Most of us might be more preoccupied with Avengers: Endgame right now, but if there’s one thing about the last Game of Thrones episode that is impossible to get off our minds it would have to be Arya’s risque scene with Gendry. Whether you loved it, hated it, or just felt thoroughly uncomfortable you have to admit it left its mark.
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While we know that Maisie Williams, Arya’s actress, felt that her parents seeing the scene would be awkward we don’t really know how she felt about the scene itself. And just as important, how she felt while filming it.
if u feel uncomfortable just know that my mother and my step dad and my 2 sisters and my 4 brothers have all probably watched this too ahahakillmeehehe
— Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) April 23, 2019
To remove all the mystery behind that, Williams dished all to Entertainment Weekly. She reveals that she actually thought it was a prank at first. Apparently, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been known to send bogus scripts with shocking twists to the cast. When she learned it was the truth her first thoughts were quite pragmatic. She says she thought to herself: “Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym.”
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She also shares that they gave her complete control over how much nudity would be involved in the scene. According to her, “David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want. 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…”
As for the filming, she had to admit that it was awkward. While “everyone was really respectful”, she thinks that them being too respectful made it seem like a bigger deal than it actually was. She explains: “No one wants to make you feel uncomfortable which kind of makes you feel more uncomfortable, because no one wants to look at anything that they shouldn’t look at, which in turn makes you feel like you look awful because everyone is kind of like—” [Williams averts her eyes] You want people to act more normal.”
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Tensions were eased when the episode’s director got right down to business: “Then [the scene] was rushed. We were [directed by] David Nutter, who has a habit of speaking fast anyway. By the end we’re rushing to finish the scene and David is going, ‘Okay, you’re going to come in and do this and do that and, great, take your top off’ — and then walked off. And I’m like … ’Okay. Let’s do it.’”
Most importantly, Williams expressed how much she loved for Arya to get that opportunity to explore a different side of herself. This human and vulnerable aspect of her character had been so heavily repressed across the Narrow Sea that it was necessary for it to come back and continue her arc.
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For Williams: “It was really interesting because it’s a very human relationship for Arya. This is something she’s stayed away from, an emotion we’ve never really seen her engage with. David and Dan were like, ‘It’s the end of the world, what else would you have her do?’ This may be is a moment where Arya accepts death tomorrow, which she never does — ‘Not Today.’ 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.”
What did you think of the scene?