Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have ‘fessed up to playing the most epic prank on Kit Harington.
They admitted to Entertainment Weekly that they tricked Harington into believing his character would suffer horrible burns, which would disfigure his face and destroy his hair.
The pair sent Harington a fake script for the scene in episode 8 of season 1.
The book Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2 recounts what it said:
Jon plunges his hand into the fire, seizes the burning drapes, and FLINGS them at the dead man, engulfing them both in flames. . . . When the fire is finally out, we see by torchlight that all of
Jon’s hair has burnt down to the scalp. The skin on the top half of his face has been melted in the extreme heat, blistered and pustulant. Despite what must be the extreme agony of permanent disfigurement, Jon stands stoically by his master’s side. . . . Jon smiles, his teeth shining brightly in his destroyed face. Mormont, sickened, has to look away.
Weiss told him HBO were ‘worried the Jon Snow storyline was too Harry Potter, and they wanted to do something to make it darker’.
Harington only learned it was a joke when he turned up on set ready to film (and lose his beloved locks).
‘We kept this up until we started laughing,’ Weiss said. ‘He was a remarkably good sport about the whole thing.’
Good on ya, Kit!