As the “Game of Thrones” Season 4 premiere proved, Jon Snow is far from the silent, brooding character he was when he joined the Night’s Watch in Season 1. He knows his purpose and is committed to it, and seems willing to do whatever is necessary to protect the realm.
Part of that will involve him becoming more of a leader. Jon has never led his peers before, and actor Kit Harington says viewers will be able to see Jon become more of a hero in Season 4.
“What I want to do with Jon is that he can’t be a hero straight away, and that’s what the writers are doing as well. He has to learn,” Harington tells Zap2it. “I think this season he really starts learning. He starts being able to control his temper more, which he’s not been so good at in the past.”
Most of the patriarchal figures in Jon’s life who he could have used as mentors — Ned Stark, Benjen Stark, Jeor Mormont and Qhorin Halfhand — have all died (or at least he assumes they are dead, like Benjen). But Harington says the one person Jon could turn to for advice on how to be a leader is the one he never will: Alliser Thorne.
“He’s had all these patriarchal figures constantly telling him what to do, and finally this season he doesn’t have that, because the one person who could be that is Alliser Thorne, who he despises and who despises him. That’s where he’s going this season. He doesn’t have an older figure talking to him,” Harington explains.
While Jon might not find Alliser worthy of his respect, Harington thinks his character might be wrong.
“There’s something too ambitious in Jon to bow down to this guy,” Harington says. “I think, actually, Alliser Thorne is quite a good leader in lots of ways, but Jon is quite competitive with him. And then he’s pulled up in front of this council in the first episode and told to talk about himself, and he’s too stubborn, Jon, to back down. I don’t think it’s necessarily Alliser Thorne’s problem, or his fault. I think it’s Jon who’s being stubborn, actually, but I think that’s the quality of a leader that he needs to have.”
Then there’s Janos Slynt, who gets on Jon’s bad side from the get-go.
“He instantly doesn’t like Janos Slynt because he sees him quite quickly as a weak man and a leech. If there’s one thing Jon is quite good at, it’s reading people very quickly,” Harington says. “In that first episode, he reads everyone very quickly, and that’s what makes him a good leader.”
Now that viewers know where Jon stands in Castle Black, Harington gives a quick rundown of where they can expect his character to go in Season 4.
“I think the whole of Jon’s trajectory this season is convincing people to realize the threat of what’s coming, and to start taking command,” he teases.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. ET/PT.