Maisie Williams told Teen Vogue that playing Arya Stark on HBO’s long-running fantasy series “Game of Thrones” never shocked her until the final season, when the writers decided to have Arya consummate her relationship with Gendry Baratheon. Williams had long been under the assumption that Arya identified as queer. The character has sex with Gendry in “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” the second episode of the show’s eighth and final season.
“The first time that I was surprised by Arya I guess was probably in the final series where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry,” Maisie said during a “Teen Vogue Firsts” video interview. “I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So … yeah. That was a surprise.”
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Many “Game of Thrones” viewers also assumed Arya was a queer character, which led to backlash against the decision to have her sleep with a man (Arya could still identify as bisexual, of course). Williams told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 that she thought the series’ creators were pranking her when she first read the script in which Arya and Gendry have sex. “Game of Thrones“ showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were infamous for sending out fake script pages to prank their cast and protect spoilers.
“At first, I thought it was a prank,” Williams said at the time. “I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh fuck!”
Williams opened up to GQ UK in April about how she grew to resent playing Arya during her own coming-of-age as a woman. The actor said a tension existed between the world expecting her to look and act like her tomboyish character and what her own form of self-expression looked like in the real world.
“I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming,” Williams said at the time. “And then I also resented my body, because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated.”
Williams reprised the role of Arya for the Warner Bros.-produced video game “MultiVersus,” lending her voice to the character. Would she reprise Arya again in a live-action capacity? “I’m not saying it would never happen, but I’m also not saying it in this interview so that everyone goes … ‘The spinoff! It’s coming!’ Because it’s not.”
Watch Williams’ full Teen Vogue interview in the video below.
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