Meet Andrew McClay, Star of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Documentary

Andrew McClay

HBO Andrew McClay

Andrew McClay, King of Extras, was the surprise star of the Game of Thrones documentary, The Last Watch. His enthusiasm and passion was a welcome thread tying the two-hour documentary together. Even before the documentary, fans had noticed his “extra” character appearing in multiple seasons and he quickly became a meme, as they hoped he would survive the season. Now not only is he a meme, but he’s the main star of the two-hour documentary. Read on to learn all about him, see his posts on social media (where you can share your appreciation of his great work), and learn what he’s doing now. This post has spoilers for Season 8. 


Andrew McClay is the Star of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Documentary & the Star of a Meme

In the documentary, we learned that Andrew McClay has been in the show for years and he’s probably the show’s biggest fan.  His character was nicknamed Longbeard by fans. On the show, he referred to one of his roles as being Aberdall Strongbeard.

He’s also the star of a meme on Reddit. Fans have been gathering photos of his many appearances and following his every move on the show. This meme was shared by u/Jay_Eye_MBOTH_Why on Reddit:

Reddit/freefolk

His character has been spotted watching Shireen burn in Season 5, fighting in the Battle of the Bastards in Season 6, yelling “King of the North” in Season 6, welcoming Bran and Meera in Season 7, and more.

In the documentary, McClay said that he didn’t do well with math in school, so when he finished school at 17 he told his mother that he wanted to do drama as a career.


He’s Also an Extra on ‘Into the Badlands’

Andrew Graeme McClay Featured Extra Show Reel2017-06-17T21:33:57.000Z

He was born in 1975 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, according to IMDB. In addition to Game of Thrones, he appeared in a short called An Irish Story in 2017.

Andrew McClay playing ArveltMEET THE CAST – We're pleased to introduce Andrew McClay who will be playing Arvelt in An Irish Story. http://igg.me/at/anirishstory #BeMoreViking2016-03-14T13:55:53.000Z

He also played Quinn’s soldier in the episode “Chapter VIII: Force of Eagle’s Claw” on Into the Badlands.

You can see more photos of his wide range of appearances at his Star Now page.


His Facebook Page Is Pure Gold

McClay’s Facebook page is just as entertaining as his documentary appearances. Fans are already wanting to find a way to tell him how much they appreciate him, and this is a great place to start.

On his page, he corrected one person’s concern that his character had died on the show:

Facebook

He likes to talk about his character’s background, such as noting on Facebook that he “lost a brother at the Whispering wood… no wonder I’m ragin.”

Facebook

He donated to a fundraiser for dogs (and you should too):

He’s also a proud uncle, in addition to being the biggest Game of Thrones fan ever. Here are some more photos he shared of his appearances on the show:

Facebook

Facebook


McClay Is a Tour Guide for Game of Thrones Tours & a Touring Exhibition

If you want McClay to be your tour guide, just sign up for a tour with Game of Thrones Tours (their Facebook page is here) and ask for the tour with McClay. Everyone loves McClay, which is not a surprise at all.

Facebook

The company is based in Northern Ireland and will take you on tours of Winterfell, the Twins, Robb’s Camp, the abbey where Robb’s bannerman pledged fealty to the King in the North, and the forest where the Starks’ found the direwolf puppies.

A review written on TripAdvisor about McClay reads:

I went on the Iron Islands GOT tour on November 1st with my 3 besties (all GOT fans of course). From the word go, the trip was perfect. The weather was beautiful , the scenery amazing , the GOT locations fantastic and the non-GOT locations (Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway) great to see. However, what made the trip entirely was our guide – Andy McClay. The best tour guide ever. Andy is funny, a GOT fanatic with an encyclopedic knowledge of the books and show, an actual bone fide extra who has appeared in multiple scenes across several series, a brilliant mimic and storyteller. Simply put, he was a joy to listen to! Andy, you truly are ‘The King of The North!!!’

But this isn’t the only tour group that he’s part of. On his Facebook page he is proudly displaying the Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition, which runs April 11 through September 1, 2019. It’s open at TEC Belfast and gives fans a chance to step inside Westeros and see authentic props, costumes, and set decorations. It’s located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. On Reddit just a week ago, one poster noted that McClay was her guide at the exhibition.

So that’s another place you can find him, if you want to go on a tour led by McClay.


He Was Proud of Giving His Jacket to Kit Harington & Had Great Insight Into the King’s Landing Battle

Every extra is given a jacket each season to commemorate their work. He insisted that Kit Harington take his jacket at the end of the filming because he wanted to “give Jon Snow his jacket.” He was very proud of that moment.

McClay also had a great explanation for why the North army took part in the killing spree at King’s Landing along with the Dothraki and the Unsullied. “You can only push a man so far… His house so far,” he said. “It’s not a matter of how good he is…” No, he said, the men in Jon’s army joined in the destruction because it was their time to take revenge for the Red Wedding and for everything the Lannisters had done.

At the end, when Harington gave his speech after his final performance, McClay teared up too. He told the camera, “It’s what Kit was saying… Even though I was just an extra… It really has changed my life… It’s been the best five years of my life.”

Fans don’t see McClay as “just an extra” however. To them, he’s a star.


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