Although its reputation has taken a hit in its last season, “Game of Thrones” is still one of the most popular shows on television. Though the program’s Rotten Tomatoes score is at a series low, its ratings have never been higher. Over the past eight years, millions of people have fallen in love with this song of ice and fire and want to know how it concludes.

Given how this season has unfolded, “Game of Thrones” may end on a disappointing note. But HBO is ensuring fans will remember the good times with the release of a new post-series finale documentary called “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch.”  The two-hour documentary chronicles the making of the show’s final six episodes. HBO describes it as “a farewell to Westeros with the people who built the realm.”

Judging by its newly released trailer, the wrap-up feature will be an emotionally affecting viewing experience.


‘The Last Watch’ Details

“The Last Watch” will air on HBO Sunday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET. “Game of Thrones” has always given fans behind-the-scenes access with a litany of making-of videos, but this special looks different. Directed by documentary filmmaker Jeannie Finlay (“Seahorse”), the movie will trace the production of season 8 from the first table read to the end of filming.

Many viewers have been disappointed by the show’s final season, but the “Last Watch” teaser makes it clear the series’ shortcoming aren’t due to a lack of care. The special’s trailer shows Kit Harrington overcome with tears and director David Nutter explaining how the show saved his life. It also features co-creator D.B. Weiss referring to the film’s cast as family.

The special looks to do more than just highlight the bittersweet feelings the program’s makers experienced in ending the series. The trailer features production designer Deborah Riley noting that season 8 is her greatest achievement. It also hints that it will cover the arduous 55 days of night shooting required to film “The Long Night.”

The Importance of the Wider View

The documentary seems like a corrective to the negative criticism “Game of Thrones” has endured in its last season. Admittedly, the series’ writing has been uneven, but its last six episodes have been a stunning achievement in the history of television. Its final installments have featured affecting performances, stunning set pieces, and direction comparable to a Hollywood blockbuster.

Sadly, much of the conversation surrounding the show’s last year has only touched its technical and emotional impact in passing. All too often, commentators have fixated on its plot holes instead of its themes. Even worse, they’ve ignored the fact that the series has produced one of the most epic, inventive action sequences of the modern era because its crew chose to depict a nighttime medieval battle as being dark.

That is not to say the show’s producer should be given a free pass. The series has undeniably become less novelistic and thoughtful in its most recent seasons. In particular, season 8 has featured some the program’s worst plotting and characterization. But when “Game of Thrones’” legacy is decided, its lows should be given equal weight to its highs. Hopefully, “The Last Watch” will prompt a more nuanced discourse surrounding the hugely popular TV series.

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