Last night, Game of Thrones fans were treated to “The Long Night,” an episode years in the making, as humanity finally fought the White Walkers head on. And like those fans, the stars of the show were equally surprised and cautious when they found out how it was all going to end.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Maisie Williams explained that she didn’t know it was her character, Arya Stark, who was going to kill the Night King until the table read. Also, because she was in the dark about it until then, everyone acted weird toward her. However, when she finally read it for the first time, she was conflicted.
“It was so unbelievably exciting,” Williams told EW. “But I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. 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 45kg 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?’”
The more she thought about it, though — and the more she focused on the pep talk Melisandre gives Arya a few scenes earlier — the actress began to come around on the idea.
“When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realised the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past six seasons — four if you think about it since [Arya] got to the House of Black and White,” Williams said. “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, ‘Fuck you Jon, I get it.’”
Head to EW to read more about the Night King’s death, including Kit Harrington’s reaction to Jon Snow not doing it and how the episode’s director, Miguel Sapochnik, tried to fake the audience out about it.