First Look at ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington in Paul W.S. Anderson’s ‘Pompeii’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 10:12 am,

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones First Look at Game of Thrones Star Kit Harington in Paul W.S. Andersons Pompeii


The prospect of Resident Evil and DOA: Dead or Alive director Paul W.S. Anderson tackling the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that destroyed the town of Pompeii and killed most of its citizens was always going to be worth watching at least once. When Game of Thrones star Kit Harington was cast as the male lead, interest in Pompeii increased even more.

Based on the synopsis, it sounds like Anderson is attempting to do for Pompeii what James Cameron did for the Titanic: frame the disaster within the context of a love story, to make the eventual outcome all the more tragic. The majority of the film will be about Milo (Harington), a Celtic slave-turned-gladiator striving to get back to the woman he loves, Cassia (Emily Browning).

Speaking in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harington gave a few more details about both the plot of Pompeii and about his own character, in particular his similarities to his character on Game of Thrones, Jon Snow:

“Milo is a Celt who is enslaved when he is a child and his family is killed. There’s a time cut that happens in the movie where you see me go from a child to a man, and you realize he’s been a gladiator for a long time. Eventually he’s taken to Pompeii… It follows [Milo and Cassia’s] story till the volcano erupts.

“He’s a good swordsman and good fighter, and quite brooding, which is all of what Jon Snow is, and he doesn’t really speak a hell of a lot, even though I’ve got a lot of screen time. He kind of keeps himself to himself.

“The differences, and why I was interested in the role, were that Milo is completely set on vengeance rather than honor and justice. He’s an angry, angry man who doesn’t care what he does. For a large part of the film, he’s driven by pure rage.”

That’s not all that’s on offer, though. For those who are interested in seeing what Milo looks like as well as knowing what his motivations are, EW also released the first image of Harington in costume as the angry, brooding Celt gladiator with a soft spot for a Roman girl:


Kit Harington as Milo in Pompeii 570x352 First Look at Game of Thrones Star Kit Harington in Paul W.S. Andersons Pompeii

Though Harington’s costume might look like a male version of bikini armor, it is actually quite an accurate depiction of what gladiators would have worn at the time. His right arm is heavily encased in a protective wrap known as a manica, which is designed to prevent his sword arm from being injured by an opponent. It was also customary for most gladiators to fight with bare chests or torsos, and Harington’s outfit seems to be designed to allow maximum speed and maneuverability – more Dothraki than Night’s Watch.

Harington’s ab window does serve the purpose of showing the results of the gruelling training regime that the actor decided to put himself through in the lead-up to Pompeii‘s shoot, as well as throughout its production. Though earlier photos show that he was already reasonably toned before becoming involved with Anderson’s film, there is a noticeable change in his physique that was apparently hard-won:

“The first thing I said to [Paul] was, ‘Look, I’m playing a gladiator. I feel there should be a physical transformation, if he’s as strong as you say in the script. Maybe I should sort of tone up for that?’ So I went into quite a heavy training regime five weeks before filming. I started by bulking up and then when I got out there I had four weeks to shred down and get toned. It’s a full-time job that you have to carry on for the whole of the movie. I was on a very severe diet and training six days a week. It’s the best shape I’ve been in, and I was hell-bent on getting in a certain way. When you get into that sort of training regime, it becomes addictive.”

Getting into shape is probably a good idea, considering how busy Harington is going to be in the near future; like several of his Game of Thrones co-stars, the Jon Snow role has won Harington a great deal of both attention and movie roles.

Kit Harington in Silent Hill Revelations First Look at Game of Thrones Star Kit Harington in Paul W.S. Andersons Pompeii

Kit Harington in ‘Silent Hill: Revelations’

In addition to playing a key role alongside Sean Bean in last year’s horror sequel Silent Hill: Revelations, he’s also starring in Legendary Pictures’ fantasy adventure The Seventh Son and even has a voice acting part as a villain in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

It’s possible that Harington is becoming somewhat typecast, given that almost all of his roles so far are in historical dramas and fantasies, but it’s still early days for this newcomer and he has plenty of time to break out of the mold. For the moment, however, his role in Pompeii is likely to be a strong draw for fans of the genre, and with the time before its winter release date closing in, we’ll hopefully get a trailer before too long.


