Warning! Major spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 lie ahead!
As fire met ice and the undead faced off against the living in Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3, Arya Stark fulfilled Melisandre's Season 3 prophecy of "brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes… eyes you'll shut forever" and saved the Seven Kingdoms by plunging her Valyrian steel dagger into the Night King, killing him and every single member of his army of the dead.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired, Williams stated that although initially shocked by the news that it would be her character to take down the Night King and not Jon Snow, she came to realize that the moment was a culmination of everything that Arya had learned throughout the seasons.
"I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn't deserve it," she said. "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?'"
"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 continued. "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— you Jon, I get it.'"
All was not easy when it came to filming that particular scene, as Williams had previously revealed that the 11-weeks filled with night shoots filming of the epic battle was "physically draining."
"I've never been in a battle before," Williams said. "Arya's never in it. Episode 9, I skip every year. Which is bizarre since Arya's the one that's been training the most. I've never been around that way of working. I feel like I've always been part of this big show but in terms of being part of the episodes that really define us, this is my first taste of it. And I've been thrown in the deep end."0comments
As it was her first battle, and the "longest consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film," Williams had to begin training a year in advance, something that paid off in the effort as Arya seamlessly killed dozens of white walkers and ultimately the Night King, preventing an endless winter.
New episodes of Game of Thrones air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. The series is set to conclude with an 80 minute-long episode on Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET.