'Game of Thrones' actor on shocking finale: 'I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season'
Warning: This story contains major spoilers about Sunday's "Game of Thrones" finale.
In one of the most shocking TV moments of the year, "Game of Thrones" killed off one of its biggest stars on Sunday. Jon Snow, or the bastard of Winterfell, was struck down by men of the Night's Watch in a harrowing conclusion to the HBO drama's fifth season.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, actor Kit Harington talked about his popular character, how fans of the show will react to Sunday's gut-wrenching finale and whether or not the Lord Commander is actually dead.
"I kind of knew it was coming," Harington said of the finale. "I didn't read (George R.R. Martin's novel) 'A Dance with Dragons.' But I read the other books and I had heard this is what happens.
Harington said it was the show's creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who confirmed the news to him last year before production on the fifth season began.
"We did the Tony Soprano walk (tell an actor they're going to die). And they said, 'Look, you're gone, it's done.'"
"I didn't realize it would be the final shot of the season and that made it extra special," the actor said of the bloody mutiny at the end of season five, in which a band of misfits from the Nights Watch stab him to death for being a 'Traitor' after joining forces with the enemy outfit the Wildlings.
"I dunno, I loved it," he added. "I loved how they brought Olly in to be the person who kills me. I love how the storyline with Thorne was wrapped up. I think it was really well crafted by (Benioff and Weiss). It felt like the right way for it to happen."
As for whether or not his character his really dead or if there's a chance his wounds were not fatal and he returns, Harrington said: 'I've been told I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season. So that's all I can tell you, really.'
The drama's show runner also confirmed that he was gone: ""Dead is dead," Weiss told EW.
"We would hope that after seeing the scene and the way it's shot that the answer to that will be unambiguous in the minds of the people watching it," he explained. ""It should be pretty clear what happens in by the time you're done seeing that scene. It's not an, 'Oh what just happened scene?'"
But George R. R. Martin, author of the popular books that inspired the Emmy-winning series, has sprinkled some skepticism as to whether Snow's fate is actually sealed on "Game of Thrones."
"My readers should know better than to take anything as gospel," he said in a 2011 interview. He added fuel to the fire in another interview this past year: "If there's one thing we know in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is that death is not necessarily permanent," he said, referring to the first volume in the books. Martin is currently writing the next book in the series, "Winds of Winter."
As for Harrington, he's already begun to turn the page.
"I'm looking for movies for next year," he said. "I'm in a very lucky place—I can turn things down and do what I want to do. There's a couple movies I'm looking at, but I can't really talk about them yet. I might take a holiday. I might try writing. I'm trying to figure it out."
What should fans expect at the end of the series?
"I don't know how they're going to finish (it), but I think I've gone out on a great season. I think they'll have to end it with most epic f–k-all battle TV has ever seen."