British actor Kit Harington took a hiatus from work and "went undercover" to escape scrutiny after his Game of Thrones character was seemingly killed off.
The TV heartthrob played Jon Snow in five seasons of the hit fantasy show, but the character appeared to exit in a bloody death scene at the end of the last series.
However, Kit has since been seen back in Northern Ireland, where Game of Thrones is filmed, while the cast was working on season six, prompting rumors he is preparing for a surprise return.
The actor has now opened up about the gossip, and revealed he stepped out of the spotlight in the aftermath of Snow's apparent death because he did not want to face any questions over his future.
"I haven't done Thrones in a while," he tells Digital Spy. "I had quite a lot of time off last year. I've been taking it easy and relaxing... I've just hit the ground, and gone undercover. I've tried to do absolutely no press for anything...
"It's brilliant, the fact that people care about this TV show and what happens to the people they love or hate in it, is a special thing. I've got nothing to complain about, put it that way. If they care about it and I get asked about it a lot, it means that people hold it dear to their hearts and it's doing what it meant to."
Kit goes on to insist Snow really is dead: "I was hoping that there would be an outcry of 'Why?' and 'Oh God, no, no' rather than 'Thank God'. That was the right reaction as far as I was concerned!... People didn't want me to die, but he's dead. So there you go, everyone has to get used to it."
Game of Thrones season 6 is set to premiere on HBO this April.