Kit Harington's ancestor invented the flushing toilet and is the reason it's called 'The John'

The INSIDER Summary:

• Kit Harington stars on “Game of Thrones” as Jon Snow.
• In numerous interviews, he’s revealed that his ancestor is John Harington — the inventor of the first flushing toilet in Britain in the 16th century.


Kit Harington’s brooding role of Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones” is way more interesting (and pun filled) than you realise. Not only is Kit Harington the relative of John Harington — a 16th century author, poet, and inventor of Britain’s first flushed toilet — but that same ancestor might be the very reason we call a toilet “the John.”

In an interview with Elle Magazine, the topic of Harington’s royally flushed past came up.

Elle: The Internet is rife with rumours about you. Is it true that one of your ancestors invented the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I?

Kit Harington: That’s 100 per cent true. It’s called “the John Harington.”

Elle: Wait. We all refer to the loo as “the john” because of your family?

Kit Harington: Yeah. [Laughs] I’m glad it’s not called “the Harington.” [My family] also wrote the queen a lot of bad poetry. I’ve inherited the bad poetry genes, but not the inventor genes.

Jon snow game of thronesHelen Sloan/HBOOn TV Harington is now King in the North, but his ancestor was King of the Loo.

Turns out this isn’t the first time Kit’s family history has been brought up. In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, fans learned about John Harington the inventor and other posh British ancestors the “Game of Thrones” star calls family.

We must note that apparently the etymology of “the John” is disputed, as some historical articles claim that people were calling the toilet “the John” before John Harington invented a flushable one for Queen Elizabeth I.

But, as Kit’s response in the Elle interview reveals, he and his family believe they own the legacy of “the John” and that’s good enough for us. Especially coming from King Jon Snow himself.

NOW WATCH: This burrito is stuffed with ramen, fried chicken, and bacon

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.