45 Things You Didn't Know About Kit Harington
You will know nothing no longer.
He may be known the world over as Kit, but his real name is actually Christopher Catesby Harington.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images
Although he didn't actually know that was his real name until he was 11 years old because his family only ever called him Kit.
And he wasn't very pleased when he found out! He told
CNN: "It's my name. It's short for Christopher. I didn't know my name was Christopher until I was 11. I went to school, you do these exams and I put down Kit Harington and the teacher said, 'That's not your name,' and I said, 'Yeah I think I'd know my own name!' They were like, 'No no your name is Christopher.' I was a bit pissed off with my mum. You didn't tell me my name till I was 11!"
Glamour asked him why his parents hadn't told him before and he responded: "I haven't got a clue! I think they could see that I wanted to be Kit, but Christopher was a bit of a tradition. My brother's name is Jack, but his real name is John. Kit is traditionally an offshoot of Christopher, it's just not used that often."
His middle name, Catesby, is actually his mother's maiden name and he almost chose to be known professionally as Kit Catesby instead.
Red Nose Day/
Glamour: "It's cool, isn't it? It's also my brother's middle name. Jake Catesby and Kit Catesby. It's my mom's maiden name, actually... I nearly [went with Kit Catesby professionally], but I thought it sounded too much like a 1950s talk-show host. I was close, actually! Sometimes I think, that would have been a cool name, but Kit Harington works."
Speaking of his mother (who was a playwright herself) – she
named him after fellow British playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was also better known as Kit.
Kit started his career on stage.
And it was during that run that he caught the attention of
Game of Thrones producers, who invited him in for an audition.
He was tasked with reading a scene with Tyrion Lannister. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Although he turned up to that first audition with a black eye after having
a fight in a McDonald's the night before.
But it's OK because he thinks it made him look tougher. He told the
Daily Mail: "I had a black eye as I'd been in a scrap. But I think it might have helped. You know, 'Who's the kid with the black eye?' I was completely new to them, but I looked the part – still had the black eye."
Show creator D.B. Weiss also remembers that first audition, telling
Rolling Stone he remembers whispering to co-creator David Benioff: "This is what Jon Snow looks like, please let this kid be good."
He had short hair and no facial hair pre
Game of Thrones and he'd never tried to grow it before. He didn't even know his hair was naturally curly.
He remembers: "I always had short hair before I did this, and then they went 'Could you grow your hair and a beard?' And I went, 'Well, I’ve never grown my hair, and I’m practically pre-pubescent in the facial-hair stakes, but I’ll give it a go!'"
Although he had to
wear a wig for the pilot episode.
BBC Breakfast last year: "I had a horrible wig on." And as a result he's pleased no one's ever seen the pilot (which btw featured a different Daenerys Targaryen, played by Tamzin Merchant rather than Emilia Clarke): "The pilot really didn’t work. No one’s ever seen it, it’s in some back room somewhere, and I’d like it to stay there!"
But now he is contractually obliged to keep his hair long the entire time.
Rolling Stone: "It's in my contract that it must be a certain length at all times."
can't wait until he can finally cut it again now: "I told my agent, no more swords, no more horses. You [don't want to get stuck in things] and maybe I can cut my fucking hair."
5'8", hence some of the height gags in Game of Thrones.
Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images
He had a broken ankle throughout season 3 after hurting himself while trying to climb into his apartment when drunk a few weeks before filming began.
It meant that a body double had to step in for
that bum shot during his sex scene with Ygritte. He told GQ: "Young male stupidity, really. I didn’t see any point in lying about it to anyone afterward."
In Season 6 he faced his worst fear –
he's terrified of being buried alive and is extremely claustrophobic, so the "Battle of the Bastards" epic fight scene was his idea of a nightmare thanks to being trapped under piles of bodies.
Kit told the
Belfast Telegraph after shooting the episode: "I’ve got a few fears, spiders being one of them, but the worst is my claustrophobia – I’m mortally afraid of crowds. I panic. It was one of the most terrifying things and most uncomfortable – 15 bearded Irishmen crushing you.
