Byline: Frazier Moore
NEW YORK -- Shhhh!
"Quiet'' and "still'' aren't words you might associate with "Game of Thrones.'' HBO's epic fantasy, set in the make-believe continent of Westeros, typically swirls with warring armies, forbidding landscape, even fire-breathing dragons.
But Jon Snow embodies the meditative quality that regularly quells words and movement by the characters in favor of a moody immersion in this vast realm for the audience.
Through this universe roams Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Lord Ned Stark and an outcast, a brooding warrior with haunted eyes, shaggy curls and a rosebud mouth from which few words issue.
That's the way Kit Harington, who plays Jon, likes it, as "Thrones'' begins its fifth season Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
"He's not a complicated character,'' says Harington, a compact but buff Brit of 28 whose earnest, subdued manner at an interview last week seems not so far removed from Jon's.
But that, perhaps, is where the similarity ends.
"There's a lot of turmoil, a lot of frustration and rage churning inside Jon -- and that's where he keeps it,'' says Harington. "He doesn't overthink what's going on with him. He's not a modern man. He's not seeing a shrink.''
Jon Snow looms large in a crush of characters portrayed by an evolving ensemble of stars who also include Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Emilia Clarke. And while the scale of the series is vast, so is the inspiration: the five-and-counting novels by George R.R. Martin in the "A Song of Ice and Fire'' series.
Harington was signed for "Game of Thrones'' at its pilot stage following his run in the West End production of the hit play "War Horse'' -- which he had landed soon after graduating from London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. "Thrones'' became his first television role.
It might have just been fate.
"What I've always responded to when watching actors is their stillness. When they're not making too many choices. When they're concentrating on what's going on up here'' -- he taps his temple -- "rather than showing everybody what's going on with gestures. I believe...