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Game of Thrones’ most famous extra Andrew McClay talks about his journey on the show




Game of Thrones was a mystical journey for the cast, the crew, and the fans that lasted for nearly a decade. The show provided a platform for some and gave a major boost to others, and launched the stars into a universe of opportunities. The Game of Thrones documentary showed a bit of what happened behind the scenes for all those years, and one extra got special limelight for his contributions to the show, and you guessed it right, it’s Andrew McClay, who played Aberdolf Strongbeard.

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In a recent interview with Game of Laughs, McClay recalled his humble beginnings on the show:

“I’ve been reading the books for a very long time, and I watched season 1. I watched it like 5 times. I wasn’t at Belfast at the time, I was way down the other end of Ireland. And it just came up at the very end of the episode that it was filmed in Belfast. And I was like, WTF! It’s filmed in Belfast? And I was like, I’m moving to Belfast man. I moved up here. I didn’t look like this at all.”


“I was like, I wanna be on Game of Thrones and what do I have to look like, right? So I grew a beard, and grew my hair and took a picture and uploaded it to their database, called the extras department. And I just looked (makes a grumpy face). The next thing I got was a call from the extras department and they asked if I’d like to be a part of Stannis Baratheon’s army. And I was like, “Holy Fu*ck!”.”

He continued, “I mean King Stannis is totally warped and crazy in the books, but I loved him. I love characters that are interesting, like, I like my coffee black, and I like my Targaryens mental. Do you know what I mean? So if they’re like he’s a good king, I’m like I don’t wanna read a book about a good king, a good Targaryen, I wanna read about a mental one. Like Maegor the Cruel is my favourite Targaryen. So when I heard about Stannis Baratheon I was like, “Ohhh yeah! Please I’d love to!” And they’re like, “Yeah! Yeah! Yes (nodding, that’s okay.” And I was like, “Thanks so much!”.

“I came back between season 5 and 6, and I didn’t think I’d be back after Stannis was defeated. But at the Battle of the Bastards, I got a phone call, to join, and I was like “Fu*k! Maybe they had forgotten that I was in Stannis’ army. So I waited for like two weeks while the Battle was going on, and I approached Tanya, the head of the department.”

“I was like, “Hey Tanya, I was a part of Stannis Baratheon’s army and his army was wiped out.” And she’s like, “You see, we’d thought about that, and your guy, he survives that. He’s a survivor from that battle. And you go and live in the woods in season 5 and season 6. And you hear Jon Snow is looking for men to fight at the battle of bastards, and you with this ragtag band of guys come out of the forest to join his army. You get revenge against the Boltons.” And I was like, “Oh yea! That’s fuc*ing brilliant!”

What do you think about McClay’s journey on Game of Thrones? Tell us in the comments below!


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