Arya and The Hound stole the show this past Sunday, as they closed out the premiere episode of Game of Thrones Season 4. We finally got to see the dark turn we’ve been hearing about, as Arya crossed Polliver off of her list, and reclaimed her sword, Needle.
Now that the premiere episode has aired, Maisie Williams can finally talk about Arya’s turn in detail. She tells Entertainment Weekly, “It’s kind of frightening. She hasn’t done much that’s really that effective. In this moment after she’s killed Polliver, she’s realized her own power as well. It was about being in the right pace at the right time. I think she’s also trying to show The Hound too — I got this list and I can do this if I want to. She’s definitely kind of changing and putting on a more brutal approach to things. It’s a lot more risky, as well, she’s not afraid of death.”
Fans of the book will have noted that the scene at the inn played out a little differently on screen, as Polliver’s fate was originally dealt to The Hound instead of Arya. Maisie reveals that we can expect more changes this year, keeping every viewer on their toes. “This year there’s a few key plot twists and the way [the show's] writers go about it is different than the books. I think fans of the books will be a little confused … which I think is fantastic because it keeps it interesting for everyone.”
The online fan reaction to Arya and The Hound’s victory was huge, but for Maisie, it can hardly compare to being seated with 7,000 applauding fans at the Lincoln Center just a few weeks ago. She recalls the experience in a new interview with Vulture.
“It was crazy. And really embarrassing! I just lit up so much, I buried my head. I’m glad people liked it, because something is finally starting to go right for Arya. She’s finding what she’s good at. I feel like she’s finally finding something … that doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t feel good, either. It’s just like that line, “Nothing is better or worse. Nothing is just nothing.” And nothing is a really safe place to be, actually. And that’s kind of what she’s feeling at the moment. It’s a nice, stable point. But I’m basically weaving on in taking all the thunder after the Hound has just killed everyone. Taking the applause for it.”
She may have stolen some of The Hound’s thunder, but at least she isn’t trying to kill him anymore. Arya forgave him for killing her friend Mycah, the butcher’s boy, but Polliver was not given the same courtesy for killing Lommy. Maisie explains, “She’s gotten to see more beyond the Hound’s exterior, where with Polliver, she has one exchange. If the scene had played out differently with the chickens, maybe. But then he turns around and degrades her. That just fuels her even more. Had he behaved differently, it might have changed her mind.”