Kit Harington on filming the battle at Craster’s Keep, and Jon Snow’s struggle with honor
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

In Sunday’s new episode we saw Jon Snow lead his brothers of the Night’s Watch into battle at Craster’s Keep to take down the mutineers and protect the secrets of Castle Black. It was quite a task to take on for the character and actor Kit Harington alike. In a new interview with Hero Complex Kit talks about filming the battle, the difficulties of sword fighting, and what’s to come for Jon Snow in Season 4.

The set of Craster’s Keep has always been great to look at, and has been one of many stand-out authentic sets on Game of Thrones for years, but Kit says that for a battle scene, it’s not exactly hospitable.

“You’ve always got dead pig that’s burning. In ‘Thrones,’ they use everything that’s real, so you’ve got a very warm heated environment — somehow we’re always shooting in summer. I’ve always got blood on my face and it’s made out of sugar syrup… You come outside to get fresh air and the wasps attack your face. You go back inside and you’re choking on smoke and dead pig smell.”

Despite the less than ideal conditions, Kit admits that in the end it is all worth it, because it adds to the realness of the scenes.

“It’s tough, it’s grueling, but it makes it, because you’re in that world, especially my bits, you’re always hot and sweaty and muddy and dirty and it sort of infects the whole scene.”

Kit also discusses the difficulties of sword fighting in such a confined space. With not a lot of time to rehearse, much of the fight was done on the fly, with the actors given the duty of not only executing the moves, but acting all the way through it. One thing that did help, was the fact that even though it was for television, it was still a sword fight.

“There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline you get just before you’re about to do a fight because you know as safe as you can make it, there’s always something that can go wrong. It puts you on edge, which makes a sword fight what it is.”

Taking down the mutineers won’t be the last challenge Jon Snow faces this season. Kit teases that Jon will struggle with the idea of honor instilled in him by his farther Ned Stark.

“This is a very interesting season for him because it is about honor. When he was young in the first season, honor was a simple thing. Now — in fact, in this scene — he learns that honor isn’t a simple thing. To win you have to be dirty sometimes to get to an honorable place. To eventually get to the right ending, he has to do things he doesn’t want to do… This year, he’s on his own and he has to take all that advice he’s been given and utilize it in the right ways.”

For the full article visit Hero Complex.

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46 Comments

  1. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Reek!

  2. jentario
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    How about Isaac’s interview which I linked in another thread? I think it was the tweets thread.

  3. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Funny that as much of an @sshole that Karl was, he actually served to teach Jon a lesson to an extent.

  4. Deathdreams
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Astapor? Tsss. Should be Astamouth or somethin…

  5. Braavosi Bitcoiner
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Locke and Karl characters worked out in the end.

    Avery Brooks for Moqorro. Just wanted to say that.

  6. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Braavosi Bitcoiner:

    Avery Brooks for Moqorro. Just wanted to say that.

    Yessssss lets add another pointless character which will steal screen time from the main plotline and waste time.

    DEATH to filler !

  7. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy: Yessssss lets add another pointless character which will steal screen time from the main plotline and waste time.

    DEATH to filler !

    I’d be down with that actor raining hell on the show if it meant seeing him on GoT.

  8. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Braavosi Bitcoiner,

    He’d be good too! I was hoping for Peter Mensah. hehe

  9. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    I thought he was a cool minor character. Survived a storm, adfrift in the ocean for quite some time, scooped up by Victarion, and gives him a new fiery hand. We don`t know what kind of impact Victarion will have yet if any so it`s possible we’ll see him. But there’s speculation Theon’s uncles will be cut so who knows.

  10. Deathdreams
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy: Yessssss lets add another pointless character which will steal screen time from the main plotline and waste time.

    DEATH to filler !

    Let me guess. No offense, but you seam like the type of person who likes Vanilla Ice cream, Plain pizza, and just in general, food with no spice. Am I wrong?

