Kit Harington says he considered suicide and describes alcoholism as ‘pretty traumatic’

‘Game of Thrones’ star has been sober for two and a half years

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 08 August 2021 09:00 BST
Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie marry in Scotland

Kit Harington has opened up about his struggles with alcoholism and his mental health.

In a candid interview in The Sunday Times, the Game of Thrones star said: “Things that have happened to me since Thrones ended, and that were happening during Thrones, were of a pretty traumatic nature and they did include alcohol.”

He said he “got to a place” where he felt that he was a “bad” and “shameful” person and that he considered taking his own life.

When asked whether he felt suicidal, he hesitated before replying: “I will give you an answer to that question: the answer is yes. Yes of course. I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things.”

Harington went to rehab, and was treated in the £95,000 a month Privé-Swiss retreat in Connecticut for “substances” and “behaviours” – “mainly alcohol”.

He said he kept his addiction issues “very quiet and was incredibly secretive”, adding that they “came as quite a surprise to the people around me”.

Harington also described handling fame badly and being an “a***hole”, adding: “Someone said to me once, ‘When you’re sitting at a table and everyone around that table you’re paying, that’s when you know you’re in trouble.’ ”

Kit Harington (Shutterstock)

The actor has been sober for two and a half years. “Getting sober is the process of going, ‘No, I can change,’” he said. “One of my favourite things I learnt recently is that the expression ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots’ is completely false: that a leopard actually does change its spots. I just think that’s the most beautiful thing. It really helped. That was something I kind of clung to; the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life.”

Harington played Jon Snow in the HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones for eight years. He has since starred in the Netflix show Criminal and has a baby son with his wife and fellow Thrones star Rose Leslie.

He can next be seen in an episode of Amazon’s Modern Love, in which he plays an Irish man who falls in love with a stranger on train.

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If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to to find a helpline near you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

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