As the cast prepares to bid farewell after the final season of "Game of Thrones" premieres in April 2019, Harington can't help but look back on the drama series that helped boost his acting career. And while he has many fond memories on set, the 32-year-old said many scenes took a heavy toll on his personal life.
The majority of Harington's 20s were spent in "Castle Black" with his signature long curly hair and oversized fur coat. When he wrapped up filming, Harington said he felt like a part of his identity was lost.
"For a long time toward the end of ‘Thrones,’ I felt like I wanted to be a new person but I was stuck in this shape," he recently told Variety. "[When] I took off the costume, and it felt like my skin was being peeled away ... I was very emotional. It felt like someone was shedding me of something.”
But Harington said it also freed him of one of the most emotional experiences of his time as Jon.
“My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon, when he died and came back,” Harington explained, referring to an episode from the sixth season. “I really didn’t like the focus of the whole show coming onto Jon — even though it was invalidating my problem about being the weak link because things were about Jon.”
“I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable."
“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,” he added to the publication.
All of the hype surrounding his character's miraculous comeback put pressure on Harington.
“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. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone," he admitted.
Despite some hardships that accompanied his huge role, Harington said he's grateful for the opportunities "Game of Thrones" gave him.
“I felt it got beyond ‘He’s that guy from 'Game of Thrones.'’ I’m not just the guy from TV. I’m an actor in my own right, and that’s a pretty good feeling," he added.
David Nutter, a director for the show, assured fans each episode would be action packed.
"Season 8 episodes will all I think be longer than 60 minutes. They’ll be dancing around the bigger numbers, I know that for sure," he confirmed in a Reddit AMA in November.