Sophie Turner told Maisie Williams immediately.
The Game of Thrones stars were sent their season 8 scripts at the exact same time, but the Sansa Stark actress read her copies at lightning speed. When Turner reached the moment in episode 2 where Arya Stark has sex for the first time, she instantly called her friend.
“I called Maisie and was like: ‘Have you read it yet?’” Turner recalls. “And she’s like, ‘I’m midway through episode one.’ And I’m like: This scene, this page, read it! This is awesome! She was very happy.”
Confirms Williams: “Sophie said, ‘Whatever you do, you have to skip to this episode, this scene first.’ So I just read that and it was practically all I knew about the entire season.”
Williams initially suspected the scene between Arya and her handsome friend and former traveling companion Gendry (Joe Dempsie) wasn’t actually legit. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have pranked their cast by sending them bogus scripts in the past (such as sending Kit Harington a scene in season 1 where Jon Snow’s face gets horribly disfigured). “At first, I thought it was a prank,” Williams says. “I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f—k!”
By the time the scene was being read aloud at the final season table read, Williams accepted that, yes, Arya was going to sleep with Gendry on the eve of the great Winterfell battle against the Army of the Dead. “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.’ A whole list of things.”
There was a sensitive pragmatic question which needed to be answered, however. To put it bluntly: Was Arya going to be naked on camera? Many cast members have appeared nude on the show, though typically signed on when they were at least 18 years old (and often agreed to nudity as part of their deal). The 22-year-old Williams joined Thrones when she was 11 and has grown up in front of fans. Williams says the showrunners let her decide precisely how much to show. “David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want,’” Williams says. “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… “
Still, when it came time to film the encounter, Williams had to be naked-ish on set, and that was naturally a bit awkward. “In the beginning, everyone was really respectful,” she says. “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.”
Continues Williams: “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.’”
Dempsie suggested the experience was strange for him too for given how long he’s known Williams, who’s about a decade younger than he is. “It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old,” says the 31-year-old actor. “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.”
But Williams says what’s most important to her about Arya’s battle-eve night of romance wasn’t reading the scene or even filming it, but rather what this moment meant for her character. Year after year, Arya has been laser-focused on survival and training and revenge. Being with Gendry meant that, for one night at least, Arya had an experience that put her back in touch with her humanity.
“It was really interesting because it’s a very human relationship for Arya,” Williams says. “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.”
Game of Thrones Director Says Season 8 Features a Scene as Rough as the Red Wedding
There is no doubt that The Red Wedding was one of the most heartbreaking scene in TV history. We all cried on that scene and now Game of Thrones director has claimed that Season 8 has moments that will produce a similar kind of horror and shock.
I’m crying right now.
David Nutter, who directed the Red Wedding episode, has recently revealed that there will be scenes just as heinous as that one. You know – the one where just as Robb Stark and his pregnant ladyfriend Talisa were about to tie the knot, they and his mother Catelyn Stark were all murdered by the Frey/Bolton alliance.
Nutter confirmed this in his recent interview with Metro.co.uk, where he was asked whether the shock level of Season 8 compares to the mother of all GoT shockers, the Red Wedding. Nutter replied,
“The short answer is – yes!”
In his recent AMA on Reddit, he responded a similar question:
“As far as season 8 comparing The Red Wedding, I would tell you that, get ready, hold on sit down and hold yourself in your seat because it’s going to be special.”
He also spoke about the massive battle scenes coming up in season 8, and how they’re equally exhausting for the whole GOT team to film.
David said: “I can’t say that it’s more draining or less draining to be the director of the episode, but I will say that we’re all in the same boat, actors and director, when it comes to really bringing our ‘A game’ to the fore.
“Battle scenes are just incredibly exhausting for all concerned. Having said that, they are, at the same time, sometimes tedious – because there’s so much minute detail to deal with, from both an acting and directing standpoint.
“Horses, armaments, special effects are all vying for our attention and energy, in a lot of cases, and it’s true that it’s exhausting trying to lasso all of these elements into a coherent whole.”
One thing is for sure that Winter Is Here and we all should brace ourselves for one of the most heart-wrenching episodes on TV history.
Reddit Has A Theory On How To Kill The Night King And We Are Listening
I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering from the small heart attack I had when the Umber boy came back as a wight.
— Stizzy C (@officialstizzy) April 15, 2019
I could talk all day about how great this shot was, where you saw his eyes open in the background.
Anyway, lots of people noticed the recurring spiral pattern on the wall that the White Walkers tend to leave behind.
— thedeaffrog (@sandydoctor) April 15, 2019
According to this clever fan theory/prediction by Redditor zyuko22, that spiral — particularly in the scene with the Umber boy — might have foreshadowed how the Night King will be defeated.
The theory from zyuko22 points out that we saw the spiral back in the scene where the Children of the Forest created the first White Walker.
That spiral surrounded a Weirwood tree, similar to the one in Winterfell or the one where Bran met the Three-Eyed Raven. The Children bound a man to the tree and stabbed him with Dragonglass, turning him into a White Walker.
But the Children and the White Walkers have both inscribed another symbol in various locations throughout Westeros: a circle with a line through it.
Fans speculate that this symbol represents the Gods Eye, a huge lake in southern Westeros. At the center of that lake is the Isle of Faces, the spot where the Children supposedly signed their peace treaty with the First Men…and guess what? It’s one huge grove of Weirwood trees.
The lake is said to be ill-omened and surrounded by a magical mist, so nobody really goes there. But the Isle of Faces has been mentioned multiple times throughout the books, as far back as the very first chapters of the very first novel, so fans think it could be significant.
So, zyuko22 theorizes that the spiral represents the Grand Weirwood Tree, a sort of “heart” of all the Weirwoods in Westeros, that is located in the Gods Eye and is the source of all the magical power of the Weirwoods, and therefore the Children of the Forest (and by extension, the White Walkers).
So when Beric plunged his flaming sword into the Umber boy and the entire spiral bursts into flames, it COULD foreshadow the possibility that they will have to burn down the Grand Weirwood in order to kill the Night King and defeat the White Walkers for good.
In zyuko22’s words: “So connecting it all, I think the wight that Beric killed is a representation of the Night King’s power. The Weirwood symbol it was centered on indicates the Grand Weirwood located on the Gods Eye is the main source of that power. In order to shut off the Night King, they will need to burn down the Grand Weirwood with a flaming sword.”
Most likely, our buddy Jon will have to learn some of that Beric Dondarrion fire magic and plunge his flaming sword into the tree. But what kind of damage would that cause?
If Bran, now the Three-Eyed Raven, contains the magic of the Children and/or the Weirwood, will destroying the tree kill him?
Even worse, if the Weirwoods are at all connected to the magic of the Lord of Light, would it kill Jon, Beric, and anyone else resurrected by R’hllor?
There’s also the question of why the White Walkers would drop such a big hint on how to destroy them. Zyuko22 theorizes that they don’t know what the symbols mean and are just marking their territory. I think it’s possible that the Walkers are suffering, and are hoping to get the Prince That Was Promised to put them out of their misery, or else march down there themselves.
Check out zyuko22’s full theory below, and let us know what you think!