WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR EPISODE THREE OF ‘GAME OF THRONES’.
Arya Stark had her character's most defining moment during episode three of Game of Thrones. 'The Long Night' saw Arya kill the Night King with her Valerian Steel dagger, that was gifted to her by brother Bran.
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, was as shocked as you were when it came to the big scene. Williams spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the episode, as did director Miguel Sapochnik and co-star Kit Harington, and they all had very different reactions.
Harington says the live read of that moment “got a huge f--king cheer,” while Williams struggled with how the audience would take it.
“I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it," she said. "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?’”
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Williams added, "When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realised 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."
“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.’"
Harington, who plays King of the North Jon Snow, admitted to being surprised.
“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."
He adds, "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.”