The British actor explained that he is “quite defiant” about the show in a Q&A for Esquire published on Monday amid mixed reviews from fans disappointed by the show’s final season premiere. The HBO fantasy juggernaut was watched by a record 17.4 million viewers on Sunday night, including some who felt the episode was tonally inconsistent while being light on the action and heavy on the scene setting.
“I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season — and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here — but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgment on it, in my head they can go fuck themselves,” said Harington, who portrays Jon Snow.
″’Cause I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show,” he continued. “Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down.”
Other “Game of Thrones” cast members have already described the pains that went into filming the final season, especially the 55-day shoot to capture an epic battle.
Actors recalled harsh weather and exhausting days on set. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the series, revealed there were moments when “you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry.”
That’s why Harington said he doesn’t “give a fuck” about the show’s reception.
“In the end, no one’s bigger fans of the show than we are, and we’re kind of doing it for ourselves,” he said. “That’s all we could do, really. And I was just happy we got to the end.”
And the actor admitted that he, too, was critical when he first saw the script for the pilot episode back in 2009.
“I remember thinking, What is this crock of shit? I don’t understand this. I’m going to have to read this again,” Harington recalled. “And I read it again. And I’m like, I still don’t get this shit at all. I think it’s kind of weird, but it’s HBO and alright, let’s do it. I would love to get this. And I think that’s what people feel when they start watching it. Or when they hear about it. Like, “No. Fantasy—weird.”
He added: “But you watch it, you invest in it, and you go, “Okay, I’ll buy into this world. Fine. I’m in.”