***WARNING: The following post will contain spoilers***
Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” sent avid viewers, fanatics and casuals alike, into an emotional frenzy. As the Night King and the White Walkers stormed through Winterfell and nearly eliminated the defenders of the realm, Ayra Stark came through and saved the day. Star Maisie Williams, reveals in an interview that even she didn’t know what her character was going to do.
The skilled assassin Ayra, portrayed by Williams, slew The Night King with a fatal blow to eliminate him and his undead army. The actress spoke with Entertainment Weekly that she was unaware of what to expect up to the filming of the episode.
“I was coming into work and everybody was talking about episode 3 and [director Miguel Sapochnik] was like, ‘Have you read the [episode 3 script] yet?'” Williams said regarding the shocking ending. When Williams confronted Sapochnik about the script, he left her in confusion when he couldn’t tell Williams about the script.
“I was like, ‘Are we fighting the wights? Does The Night King die? So who kills him? What happens?’ And no one would say anything. Why is no one saying it? This is crazy.”
When the cast got to the moment where Ayra gives The Night King the big Valyrian ending, the entire table erupted in cheers. Williams was concerned, however, that the decision to have her be the one to slay The Night King would receive backlash.
“It was so unbelievably exciting,” she says to Entertainment Weekly. “But 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.”
Still, the moment marks a great character shift for Ayra and fans of the swashbuckler are left undeterred. The HBO series has three more episodes remaining before closing its books for good.