Hey! Friends who don’t watch Game of Thrones – Don’t go! I’m going to explain everything, I promise. And make this fun for you. Don’t leave me. I love you.
For a show that has built it’s name on murder and death, Game of Thrones actually has a lot of love stories. They are all pretty upsetting — I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t have some sort of disturbing element — but love stories they remain. Of course, we all have our favorites (and our least favorites), but Jon Snow & Ygritte should be in the top 3 of everyone’s list. Part of what made that relationship so appealing was the genuine chemistry between Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie, who were falling in love with each other as their characters fell in love. What a treat! Let’s get into the details!
Jon & Ygritte
You’re here because you love love. And love stories. And probably romantic comedies. So I’ll break down the story of Jon & Ygritte as if it were a traditional rom com. (This structure is taken from the book “Writing the Romantic Comedy” by Billy Mernit.)
(1) The Chemical Equation — Introduction of the primary point-of-view character that shows what’s missing in that person’s life — what the main interior conflict is for that character, as well as what the main exterior conflict will be.
To set the scene – there is a huge wall made of ice. On one side of the wall lies most of civilization, the other is inhabited by a bunch of ice zombies and some less sophisticated folk called Wildlings (think Alaskan Bush People, but with a lot more murder). On the civilization side there is a “Night’s Watch” who babysit the aforementioned ice wall to ensure none of the zombies or wild barbarians get over the wall and onto their side. Jon is the CEO of the wall babysitters, and as such has taken a vow of celibacy in order to commit his whole being to babysitting the wall.
(2) The Cute Meet or Catalyst — the incident that brings them together and sets up the conflict between them. Their meeting should set the tone for their relationship. It needs to have some link to the theme of the story.
Jon and some of his crew go over to the Wildling side for some reason that I do not remember. To check out the ice zombies, maybe? Doesn’t matter. They stumble upon a group of Wildlings and kill most of them, but capture Ygritte, our love interest. Jon is tasked with killing her; he hesitates, and she escapes! A wild chase ensues, Jon catches her, but they are separated from the crew and thus FORCED to cuddle at night to share body heat. Obvs.
(3) A Sexy Complication — a development that raises the stakes, defines the main character’s goal, puts the main characters in conflict or puts their emotions in conflict with the external goal.
Jon & Ygritte somehow end up with a Wildling Goon Squad. Jon decides to turn double-agent and works to convince them that he is all in on the Good Squad. Jon & Ygritte do a lot of flirting. Ygritte offers to teach Jon how to “do it” and he responds with:
(4) The Hook — the big midpoint scene that really binds the couple and has implications for how their relationship will work out.
Jon eventually proves to Ygritte that he does in fact “know how to do it” in a cave grotto.
Jon gives in to the affair to convince the Goon Squad that he really is a Wildling sympathizer, (remember the celibacy thing?), and it works! But, his feelings for Ygritte become real, and they fall in love and make lots of beautiful speeches to each other like, “I’m your woman now, Jon Snow. You’re going to be loyal to your woman… Don’t ever betray me, because I’ll cut your pretty c— off and wear it around me neck.” Charming!
(5) Swivel — a turning point that makes the stakes higher than ever, so that the relationship jeopardizes the main character’s goal, or vice versa, leading to a changed goal. The main character is forced to choose between love and the goal.
Through a series of events that you don’t want to hear about, it becomes clear that Jon is still loyal to the wall babysitters. The Goon Squad tries to kill him, but he escapes.
(6) Dark Moment — the aftermath of the consequences of the swivel scene. The characters have to reveal private motivations, and it seems that either the love or the goal is lost forever.
Ygritte seeks him out after his escape. He tells her that his love for her is real and adds, “I know you won’t hurt me.” She clearly loves him too but, he was pretty wrong about the second part as she shoots him three times with her bow and arrow. I guess it’s a mercy considering what she threatened to do to him in the beautiful speech from section 4. He runs off to the Night’s Watch.
(7) Joyful Defeat — reconciliation between the characters that reaffirms how important the relationship is to them, usually (but not always) with a happy ending that implies marriage — but usually at the cost of something the main character has had to sacrifice.
Sometime later the Wilding crew attack the wall babysitters. During the battle, Ygritte is shot through the heart by one of Jon’s crew. He holds her in his arms as she dies.
Rose & Kit
While Rose and Kit (gosh, that is an adorable pair of names) were filming the aforementioned tragic romance, they started to have feelings for each other as well. In the years following, they both denied any romantic connection, but in 2016, they finally caved in (pun intended) and went public with their love.
When asked about his favorite thing about filming the show, Kit said that he enjoyed their time in Iceland most “because the country is beautiful, because the Northern Lights are magical, and because it was there that I fell in love.”
Around this time they bought a home together in the English countryside, which looks as dreamy as it sounds.
I have nothing much to say about it, but really wanted to include this photo of the two of them out and about. I am obsessed with this matchy-rainbow-hobo vibe. My favorite clothing pieces are the kind that you can’t tell if they are from a thrift store or cost $1,000 dollars, and these sweaters fit the bill. And the beanies? It’s too much.
The pair got engaged in September 2017. Here’s Kit again (his quotes are just too good), “I did have some plans to do it. I was going to string up some lights in some trees and do all the romantic stuff, but we were in the country and we were under the beautiful night sky and had a log fire burning and red wine and I blew my load early. I was meant to do it the day after with the lights. What I meant to say was, I popped my question a bit early. Not blew my load. Sorry. That’s a really bad expression.”
On June 23, 2018, they officially tied the knot in Scotland. Here are some photos of the nuptials. Lots of cast members were in attendance!
Since Kit basically wrote the second half of this blog post, I’ll end with a quote from him:
“It dawned on me, recently, and I have no idea if we will, but say me and Rose do have children. They’ll know. They’ll be able to see the genesis of their parents getting together. Which is quite a wonderful thought really.”