From Rags to Riches: Parallels Between Kit Harington and Jon Snow

Actor Kit Harington was born and raised in Acton, London. He studied acting at drama school before finding his big break in films and TV shows. His debut film was in Silent Hill: Revelation, released in 2012, and he since went on to appear in other films such as Pompeii (2014), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and the British drama film Testament of Youth (2014). However, Harington is perhaps most well known for playing the role of Jon Snow in HBOs hit television series Game of Thrones.

When Kit Harrington first auditioned for the role of Jon Snow, he came into the audition with a black eye: “I had been in a scrap, but I think it might have helped, you know, ‘who’s the kid with the black eye?’” This also might have helped Harington because of the character he was auditioning for. In season one, Jon Snow was an angry, young man and the illegitimate son of the battle-hardened King of the North, Ned Stark. So Harington looking as if he had come fresh from a street fight was perfect. Appearing as if he had a chip on his shoulder was great for the role of Jon Snow.

“You have to look at your blessings, don’t you? With Thrones, I have to realize that, whatever happens, and for all the stress and the pressure that goes with it, it’s been an extraordinary journey and I know I’ll look back later in my life and think, ‘That was crazy, that was amazing.’ It’s something that very, very few people experience, and I love that.” – Kit Harington

There are many parallels that can be drawn between Kit Harington and the character of Jon Snow. Both Kit and Jon came into the series relatively unknown. When Kit Harington first got the role of Jon Snow in season one, he was overshadowed by a cast that featured the likes of Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, and Michelle Fairley. He was a new and young actor and so his role and his acting as a whole was not given much attention. Similarly, Jon Snow’s character was introduced as the bastard of Ned Stark. As an illegitimate child, he would not be able to claim any lands or any inheritance from his father. In a world that cared so much about names and titles, Jon Snow’s inability to claim any of those allowed him to be singled out early on as one of the weaker players in the series. Winning the Iron Throne required a strong last name that would inspire allies and troops, which Jon Snow did not have. However, both Kit Harington and Jon Snow possess a resolve within them that allows them to shine through any limitations that are placed upon them.

“You know obviously, a big TV or film break would be lovely, but I find that I’m essentially a theatre trained actor and that’s what I love doing. I love fringe theatres in London, I love theatres like the Royal Court, SoHo and the National obviously and if I could work in any of those and be a jobbing actor for a while then I’m very lucky.” – Kit Harington

Over the years, Harington, through his acting, has built a name for himself so that he is no longer overshadowed by the other actors/actresses in the series. In 2016, he received his first Emmy nod for his role as Jon Snow. Similarly, the character of Jon Snow (SPOILER!) has found a way to become King of the North despite the fact that he is known to them all as a bastard. They both used the undeniable resolve that they possess to shine through all the obstacles that were put in front of them. Both Kit Harington and Jon Snow now play leading roles in Game of Thrones and have found ways to drive the plot for many seasons. There is an undeniable resolve that runs through them both, and that perhaps is what makes them so appealing to others. Seeing someone that does not have much of a name or status go up against those who do, and fares well against them, is an inspiring sight to see. It’s the classic “Rags to Riches” story which has stirred and captured the hearts of audiences everywhere for so long.

“I love acting and I know that’s a cliché, but I didn’t really, I was very naïve when it came to the whole being recognized thing.” – Kit Harrington

Author Bio: Idil Dahir

Idil Dahir is a freelance writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto in which she completed a specialist program in English. Idil enjoys everything from Films, TV Shows, Sports, Novels, and Comic Books. She is currently working on her fantasy novel as well as her freelance work. If you would like to contact Idil you can reach her at: