'Game of Thrones' posted behind-the-scenes footage of a hilariously uncomfortable Kit Harington filming Jon Snow's first dragon ride

HBOJon develops a connection with the dragon Rhaegal.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode one, “Winterfell.”
  • On Sunday’s final season premiere, Jon Snow rode a dragon for the first time.
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of the scene, released by HBO on Monday, reveals how uncomfortable the experience was for Kit Harington, who plays Jon.
  • Harington and his co-star Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, film dragon-riding scenes on top of green machines that look and move like mechanical bulls.
  • “In my head, I thought, ‘This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally,'” Harington said.

A behind-the-scenes video from HBO, posted Monday, gave more insight into Kit Harington’s experience filming one of his character’s biggest moments from Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” premiere: Jon Snow riding a dragon for the first time.

“Buck work is not easy,” Harington said in the video, referring to the machine that he sits on to simulate the dragon’s movements, which looks and moves similar to a mechanical bull.

Kit harington bts game of thronesHBO/YouTubeThe machine is programmed to move according to a computer animation of the dragon’s flight patterns.

Although Jon was hesitant at first, his much-anticipated joy ride was, as INSIDER’s Kim Renfro wrote, “one of the best dragon-based scenes we’ve had yet on ‘Game of Thrones’ in terms of the sound design and visual effects.”

Without those effects, Jon’s big moment looks a lot less regal – but, apparently, equally uncomfortable for Harington.

“There was a bit where Jon almost falls off the dragon, swings around really violently – and my right ball got trapped, and I didn’t have time to say stop,” Harington revealed. “In my head, I thought, ‘This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally.'”

HBOKit Harington shared in his character’s discomfort.

As “Game of Thrones” fans are now fully aware, Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, being the true-born son of Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

After the season seven finale finally confirmed Jon’s secret parentage, many fans of both the books and the show assumed that Jon would ride a dragon during the final season.

While the scene was disappointing to some fans, others loved it – while many more simply made jokes.

Read more:
Why Jon Snow’s big dragon moment on ‘Game of Thrones’ was surprisingly underwhelming


As a Targaryen, Jon has a special connection to dragons. George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, paired with the newly released Targaryen history “Fire and Blood,” make it clear that Targaryens are almost exclusively able to bond with (and then ride) dragons.

In an emotional scene on the eighth season premiere, Jon finally finds out about his birth parents. (Considering that he was just able to successfully ride a dragon without being thrown off, eaten, or burned, maybe he had a hunch all along?)

Dany jon game of thronesHBODaenerys and Jon are the last two living members of the Targaryen dynasty.

“It’s just way too much to take,” Harington said of the revelation in HBO’s behind-the-scenes video. “How do you receive all those bits of information? How do you possibly try and act that, when they have got death raining down on them?”

“Suddenly he finds out the truth about his life – that he’s not a bastard, that everything he’s lived by is not the case,” Harington continued. “And on top of that, that his new love of his life is his aunt. Like, I mean, I was like – come on, this is an impossible task [as an actor].”

Read more:
Here’s how Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are related on ‘Game of Thrones’

It fell upon Samwell Tarley, played by John Bradley, to break the news to his best friend that he had been lied to his entire life.

“The way to get around it was disbelief, like, ‘Sam’s gone mad. What are you talking about?’ Quickly followed by it making sense, and anger,” Harington explained. “I don’t care if you’re my best friend in the world, I will knock you out. How dare you tell this to me?”

Watch the full behind-the-scenes video for season eight, episode one, “Winterfell,” below.

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