Kit Harrington’s been one of the three main characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones ever since he ascended to the position of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Back in Season 1 though he was sort of just ‘Eddard Stark’s bastard son turned black cloak wearing member of the Night’s Watch, his main job was to clean out the Maester’s chamber pot.
So for the actor that plays Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, the show’s runners/writers could basically feed him any lot line and he’d believe it because he truly had no idea what to expect from his character. Which is why the gentlemen in charge of Game of Thrones were able to successfully prank the ever living shit out of Kit Harrington, making him think that his persona as an actor was all but ruined forever.
via Metro UK:
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’.
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The men in charge convinced Jon Snow that he’d be horribly disfigured (a la Tyrion Lannister). That he’d soon become the guy in Hollywood known for having a burned scalp and torched face. This was obviously the most grim future imaginable for an actor known mostly for his looks (his hair, mostly his hair), and it would’ve sent his career in a very different direction.
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(h/t Metro UK)