  11. Ashara D
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Rickard Greyjoy,

    Hisham Tawfiq, Dembe on The Blacklist. Very badass. The part might be small enough for him to squeeze it in before Blacklist films.

  12. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Deathdreams,

    The dude is just a massive troll. He always posts stuff like that to get a response.

  13. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “you’re always hot and sweaty and muddy and dirty”

    Baaae

  14. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Deathdreams: Let me guess. No offense, but you seam like the type of person who likes Vanilla Ice cream, Plain pizza, and just in general, food with no spice. Am I wrong?

    I prefer chocolate and fruit flavours…. im not a fan of vanilla at all.

    Vanilla and chicken are like AFFC, tasteless and dull.

  15. Daniellica
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Valyrian Eyes: Baaae

    Okay, dammit, what the hell does this word mean? Is it a cutesied version of “babe” or “baby,” because those aren’t cutesy enough? It was the most commonly-used word in the Twitter recap this week, and I kept wondering what it is about the internet that causes such psychological regression.

    Or maybe it means something even more innocuous, like “carrots,” and I am just that far out of the loop. :)

  16. Greenjones
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Deathdreams,

    Chip!

  17. Dickon Manwoody
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    Go hit up tumblr, it’s used everywhere over there.

  18. Shock Me
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica: Okay, dammit, what the hell does this word mean? Is it a cutesied version of “babe” or “baby,” because those aren’t cutesy enough? It was the most commonly-used word in the Twitter recap this week, and I kept wondering what it is about the internet that causes such psychological regression.

    Or maybe it means something even more innocuous, like “carrots,” and I am just that far out of the loop. :)

    Two meanings as near as I can tell. It is used as a diminutive of “baby” and as an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

    Though, to be honest (tbh), I’ve never seen it written or heard it used in conversation until this week.

  19. Shock Me
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy: I prefer chocolate and fruit flavours…. im not a fan of vanilla at all.

    Vanilla and chicken are like AFFC, tasteless and dull.

    It’s an interesting cultrual phenomenon that both vanilla and chicken are now used as synonyms for plain when in fact they are nothing like that.

    Vanilla became hugely popular because it was at one time rather rare and represented to many a taste that was synonymous with upward mobility and success. The effort to take advantage of this upscale market led to explosion of the flavoring in the United States and elsewhere.

    With chicken you are on firmer ground because it has long been in great supply due to the fact chickens are less expensive to feed and breed in sustainable numbers. But dude you are like eating dinosaur man maybe even dragon meat!!

  20. Mike
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    People are complaining that the Craster’s Keep scenes in the last two episodes were pointless, but I think they did a great job of showing the developing maturity and leadership of Jon Snow as a character, and I thought Kit acted the part very well.

    In the books I thought it was a bit of a stretch that Jon could be elected Lord Commander, but I think they are doing a better job so far on the show of developing those key character traits in Jon.

  21. Doug
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Harington is having his finest season to date and it’s only half finished. You can see it as a viewer he is growing into and beginning to own the role of Jon Snow. I never thought he was as bad as people made him out to be. I think it was the writing that was pretty bad for Jon. Which is kind of shocking, seeing that these two TV guys are supposedly so infatuated with the books, that they would mess up one of the most important characters story. But it is what it is.

    It’s improving, and Kit Harington is having a great season.

  22. Steven Swanson
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy: Yessssss lets add another pointless character which will steal screen time from the main plotline and waste time.

    DEATH to filler !

    Just out of curiosity, what is the “main plotline”?

  23. sifuskum
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    The truth is you have no fucking clue if that character or any other character or event is important to the narrative. And any time spent trying to explain to you why events/new characters from AFFC matter is a waste…… you just seem too dense.

    You are a Troll. You never offer any constructive thought or argument. Just whines about silly shit. You actually make this site an unpleasant place to be for me (and others) fairly often.

  24. SHK12344
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson: Just out of curiosity, what is the “main plotline”?

    Main plotline is Jon and Danny. Two teenagers living in far corners of the world, learning to become leaders and fulfill their “destiny”.

