Pity the man named Kit Harington, that prettily coiffed Game of Thrones know-nothing unwillingly burdened with guarding the worst-kept secret in Westeros: that Jon Snow, who we last saw getting stabbed to death by mutinous Night’s Watchmen in the show’s Season 5 finale, is not gone for good.
The worldwide Jon Snow truther movement—which maintains that the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch might transform into a White Walker, warg his way into his direwolf’s body, or be revived via Melisandre’s holy connection to the Lord of Light—has kept obsessive tabs on Harington’s every globetrotting move, social interaction, and hair trim since the finale aired.
By now, with production on Season 6 in full swing, Harington knows full well whether or not Snow lives, dies, zombifies or simply makes a cameo appearance as a corpse on a funeral pyre or in a vision or a flashback. Which is what makes a recently surfaced interview the actor gave to a Belgian magazine while promoting Testament of Youth so interesting.
In the middle of griping yet again about his obligation to the show—the man would just like to cut his hair without setting off an international crisis, thank you—Harington seemed to accidentally reveal that he’s still signed up for future appearances.
“I often felt frustrated as well. I had to pass on amazing parts because I was attached to Game of Thrones,” he said, according to Dutch-translating Redditors. “So the show is like a double-edged sword to me: I owe a lot to it, but at the same time it has almost completely drained me. Oh well, I try not to think about it too much. The important thing is that I now know exactly how long I am still under contract, and in the meantime—”
And in the meantime, he said, leisurely steamrolling through HBO’s already threadbare veil of secrecy. His interviewer interrupted, “How many more seasons would that be?”
“Nice try [laughs]. I can’t talk about that,” Harington said, before talking about it. “Let’s just say that Game of Thrones will remain a part of life for a while, I’ll probably be in my thirties when it’s over. One thing’s for sure: The day I’m no longer on Thrones is the day I’ll bury myself in movie projects.”
A few caveats: The interview is described as “recent,” though no exact date is given. And that “contract,” a potential seven-season-long commitment Harington and other Game of Thrones actors renegotiated with HBO last year, does not necessarily mean Harington will appear onscreen throughout all seven seasons. (One cynical Reddit user even goes so far as to suggest the contract’s length might be a clever way of keeping characters’ lifespans under wraps.)
But no matter what, Harington's tone is strikingly different from the answers he gave during post-finale interviews, when he maintained, “I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season,” an HBO-sanctioned PR line that Watchers on the Wall, a fan site with more intel-feeding little birds across the world than Lord Varys, claims to have already debunked.
Last week, the site reported a “massive” battle being filmed in Northern Ireland involving northern armies “including the Umbers, the Boltons, wildlings” and everyone’s favorite sadsack bastard, who was also seen on set. By then, Harington had already been spotted in and around Belfast—where many of the show’s Winterfell and Castle Black-set scenes are filmed—a number of times: once disembarking the same plane Iwan Rheon aka Ramsay Bolton was on, once chatting happily with Rheon and some friends on a street corner at night, and once, according to a hawk-eyed Twitter fan, “at the fruit shop. He was wearing a jaunty wee flat cap.”
Whether Snow lives or dies is up in the air. But like an aging C-3PO actor rolling his eyes at studios’ “ludicrous” obsession with secrecy (let Anthony Daniels speak, Disney!) Harington seems less than invested in maintaining the ruse anymore. For that matter, so are we.