Kit Harington expects a “bloodbath” in Game of Thrones season 8


A lot of big stuff went down in “The Dragon and the Wolf,” and Jon Snow (or as we can now call him, Aegon Targaryen) was at the center of many of them, as per usual. Kit Harington sat down with Deadline to talk about the finale, how the show has changed, what he expects from season 8 and how he feels about it all coming to an end.

First of all, Harington is gushing about the latest, supersized episode. “I think it’s one of the best episodes of Game Of Thrones I’ve seen,” he says. “It’s got a bit of everything, it fits with the season, and it also fits with Thrones in general, and I love it. I feel very soppy about it at the moment.”

One of his favorite parts of the episode was the the big face-off scene in the ruins of the Dragonpit:

"You know, I think the major part of that episode, which really was really strange for all of us as actors, was being in that dragon pit and everyone being there just facing each other, like every character. I say, it’s more for us as actors with every actor in the series that we’d ever thought about working with. You have to try and remember that a lot of these people knew each other by rumor, but had never met. So I, or Jon Snow, had no idea what Cersei looks like …well, I had from the first episode of the first season, but no idea how she is, how she interacts, how she works. So that was a major thing for the episode and the series."

The dramatic scene between Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy was my personal favorite scene in the episode, and it turns out it’s Harington’s personal favorite as well:

"I think that the really poignant bit for me, my favorite moment really in the episode, just on a personal level, was I was getting to work with Alfie Allen again and do the scene with Theon where they meet in the Dragonstone throne room. I love that scene because I love what Alfie does with his character. I’ve loved his journey this season. I think that’s just really interesting to look at how those characters and the journeys they’ve been on since they interacted in that first season. Now here they are as men, and what’s changed, and what they’ve been through, and I think was a really interesting thing to play with me for and Alfie."

The Jon Snow/Theon Greyjoy moment helped build the “epic” feel of the 80-minute installment, which was in many ways structured more like a movie than a TV episode. The length was essential for Harington, because it “really sets up what to expect for next year.” He feels it was a  “tester” that shows “whether we can make an episode that kind of length and with that amount of story going on.” And with reduced numbers of episodes per seasons, the extra time is necessary.

"For me, it’s a really good way of finishing the season, doing that sort of length. I think where the season has suffered a bit is that you’re trying to pack so much into seven one-hour episodes. Whereas now, with the finale and going into the final season, we’ve got a bit more time in those episodes."

Harington says the storylines are now “crystalizing” around the lead characters, allowing them to constantly develop and grow. He feels that last season was focused on Jon and the Battle of the Bastards, while this season was structured around Daenerys. Now that the end is in sight, he’s been thinking about the day when he hangs up Jon Snow’s sword for the last time:

"…it’s been on my mind a lot recently, obviously, and it’s kind of very much in my consciousness and I think in my subconsciousness. I’m already feeling very emotional about it. This is beyond what many actors experience in their lifetime, a kind of phenomenon like this, and I experienced right at the start of my career. I think I just want to do a really good job in the final season. I want to finish it well. That’s what I care about right now.”"

It’s understandable that Harington can’t predict exactly how he might feel when the show is over. “When it gets to the end, I’ll know for sure and tell you,” he says. “I can tell you now it’ll feel like the right time. I think right now how perfect this feels as a time to end. I think if it had ended this season, it would feel too short. I think if it went on any more seasons, I would be sick of it.”

Helen Sloan – HBO

Harington was loathe to say what the final season will include, although he’s pretty sure he’ll be doing a lot of fighting. “[A]nd I love that, so I’m going to really get stuck into that and do it and enjoy being knackered every day.” As for the ending, he expects the show to go out with a bang. “This can never end the way that Thrones started,” he says. “It always had to end big, and if we can do that, if we can pull it off, not with some tricks-y storytelling, but with some really kind of big, in-your-face movie stuff, with all the characters because there are so few left.”

He also expects a heavy cast casualty rate in season 8:

"And the thing is, with so few characters left, they (the viewers) should get used to and get ready for next year is Thrones returning to form and killing its main characters quickly. They’re going to go, and they’re going to go fast, and I think that the payoff of our characters not being in great peril this year will be that, next year, it’s going to be a bloodbath."

Like all of us, Harington wants to know how it all ends. Unlike all of us, he’ll know very soon, because he’s about to start doing script table readings for season 8. “We’ve all been discussing in bars as actors and together on set what will happen in the final season, and very soon, we get to find out,” he says, adding “Of course, you guys won’t get to find out for a long time.”

We hope so. Leakers, go away.

Helen Sloan – HBO

Turning to Littlefinger’s demise, Harington thinks his ending scene “is going to be one of the standout scenes of the whole of Thrones, in my opinion.” Why? “I don’t think they will be expecting it, because he somehow feels immortal. There were rumors early on that Littlefinger would be the one on the throne at the end, you know.”

"Looking at it, it really comes back to what the root of Thrones is, seeing someone face their own mortality and see who they really are in that moment. I think, you know, we see this terrified little worm come out, and actually, I felt sorry for him. I felt for him, you know, and it was incredible, beautiful acting from Aidan Gillen. I think the show will miss him next year."

Harington also talks about the success of Game of Thrones and its cultural influence in what is now being called the Golden Age of Television.

"To me, the show has made the difference between film and TV not as easy to decipher. Actually, the endgame for us in some way, I think, is to make a movie for TV, but which is TV because you know these characters over seven years … I hope that this last six episodes in the final season is going to be put on movie screens, you know, and it becomes both. It becomes in your home and in cinema. I hope that that happens. I think it’s already happening at times, and that really is the blending of long-form story and an epic kind of spectacle."

Finally, the actor looked back on season 7, saying that there’s been a lot of “holding of breath” this year. “You know, usually, there’s a lot of around-the-table talking and small cogs, slow cogs moving into place. That’s what we’re used to from Thrones. Then out of nowhere, we hit them with this very, very, very fast-paced, incredibly adrenaline-filled season where everyone meets, and a lot of things happen, and the dragons go batsh*t crazy.”

"I hope that instead of it being a slow roller coaster, I think that they’ll have enjoyed the pace that it’s picked up on, and then they’ll now know what they’re in for for the last one. They’ll now be used to this Thrones, which is a slightly different Thrones, but one where it always had to end. It had to end on this massive level."

In other words, expect to have your Stark stockings knocked off in season 8.

Next: When does Game of Thrones season 8 premiere?

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