Following the feverishly-anticipated conclusion of Game of Thrones after a massively scrutinized eight-season run, actor Kit Harington checked into a luxury wellness centre in Connecticut where he is seeking treatment. This is according to Page Six, which is reporting that the end of Harington’s tenure as Jon Snow “really hit him hard.”
The outlet reports that Harington, who played one of leads on the ensemble series for its iconic run, checked into the health resort Privé-Swiss a few weeks before the juggernaut show’s divisive series finale aired on May 19. The 32-year-old actor has been receiving treatment for stress and negative emotions in the form of “psychological coaching, practicing mindful meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy” at the facility, which comes with the high price tag of $120,000 USD per month.
Page Six spoke to a friend of Harington’s, who said the ending of GoT took a heavier-than-expected toll on the British actor. “He realized ‘this is it — this is the end’, it was something they had all worked so hard on for so many years. He had a moment of, what next? He’s in the clinic predominantly for stress and exhaustion and also alcohol.”
In 2012, Harington began dating his co-star Rose Leslie, who played his love interest Ygritte on the show. The pair were engaged in 2017 and wed in June 2018. Page Six is reporting that Leslie has been “extremely supportive” of Harington’s decision to seek treatment. According to the friend, “Everyone close to him really wanted him to get some rest. Right now, he just needs peace and quiet.”
Harington’s rep told etalk that “Kit has decided to utilize this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues.”
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Harington has reportedly been spotted spending time in Madison, Connecticut, using his breaks from the facility to visit a local bookstore as well as a gym. During the weekend of the GoT finale, which became HBO’s most-watched program ever with 19.3 million viewers, and in Canada was the biggest show in entertainment specialty and pay TV history, with S8 averaging 2.5 million viewers each week in its timeslot on Crave, Harington spoke to the staff at RJ Julia Booksellers, where he told fans he was on “holiday.”
One local told Page Six, “Kit looks really good and appears to be very focused on his health and wellness. I have personally seen him out in the community many times. I think it’s wonderful that he is taking time to take care of himself – more people should.”
Harington’s stint at the centre following his packed promotional schedule leading up to the end of Game of Thrones is not so big a surprise. The actor has been vocal about the emotional and mental toll playing Jon Snow has taken on him, going all the way back to the Season 5 finale in June 2015, when Jon was killed by his men. Harington was forced to keep his character’s return from the dead a secret until the Season 6 premiere in April 2016.
Speaking with Variety in March, Harington said “My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon when he died and came back. I really didn’t like the focus of the whole show coming onto Jon.”
The actor, who admitted his celebrity rise on the series made him feel vulnerable and shaky, said “When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f—–g terrifying. That was a time when I started therapy and started talking to people,” he said, “I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone.”
Much was made of Harington breaking down in tears at the final table read, shown in the recent documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, when he learned that his character [SPOILER ALERT] was going to kill Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen.
Harington told Esquire in April, the same month he hosted SNL for the first time, that physically distancing himself from Jon Snow on the final days of filming was almost too much to bear.
“My final day of shooting, I felt fine … I felt fine … I felt fine … then I went to do my last shots and started hyperventilating a bit …Then they called ‘wrap’ and I just f—-g broke down. It was this onslaught of relief and grief about not being able to do this again,” said Harington.
“But the weirdest bit was when we came off set and they started taking the costume off and it felt like being skinned … It felt like they were unceremoniously for the last time ripping off this character.”
Here’s hoping that Harington gets the rest and treatment he needs as he prioritizes his mental health and well-being.