Weddings don’t have the happiest of track records where Game of Thrones is concerned but as Westeros stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie prepared to tie the knot at a scenic castle in Scotland the cast of the show turned out in force to wish them well. The main entrance to Wardhill Castle in Aberdeenshire, where Kit Harington and Rose Leslie were married
Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Game of Throne show-runner DB Weiss were among the 100 or so guests gathered for the Saturday afternoon ceremony at Aberdeenshire’s 12th century Wardhill Castle, Leslie’s ancestral home.
Wedding entertainment will reportedly be courtesy of bearded banjo bashers Mumford & Sons. It is unclear whether their set will include the Rains of Castamere, the ditty that accompanied the mass slaughter during Game of Throne’s notorious Red Wedding episode.
Harington, who achieved international fame as troubled hero Jon Snow, met Leslie on the set of the HBO blockbuster in 2012 where she played Snow's tragic love interest, “wildling” Ygritte. On screen, their romance didn’t end on the best of terms. A blazing row culminated in Ygritte trying to shoot Snow with an arrow before being killed by a vengeful villager – a setback from which the relationship never truly recovered.
Game of Thrones stars at Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's wedding
Happily, things have gone more swimmingly in real life. Harington and Leslie, both 31, became a couple filming season two of Game of Thrones in Iceland and Harington proposed last year. He’d initially intended to pop the question accompanied by mood-enhancing lighting but instead blurted it out the night before.
“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 this beautiful night sky and had a log fire burning and red wine.”
Helping with last minute preparations on Saturday was the bride’s father Sebastian, Laird of the Leslie clan. "We are absolutely thrilled for Kit and Rose to be marrying today,” he said. The local councillor added: "It's an absolutely lovely day for us. It's a great day for Aberdeenshire. We are using local caterers, local lighting, local flowers."
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie: the Game of Thrones stars' relationship, in pictures
A sprawling marquee was set up on the grounds, which also encompasses a pond and church while outside a smattering of Game of Thrones fans hoped to catch a glimpse of the couple, including a group that had traveled from China. The ceremony proper was expected to be conducted in the panelled drawing room of the castle by Benedictine monk, father Chad Boulton, chaplain of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire.
Leslie spent most of her childhood at Wardhill. Today, it is hired out as a wedding venue and luxury retreat, reportedly charging £3,000 for a minimum two-night stay (an onsite butler is available for an addition £200per day).
As with many of the Game of Thrones cast, Harington and Leslie were just starting their careers when summoned to the Seven Kingdoms. They have since described life on set as being part of a one big family – which is why it was important that they be joined by cast and crew for their big day.
Indeed, Harington was so keen on a respectable turn out by his colleagues he (half-jokingly) requested production to be shut down for the wedding.
“I rang up [the producer] and I said, “I’m getting married and it’s your fault actually”… I think for the final season he is so stressed that he’s reached that peaceful level. I was like, “You need to factor in a Game of Thrones wedding by the way.” They have all got to be there so the whole thing has got to shut down.”
He needn’t have worried as filming on the eight and concluding season of Game of Thrones has been winding down in Belfast. Several key cast members have shot their final scenes, including Emilia Clark, whose black roots were seen growing through the blonde look she sported when playing “Mother of Dragons” Daenerys Targaryen.
She was joined in Aberdeenshire by Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister and by Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, aka Snow’s half-sisters Sansa and Arya Stark. Also said to be attending were Billions star Malin Akerman and actor fiancé Jack Donnelly.
Snow has admitted becoming “an emotional” wreck as the final curtain loomed for the series (Leslie left Game of Thrones in 2014 and is currently starring in American legal drama the Good Fight). Still he’s already thinking about life after Westeros – after filming he has revealed that he will be parting ways with Jon Snow’s trademark manbun hairstyle.
“I’m not someone who cries very easily, but I keep bursting into tears,” he said. “We’ve all spent nine, nearly 10 years together, and the final goodbye is more than a hug.”