Maisie Williams and Kit Harington Worried You’d Hate the Battle of Winterfell’s Surprise Arya Stark Ending


Game of Thrones spoilers ahead, so don’t read unless you’ve seen episode 3 of its final season.

The first big battle of Game of Thrones‘s final season, the Battle of Winterfell, ended last night with a twist that no one—not even the show’s actors—saw coming. Arya Stark killed the Night King with her Valyrian steel dagger. And as Maisie Williams (who plays Arya) and Kit Harington (who plays Jon Snow) told Entertainment Weekly, they sincerely thought it was going to be Jon and that viewers would be disappointed that he didn’t have the big moment.

“It was so unbelievably exciting,” Williams said of learning her character would kill the Night King. “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. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’”

But Williams’s scene with Melisandre earlier in the episode made her feel confident about the show’s choice. “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,” she explained. “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*ck you Jon, I get it.’”

Harington was also shocked it wasn’t him. “I was surprised, I thought it was gonna be me!” he admitted. “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.”


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