  25. chamush
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    The attack was done poorly IMO.
    They killed the same hooded guy 3 times! Somehow they had lack of extras, this lady director failed the task…

  26. Abyss
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    Just to be clear here, the term “filler” doesn’t really apply to GoT. It’s used to distinguish between the main plotline and side plots, which, in the end, are not necessary for the main plotline.
    Apart from the fact that the story isn’t finished, which means it’s simply not possible for us to define what the main plotline is, ASoIaF is way to complex to have things as clear protagonists, around whom a main story would develop. ASoIaF isn’t formula fiction, terms like “filler” or “main plotline” are really not very conveniently to use here.

  27. Quinn
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Doug: oyti Von Totiy,
    I thought he was a cool minor character. Survived a storm, adfrift in the ocean for quite some time, scooped up by Victarion, and gives him a new fiery hand. We don`t know what kind of impact Victarion will have yet if any so it`s possible we’ll see him. But there’s speculation Theon’s uncles will be cut so who knows.
      QUOTE  

    Yess!!!

  28. Braavosi Bitcoiner
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    AFFC has some of the best chapters in the entire series (Greyjoy Bros.)

  29. Daniellica
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Doug: Harington is having his finest season to date and it’s only half finished. You can see it as a viewer he is growing into and beginning to own the role of Jon Snow. I never thought he was as bad as people made him out to be. I think it was the writing that was pretty bad for Jon. Which is kind of shocking, seeing that these two TV guys are supposedly so infatuated with the books, that they would mess up one of the most important characters story. But it is what it is.

    I think it has more to do with D&D learning to write to Kit’s strengths, as well as the story reaching the point in Jon’s arc that plays to Kit’s strengths. I personally prefer the quiet, smoldering intelligence of book-Jon, but think that would be even worse for Kit, especially in the first season or two. Show-Jon has hangups that are more visceral and easier to grasp on-screen. He is more emotionally reactive, but now he has gained the confidence he needs on an emotional level to become the leader he is.

    That’s my interpretation anyway.

  30. Daniellica
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Abyss: Just to be clear here, the term “filler” doesn’t really apply to GoT. It’s used to distinguish between the main plotline and side plots, which, in the end, are not necessary for the main plotline.

    I hate the word “filler” for this story, and it is thrown around a lot. I tried to make this point in the Unsullied recap and got schooled, but what is “filler” about character development in a character-driven story? None of us know what plot points are essential toward the end-game yet, but aren’t most of us along for this ride because of the amazing inter-personal interactions that occur? For the cause and consequence of their choices?

    No?

  31. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Mike,

    Exactly. Not only that, but it gave Bran a chance to make his decision to go North all over again, this time in a way that was more emotionally compelling.

  32. Shan
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Deathdreams,

    Maybe he likes his food with no rotten or tasteless ingredients.

    Just saying.

    Theres no need for filler characters in the show. And its not just that there isnt a need, its that those kind of characters are detrimental to the show. Its one thing to introduce them to committed readers of 1200 page books, its another to throw them all into a television show of 9.5 hours per season.

    I am totally for cutting everyone and everything irrelevant/extremely minor and tedious, whether I enjoyed reading their parts in the books or not!

  33. Shan
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    I agree with you guys that the word is a bad one to use but I think its for lack of a better term. Character developmental plot lines like Brienne’s in AFFC or like um.. ALL.. of Dany’s, etc. Are great to read in the books. Honestly, I’ll complain about stuff like that and the introduction of tons of seemingly meaningless minor characters, but I don’t think asoiaf would be the same if it didn’t have that detailed level of depth and development (accidental alliteration). However, I think the term filler is used when we’re talking about putting this kind of stuff in the show because it just doesn’t work in it. Its a very different platform and not the exact same audience. This stuff just doesnt belong in a TV show. However, filler doesnt seem right because it all does serve a purpose, just not one that needs to be there on TV. Filler is what I would call added television scenes in order to buy a certain author time to write his books….ahem

  34. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    When I think of filler, I think of those anime episodes that they made purely so that they couldn’t catch up with the manga. “Filler” is overused when describing GoT and is sometimes used interchangeably with “buildup,” which isn’t the accurate use of the word.

