Not everyone was satisfied with how Game of Thrones ended, but we can all agree that HBO's documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch is a must see for anyone who calls themselves a fan. With cameras following the cast and crew during filming of the eighth and final season, the special showcased the massive efforts it took to get the remaining episodes of this behemoth series produced. Through those exclusive interviews and neat behind-the-scenes footage, the doc uncovered a treasure trove of cool tidbits, like the fact that the show employed an actual "Head of Snow" to make sure those winter scenes were packed with flurries, and that Kit Harington is just as much a fan as he is a star of the series.
There's so much to unpack from the doc, which is why we've singled out the most interesting details over the course of the two-hour film. Here are nine best things we learned from The Last Watch.
1. Andrew McClay, known as Longbeard to fans, is one sweet guy. Dubbed the King of Extras, McClay was just a fan before landing his dream job of working on Thrones starting in Season 5. Taking that role to heart, McClay stepped up as a behind-the-scenes leader, helping other extras understand the context of the scenes they were in or just boosting overall morale with his affable personality. His numerous on-screen appearances turned him into a long-running meme, but his genuine love of the show, as displayed in the doc, also made him a fan favorite.
2. Kit Harington was just as shocked as you were when Jon Snow killed Daenerys Targaryen. Harington's emotional reaction to the shocking scene during a table read of the series finale might be the best thing about this whole documentary. Gasping and brimming with tears before placing his hand over his mouth in disbelief, he looked over at Emilia Clarke who could only nod as if to say, "I know, right?" Watch his reaction below.
Kit Harington's reaction to learning Jon kills Daenerys is so relatable I can't even. #TheLastWatch pic.twitter.com/OfqzeRKmbG— C. | jon and dany deserved better (@carohuntz) May 27, 2019
3. The large crew included an official Head of Snow to make sure those winter scenes looked nice and frosty. Yes, Game of Thrones employed an actual snow wrangler named Del Reid who created flurries for those massive scenes in Winterfell and beyond out of paper and water.
4. The first shot of Season 8 featured Daenerys telling Sam about murdering his father and brother. Talking about kicking things off on an awkward note! The very first thing filmed on the final season was that tense encounter that helped turn yet another one of Jon's friends against Dany.
5. Vladimir Furdik has a tragic backstory. While expressing how fortunate he is to be where he is now, Furdik, who played the Night King, revealed that things could have gone another way for him. Born in Czechoslovakia, the federal state's dissolution into the independent countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia forced him to decide between a life of crime and something else. Furdik stayed on the straight and narrow while most of his childhood buddies, who decided to become gangsters, wound up dead.
6. Game of Thrones brought in decoys to throw fans off. The show took extra precautions to avoid spoilers, like bringing in actors for scenes they weren't even a part of. To keep people guessing, decoys like Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) and even a Wight Arya were used during production.
7. Filming the final season was hard on everyone, including the production crew. Filming on Season 8 required hundreds of hours of filming and lots of time spent away from family, which eventually took its toll. Sarah Gower, who worked with prosthetics alongside her husband Barrie, could barely keep it together during a video chat with her daughter in one of the film's most heartwarming scenes.
8. Emilia Clarke had mixed feelings about the show coming to an end. In a conversation with hair stylist Candice Banks during her last time in the makeup chair, Clarke described the show's impending ending as an "exhale of breath" and then reminisced about her time on set. Realizing this would be her last time suiting up as the mother of dragons when her hair was finally finished, Clarke began to tear up. Aww!
9. Kit Harington really, really loves Game of Thrones. Nobody was more over the whole Game of Thrones circus by the time filming wrapped than Harington. Despite his bemoaning, however, the actor still holds his experience with the show close to heart. "I love this show... more than, I think, anything," he said in a speech after wrapping his final scene. "It has never been a job for me. It has been my life. This will always be the greatest thing I've ever been a part of."
Game of Thrones: The Last Watch is currently available on HBO. You can also stream the doc, and all of Game of Thrones, on Hulu via the HBO add-on.
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