Game of Thrones: The Last Watch (HBO)

Are you done bashing the Game of Thrones finale? Because you might want to dial down the vitriolic attacks a bit after The Last Watch, the two-hour documentary that looks at an army of craftspeople tasked with turning the fantasy world of Westeros into a tangible reality for the series’ eighth and final season. 

When you see the blood, sweat, and tears that the crew had shed, you feel awful dissing the show: You can blame the narrative missteps on creators David Benioff and DB Weiss all you want, but don’t drag the amazing and dedicated artisans through the mud. 

But The Last Watch by British documentarian Jeanie Finlay — who spent a year shadowing the monster production in Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, and Iceland — is no by-the-numbers EPK-type promotional reel. 

Hers is an intimate fly-on-the-wall piece that eschewed interviews with the marquee actors (who’ve already inundated press tours and talk shows with their bittersweet GOT memories), focusing instead on the background players and their experience of making the show. 

From the fake snow-maker (yes, Head of Snow is a real job title) to the make-up experts to the lady operating the food truck, they were the unsung heroes who kept the well-oiled machine running, ordinary folks who contributed ceaselessly to an extraordinary show notwithstanding an unsatisfying finale.  ​​​​​​​ (***1/2)

Here are six things we learnt from The Last Watch:

 1/ Kit Harington is a really sensitive guy.

The first time Harington discovered that Jon Snow would kill his lover/aunt Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, in the final ep ‘The Iron Throne’ was during the table read. Judging from Harington’s visibly shocked reaction, he clearly didn’t see that coming. Frankly, neither did we.

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Warm-up: Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, and Kit Harington at the Season 8 table read. 

2/ Welcome to the Heart Attack Van.

That’s the nickname of the food truck where the GOT production crew got their snacks and beverages. One of the most popular item on the menu: Tiger Toast, which consisted of bacon, chicken, cheese, ham, tomato, onions, and tobacco onions, all on tiger bread. Not really healthy, but it's tasty. 

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Breakfast of champions: One of the most popular snacks sold at the coffee truck is Tiger Toast. This "fully loaded toastie" consisted of bacon, chicken, cheese, ham, tomato, onions, and tobacco onions, all on tiger bread. There's a good reason why the truck is also known as the 'Heart Attack Van'.

3/ Sophie Ellis-Bextor was spotted at the Heart Attack Van.


The British singer, best known for her hits ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’, did a cameo in ‘The Long Night’ ep —  which involved a gruelling shoot spanning 55 consecutive nights, said to be the longest consecutive battle sequence ever filmed — as one of the Northern Army soldiers battling the White Walkers. Alas, her appearance was left on the cutting room floor.

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Makan time: Between takes, the cast and crew would grab a bite at the coffee truck, which was located right outside the set.  

4/ All hail the Night King.

There is a bit on Vladimir Furdik, the hunky Slovak actor/stuntman who played the Night King. On being asked to play the zombie leader, Furdik recalled, “I didn’t hear ‘Night King,’ I just heard ‘king,’ and I said ‘I can be any king.” He was also on set to choreograph fight scenes, including the showdown between the Hound and the Mountain, aka Cleganebowl.

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Don't forget to moisturise: The Night King is played by Slovak actor/stuntman Vladimir Furdik.

5/ Deploy the decoys.

Even though Harington, Furdik, and Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar) had nothing to do with ‘Dragon Pit’ sequence in ‘The Iron Throne’ ep, they were asked up to turn up for the filming in Spain, just to throw people off the scent. Wait, there were so many people on set and yet no one spotted the plastic bottles mistakenly left in the shot?

gameofthrones decoy
Start spreading the fake news: Kit Harington was asked to turn up for the 'Dragon Pit' sequence in the final ep, even though he was not in the scene. "It's weird being here [as a decoy] and not actually filming," said Harington. 

6/ Meet Andy McClay, the extra who goes the extra mile.

This vivacious bloke and die-hard GOT fan plays a recurring nameless Stark soldier (he called him Aberdall Strongbeard, after his ZZ Top fuzz), who first fought in ‘Battle of the Bastards’ and survived right through the final King’s Landing campaign. The real-life Andy Millman now works as a guide with Game of Thrones Tours.

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Extra-ordinaire: After he wrapped on his last day of filming 'Game of Thrones' ​​​​​​​in the King's Landing set, a teary Andy McClay said, " “I’m choking up here, man. Even though I’m just an extra… 'Game Of Thrones' has really changed my life.”


Watch it on: HBO GO

Photos: HBO 

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