Kit Harington opens up on how Game of Thrones role led to his mental health difficulties

Sophie Turner attends Kit Harington's wedding in 2018

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Kit Harington, 34, has revealed he suffered from mental health difficulties following the end of Game of Thrones. The actor spoke about the obvious highlights of appearing on the HBO hit series, but also admitted that he had struggled because of the show.

Speaking on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, the star said: “I went through…some mental health difficulties after Thrones and during the end of Thrones, to be honest.

“And I think it was directly to do with the nature of the show, and what I’ve been doing for years.”

He confessed that it was crucial that he took time off following the show’s finale, having starred in eight seasons between 2011 and 2019.

“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,’” he explained.

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“And I think I’m really happy I did that.”

Kit went on to admit that his thoughts on the show have changed as the years go by.

He continued: “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.”

The actor, who played star character Jon Snow in the iconic series, also said that the drama “had a real cultural impact”, which he looks back fondly on.

He also gushed over the fact that he met his wife Rose Leslie – who he married in 2018 – while appearing in the show.

“My child is a direct result of Game of Thrones,” he said.

 “I still have very, very good friends from that show. It did nothing but wonders for me.”

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Back in 2019, Kit checked into rehab in Switzerland.

It came after he found out his character murdered Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) in the final episode.

Page Six had reported that Kit was “exhausted” and spent the month at the luxury Connecticut health retreat Privé-Swiss.

His representative said: “Kit has decided to utilize this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues.”

It is believed that Kit arrived there a few weeks before the finale aired on TV, and he was undergoing psychological coaching, practising mindful meditation, and cognitive behavioural therapy to combat stress and deal with negative emotions.

A Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes documentary – The Last Watch – showed that Kit broke down in tears while holding his hand to his mouth, when he read about the moment that he killed Daenerys in the show’s script.

He later told Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Late Show: “I was very shocked and surprised at certain events, and then I blubbed my eyes out. I cried.”

It has been an emotional ride for Kit with his portrayal of Jon Snow, and he has spoken out previously about the toll it took on his mental health.

Recalling the moment, Kit told Variety: “When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f***ing terrifying.

“You get people shouting at you on the street, ‘Are you dead?’ 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.”

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