    There are some scenes that are kind of filler-esque, I guess, like the recent Arya and Hound scenes that don’t really move their plot along, but hey, with characters like these I am kind if fine sitting back and just watching.

  35. Shan
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    SHK12344,

    I love when people respond to this assertion about Jon and Dany with “YOU DONT KNOW HOW ITS GONNA END” but like lets be real

  36. Dude
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Greyjoy brothers are main characters not filler, moqorro is one of the only red priests we see other than mel and thoros which is essential to see how they all differ. Belwas was filler, and everyone else I can’t remember right away. If I can remember their names and life story then they are prob important cuz that means the author took the time to make them stand out like darkstar who seems like a pointless filler but I think won’t be cut

  37. Deb
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Steven Swanson

    All men must die.

  38. Rickard Greyjoy
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Ashara D,

    He looks good too! I haven’t seen any of his work though. Will have to youtube him.

  39. Morna the Witch
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    One of my favourite parts of Craster’s Keep is Jon just walking into the keep to face Karl, without saying a word. He basically doesn’t say anything through the whole duel. Karl does all the talking. My other favourites are Jon reuniting with Ghost and giving Craster’s women agency to make their own way in the world. The burning of the keep was also quite powerful, as it symbolised a very oppressive situation coming to an end.

    There are too many nuggets in the arc for it to be seen as pointless, like Jojen’s visions and Jon’s development. I also like that Bran was finally the one who had to make the choice of going on. Burn Gorman was great and we saw Ghost and Summer in action, and Hodor being warged.

    Kit is currently filming Spooks: The Greater Good and I honestly can’t wait to see him in something modern, but neither can I wait for the rest of Jon’s arc. This is becoming one of my favourite seasons especially because Jon’s storyline has a lot of meat, apart from all the other great arcs.

  40. Benjen
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if “filler” makes sense for GoT. Every little thing seems to have a purpose in some way, there is just some stuff we don’t know yet. Like who would have guessed Littlefinger would be so influential in season 1/book 1? Nobody.

  41. Daniellica
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen: There are some scenes that are kind of filler-esque, I guess, like the recent Arya and Hound scenes that don’t really move their plot along, but hey, with characters like these I am kind if fine sitting back and just watching.

    See, that is the type of scene I would definitely not think of as filler. I see the Hound as Arya’s first major tutor in the way the world actually works, its brutality, its stark (pun inevitable) contrast to her father’s ideals of honor and nobility. They are kindred spirits in many ways, and Arya is really uncomfortable with appreciating him, while the Hound is really uncomfortable with the fact that he NEEDS someone, that he’s lonely, that he’s always been lonely, that here is this girl who despises him and yet they consistently surprise one another in ways neither anticipates.

    The “dancing” scene on Sunday had Arya reminding me of Sansa in a way, her ideal of Syrio like in one of the songs, and the Hound tears that house down. She’s survived thus far, but since KL she’s always had help, even the help of Sandor. She has to learn to make it on her own, and as long as she clings to the ideals of her father, she is vulnerable. Her father and mother and brother all trusted in the way things SHOULD be instead of the way things ARE (honoring agreements, honoring desires, honoring guest right), and the Hound has always just said how things are. “Looking is not seeing,” as Syrio might say…or did say? :D

    Every scene between those two sets up their dynamic, shows their difference, shows where they need to come together, shows what Arya still has to learn.

    Just as the scenes North of the Wall the past few episodes–some people say they were pointless, but they served great purpose for the characters involved beyond the plot points they may or may not have addressed (unique to the show or no). Jon essentially commanded a ranging here. He had to plead for volunteers, organize and execute an attack. Then, yes, the whole honor vs. winning thing. Another lesson his “father” learned far too late, if at all. And his brother. He may wear black but he’s finally learning the world is much more grey than he always believed. He’s also learned to believe in himself–he’s become a man.

