Warning: Spoilers ahead if you’re not caught up on “Game of Thrones.”
Carice van Houten was incredibly relieved once Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” aired.
Having been informed of Jon Snow’s storyline in July of last year, she said keeping the secret of his fate for 10 months got “tricky.” The only cast member who had to keep the secret longer was actor Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow.
“I texted Kit the day it aired: ‘Relieved?’ And he wrote, ‘God, yes.’ Poor guy,” van Houten told Business Insider.
“It was a long time to lie to people,” she added.
Like Harington, van Houten had to lie to fellow cast members and crew until they too were informed of the closely guarded Jon Snow storyline. Then there was the lying to the public and the media.
“I got asked the [Jon Snow] question the most outside of [Kit Harington], because of Melisandre’s powers,” she said. “Yes, it was hard. It was tricky. But of course it was a fun lie. It was a lie where something good is going to come out of it.”
She then recalled, “Sometimes, people would really look into my eyes and say, ‘You can tell me. Is he dead?’ I had to really act. My acting skills really came in handy.”
- Helen Sloan/HBO
As part of the cover-up, the cast and crew were not allowed to refer to the Jon Snow character by name.
Instead, they used the codename “LC.” It stood for Lord Commander, Jon Snow’s position at the Night’s Watch when he was killed on season five.
The ban was extensive and applied to everyone on the set. “Jon Snow” didn’t appear in scripts, scene breakdowns, call sheets, or prop and wardrobe materials.
“[Jon Snow’s storyline] was such a mystery in the scripts and everyone was talking about it,” van Houten said. “We couldn’t even say ‘Jon Snow’ anymore.”
The only verbal use of the name allowed was in dialogue. Producers even used “LC” while talking among themselves, in case someone not belonging to the production was in earshot.
At some point, the codename became the subject of a joke on the set. During the scene on last week’s episode, when Melisandre must wipe down Jon Snow’s body, van Houten adopted a new “slightly sexual” version of the codename.
“It was not me who came up with this. It was one of the girls, and I don’t want to spoil which one it is. It was always LC, so the girls would say, ‘Little clit.’ There, I said it.”