Maisie Williams is taking combat training for season 8, surprising no one

Credit: HBO
Credit: HBO /

Maisie Williams, who plays the face-stealing, throat slashing assassin Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, has been in the news a lot lately, whether it’s giving her thoughts on the tension between Arya and Sansa in season 7 or teasing the production of season 8 as an “impossible challenge.” That’s what happens when you have a new movie hitting theaters this weekend: lots or press.

What makes the shoot so challenging this year? It could have to do with the action scenes. Based on what Williams told People Magazine, Arya will be a big part of them:

"Yesterday I took a stunt class for the new season of [Game of Thrones]. It’s sword work and combat fighting. The [trainers] have all these big pads on, so you’re allowed to just go crazy."

Beyond that, Williams revealed the last thing she took home from the Game of Thrones: “pools of fake blood” that she put on a table so she could pretend she was having a really bad nose bleed. Maisie Williams is a trickster. We’re also glad to hear that she’s mindful of her safety when walking around the “dodgy part of town” where she lives. “I always carry Needle, my sword from GoT, just in case!”

But going back to that combat training…Arya is an excellent fighter, but Williams only got to strut her stuff one time last year: during Arya’s friendly sparring match with Brienne of Tarth in the Winterfell courtyard.

Can we take this new training as an indication that Williams, who’s always been a very physical performer, will be more heavily involved in battles come season 8?

There’s evidence to support this. For example, we know that Williams is currently in the midst of filming 12 straight weeks of night shoots (she’s currently in week 4). Coincidentally enough, the crew has just lately been shooting some pretty intense stuff on the Winterfell set at night. Between that and her new Valyrian steel dagger, Arya seems ready to rumble should the army of the dead attack Winterfell. White Walkers beware.

Next: Season 8 filming: Massive new towers added King’s Landing set in Belfast

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h/t Reddit