The final season of Game of Thrones may have left fans with an absolute mountain of some answered questions, but The Long Watch, a documentary chronicling the show’s final episodes just solved one major mystery.
No, not how Daenerys’ army seemed to grow in size after the Battle of Winterfell. Or why Bran didn’t just tell Arya what’s west of Westeros. Or why the Night Watch still exists. Or where the Dothraki went. Or why Yara Greyjoy didn’t demand independence for the Iron Islands. Or why everyone agreed Bran should be King.
All this remains a head-scratcher. But we do now have a bit more light on how Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) was able to attack the Night King in the Battle of Winterfell, having seemingly jumped out of nowhere to slay the White Walker chief with a Valyrian steel dagger.
During HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, we learned that the faceless assassin actually used a vaulting platform courtesy of a mound of fallen enemies.
Read out by executive producer and writer Bryan Cogman in the behind-the-scenes film, the script of the crucial scene reveals Stark was able to achieve the leap thanks to a mound of dead wights.
“Something is hurtling towards [the Night King] out of the darkness — Arya,” Cogman says. “She vaults off a pile of dead wights, leaps at the Night King, and she plunges the dagger up through the Night King’s armour. The Night King shatters.”
Interestingly, not only did the finished episode not feature Arya jumping from a pile of bodies, but the script didn’t mention Arya’s clever drop-and-stab move. In fact, it looks like the whole nail-biting moment where the Night King turns and grabs her throat wasn’t included.
Of course, this still doesn’t quite reveal how Arya was able to sneak through the entire army of the dead to make the kill in the first place. Maybe, as many speculated, the young Stark used her face-swapping ability to imitate a White Walker. Or perhaps there was another unseen pile of dead wights she was able to hide behind. At this point, we’ll take any answer.
The Last Watch also revealed that Vladimír Furdík, the actor who played the Night King, actually appeared the episode six King’s Landing Dragonpit set in full make-up. In fact, Tom Wlaschiha (who played Jaqen H’ghar) and Faye Marsay (The Waif) were also around off-camera during the council meeting between the most powerful lords and ladies of Westeros. The actors were flown in by production in order to misdirect any fans that snuck a look at filming.
Even Kit Harington, who didn’t appear in the scene, was there “as a decoy” – but he still offered a hand to the make-up team.