    And then Bran, of course. Going North when he had nowhere else to turn is one thing, but turning away from the brother he loves so much to pursue the source of his mystery is powerful stuff. The claims D&D are stalling for GRRM are ridiculous, IMO, given how much material they’ve already pursued this season.

    What’s more interesting to me than D&D surpassing GRRM is how the show might influence GRRM’s future writing. Will HE stop watching/reading scripts outside the ones he pens himself to avoid undue influence? Can he? Can he divide himself enough to ignore what D&D create on their own, or will he incorporate those ideas out of a sense of inevitability?

    Anyway, there has been very little in the show I found “simply” filler, and can’t think of any particular scene off the top of my head. It’s all served a purpose, as long as your definition of “purpose” encompasses more than the idea of shoving what you think is the plot forward.

  42. Abyss
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    SHK12344,

    No offence, but going down that road, you could pretty much define every character as the main one, that has a couple point of chapters.
    Hell, in the case of Ayra, Bran and Sansa I could use the exact same wording (depending on how strict we use “far corners of the world”) and I would be just as right as you are.
    And btw, what does fulfilling their “destiny” mean? Everybody fulfils their “destiny” just by living his or her live… The term really means nothing here.

  43. Abyss
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,
    *point of view chapters

  44. Caliope
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    The perfomance of Kit is pretty brilliant, body language.., Jon vs. Janos Slynt,Jon vs Thorne, Jon meets Locke, Jon giving inspirational speeches about Mormont, Jon vs. Karl, hardened but tender with Craster’s daughter who saved his life, with Ghost.. A leader! Amazing season for him

    From Spain, BRAVO!

  45. Lex
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Doug:
    Harington is having his finest season to date and it’s only half finished.You can see it as a viewer he is growing into and beginning to own the role of Jon Snow. I never thought he was as bad as people made him out to be. I think it was the writing that was pretty bad for Jon. Which is kind of shocking, seeing that these two TV guys are supposedly so infatuated with the books, that they would mess up one of the most important characters story. But it is what it is.

    It’s improving, and Kit Harington is having a great season.

    Agreed, its definitely Kit’s best season so far… THANK THE GODS. The mishandling of Jon Snow has been one of my biggest critiques of the show thus far (especially the Qhorin Halfhand thing in Season 2). I’ve never thought Kit was bad (I could see a real intensity in many of his scenes in Season 1 & 2) but he just never had enough dialogue to work with. I blame the writing and difficulty of adapting his storyline. I’m so glad to see him finally getting better material, and rising to the challenge.

    After re-watching last week’s episode, my favourite part is his reunion with Ghost. Kit sounds so funny, when he says “Where in seven hells…? COME HERE!”

  46. Casso
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    SHK12344: Main plotline is Jon and Danny. Two teenagers living in far corners of the world, learning to become leaders and fulfill their “destiny”.

    I’m not really sure I’d say there is a single “main” plotline, though I suspect many of the separate threads will eventually converge in the end. Ultimately I think it’s going to come down to a lot of different people/organizations trying to shape the nature of the world in various ways: political power, natural vs. supernatural forces, fire vs. ice, honor vs. ruthless practicality, etc.

    I think there’s a lot going on with the Citadel, the Faceless Men, and the Iron Bank (though I’m not sure who’s on what side, or what their goals are) that’s only barely been hinted at so far, but will play as significant a role as Daenerys and Jon will. I doubt Jaqen is infiltrating the Citadel just for giggles, and I doubt Samwell would have been sent there if it wasn’t going to be relevant. I also think the Sansa/Littlefinger thread will be very important. Littlefinger has been behind too much of the scheming for that thread to just vanish into relative irrelevance.

    P.S. – I vote for Arya as “main character”. She’s the only one with point of view chapters in every book.


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