10:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Game of Thrones' Season 2: Kit Harington Previews Jon Snow's Inner Battle
War may not be coming as soon as Jon Snow (Kit Harington) would like it when HBO's Game of Thrones returns Sunday for its second season.
Following the death of his father, Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) bastard son was last seen deserting -- and being returned -- to the Night's Watch as he sought to immediately avenge the death of the man who raised him.
The following morning, when Lord Commander Jeor (James Cosmo) informs him that he's aware of Snow's attempt to leave the Watch, he (finally!) gives his steward more to do when the duo venture out beyond the Wall. But there's a rub: Joffrey Lannister (Jack Gleeson) -- the newly crowned king who ordered Ned's head -- isn't on their radar.
"The whole Night's Watch is going beyond the wall and he's forsaking any kind of chance at revenge right now that he may get to avenge his father's death," Harington tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The next season, he has to forsake his family; he has to go to a different place and realize he has different priorities."
With Jeor and Snow instead on a quest to quell the threat of the imposing Wildlings and White Walkers and find the missing First Ranger Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), a big part of their journeys will see the steward realize he's being groomed for power and ultimately a commander of the Wall, Harington says Snow will go to battle internally before he takes on his family's fight in the pending war.
"He lets his emotions get ahead of what he should be doing; he doesn't stay under control. That's the struggle for him in Season 2; he needs to stay calm but it's a difficult journey for him," he says. "He wants to prove himself to everyone around him -- to his family that he doesn't see anymore, to his peers -- that he has huge ambition but he's also got a big moral code within him. Those two are at war with each other."
With his grieving brother Robb Stark (Richard Madden) in the North plotting revenge on the Lannisters for Ned's beheading and a rescue plan to return his sisters, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner), Harington says Snow will be isolated and disconnected from his family and will have no choice but to put Joffrey in the back of his head for a while.
"That's hard but as far as Jon goes, he's only moving farther away from Joffrey at the moment," he says. "It's hard for him to do anything while he's going north. He's got a bigger war with the Wildlings and people beyond the wall than he does down south right now."
For more on what to expect from the heroic Snow this season, check out the featurette below. Game of Thrones Season 2 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.