"There was a moment where he could’ve just lay down and let go of the hell he’s in, and sleep, like drowning, but it cuts to the heart of Jon, that he fights his way up to the top”
He also accidentally really
punched Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) in the face twice during filming for that episode.
"I actually did punch Iwan in the face, twice, by accident, which he took really well."
He has a few other fears –
spiders being one of them.
scared of flying, despite his jet-set lifestyle.
Speaking about it to
CN Traveler, he said: "Every time I get on a plane I have to touch the outside of the plane three times before I get in... I am [a nervous flier]. I've gotten worse actually. I used to love it, but now I imagine being 30,000 feet in the air. Each time I fly it feels more unnatural. I get more jittery... It’s bizarre. I used to love flying, and since I've been doing Thrones and traveling over to America a lot, I get really nervous about it and I don’t know why."
MTV: "I'm not good at playing those things. I used to get terrified of Doom, and when I played this, I was pretty terrified of it. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to computer games."
not a fan of his birthday because he was born on Boxing Day (26 December).
Michael Buckner / Getty Images
He grumbled to
W Magazine after his 30th birthday straight after Christmas last year: "It's always the same... my whole family just descends on my birthday and I get no attention. So I always end up getting really grumpy and selfish on my birthday. It's always the same... I go to my local pub.
"They (birthdays) get worse each year, I find... I just don't get enough attention."
His northern accent in the show was
based on Sean Bean's accent.
Kit explained to
Interview magazine: "I auditioned for Jon Snow in my own accent, and then when we got to filming the pilot, they asked all of Sean Bean's sons to do Sean's accent, so we had to go and learn it quickly... [Sean] was encouraging, actually. He found it funny that we were all doing his accent. He said we were all doing it well, which was quite nice to hear."
He was sworn to secrecy over his big death/coming back from the dead storyline... but he did tell one person –
a cop so that he could get out of a speeding ticket.
The officer told the actor he could either escort him to the police station, or tell him Jon Snow's fate. So he told him he was alive next season and the cop reportedly
responded: "On your way Lord Commander. Keep the speed down this far south of the Wall."
But he absolutely detested having to lie to close friends about him coming back.
"At first I thought I would find it fun,” Harington told
Entertainment Weekly. “'This will be a fun game.' But I had to lie to a lot of close friends and cast members and crew. The longer it went, the more I felt like I was betraying them. So I did end up letting people in, slowly."
Sophie Turner was so convinced he was done on the show she
wrote him a really long letter saying how much she'd enjoyed working with him.
"Sophie Turner, bless her, wrote me a really long letter about how much she loved working with me — and I still got it. That made me chuckle."
He feared people
wouldn't give a shit when Jon Snow died.
Entertainment Weekly last year: "I’d like to say sorry for lying to everyone. I’m glad that people were upset that he died. I think my biggest fear was that people were not going to care. Or it would just be, ‘Fine, Jon Snow’s dead.’ But it seems like people had a, similar to the Red Wedding episode, kind of grief about it. Which means something I’m doing — or the show is doing — is right."
anti social media and you won't ever see him join up to Twitter.
"I'm not a tweeter, I'm afraid. I have to talk about myself enough in publicity and stuff that I don't want to do it in my free time as well. [
Laughs] Tweet about things, no, no thanks. It's not for me, I'm afraid..."
"It’s only right, if you’re going to make a show where nudity and sex is a large part of it, that you be a part of that."
And he appears to enjoy skinny dipping.
In a conversation with
Rolling Stone, when they mentioned they would have lunch at Chateau Marmont he dropped in this anecdote: "It's nice to go skinny-dipping in their pool."
He thinks he was too young when he lost his
Here's an excerpt from
Elle magazine earlier this year: "Mine was a little less left-field than in a cave. It was a typical sort of teenage thing, at a party. I was probably too young." "Too young—like 13?" "No, but you're not far off. I think the girl and I just kind of wanted to. You either hold on and do it right, or you're young and decide to get the monkey off your back."
He has ancestral links to King Charles II. But he's adamant he's not posh.
