We're not saying Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's 2018 wedding affected the entire shooting schedule for Game of Thrones' final season. Though we're not not saying that.
Because not long after the over-eager London-bred actor dropped to one knee during a holiday in the English countryside—"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, and I blew my load early," he joked on The Jonathan Ross Show, immediately correcting himself to say, "I popped my question a bit early. Not blew my load"—he phoned up producers with a second proposal.
"I said, 'I'm getting married and it's your fault actually,'" he recalled to Ross of his request, a not unfair point considering he first fell in love with his former costar while pretending to fall in love with her on the fantasy drama's snowy Iceland set. "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!'"
And thus it was so ordered.
At Jon Snow's decree, a break in filming was created, Belfast's Paint Hall Studios abandoned for the weekend so the likes of Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams could turn up some 300 miles to the north in Leslie's hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland, on June 23, 2018.
Because while Snow may have been king, it was Leslie's family who laid claim to some true royal lineage—her mother Candida Leslie is a direct descendent of King Charles II—and pretty impressive real estate. Dating back to the 12th century, Wardhill Castle—where one of Leslie's brother William, one of her five siblings, and his wife Sarah live year-round—boasts turrets and towers and some 700 bucolic acres complete with views of the Bennachie hills.
And though the popular wedding venue they selected for their reception site regularly hosts ceremonies in the grand drawing room and on the front lawn, Harington and Leslie, both 34, went the traditional route, booking Rayne Church to trade their actual vows.
Harington arrived first with his groomsmen and ushers, stepping out of his taxi and straightening his three-piece suit before heading into the 18th-century stone parish. An hour later—after the entirety of the Game of Thrones cast, plus the couple's pals Marcus Mumford, Malin Akerman and husband Jack Donnelly and some 80 other guests walked up the gravel drive—Leslie made her entrance.
Her ear-to-ear smile almost pulling focus from her long-sleeve, floral-embroidered ivory gown, cathedral-length veil and crown of white flowers, Leslie "was ecstatic," an onlooker noted of the actress, who was escorted by dad Sebastian Leslie. "Rose looked relaxed and very happy as she walked in."
Though that was nothing compared to joy she exuded on the way out.
After the groom promised to love and honor his bride and never again repeat the April Fool's Day prank that saw Leslie stumble upon a model of his head in their fridge ("She pretty much told me if I did it ever again that would be it," Harington confessed to Ross of his epic stunt, "and I think that's marriage included"), the pair dashed outside through a shower of white flower petals to their awaiting chariot: An old Land Rover Defender adorned with paper hearts, a "Just Married" sign and a train of tin cans that rattled the whole route to Wardhill Castle.
With press and fans gathered outside the imposing manse, having been tipped off by the notice posted at Aberdeenshire's Huntly registration office, the father of the bride, a local councilor, made a bit of noise himself, telling reporters, "We are absolutely thrilled for Kit and Rose to be marrying today. It's an absolutely lovely day for us."
And though we were left to imagine the chiavari chairs and florals that were chosen (doubtless, tasteful arrangements that complemented Leslie's all-white bouquet), Sebastian did share that they'd relied on "local caterers, local lighting, local flowers" to put the whole day together.
The result, as one attendee told E! News, "was perfect. Family and friends were elated for Rose and Kit. It was a day of love and celebration and you could see it on everyone's faces."
In the three years since, there have been several more toast-worthy occasions—including the recent arrival of their son. But more than a decade into their love story, the duo find joy in life's little pleasures.
After spending years in New York City filming The Good Fight, the actress told UK's Make Magazine recently that she was thrilled to return to Europe—where she filmed both the upcoming BBC One thriller Vigil and the Death on the Nile adaption—spending weekends with Harington at what she called "the house that Jon Snow built," their 15th century Tudor-style manor deep in East Anglia.
"It's incredibly old," Leslie told the outlet of their Suffolk abode. "We have a thatched roof, which currently has an enormous hornet's nest in it. I do love to think about the house and all the people who have lived there. Were they happy, how did they live? All the families passing under those ancient beams."
Having confirmed to Make that she was, indeed, expecting at the time, she added that the spot provided a nice escape. "What a glorious thing to be able to run to the countryside and recoup," she noted. "It's a great privilege to be surrounded by greenery, birdsong and hedgerows, and our delightful neighbors."
Plus the man she first fell for under those Northern Lights back in 2011.
While neither actor has been entirely forthcoming about the intricacies of their romance, save for the fact that it was quite easy to mix business and pleasure as Jon Snow and Wildling warrior Ygritte, "we are very, very happy," Harington allowed to Esquire in 2017, wanting to keep the details between himself and his bride. "So that's what I'll say about that."