"I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been" - Maisie Williams shares her thoughts on Arya Stark's ending in Game of Thrones


Be warned, spoilers are coming. 

Arya Stark, the ambitious little tomboy we watched in the first season of HBO's dramatic fantasy, has grown to be one of the deadliest characters in Game of Thrones season 8. She travelled across the Narrow Sea to learn from the Faceless Men, took on Brienne in one on one combat (training, but still), singlehandedly wiped out the entire Frey family, and killed the Night King with one stab. It's a wonder she didn't kill Cersei in the series finale.

That's what Maisie Williams thought after reading the last episode of the show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor behind Arya Stark voiced some of her thoughts on the character's arc. 

"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.”

A lot of fans thought Arya's choices and actions in the final season didn't completely make sense, Williams may have thought so too. The Stark assassin stumbled around in shock of how Daenerys and Drogon completely decimated King's Landing, which is odd after she cut up Walder Frey's children and fed them to him in a pie (she then went on to poison every other man in the family). That's something that only the most hardened killers can pull off without being traumatized, so why was she shocked by the attack on the capitol? 

We don't really know. The same can be said about her mission to kill Cersei, everything in the series was building to that and season 8 didn't do much to show us that Arya had changed. 

Williams was still content with the ending her character got, though. “The Hound says, ‘You want to be like me? You want to live your life like me?’” Williams said. “In my head, the answer was ‘Yeah.’ But I guess sleeping with Gendry, seeing Jon again, realizing 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...it was a shock for me because that wasn’t how I envisioned her arc. Then I realized there were other things I could play, bringing Arya back to being a 16-year-old again."

Looking to dig into fan theories that explore the world of A Song of Ice and Fire? Check out some of the craziest Game of Thrones theories and a theory that explains why Bran became king.

Freelance Writer

Aron writes for Upcomer covering the video games and eSports industries in-depth. He was previously a freelancer whose work appeared in Wired, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, and GamesRadar, among others.