandemic, he filmed an episode of the upcoming second season of “Modern Love” just because it presented a fun opportunity for the star.

“You don’t have to live in that intense place all the time,” Harington said. “Why don’t you do something that takes the weight off? Why don’t you do something fun?”

Harington revealed in March 2019 that he sought therapy after Jon Snow’s death in the “Game of Thrones” Season 5 finale. The actor said at the time that the interim between Jon’s death and resurrection in the second episode of season 6 the “darkest period” of his time on “Thrones.”

“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” Harington said. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s.”

Harington added the worldwide attention over Jon’s fate made it “fucking terrifying” for him to step out in public. “You get people shouting at you on the street, ‘Are you dead?’” the actor said. “At the same time you have to have this appearance. All of your neuroses — and I’m as neurotic as any actor — get heightened with that level of focus.”

Many “Thrones” fans realized the final episodes of the show took an emotional toll on Harington after the actor was seen in HBO’s behind-the-scenes “Thrones” documentary “The Last Watch” having a shaken reaction to the finale twist where Jon Show kills Daenerys Targaryen. The actor also told Esquire he had a “full-on breakdown” while shooting the series’ final scenes.

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