If you haven’t yet seen up to the end of the seventh season, then warning – major spoilers ahead!
The final episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season saw two of its most beloved characters, Daenerys and Aegon – previously known as Jon Snow – finally get together. But the stars who play them, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington, appeared to foreshadow this romance five years ago, in a photoshoot that has only just resurfaced. Here’s a closer look at the images that recently broke the internet.
Back in 2012, Rolling Stone organized a photoshoot featuring four stars from a new show fast becoming a global phenomenon, Game of Thrones. Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) were the names chosen to promote the HBO hit. But it was the images that didn’t make the cut which later caused an online frenzy.
In 2016 photographer Peggy Sirota shared several behind-the-scenes images that hadn’t made it into the magazine. A year later she reposted several of these pictures on her Instagram feed. And one particular photo featuring Harington and Clarke appeared to be a preview of their characters’ season seven storyline.
The picture in question sees Harington and Clarke sharing a romantic kiss against the backdrop of a sunlit field. And that wasn’t the only time that sparks appeared to fly between the pair on the shoot. Another image sees Harington kiss his co-star on the forehead during a tight embrace.
Sirota captioned the most talked-about image, “This moment was unforgettable. It was a small crew on that day, just a few of us out in the field. The chemistry between these four was huge, as you can see… I asked them to kiss, I suppose love was in the air, and I was just lucky enough to be there.”
Unsurprisingly several fans took to Twitter to respond to these public displays of affection. Scrubs star Zach Braff admitted that the kissing photo made “his heart and peep happy.” “Can’t get over Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington’s Rolling Stone photos! So. Much. Feels,” posted another excitable fan.
One particularly creative fan even used their Photoshop skills to make Clarke and Harington appear more like their Game of Thrones characters. For some viewers, the idea of Daenerys and Aegon walking down the aisle together is the stuff of dreams. And judging by recent developments, it could be a dream that soon comes true.
Sirota reposted the images just days before the show’s season seven finale, in which Harington and Clarke got to kiss once more. Indeed, after a season’s worth of sexual tension, Daenerys and Aegon finally slept together, just before preparing to deal with the threat of the White Walkers. Of course, this being Game of Thrones, their relationship is far from a simple one.
Indeed, unbeknownst to them, Daenerys and Aegon just happen to be blood relatives. A voiceover from Bran reminded viewers that the lusty pair were in fact aunt and nephew. Of course, Game of Thrones is no stranger to incest, with Cersei Lannister bearing three children with her twin brother Jaime.
The behind-the-scenes kiss between Harington and Clarke wasn’t the only image from the Rolling Stone photoshoot to send fans into a frenzy. Another previously unseen picture showed Headey lying on top of Clarke in a seductive pose. Their characters in the show, of course, are famously bitter rivals.
In the accompanying interview Headey revealed how much fun she had at the shoot. “We got to play around with fur – and each other, which is always good. We were just being affectionate… in a fashion way.” Clarke, who would later grace the front cover of the iconic magazine, added, “In a styled, fashion-y way.”
But, of course, it’s the images of Clarke and Harington that have gotten the most tongues wagging. Could the pair who have finally consummated their relationship on screen have been a real-life item off of it? Well, it’s fair to say that the stars share a fondness for each other.
In an interview with Elle magazine, Harington spoke lovingly of the first time that he met his Game of Thrones co-star. “I was sort of bowled over by this absolutely stunning petite girl, with this wicked sense of humor. We became very fast friends quite quickly.”
Although the pair met in Belfast before the first Game of Thrones episode had even aired, they didn’t actually appear on screen together until season seven. Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that their first scene was a little weird. “Both of us were going, ‘Ahhh, what are you doing on my set?’”
But that was nothing compared to how they felt filming their incestuous first love scene. Pretending to gag during a cast commentary for HBO, Clarke said, “For us, as actors, it’s just weird.” Harington was just as perturbed at having to cavort with his on-screen aunt. “I remember looking at her and going, ‘Oh god, I’m sorry. Let’s go again.’”
However, Clarke has always been keen to point out that her relationship with Harington is nothing more than platonic. The actress once told Elle magazine that the rumor “literally makes me want to cry, it’s so far from the truth.” Clarke, who once dated Seth MacFarlane, added that she’s set herself a new golden rule – “no more actors.”
However, Harington certainly isn’t abiding by such a rule. The star has been in a relationship with another Game of Thrones actress, Rose Leslie, since 2012. Harington announced his engagement to Leslie, who plays Ygritte in the fantasy show, in September 2017 via British newspaper The Times.
In 2016 Harington told Vogue Italia how he fell in love with Leslie while shooting Game of Thrones in Iceland. “Because the Northern Lights are magical, and because it was there that I fell in love. If you’re already attracted to someone, and then they play your love interest in the show, it becomes very easy to fall in love.”
Thankfully, Leslie doesn’t appear to have a problem with all the speculation about her fiancé and his new on-screen love interest. In fact, she and Clarke have also become close friends since the show began. The pair can often be seen hanging out together with Harington in his and Clarke’s hometown, London. (Leslie, despite her English accent, is actually Scottish.)
Harington admits that the trio’s high profiles can sometimes make their social activities a tad awkward. He told Elle, “It can get a little tricky in pubs. With two or three of us in the same show, you can attract a bit more attention than you might like.”
Harington, Clarke and Leslie were last spotted together enjoying this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The trio were joined by several Game of Thrones castmates, including Richard Madden (Robb Stark) and one of the Rolling Stone photoshoot’s other names, Alfie Allen. Clarke captioned a smiley photo on Instagram with “The best memories of this little life so far.”