Kit Harington Previews What You'll Be Wearing This Summer

We may still be in the depths of winter, but the fashion houses already know what you’ll be wearing next summer. For Esquire, Game of Thrones star Kit Harington reveals the upcoming trends

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As Jon Snow, the brooding bastard son in HBO’s all-conquering fantasy mega hit Game Of Thrones, Kit Harington has experienced a run of bad luck. He’s been sent to guard an icy wall, forced to take a vow of celibacy, shot in the back with an arrow (by a former lover, no less) and had his face slashed to ribbons by a furious eagle.

In real life, however, things aren’t quite so bad. In fact, the Worcester-raised, London-based actor is on something of a hot streak. Still only 27, Harington has wasted no time in carving out a formidable CV. While still training at the prestigious Central School of Speech & Drama he won his first professional job, the lead in War Horse, at the National Theatre.

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“If you’d asked me in my third year of drama school, I’d have said my ultimate goal as an actor would be to play a lead role at the National,” Harington says, relaxing with a cigarette outside the plush Rosewood Hotel in London’s High Holborn, where Esquire has been shooting him wearing this season’s new styles.

“So to just walk into getting that part was completely bizarre and alien. I’d have jumped for joy at being a spear-carrier at the RSC.”

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Following War Horse, Harington fulfilled another lifelong ambition by performing in Posh at The Royal Court Theatre – “somewhere I’d always wanted to work” – before promptly being cast in Game of Thrones in 2011.

He is understandably delighted with how things have gone. “It’s been a glorious start, yeah! A real gift of TV and theatre. And it’s segueing into film now.” While in Los Angeles at the start of 2012, Harington was approached by British director Paul WS Anderson to play the lead role in his upcoming disaster-epic Pompeii.

“He sold the film to me a lot through visuals,” says Harington. “He’d always wanted to make a big disaster movie about Pompeii, and talked to me about the spectacular aesthetic of the film. Massive amounts of CGI, but done well.”

In the film, Harington plays Milo, a gladiator. Like Jon Snow, the character is introverted and dark, but that’s where the similarities end. “Jon Snow is based on honour, duty and doing the right thing,” says Harington. “Milo is completely driven by revenge, hatred and bloodlust.”

The role also required a radical physical transformation so Harington worked-out three times daily, six days a week for the duration of the shoot.

He intends to remain based in London – “I’m quite adamant about that, this is my home, this is where my friends are” – despite LA welcoming him with open arms. Indeed, he recently scooped Actor of the Year at the 2013 Young Hollywood Awards.

“It was the first award I’ve ever been given,” Harington says. “I had to do an awards speech… I nearly shat myself.”

This rapid ascendancy, from stage to television to cinema, has shades of Eddie Redmayne, another well brought-up young Brit making waves in the US. Indeed, they share the same transatlantic agents. “I really liked where Eddie’s career was going,” says Harington, “so to have the same team as him is great. They know what they’re doing.”

A car sent to collect him pulls into the forecourt of the hotel. It’s time for Harington to go, straight back to Northern Ireland for more Game of Thrones. Its filming is very physical, primarily outdoors and mainly at night.
“I love Thrones,” he says. “It’s one of my favourite things to do.” He stubs out his cigarette and grins. “But I’m fucking knackered.”

Pompeii is out in May

Photographs by Tomo Brejc, styled by Gareth Scourfield. Taken from Esquire's February issue, on newsstands now.

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