Kit Harington

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Kit Harington
Kit Harington 2014.jpg
Harington at Comic-Con, July 2014
Born Christopher Catesby Harington
(1986-12-26) 26 December 1986 (age 30)
Acton, London, England
Alma mater Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
Occupation Actor
Years active 2008–present

Christopher Catesby "Kit" Harington (born 26 December 1986) is an English actor. Born in Acton, London, Harington studied acting at drama school, while starring in the National Theatre's adaptation of War Horse. His film debut was in Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), he has since appeared in films such as the romantic historical film Pompeii (2014), the computer-animated fantasy film How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) and the British drama film Testament of Youth (2014).

Since 2011, Harington has risen to prominence playing the role of Jon Snow in the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which garnered him a nomination for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award. In 2017, Harington became one of the highest-paid actors on television and earned £2 million per episode of Game of Thrones.

Early life and ancestry[edit]

Coat of Arms of the Harington baronets, ancestors of Kit Harington

Harington was born on 26 December 1986 in Acton, London,[1][2] to Deborah Jane (Catesby), a former playwright, and Sir David Harington, 15th Baronet, a businessman.[3][4] His full name is Christopher Catesby Harington,[5] his mother named him after Christopher Marlowe, whose first name was shortened to Kit,[6] a name Harington prefers.[7] Harington's uncle was Sir Nicholas John Harington,[8] 14th Baronet,[9] and his patrilineal great-grandfather was Sir Richard Harington, 12th Baronet. The Haringtons are an ancient family that once spelled their name Haverington and derived the name from their estate, a lordship in Cumberland, the first person identified with their name was one Robert De Haverington, the son of Osulphus or Oswulf whose manor was Flemingby.[10] Through his paternal grandmother, Lavender Cecilia Denny, Harington's eighth-great-grandfather was Charles II of England.[11] Also, through his father, Harington descends from Scottish politician Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville.[12]

He is related to people who were involved on opposite sides of the Gunpowder Plot, he claims a family connection with the leader of the plot Robert Catesby on his mother's side, while through his father's side, he was related to James I (grandfather of Charles II) the target of the assassination attempt, and Lord Harington who was in the Houses of Parliament that Catesby and his co-conspirators tried to blow up. Another relation John Harington (different branch of the family) observed at the age of 13 the displayed head of Catesby after his execution and later commented on it.[13][14]

Harington was a pupil at the Southfield Primary School from 1992 to 1998. When he was 11, his family moved to Worcestershire[15][16] and he studied at the Chantry High School in Martley until 2003.[17] He became interested in acting after watching a production of Waiting for Godot when he was 14,[18] and he performed in several school productions.[17]

He attended Worcester Sixth Form College, where he studied Drama and Theatre (2003–05). When he was 17, he was inspired to attend a drama school after seeing a performance by Ben Whishaw as Hamlet in 2004.[15][19] Harington moved back to London when he was eighteen and, a year later, attended the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 2008.[20][21]

Career[edit]

Early career (2008–2010)[edit]

Before acting, Harington originally wanted to become a journalist.[22] While still at drama school, he landed the role of Albert in the National Theatre's adaptation of War Horse.[5][22][23] The play won two Olivier Awards and gained Harington a great deal of recognition, he was later cast in his second play Posh, a dark ensemble comedy about upper-class men attending Oxford University.[5]

Breakthrough (2011–present)[edit]

Harington at Comic Con in 2011

After War Horse, Harington auditioned for and landed his first television role as Jon Snow in the television series Game of Thrones, the show debuted in 2011 to great critical acclaim and was quickly picked up by the network for a second season.[24][25] Harington's role is largely filmed in Iceland and Northern Ireland,[26] the series was renewed for a seventh season,[27] which premiered on 16 July 2017,[28] and will conclude with its eighth season in 2018/19. [29] Game of Thrones takes place on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and chronicles the power struggles among noble families as they fight for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.[30] Jon Snow is introduced as the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, the honorable lord of Winterfell, an ancient fortress in the North of the fictional continent of Westeros.[31]

Harington has received praise for his performance; in 2012, Harington was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television for the role.[32] In 2016, Harington was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.[33] He said, "It is a serious understatement to say that I am somewhat stunned ... For my work on Game of Thrones to be recognized in this way is an emotional moment for me. I could not be more humbled."[34] In 2017, Harington became one of the highest paid actors on television and earned £2 million per episode of Game of Thrones (based on shared percentages of syndication payments).[35][36]

Harington made his cinematic debut in 2012 as Vincent in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, the horror film was based on the survival horror video game Silent Hill 3, and was a sequel to the film Silent Hill.[37] He was honoured with Actor of the Year at the Young Hollywood Awards 2013, which celebrates the best emerging young talent in film, music and television.[38]

