Through all the reunions, heart-warming knightings, an actual sighting of Ghost and anecdotes about giant’s milk, the most memorable scene in the second episode of Game of Thrones’ final season saw the tension spill over between Arya and Gendry.
As the warriors of Winterfell prepared for a great battle against the Night King’s Army of the Dead, Maisie Williams’ assassin-trained Stark lost her virginity to the Baratheon bastard played by Joe Dempsie.
If the scene was a surprise for fans, it was nothing compared to Williams’ shock when she first read the scene. In fact, the actress first thought it was a trick by showrunners by David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
“At first, I thought it was a prank,” Williams told EW. “I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f***!”
But still, Williams wasn’t fully convinced the scene was taking place until much later: “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.”
The actress also revealed that the showrunners gave her full control to the amount nudity was shown on screen.
“David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want,’” Williams said. “So I kept myself pretty private. 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.”
Dempsie, who is 31, also said the scene was a shock to him at first. “It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t want to be patronising toward Maisie — she’s a 20-year-old woman. So we just had a lot of fun with it.”
However, Williams said that she understood why the scene was included in the episode, given that her character could well die in the next few hours.
She explained: “This may be is a moment where Arya accepts death tomorrow, which she never does — ‘Not Today.’ So it was that moment where she says, ‘We’re probably going to die tomorrow, I want to know what this feels like before that happens.’ It’s interesting to see Arya be a bit more human, speak more normally about things people are scared of.”
So will Arya actually see the night through? Or are the White Walkers set to kill off the heroes of Winterfell? As long as we see a tiny bit more of Ghost, we’ll have absolutely no complaints.
Game of Thrones continues on Mondays on Sky Atlantic at 2am and 9pm