How 'Game Of Thrones' Went To Crazy Lengths To Make Us Think Jon Snow Was Dead — Even On Set
Hey, did you hear the big news? Game of Thrones' Jon Snow is alive! Unless someone broke into your house last night and stole your computer and your TV and your tablet and your phone and all of your friends who are obsessed with GoT, chances are pretty good that you're aware a certain someone was resurrected on this Sunday's episode of the HBO fantasy series. At long last, our national nightmare is over — and the world's worst-kept secret is finally out in the open. Yes, even though HBO went to great lengths to keep Jon Snow's fate a secret, we all knew he was coming back sooner or later. But that didn't stop them from trying… including giving Kit Harington a code name on set, as revealed by Entertainment Weekly.
It's not like Game Of Thrones is the first TV show or movie to try to keep a lid on things, either through filming alternate endings (like they did to preserve the "Who's in the coffin?" reveal during Season 4 of Lost) or through straight-up lying to your audience (like they did to preserve the "Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan" twist for Star Trek Into Darkness). But it seems like the philosophy on the set of Game Of Thrones Season 6 went something like: "The best way to convince everyone that Jon Snow is dead is to convince ourselves that Jon Snow is dead!"
And so that's what they did, never referring to either the character or the actor by name. Not once. While filming the entire season. Not on paper, not out loud, never. According to EW, "Even though star Kit Harington spent more days working on Thrones last year than any other actor, the name 'Jon Snow' didn’t appear anywhere in the scripts. Snow wasn’t mentioned in the scene breakdowns, call sheets, prop or wardrobe materials either."
So how did they go about addressing the elephant in the room? Did they just call Harington "You-Know-Who"? Did they refer to Jon Snow as "He Who Must Not Be Named"? Not quite. Apparently they gave him an easy-to-remember and innocuous nickname: "LC," which stands for Lord Commander (of the Night's Watch).
"No one was allowed to say ‘Jon Snow’ on set, ever," Harington told EW. "Everyone had to refer to me as ‘LC.'" The publication points out that,"the only exception was when the name was said during on-camera dialogue." The nickname became so ingrained among the cast and crew that, "even the producers used 'LC' among themselves to code their conversation in case outsiders were nearby."
Maybe the team should have been a little more worried about people seeing things they shouldn't than hearing things they shouldn't, since Jon Snow's resurrection was spoiled by set photos of Harington filming in Belfast, not by an anecdote of someone who happened to walk by one of the producers on the street just as they uttered the tell-tale phrase "Jon Snow."
To be honest, this level of on-set secrecy seems a tad bit extreme, given that virtually no one in the world ever thought that Jon Snow was going to stay dead for good anyway, even before the set photos made their way onto the internet. But it's all in good fun and — predictable or not — the sight of the Lord Commander gasping back to life on that table at the end of last Sunday's episode was one of the most exhilarating moments from a show that so often delights in torturing its audience (and its characters). Whatever tactics it took to get us to this point, I'm just happy that Jon Snow is back among the living.
Images: Courtesy of HBO (3)