The Last Watch has now ended. The two-hour documentary about Game of Thrones aired this past Sunday night. And it was actually quite informative. So as for the final watch, we share three takeaways from The Last Watch.
The cast members would get scripts before the final cast reading. But it was up to each individual cast member if they wanted to read the script prior to the final reading with D&D the showrunners. (D&D, David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.) And watching as the cast members were hearing and reading the final scripts for Game of Thrones, there would be two reactions to catch my eye. First, and the one most people will still be speaking about, and that was Kit Harrington (aka Jon Snow.) Kit would have his eyes welling up with tears to learn that the fate of the woman his character (Jon Snow) loved Daenerys Targaryen, would have her life taken by his character. The real reaction to the news was something truly heartfelt for Kit and fans alike.
The second and arguably the reaction that stuck with me, even more, was that of Conleth Hill, better known as Lord Varys. Hill would give a genuine reaction of another kind as his castmate Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) was reading her lines that would precede the death of his character Lord Varys. Conleth Hill would take his script and with agony etched in his face toss his script face down. This really struck me as the faces of the surrounding cast members would look to comfort Hill. Game of Thrones may have just been a show for many people. But for the people in that room reading those sets of scripts, it was much more than that. A chapter of their lives was over. And now their watch has ended.
So there was quite a hit of controversy this season, to say the least. One thing that baffled and divided many fans was Arya Stark killing the Night King. And whether or not you were apart of Team Arya or not there was a question that needed answering. (I was Team Arya from my first day watching Thrones, just to put that out there.) The question being, how did Arya jump seemingly out of nowhere? Well, now we finally have the answer.
Thanks to the final season script reading sessions, we learn the scenario that would allow Arya to jump to victory. Arya would not leap from the godswood tree, nor would she have the hops of “Air” Michael Jordan in Space Jam. But what Arya would have was somewhat of a platform, because of the amount of dead wight surrounding the Night King. This would allow Arya to leap towards the Night King to deliver his fatal blow, thus saving the world of Westeros.
Bitter Sweet Conclusion
This season was divisive to say the least. There were a lot of unhappy Game of Thrones fans ready to protest and boycott. (As evidenced by the 1.5 million plus signatures to redo season 8 entirely.) But watching this documentary allowed you to witness the grandeur and spectacle that was every episode this final season. One line that stuck with me even after the two-hour recap was there’s not much bigger we can go. Each episode was essentially a full-length feature film in terms of cost, design, and presentation. But it was set to a weekly episodic schedule.
Game of Thrones became a worldwide phenomenon. And while there are always things we can criticize. We should look at the positive aspects of the show as a whole. Because while the ending may not have gone as many would have hoped, it could have been worse. (Yes, I’m speaking of the ending to Dexter. 😡 Nothing will ever make me more upset than that series finale.)
And I’ve said this on multiple occasions and many platforms, but watching Game of Thrones a second or even third time from beginning to end gives you a different perspective on the show as a whole. My first take on season eight was similar to most, disappointment. But after a second pass with fresh eyes, I’m still not happy about it. But there is less that I’m genuinely annoyed with in the end. Game of Thrones was never going to end exactly as everyone wanted. But there was a conclusion that left more questions. Like what if the three-eyed raven is actually an evil entity that set things into motion to place himself on the throne. And if you follow that rabbit trail, it leads to fun places.
And I understand that many people want to have a full sense of closure at the conclusion of a show. But as Ramsey Bolton said long ago “if you think this has a happy ending, then you haven’t been paying attention.”