SPOILER ALERT: “Game of Thrones” had a fiery finale.
Fans going through “Game of Thrones” withdrawal after last week’s series finale are in for a treat.
HBO gave viewers a last dose of the hit series Sunday during “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch,” a two-hour documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the eighth and final season.
Although the feature didn’t offer any closure to fans’ burning questions, it did highlight the massive effort behind creating the controversial season of “the biggest and most popular TV show ever,” according to the documentary’s opening scene.
Here are five takeaways from “The Last Watch”:
‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’
Kit Harington learned that his character would be the one to kill his aunt/lover Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) during the table read for the final episode, “The Iron Throne.”
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Although the cast was given the scripts three days ahead of the table read, Harington chose not to read his in advance, as evidenced by his bewildered reaction when the fateful scene is read aloud.
Harington gasped, buried his head (and famous locks) in his hands, then put his hand over his mouth in disbelief. In another shot, he tries to hold back tears as his face turns red.
Kit Harington didn’t know the destiny of his “Game of Thrones” character, Jon Snow, until the first table reading for Season 8. (Photo: HBO)
It was just one compelling scene to come from the table read. Others included the cast applauding Maisie Williams after Arya Stark’s big announcement and Conleth Hill tossing his script after Lord Varys is executed.
‘I swear by the old gods and the new’
In an effort to protect the highly sought after plot from leaks and spoilers, all of the cast’s scripts were shredded following the table read.
The series utilized digital scripts on iPads during the last season, except for director David Nutter, who used paper copies that he locked in a safe each day.
Production also brought in decoys while filming the Dragonpit summit where Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is elected king to throw off spies. Decoys included The Waif (Faye Marsay), Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) and Jon Snow, who was actually imprisoned and not present in the final scene.
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The Starks – Arya (Maisie Williams, left), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) – all play significant roles in the hit show’s resolution. (Photo: Macall B. Polay, HBO)
‘He brings the storm’
The Night King may have not spoken in “GoT,” but Vladimír Furdík sure did in “The Last Watch.”
He’s a stuntman and choreographer who helped prepare fight scenes, including the Cleganebowl between The Hound (Rory McCann) and The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson).
Furdík said wearing the mask of the wintry villain “completely changes you.” He offered his personal perspective on the Night King’s destructive ambitions that were never revealed during the series.
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The Night King was played by stuntman Vladimír Furdík. (Photo: HBO)
“You’re stepping into the makeup trailer joking and happy, and step by step you’re becoming the dark side,” the stuntman said. “I think he’s angry. He doesn’t want to be Night King. The Children of the Forest, they changed him and now he’s (like), ‘OK, you want me to be the Night King? OK, now I kill you.'”
‘The silver hair of a true Targaryen’
Daenerys’ signature braided tresses start with a … bald cap.
The documentary shows Clarke in the makeup chair as her naturally brown mane is transformed into platinum. The process starts with a bald cap placed over her real braided hair to mask her darker roots.
“That is still the most beautiful hair I will ever have on my head,” Clarke said about her wig. “It’s magical when you put that on. It’s an instant ‘whoa.'”
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She added, “My heart is my throat thinking about this not happening much longer.”
‘Winter is coming’
The film featured many unsung heroes of the series, including Del Reid, the “Head of Snow.”
Outside the gates of Winterfell on “Game of Thrones.” (Photo: HBO)
Reid’s job was to make sure the set locations and props were dressed with the right amount of “snow,” which he revealed is really a mixture of paper and water.
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