Nearly every role Kit Harington takes on will be compared to the one that made him famous. The actor became a household name after portraying Jon Snow in the HBO's wildly successful Game of Thrones series, but he takes on a brand new character this week as Robert Catesby in the HBO miniseries Gunpowder. Robert Catesby definitely has similarities to Jon Snow, likely due to Harington's overall vibe, but luckily, the actor does enough to evolve into a completely new character, as well.
But, to start, the appearances of both characters lend themselves automatically to comparisons — Harington's aesthetic hasn't changed much at all as he jumped from one project to another. According to The Guardian, Harington told his agent in 2014 that he'd like to branch out from Jon Snow-like characters — aka he wanted to be done with swordfights and period pieces for a while.
Obviously, that didn't turn out to be the case. "I always say things and end up backing down on them," he told The Guardian. "It was weird, though, because I walked right into it. I pitched [Gunpowder] where I have long hair and a beard, and it got made. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to play swords and horses.”
Both characters are certainly the strong, silent type, especially in the beginning for Catesby, and both also work on some daunting schemes as their respective shows go on. They both fiercely defend those they love and the causes they believe in, though they exist in drastically different situations. It'd be impossible for viewers, especially those who are Game of Thrones fans, not to draw comparisons between these roles of Harington's. The actor, himself has even noted some similarities in an interview with The New York Times.
"They're both quite introverted in some ways, and they're both very serious about what they believe," Harington told the New York Times earlier this month. "They both hold their morals, and their moral compass and their code of honor, very close to their chest." Despite these attributes Catesby and Snow share, Harington also thinks the two are very different as well. "They're entirely opposite in what they set out to achieve," he said in the same interview. "Jon Snow's all about protecting lives and saving lives and doing everything he can to avoid violence in many ways. Catesby's the opposite: He wants to see death and destruction."
Though audiences will see hints of Snow, the differences are also noticeable in the first installment of Gunpowder, which will run the rest of its two parts on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on HBO. Though Catesby starts out quiet and subdued, he definitely seems a bit more of a loose cannon — no pun intended — than Snow does. While at a hearing in court, where Catesby and his friends are charged with not attending church, he is defiant and even aims an outburst at the panel examining their case. It's definitely a new look for Harington after playing a usually measured and calm Snow.
Though audiences have gotten used to seeing Harington in this kind of period piece, the actor himself seems ready for a change. "I'm personally done now with the 1600s," he told the Independent. "So moving forward now — to London in the 1960s perhaps. Or at least something with guns." Fans still have at least one more chance to see him in this element in which he's carved out such an impressive space for himself — Game of Thrones will premiere its final season sometime in 2019. After that, it seems that Harington will leave Snow behind for good, though his presence will likely linger in future roles to come — just maybe not anymore period pieces.