Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams was just as shocked as everyone else when she heard Arya Stark and Gendry were going to have sex in the final season, during the second episode. In fact, she thought the whole thing was a prank.
"At first, I thought it was a prank," Williams told Entertainment Weekly, recalling how showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have sent the cast bogus scripts in the past. “I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f—k!”
However, by the time the table read came, she finally had to accept it was real.
"I got to the read-through and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym,'" Williams said. "A whole list of things."
Filming the scene was difficult. After all, fans have seen Williams grow up over the past 10 years. She was only 11 when the series began and is now 22. Her character is now 18.
In the final cut, audiences only saw Williams' bare back and it was completely up to her as to how much she wanted to show.
“David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want,’” Williams explained. “So I kept myself pretty private. I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…"
Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, also thought the scene was awkward to film. He has also seen Williams grow up and is a full decade older than her.
“It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old,” Dempsie, 31, told EW. “At the same time, I don’t want to be patronizing toward Maisie — she’s a 20-year-old woman. So we just had a lot of fun with it.”
Williams understood the scene was important for her character, who has been so deadly focused on revenge. Fearing that it could be her last night before the White Walkers arrived in Winterfell, she wanted one final chance to get in touch with her humanity. Weiss and Benioff suggested it was the perfect opportunity to see Arya have an emotion no one has seen her have before.
"This may be is a moment where Arya accepts death tomorrow, which she never does — ‘Not Today,'" she told EW. "So it was that moment where she says, ‘We’re probably going to die tomorrow, I want to know what this feels like before that happens.’ It’s interesting to see Arya be a bit more human, speak more normally about things people are scared of."0comments
New episodes of Game of Thrones air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. There are only four episodes left.
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