Pompeii will be out in theaters on February 28th, 2014.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Pompeii
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  1. Wow, where was this guy when they were casting for Spartacus again? He could’ve easily fit into that cast based on that image alone.

    So now I have GOT and Pompeii to look forward to next year.

    • No, thank you. They did fine with Liam McIntyre.

  2. Paul WS Anderson is crap director. This might ruin Kit career. YOU REALLY KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW

    • LOL!

      So true on both accounts.

  3. Can one get that ripped in five weeks to bulk and
    four weeks to shred without chemical intervention?

    I say no based upon what I have seen but if yes
    I would like to see the routine and diet specs.

    • Absolutely, but we mortals usually dont have the time, money, and ability to hire a PT and chef full-time lol

      • Right. We could never be so pampered while suffering.

    • To be fair, he wasn’t exactly weedy before. The training regime is probably more efficient if you start out with a six pack.

      • Thanks for the observation.
        I had not really noticed he was.
        A head start would make a difference.

    • Yep.

      Based on two factors

      What you want to achieve, bulk up high carbs low fats and high protein.
      If you want to get cut and define it requires low carbs, low fats or no fat and high protein intake. You work on your core. Mostly push ups, ab crunches, sit ups, sit ups, sit ups and oh..Situps. We are talking 5-6 days a week working on various body parts, you do not want to do three days in a row on the same routine, you start ripping and tearing muscles, ligaments and tendons.

    • Some of the best conditioning/to get cut workouts involved.

      Resistance training
      And “The Spartan” workout is my personal best. Basically, working all of muscles calves, thighs, arms, wrist and hands. Just use 250, 350, 450 and if you get to the point, 650 lb Tractor and industrial size tires.

      Car tires are great forms of work out, 15 inch tires two around each arm and slow jog.

      350kb Tire Push up hill. Slow grade, slow push, since it is a tire the weight is evenly distributed. Then when you get to the top of the hill, reverse and use the weight of the tire as resistance training.

      • 350LB..I am scared to think what a 350 Kilobyte tire is.

      • Sounds a lot like the 300 workout as I recall
        Gerard Butler and gang was put through for that.
        I take it you think the time frame he used is doable.

        • It’s doable if he had a good base already. I don’t think he could have gone from Machinist weight to this but if he already had some muscle tone he very well could have.

          • Right. If he had enough of a base to start with I could see it.

        • It is called The Spartan Workout.

          • Named from the movie 300 I presume.

            • I do believe so, yes.

  4. Paul Anderson will waste this guy. Prediction

  5. Does anybody have faith in Paul Anderson?

    Cause if so, they need to open their eyes. This guy does the bare minimum in all his films.

  6. Looks very ‘Blood and Sand/Vengeance/War of the Damned’… but that will be because they used period-authentic style armour as well.

    Should be interesting…

  7. The writing probably won’t be as good as GOT, but some awesome action scenes combined with some good acting from Kit should result in an ok film.

    I agree that he may become typecast if he continues down the route of only doing this genre. It would be cool to see him get involved in a sci-fi or mob film, for now though I guess his priority is the Iron Throne

  8. Well, my hopes for a terrific portrayal of the last moments of Pompeii went out the window…

    Paul WS Anderson is going to turn one of history’s most tragic and amazing events into another Resident Evil action style movie.

    But, knowing nothing else about the movie AND assuming he’s basing the characters off of the remains found, I will concede that there really were remains of a gladiator found holding a young girl. I am sure poetic license is used to make her a love interest in the movie.

    Still, I am hopeful that one day a serious, big budget telling of Pompeii will hit the theaters.