Harington at Game Of Thrones season 3 Premiere in Seattle, March 2013

Harington's first major lead role in a feature film occurred when he played Milo in the film Pompeii. Production for the film commenced in 2013 and took place in and around Toronto, some scenes were also shot in the actual city of Pompeii itself.[39] The film was a modest box office success and received mixed reviews from critics, that year, Harington also voiced Eret in How to Train Your Dragon 2,[40] which was a critically acclaimed, box-office success,[41] won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and received an Academy Award nomination.[42][43]

In 2014, Harington also appeared alongside Jeff Bridges in the film Seventh Son, a poorly received fantasy–adventure film.[44] [45] Harington played Billy Bradley, Jeff Bridges first apprentice killed early in the movie by a character played by Julianne Moore. Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander and Emily Watson also star.[46] The film was released in wide distribution in the UK on 16 January 2015, its world premiere was in The Centrepiece Gala, supported by the Mayor of London, at the British Film Institute London Film Festival in October 2014.[47][48]

In December 2014, it was announced that he would feature in Xavier Dolan's upcoming movie The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, with Jessica Chastain, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton and Susan Sarandon.[49] He starred in the 2015 HBO comedy 7 Days in Hell, a short film about a seven-day tennis match.[50]

In June 2015, it was confirmed that Harington would star in Martin Koolhoven's upcoming western thriller film Brimstone, replacing Robert Pattinson.[51] In 2016, Harington starred as the main villain in the first-person shooter video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,[52] he is the driver in the current 2016 commercial for the Infiniti Q60 sport coupe car. It is his latest role for product commercials.

On 19 February 2017, it was reported that he would write, star and executive produce a three-part historical drama for BBC based on the real story of the Gunpowder Plot. Harington will play the role of his ancestor Robert Catesby alongside actors Mark Gatiss, Liv Tyler and Peter Mullan.[53] The first episode of the series started airing on 21 October 2017; the entire series being simultaneously made available on iPlayer.

Philanthropy[edit]

On 12 September 2016, Harington, as well as Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Stanley Tucci, featured in a video from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR to help raise awareness of the global refugee crisis.[54] The video, titled "What They Took With Them", has the actors reading a poem, written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by primary accounts of refugees, and is part of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide further shelter, integrating job opportunities, and education.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Harington began dating Game of Thrones co-star Rose Leslie in 2012, they announced their engagement through The Times in September 2017.[56]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Director Notes Ref(s)
Silent Hill: Revelation 2012 Vincent Smith Michael J. Bassett [37]
Pompeii 2014 Milo Paul W. S. Anderson [39]
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Eret Dean DeBlois Voice [40]
Testament of Youth Roland Leighton James Kent [46]
Seventh Son Billy Bradley Sergei Bodrov [44]
Spooks: The Greater Good 2015 Will Holloway Bharat Nalluri [57]
Brimstone 2016 Samuel Martin Koolhoven [51]
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan 2018 John F. Donovan Xavier Dolan Post-production [58]
Key
Film that has not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released

Television[edit]

Title Year Role Network Notes Ref.
Game of Thrones 2011–present Jon Snow HBO Main role [59]
7 Days in Hell 2015 Charles Poole HBO Television film [50]
Gunpowder 2017 Robert Catesby BBC One Also executive producer and developer [60]

Video games[edit]

Title Year Voice role Ref.
Game of Thrones 2015 Jon Snow [61]
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare 2016 Salen Kotch [62]

Theatre[edit]

Title Year Role Notes Ref(s)
War Horse 2008–2009 Albert Narracott Olivier Theatre and New London Theatre [63][64]
Posh 2010 Ed Montgomery Royal Court Theatre [5][65]
The Vote 2015 Colin Henderson Donmar Warehouse [65]
Doctor Faustus 2016 Faustus Duke of York's Theatre [66]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 Scream Award Best Ensemble (shared with the cast) Game of Thrones Nominated [67]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Nominated [68]
IGN Award Best TV Hero Nominated [69]
IGN People's Choice Award Best TV Hero Nominated [69]
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor on Television Nominated [70]
2012 Golden Nymph Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [71]
2013 Young Hollywood Awards Actor of the Year Won [72]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Game of Thrones Nominated [73]
2014 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Nominated [74]
2015 Empire Award Empire Hero Award (shared with the cast) Won [75]
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Nominated [76]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Nominated [77]
2016 Gold Derby TV Awards Best Drama Supporting Actor Won [78]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [79]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [80]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Nominated [81]
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Nominated [82]
2017 Giffoni Film Festival Giffoni Experience Award Won [83][84]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]