Warning: It’s time for those good Game of Thrones spoilers.
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Well, that certainly happened.
Arya Stark killed the Night King on tonight’s new episode of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night.” Maisie Williams was as shocked as you were at Arya’s biggest scene to date — and possibly ever. She went off-list and in doing so saved as many of the living as she could.
Williams spoke to Entertainment Weekly about tonight’s whilrwind of an episode, with some bonus words from director Miguel Sapochnik and costar Kit Harington about all of what went down.
Per Harington, the live read of that moment “got a huge f—king cheer,” while Williams dealt with self-doubt. “I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. The hardest thing is in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.’ You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’”
"When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realized the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past 6 seasons — 4 if you think about it since [Arya] got to the House of Black and White,” Williams says. “It all comes down to this one very moment. It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does. So then I was like, ‘F—k you Jon, I get it.’"
However, neither this writer nor Dan Selcke on hated it on Take the Black React, and it seems like social media didn’t, either, from this brief sampling:
Don’t worry, Williams came around to getting this kill. Harington was a fan, too, after some initial surprise. “I was surprised, I thought it was gonna be me!” he said. “But I like it. It gives Arya’s training a purpose to have an end goal. It’s much better how she does it the way she does it. I think it will frustrate some in the audience that Jon’s hunting the Night King and you’re expecting this epic fight and it never happens — that’s kind of Thrones. But it’s the right thing for the characters. There’s also something about it not being the person you expect. The young lady sticks it to the man.”
Perhaps the best part of all of this, though, is that Williams revealed to EW that she didn’t know that this happened until that table read and the aforementioned cheer from around the table.