The Game of Thrones finale produced a wide range of reactions from cast, crew, and fans of the show. None were quite as powerful as Kit Harington’s. In the HBO documentary The Last Watch, which aired on 26th May, cameras captured Kit’s initial reaction to learning that his character Jon Snow kills Danerys Targaryen.
The footage was captured at a table read for the final episode. You can see Kit’s real-time response, which could be described as a mix of shock and sadness, to learning that Jon Snow kills his queen/aunt Danerys Targaryen as he reads the script for the first time. Kit has his hands over his mouth and runs them through his hair in disbelief as tears stream down his face. He looks at Emilia Clarke who is also upset but clearly uncomfortable with the emotions in the room as she literally sinks in her chair to try and escape the moment.
Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa Stark, is seen laughing behind Kit at his initial shock to reading the script.
Fans of the show reacted to the footage on Twitter with many saying it had more of an emotional impact than the finale of the show itself.
The show emotionally impacted Kit Harington much more severely than he anticipated. The actor recently checked into rehab ahead of the finale because he was struggling with alcohol addiction stemming from the ending of the show. “My final day of shooting, I felt fine … I felt fine … I felt fine … then I went to do my last shots and started hyperventilating a bit …Then they called ‘wrap’ and I just f—-g broke down. It was this onslaught of relief and grief about not being able to do this again.” Kit told Esquire in April, “But the weirdest bit was when we came off set and they started taking the costume off and it felt like being skinned … It felt like they were unceremoniously for the last time ripping off this character.”
Page Six reports that several sources close to the actor confirmed that the show ending and the finale “really hit him hard”. His wife Rose Leslie, who was his former co-star on Game of Thrones as “Ygritte”, is being “extremely supportive.” Kit has been at luxury Connecticut health retreat Privé-Swiss for the past month.