Maisie Williams shares her hopes for Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season 7, and beyond


The interview floodgates have opened. TIME has published an interview with Maisie Williams (Arya) it conducted for its recent cover story, and while she doesn’t spill the beans on season 7, she does reveal her hopes for her beleaguered character going forward:

"I would like her to meet with her family members again. I don’t really know how that would go down, but I would love for the Starks to be able to work together. That’s my hope for her future. It’d be really lovely to finally share a scene because that’s what we’ve been working for for so long."

Williams did talk about the cast getting smaller every season, but that hardly constitutes a spoiler. By this point, we’d be shocked if a chunk of them weren’t bumped off every year.

So will Arya get to reunite with her family in season 7? Or is the closest to a Stark reunion going to be that Entertainment Weekly shoot with all the actors hanging out? We’ll know more when season 7 hits our TV screens.

Beyond that, even Williams is in the dark. “[I]n terms of the next season and the final season, we don’t find out anything until they release the scripts, and they usually don’t release the scripts until about a month before shooting, so I won’t know the end until the very end, really,” she said. The strategy behind withholding the scripts is to keep story leaks to a minimum, which Williams understands. “If I knew the ending right now, it’d be really difficult to keep it a secret!”

The ending will come soon enough. After that, Williams is looking forward to gaining some more control over her schedule and walking through some of the many doors the show has opened for her. If her rhetoric is anything to go by, we might see her choose projects that involve a lot of physical exertion — she names the stunt-heavy scenes on Game of Thrones as some of her favorite to shoot, such as her foot chase with the Waif in season 6’s “No One.”

"It was really tough, but it would feel so good coming to the end of a day on set, where not only was it emotionally draining but physically draining as well…It’s just exciting — I love in this job when you can use all of my body and not just my facial expressions and inner emotions. It’s nice getting to run around like a kid."

Williams is very dedicated to getting Arya’s physicality right. For example, although she’s right-handed, Arya is left-handed, something she occasionally has to remind the stunt-people of. “And the stunt guys always come in and say “We have this routine for you” and I have to remind them, “Can we rechoreograph the whole thing, because I’m not doing it with my right hand.” It’s quite exciting, and I did a couple of fencing lessons early on in the show just for myself; they said fighting left-handed puts you at a big advantage because people are used to fighting people who are right-handed.” It’s verisimilitude or nothing for Williams.

Williams also looked back on the show’s early days, and ruminated on growing up in the public eye. It ends up that her school actually asked her to leave around the time she was 15, because she missing so much of it due to her Game of Thrones commitments. She’s been living on her own pretty much ever since, although she’s careful to go home as often as possible and maintain one foot in normal life. “It’s really nice to talk to people not about work, and just to talk to people about, like, ‘Did you see that boy who had his trousers tucked into his shoes?'” she said.

"I remember going season-to-season, people coming up to me and saying “Your life is going to change!” Saying it quite excitedly. And it’s like, well, your life can change, if you want it to, but you don’t want to make your life change too dramatically, you can live as normal a life as possible."

Williams will undoubtedly keep that solid footing as she goes forward with her career, but for now, she’s still very much embedded in her Game of Thrones family, including showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. “They’ve always been great with us — the whole cast, but particularly with me and the younger cast members. I almost forget they’re our bosses,” she said. “I think all of us are in awe of the scale of the show, and it’s nice for us to be in that same boat together. It does feel like we’re in that same boat, and it doesn’t feel like they’re loving the fame and they’re our bosses. We’re traveling through this industry together, kind of in shock. We’re all just so grateful but a little bit, like, what the f—.”

Elsewhere in interview land, Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish) spoke to Serbian outlet Blic about where Littlefinger’s head is at these days. Apparently, he and Sansa will continue their complicated relationship, which will apparently evolve into “something new” that the audience hasn’t seen before in season 7. Forgive us if that makes us nervous.

But after seeing Littlefinger plot and scheme all these years, maybe we’re biased. For his part, Gillen loves his character, although he’s aware the audience sees him as a villain. “It’s fun to lead the audience into liking Littlefinger despite all the bad things he’s done,” Gillen said. “They then feel confused.” What a very Littlefinger thing to say.

Next: Gemma Whelan reflects on Yara becoming a 'main character' in Game of Thrones

We’ll see what new webs Littlefinger weaves when Game of Thrones season 7 debuts on July 16.