Arya Stark’s journey throughout Game of Thrones Season 4 taught her some harsh lessons about a cruel world, which brought about a dark change in her. However, it was the final moments of the season that brought the biggest turning point for Arya, as she turned down a promise of safety, walked away from the one person she had grown to trust, and set sail for Braavos.
In a new interview with IGN, Maisie Williams lends some deeper insight into the choices Arya made in the Season 4 finale.
When Arya met Brienne, for a moment it seemed that the two strong, sword-wielding females might share a special bond, but that bond was meant for another world, and feelings quickly shifted to distrust. Maisie talks us through the meeting, from Arya’s initial intrigue, to her ultimate decision to not go with Brienne.
“I think she enjoys that small interaction she has with Brienne, and she’s very intrigued by this woman, but Arya’s intrigued by a lot of people. She was intrigued by the Hound back in Season 1 when he rode in with this big scar on his face. She was in awe of the guy, until she realized that actually no one is that person. No one is all they’re built up to be. No one is doing anything for the right reasons. I think in Arya’s eyes Brienne just ruins it for herself when she starts talking about how she sworn to protect her mother and all this stuff about loyalty.
“I feel like Arya’s just kind of done with that, really. That’s all she’s heard her whole life. That’s all she ever knew, was her family was these perfect people and did the right things and never wanted to upset anyone intentionally. Then she realized, actually, it doesn’t matter if you’re that person or not. It doesn’t count. No one is playing by the rules. I think when Brienne comes out with this spiel about safety and the Hound puts her in her place, Arya really kind of believes that and is like, ‘I understand you may be out to look after me, but nowhere is safe in this world.’ So that, again, is why she doesn’t go with Brienne.”
Of course her reluctance to go with Brienne left her face to face with another tough choice. Arya’s decision to leave The Hound where he lay left many viewers wondering if she did so out of revenge or mercy. Maisie says that it’s not that simple, and that the lines between good and bad, and right and wrong have become blurred for Arya.
“It’s that whole situation of being a child, because people forget that Arya is a child. I think people expect Game of Thrones to…You know, we’re in Season 4, and people still think the good guys are good guys and the bad guys are bad guys. It’s not that. It’s not at all. Just because they’re your favorite character or they’ve done something that you enjoyed in previous seasons, it doesn’t mean that they’re a perfect person.
“Arya’s been through so much up to this point in that she doesn’t know what’s right or wrong, she’s still trying to figure that out. She’s struggling to hold onto that little girl inside her, but she doesn’t know how to… You know, he’s talking down to her and telling her how useless she is and how she doesn’t know what she’s doing and that I’m a dumb girl; she’s got these stupid dreams that are never going to come true. And then he turns around and asks her to kill him says, ‘You know where the heart is. Go on, girl.’ She’s just like, ‘You know what? I put my trust in you, and you’ve helped me out a lot, but I’m not going to give you this final thing that you want. I’m going to show you a lesson. You can’t treat people like this and get away with it forever.’ I think that’s what she’s trying to do. Plus, she doesn’t want to kill this guy. She makes it out like she’s this hard, bada** girl that has no emotions, but he has done a lot for her. Maybe not killing him is the worse outcome or whatever you want to call it, but she doesn’t want to kill him, and she wants him to finally take her seriously, and he does.”
In Season 5 we can expect to see Arya getting a fresh start in Braavos, but looking ahead Maisie admits that there is one person she’d eventually like to go toe-to-toe with. Although it’s “too soon in the story” she hopes Arya will meet up with Cersei Lannister, even though she has no idea who would come out of that encounter alive.
For the full interview visit IGN.
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