On episode 4 from this past season, titled "The Spoils of War," actresses Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie squared off for the first time. The two portray Arya and Brienne, respectively, and their skirmish was a duel of two of the most talented fighters in Westeros.
"The fun thing about the Arya-Brienne thing was, I don't think we had to do too much to it to make it really fun to watch," director of photography Robert McLachlan said. "Because everybody has wanted to see these two together for a long time. And if they didn't know they did, they certainly do the minute the two of them meet."
Christie explained that there was a sense of trust between her and Williams in preparing for the scene.
"It was so exciting to train for that fight and we trusted each other," Christie said.
Williams explained the challenge of crossing swords with Christie, who is significantly taller than she is.
"To be fighting Gwen, who is far over a foot taller than me, and for her to be fighting someone who is far, far shorter than her, it has been a massive challenge," Williams said.
According to stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam, a major issue in arranging the choreography for the sword-fighting scene was the way each would attack and retreat.
"Generally, as you attack, you move forward and as you defend, you move back," stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam said. "They have completely different sizes of gate, of step. That was a big challenge to choreograph that and deal with those issues.
Not only was it wildly entertaining to see Arya and Brienne face off, it was also important in the narrative of each character's storyline.
"In a fight, it's so much more than just choreography," Christie said. "Every movement says something about the character. It tells the story of these two very different warriors."
Game of Thrones is expected to begin filming for the eighth and final season this fall.
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