Credit: HBO

In a matter of eight years and television series Game of Thrones is one of the most successful franchises in modern times. Just under four weeks to go before the final season airs across the globe and nobody can seem to stop talking about the slew of collaborations, run times or the millions of dollars it took to create the eight instalment. But while the hype continues to build over its impending launch, the wait time also serves as an opportunity look back on its quick rise to popularity.

Sitting down with VarietyGoT star and front man Kit Harington opened up about his time on set and according to the actor, it seriously took at toll on his mental health. Playing Jon Snow, the 32-year-old explained the experience and pressure of depicting the character, particularly during the cliffhanging twist during the final episode of season 5. And it ultimately forced him to seek professional therapy.

“My darkest period was when the show seemed to become so much about Jon, when he died and came back,” Harington told the publication. “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 continues, “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.”

“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.”

Going on to speak of the strong female characters of the series as well as the politics of it all, it’s an insightful and meaningful look in the psychology of the actor.

While the interview and his struggles will of course garner trolls, its not the first time an A-lister has revealed his struggles of playing another identity. Last month, Michael B Jordan opened up about his need for therapy after playing Black Panther villain, ‘Erik Killmonger’.

The first of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones airs on HBO on April 15.