Maisie Williams has revealed who she wanted her Game of Thrones character, Arya Stark, to assassinate in the show’s final season.
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Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Williams, 22, revealed that she wanted Arya to kill her nemesis of the last ten years, Cersei Lannister. Earlier in the final season, Williams killed The Night King in one of the show’s most talked-about episodes.
Williams said: “I just wanted to be on set with Lena again, she’s good fun,” Williams said of Lena Headey, who played Cersei in the series.
She continued: “And I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too. Even up to the point when Cersei’s with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], ‘He’s going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]’ and they’re both going to die. I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been.”
However, it was Arya’s final conversation with The Hound, played by Rory McCann, that made Williams realise her character had more to live for now than just revenge.
Speaking of the moment, Williams went on: “The Hound says, ‘You want to be like me? You want to live your life like me?’” In my head, the answer was: ‘Yeah.’ But I guess sleeping with Gendry, seeing Jon again, realising she’s not just fighting for herself anymore but also her family — it’s bringing up all these human emotions that Arya hasn’t felt for a long time.
“When The Hound asks her if she has another option, all of a sudden there are so many more things in her life that she can live for, that she can do. It was a shock for me because that wasn’t how I envisioned her arc going this year. Then I realized there were other things I could play, bringing Arya back to being a 16-year-old again.”
She described Arya’s ending as “happy” and added: “It gave me a place to take Arya that I never thought I’d go with her again.”
As for the future, Williams admitted to being anxious about what the future holds. “I’m nervous for what comes next and just want to prove myself as an actor and make the most of this series,” she said. “There are not as many opportunities where you get to do everything with one character and this season there’s a whole spectrum I get to do. So whatever happens afterward, I made this count.”
There were mixed reactions earlier this week to the show’s final ending, which saw Bran Stark named as King. Over 1 million people have now signed a petition demanding that HBO rewrite the final season of the hit show.