As I'm sure all avid followers of Game of Thrones would agree, there's nothing more annoying than having a vital plot twist spoiled before you've had chance to experience the narrative yourself. It's pretty selfish, and rude, to ruin someone's enjoyment of something just because you have the means to. Jon Snow, it would seem, feels exactly the same way.
Talking all things press, politics and privacy in an interview with Vulture, Kit Harrington laments about the 'snooping culture' which has become so prevalent in today's society. And, as this comes from a guy who spends most of his days atop a gigantic wall surveying the North, you can be assured that on this topic, Jon Snow actually does know.
Whilst promoting his TV series MI-5 in which Harrington stars as a man-bun clad hipster spy and, whilst that character description may be triggering for some, the movie's theme is the focus for this interview; namely, the inability to escape surveillance. A real-life matter which he finds, frankly, 'very unhealthy.'
"Because of Snowden, you're very aware of this now. We have these horrible, and I believe wrong, new measures brought into our country about people's records being kept of what internet sites they've been on. There's a snooping culture in the U.K. which is very unhealthy. In London especially, we're one of the most, if not the most, surveilled population in the world. I find that terrifying — governmental control of internet records and phone records is wrong. Deeply wrong. I feel that quite strongly."
Reading George Orwell's '1984' at a young age opened Harrington's eyes to government control and surveillance, a revelation turned obsession which Harrington seems happy to be addressing in his new movie.
"One of the reasons I love being an actor is sometimes you get to ... I don't necessarily like making political statements, and actors really shouldn't, but sometimes you get to do so through your work. Through drama. I read 1984 when I was a kid, and it was a book I obsessed over. I became very paranoid about everything, for many years. I'm glad they're bringing out a new movie of it because it's an important thing to always be aware of, how much your governments are watching you or listening to you, and not disclosing what they hear or what they're doing."
Although this doesn't seem to emotionally impact his daily routine, it has lead to him fully supporting whistleblowers like former CIA agent Edward Snowden who notoriously extracted classified government files he deemed of public interest.
"I'm not overly paranoid about it, but I agree. In some ways, it's quite right that Snowden was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I think the freedom of the press is an important thing, to take stock of that subject, and when the press is controlled, that's a very dangerous thing."
However, it's not just those in positions of power who are to blame for the relentless surveillance.
As we're so accustomed to watching famous faces such as Harrington's on our screens, it can be easy to forget that they're not always in character and are as much entitled to a private life as we are. Thus, it can be perceived as a rude invasion of privacy when you stick your iPhone in his face without permission, even if you are just trying to add to the 'Jon Snow alive or dead' debate.
"Sometimes it's not just the government cameras. You go anywhere in public, and people take your picture. It's got to be so annoying when they just. Will. Not. Stop. Do I think people taking photos of you without your permission is rude? Of course I do. I deal with it a lot. There's a lot of camera phones being pointed at me in not such a subtle manner. And a lot of my friends who are actors, and myself, we get angry about it. It's incredibly rude behavior. It's one thing to ask someone for a photo and give them the chance to say yes or no, and hopefully they say yes."
So basically folks, use your manners.
Check out the trailer for 'MI-5' below: