Maisie Williams maintains “Jon Snow is dead” stance, reflects on the show’s early years


Maisie Williams certainly doesn’t go back on her word. After the Season 5 finale, she was one of the first Game of Thrones cast members to straight up say that, so far as she could tell, Jon Snow was dead (“There’s no hope,” she said at the time). Even after that position got called into question by some seriously convincing evidence, she persisted (“He’s dead!  I promise!” she said in a recent interview). Now, she appears to be wavering a bit. Here’s her latest take on the subject, from an interview she gave to The National while in Dubai for the launch of OSN’s new channel.

"Of course we get the scripts for the new series…The new series is a great series. It’s a sad series, as they all are, but the characters that are dead are definitely dead. I can safely say that. The rest of us are coming back, though for how long we’ll have to wait and see."

I feel like “[t]he characters that are dead are definitely dead” is a less committed response than “He’s dead!” Like Arya, Williams is apparently stubborn—she could take some time to come around.

I’m also intrigued by her description of Season 6 as “a sad series.” True, none of the seasons could be described as happy-go-lucky, but it’s a little concerning that “sad” is the first adjective that comes to her mind after “great.” Exactly how many more times is this show going to break our hearts?

Williams also reminisced about the first season of the show, before it had become a phenomena and she had become a household name.

"I loved watching Ned Stark’s death scene…Particularly watching it back on TV. I’d never done filming on this scale and I was watching it in the shooting during the day and thinking: ‘How are they going to make it look like his head came off?’ Then I watched it in the edit and saw all the effects they do. It was just mind-blowing, at 12 years old, as I was then, thinking: ‘This is an insane industry.’"

Remember: Williams was quite young when she filmed the first season, so we can only imagine how odd it must have seemed to someone that age to be on a bustling film set where people were throwing around severed head props. Obviously she grew into it, and has gotten very comfortable with death scenes, something that was inevitable considering how she’s been responsible for a lot of them. Her favorite was Meryn Trant’s brutal death scene from “Mother’s Mercy,” in which Arya tore out the soiled knight’s eyeballs before slitting his throat. She described the scene as “really good fun.”

Ian Beattie, who played Trant, isn’t holding onto any hard feelings, despite the fact that he had to wear “a lot of prosthetics” over his eyes during “a very long day.” In fact, the two made a running joke out of it. “Maisie and I now have this thing whenever we see each other,” Beattie said in an interview with Digital Trends. “We point at each other’s eyes like, ‘I’m watching you.'” That’s gotta be a strange one to explain to anyone who asks.

Maisie Williams will return as Arya in Game of Thrones Season 6. Until then, you can catch her on the next episode of Doctor Who, on which she will apparently play “a Viking” who will make her enemies “beg for mercy,” if you can believe her bits from these teasers. Sounds about right.

Next: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: Our Review