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With news that Kit Harington voluntarily checked into rehab due to the stress of the Game of Thrones finale, it’s worth taking time out to assess his career thus far. No doubt one reason for his stress is not so much what he went through in emotionally dealing with Game of Thrones ending, but more in what comes next.

Undoubtedly, he’s taking time to analyze his own life and career while in rehab to shape who he really is. You’ll be surprised at how young he still is and what that might mean for where he’s going.

Take a minute to see what his past was and what his future acting career might be.

Where did Kit Harington start his acting career?

Kit Harington
Kit Harington | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

It’s not entirely unusual for a popular TV show to find an actor with a relatively little TV or movie experience. The intention of Game of Thrones‘s producers was obviously to find unknowns with at least some classical acting pedigree and potentially turn them into superstars.

We all know this worked, even if some of them may have trouble figuring out where to go next considering some devoted eight years of their young years to Game of Thrones.

For Harington, his beginnings were all about live theatre in the mid-2000s with the full intention of becoming a classical stage actor. His studies in Worcestershire and London helped him gather all the tools he needed to become a great British stage thespian who could later transition to movies or TV.

He also had his sights set on becoming a journalist rather than devoting his entire career to acting. You have to wonder whether that would have helped his mental health in the long run, or encountered the same problems due to today’s troubling world news.

How Kit Harington landed ‘Game of Thrones’ at just 24 years old

Harington managed to land a prominent role in the stage production of War Horse while still attending drama school. His performance in this won him some awards and major acting cred. Had he stuck with the stage, he undoubtedly would have propelled himself to be one of the most popular stage actors in Britain.

After only one other performance in a stage play called Posh, Harington auditioned for the role of Jon Snow for Game of Thrones producers. Considering he managed to land the latter role after only two stage performances prove how much faith the production team had in his acting prowess.

How they knew he’d be able to translate that for a movie-scale TV show is still a mystery. Some stage actors of the past had a very hard time trying to project their style of acting to a big (or small) screen.

Harington has mentioned it took some adjustments from what he was used to. Yet, you can see how fast he assimilated the role of Jon Snow by the first few episodes.

What does the end of ‘Game of Thrones’ mean for Kit Harington?

Having a major turning point in your career after unparalleled success and just turning 30 is one of the toughest psychological hurdles to overcome. We’ve seen far too many stories of great actors and other notables who basically peaked in their careers before they even turned 35. Many times, it was a downward spiral from there.

No wonder Harington has some issues he needs to work out. Game of Thrones became his entire life during the entirety of his 20s. No other show had ever done that to an actor. If you can argue it’s the price of pushing acting boundaries, it’s still untested waters on how to bounce back.

At the age of 32 and only a decade of acting, Harington has decades ahead of him to hopefully become a respected actor in all mediums. For the sake of mental health, however, it might be better to never invest so much time in one project again to a point of blurring reality.