*Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight episode two to follow*
Game of Thrones viewers were blindsided by Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) getting loved up in the second episode of the final season – and Maisie Williams says she was just as surprised when she got the script.
The youngest Stark sibling lost her virginity to the blacksmith on the eve of the massive battle at Winterfell, telling him that she wanted to see what sex was like before they all marched towards likely doom.
Williams says she got a call “immediately” from friend and co-star Sophie Turner after the scripts had been sent. “Sophie said, ‘Whatever you do, you have to skip to this episode, this scene first,’” she told Entertainment Weekly. “So I just read that and it was practically all I knew about the entire season.”
She continued: “At first, I thought it was a prank, I was like, ‘Yo, good one’. And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year’. Oh f***! I got to the read-through and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym’. A whole list of things.”
She explained that director David Nutter put her entirely in control with regards to the amount of nudity that would be seen on screen, and that she decided to keep it low key.
I kept myself pretty private,” She said. “I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so… “
On the whole, viewers rejoiced at the union and admired Arya’s forthrightness, with one calling it “the least weird and most empowering consensual interaction the whole show.”
“Arya and Gendry finally getting together,” @AshleyFerrieri wrote. “I’ve been wanting this for YEARS this is my time.”
“Arya is 18, in full control and making a choice,” Mikki Kendall wrote. “She’s having probably the least weird, and most empowering consensual interaction in the whole show. Ever.”
Game of Thrones continues on Mondays on Sky Atlantic at 2am and 9pm