Kit Harington arrived at "Saturday Night Live" in his first guest host gig to tell the world and maybe himself that there's more to Kit Harington than Jon Snow. Meanwhile, "SNL" reminded everyone — maybe Harington included — just how futile that effort might ultimately be.
Other than a Jason Sudeikis reprisal of a handsy Joe Biden in the cold open, and Kate McKinnon's impression of a besieged Theresa May, "Game of Thrones" effectively took over "SNL" last night. From the Harington monologue, to the most obvious gag of the night (HBO prequels, sequels and spinoffs of the show that will never die!) "GoT" stalked Studio 8H. It was a good edition and an energetic one, but it also proved that Harington — who proved to be a good and energetic host as well — has his post-"Game of Thrones" professional life cut out for him.
"I'm very grateful for all the fans," he said in his monologue, "but, I've gotta say, after ten years I'm really excited to see what comes next." What came next was to be expected. A plant in the audience asked who "wins" the Iron Throne. Co-stars Emilia Clarke and John Bradley stood up with their own "GoT"-related questions. Pete Davidson cosplayed the Night King. Harington's wife, Rose Leslie — the late lamented wildling Ygritte — wanted to know what's next too ("What are we going to do for money now? You kept saying 'I'm king of the north, we can order uber eats every night...").
The TV event of the year approaches, and there's nothing to be gained from pretending it's not, so "SNL" largely didn't bother. In fact, most of the sketches had nothing to do with "GoT" — including "Nephew Pageant," "Graphics Department," "Exam," "New Video Game." But whoever Kit played in any of them, Jon never seemed far removed. That's the blessing (and curse) of an indelible role.
Best-of-night went to those pair of video shorts — McKinnon/May, and the "GoT" spinoffs. To the accompaniment of musical guest Sara Bareilles' "She Used to Be Mine," beleaguered May staged a Brexit comeback while canoodling with Winston Churchill (a nearly-unrecognizable Harington.) Meanwhile, the proposed "GoT" spinoffs seemed almost within the realm of possibility — if the realm was CBS as opposed to HBO. There was "Castle Black," a "sexy, moody drama" starring Heidi Gardner as a sexy, moody wight; and "Sam and Gilly: The Queen of King's Landing." A "Game of Thrones"/"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" spinoff starred Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T.
It was produced by Dire Wolf.