Harington, 32, opened up to Variety about the struggle that came with adjusting to life in the spotlight.
“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” he said. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s.”
Harington said his lowest point came when his character Jon Snow became the focal point of the HBO mega-hit. The star admitted he began to crumble under the pressure.
“My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon, when he died and came back,” he explained. “I really didn’t like the focus of the whole show coming onto Jon — even though it was invalidating my problem about being the weak link because things were about Jon.”
He added: “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—ing terrifying.”
After finding himself crippled by his anxiety and insecurities about his new, elevated status, he decided to seek therapy.
“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. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f—ing act.”
But after five years of steadily increasing fame, Harington’s outlook began to change.
“It’s like when you’re at a party, and the party’s getting better and better. Then you reach this point of the party where you’re like, it’s peaked,” he said. “I don’t know what I could find more from this. You realize, well, there isn’t more. This is it. And the ‘more’ that you can find is actually in the work rather than the enjoyment surrounding it.”
The eighth and final season of the hit show premieres April 14 — and Harington said it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The following episodes will air over the course of the next five Sundays (4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19), with each one increasing in running time.
“[HBO] went balls out, I think is the term,” he joked. “They could have easily set the same budget as they did for season 7, but they went bigger.”
On the last day of shooting, Harington said he couldn’t contain his emotions.
“[It was] a huge heave of emotion. I’m just blubbing,” he said. “The end of Jon’s journey, whatever that may be … I was satisfied with how his story ended.”
Game of Thrones returns April 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.