Here's how Maisie Williams reacted to that Arya-Gendry scene in Episode 2
MANILA, Philippines – The night is dark and this story will have a spoiler (or two or three) so if you've yet to watch episode 2 of the final season of Game of Thrones, it's best you stop reading for now.
** SPOILERS AHEAD. WE WARNED YOU. **
Episode 2 focused mainly on how characters were preparing for the great battle against the Night King and his forces. Unlikely – and arguably shaky – alliances have since been forged. Jon Snow (who had been declared King of the North) now calls Daenerys her queen, much to his sister, the Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark's dismay.
Ser Jaime Lannister had made his way to Winterfell, after learning that his sister (and... lover) Queen Cersei had no real plans of sending her troops over to the North to help the Stark-led forces. Yes, this means a long-awaited reunion with Brienne of Tarth (who was knighted!!), his brother (and now hand to Daenerys) Tyrion, and Bran Stark (who isn't quite Bran anymore).
Jon also reveals to Dany a truth he'd only recently learned – that he isn't a bastard and is, in fact, the legitimate son of Dany's brother Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This means that he's the last male Targaryen heir and has, therefore, a claim to the throne. (This also means that Dany is his aunt, a complication which doesn't really matter to Targaryens.)
Ok, that's a lot squeezed into 58 minutes. But it's one scene that got us screaming and it features the fiesty Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and the fiestier Arya (Maisie Williams).
After pressuring Gendry (the late King Robert Baratheon's bastard whom Arya's late father Ned Stark had saved) into finishing her weapon of choice, Arya pays another visit to the skilled blacksmith. This time, however, she wants something different... finished.
After asking what Melisandre wanted from Gendry and how many women he had been with, Arya goes straight to business. "We're probably going to die soon. I want to know what it's like before that happens," said Arya, before the two finally have sex.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa) found out about the scene before Maisie did – mostly because the former was a faster script reader.
“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," said Maisie, recalling her conversation with Sophie after they got copies of the script.
Maisie thought it was a prank – showsrunners had sent fake scripts in the past.
Entertainment Weekly noted there was a "sensitive pragmatic question" that loomed. While many of the cast members have appeared nude on the show, contracts – including agreements to go naked – were signed when they were at least 18 years old. Maisie was cast as Arya when she was merely 11-year-old.
The showrunners let her decide how much she wanted to show. "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…" added Maisie.
It was also a little awkward for Joe, who is around a decade older than Maisie. "It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old.... 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," he told Entertainment Weekly.
For Maisie, the scene is pivotal for Arya, who's turned into a deceptively vicious killer in the latter seasons. The actress noted that Gendry was a "very human relationship" for her character. "It’s interesting to see Arya be a bit more human, speak more normally about things people are scared of," she said.
Arya and Gendry reunited for the first time in Episode 1 of Season 8 after the latter was sold off by the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Game of Thrones airs every Monday at 9am in the Philippines. – Rappler.com
Culture and beyond
We love pop culture. Whether it is TV, movies, or music, we seek to go beyond the news by providing deep dives and explainers on the latest trends happening locally and around the world.
Serious work goes into our brand of cultural journalism. However, to continue exploring the entertainment landscape, we need your support.
By joining Rappler PLUS, you will get exclusive event invites, industry reports, and Rappler Shop discounts.
But more than that, you will enable us to continue telling more stories.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.