ES Magazine: "We were comfortable, but I didn’t go to Oxbridge, and yet every American interviewer I get says to me, 'You’re related to Charles II! Your grandfather’s a baronet!' And it’s infuriating, because that is part of my history, but you’re trying to turn me into a posh boy and I’m not. I’m adamant that I’m not. My mum’s always telling me, 'Tell those journalists that you went to a state school'."
Yves Herman / Reuters
"There's an unhealthy obsession in America with royalty and the class system. 'Oh, my God, you're the son of a duke!' I'm not an anti-royalist, but who gives a shit?"
not a fan of because of how it celebrates the class system. Downton Abbey
"I really disagree with
Downton Abbey on lots of fucking levels. It celebrates the class system, and its kind of overall message seems to be, 'Wasn't it good when everybody knew their place within society?' Why should we hark back to those times? It was bullshit. We got out of that, and thank the fuck we did."
He also has another notable family link – his relative invented the flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth.
It might even be where the
slang term for toilet "John" came from: "That's 100 percent true. It's called 'the John Harington.' I'm glad it's not called "the Harington." [My family] also wrote the queen a lot of bad poetry. I've inherited the bad poetry genes, but not the inventor genes."
And in case you weren't already aware, Kit fell in love with co-star Rose Leslie (Ygritte) on set in Iceland.
In fact, they are still dating now and have
moved in together.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Kent Horner / Getty Images
"I hated him. I used to work in the downstairs department of Waterstones bookshop. That was the fantasy, science fiction and self-help section. And yes, I always wondered why they grouped those together.
"Anyway, I used to have to lug down the books and George's always sold like hotcakes, so I was constantly having to restack them and they were just so heavy because they're so huge.
"I remember cursing him. I've told him this many times. I couldn't stand that I was constantly having to carry down and replace all these fucking books. I'd fill up the shelves and they'd sell out in a day!"
And he's a huge fan of
"I love horror movies. I really do, I'm a big horror movie fan... I can tell you what my favorites are. I love
The Shining. I love The Wicker Man... I love The Ring. I love [David] Lynch as well. I could not get through Inland Empire. I tried to watch that movie three or four times. I can't get through it. It's too scary. Starts freaking me out and then when it goes black and white … too much, too much. I've never even tried to watch Eraserhead. I think it would be too much for me. I love Mulholland Dr., but even that kind of got to me at times."
Kit also loves Harry Potter. He even
wanted to audition to be Harry but was a year too old at the time.
CNN: "I kind of wanted to audition for ‘Harry’ when it was first being done but I think I was a year too old."
You're unlikely to see him in a rom-com.
Red Nose Day
He told the
Guardian last year: "Nothing interests me less than doing a romantic comedy."
But he does
love a good cry every now and then.
"I like a good cry every now and then. It releases something. There are times in my life when I'm meant to cry, but I don't actually cry. But then I can be walking down the street and it's been a few months, and things get on top of me—that's when I find myself crying."
His talents don't end at acting – he's already
written three TV shows and sees himself producing in his career.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images
"I’ve written three TV shows with my best friend Dan West, two of which we have sold, so I would like to see myself producing. I met Dan at drama school – we live together and write together. It’s like a sexless marriage."
"You don’t want to seem too eager, too romantic—otherwise, it just looks a bit tryhard. But I do think a first date should be intimate. So I’d choose a nice dinner somewhere cozy, not too crowded, with good wine."
He had a scary moment when on set for
Pompeii when he was momentarily paralyzed.
He revealed to
Rolling Stone: "I was in my trailer, and I felt absolutely fine, but they called me to set, I got up, and my legs just went from underneath me, and I fucking couldn't stand. Every time I got up, the same thing happened. I just stayed in bed for 48 hours and then I was at work again. But it's weird when that happens."
And this is his advice to his younger self: Don't do anything dickish.
Rolling Stone asked him what advice he'd give to his younger self back in 2014, he replied: "Don't do dickish things... Saying things you shouldn't say, crashing a car."
Then embellished: "It was a Ford Mustang. Totaled it. I did it very easy, and I did it very sober. And you guys have really great insurance here."
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