Kit Harington Almost Lost a Testicle Filming ‘Game of Thrones’

Wow, living in Westeros is enough to drive you nuts.

Fighting the Night King must take a lot of balls.

The squabbling among the Lords of the North must be making Jon Snow kind of testy.

All of these are jokes you could make that sort of obliquely reference the fact that during filming of the first episode of Game of Thrones‘ final season, Kit Harington nearly lost a testicle.

That’s right. Turns out the actor who plays Jon Snow suffers just as much for our entertainment as Jon himself does for the people of the North.

It was while filming the episode’s exhilarating dragon-riding scene – in which Daenerys introduced her lover/nephew to the joys of zooming through the sky on monsters – that the unfortunate near-castration occurred. While riding around on the mechanical bull-like contraption that stands in for real dragons during filming – yep, sorry to disappoint you but those dragons you see on screen are actually CGI, not skilfully-trained animal performers – Harington had to realistically depict the moment when Jon almost falls off his dragon.

He did so with brilliant style: in fact so committed was he to the method, Harington made sure he accurately captured Jon’s expression of terror by getting his right testicle caught and dangling wildly from the fake dragon, certain that the moment when he was separated from his ball was imminent.

It’s an eye-watering tale, even for those of us inured to such horror by watching the show, which has featured more genital torture than most programs do. For the whole story and more behind-the-scenes secrets from GoT, check out the full video.