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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Game of Thrones' Season 7 premiere.
When thetheory-centric Game of Thrones returned to HBO for its highly anticipated Season 7 premiere, the show didn't even ask viewers to sit through the opening theme before plunging us all into the season's first bloody massacre, courtesy of a masked Arya Stark. And as you might have imagined, that opening scene was a moment that actress Maisie Williams was pretty pumped about, even though it hints at Arya's darker side.
It's so fucked up! Even Arya is surprised she has so much power. In that last moment she's staring out at all those men dying, she's turned into a bit more of a monster than she's ever realized. I don't think she's sad about that but she's got it on her mind.
Let's be real, here. Does anyone really think that Arya is anywhere in the vicinity of being sad about her most vicious act of vengeance yet? Perhaps that would have occurred to folks who only heard about the scene without actually watching it, but viewers saw all too well that Arya did not walk away from that room of death with regret or melancholy showing on her face. No, she was smiling to herself, clearly tickled that her big face-swapping plan worked.
To quote Maisie Williams herself, that scene was beyond fucked up, no doubt fooling many audience members into thinking that they were watching an oddly-placed flashback scene that occurred at some point before Walder Frey's death by Arya's hand (and blade). But once tone shifted away from celebrating the Red Wedding, it became clear that something was off, and that ominous feeling was strengthened immensely when the attendees started coughing up blood and collapsing. So it was more of a celebratory surprise than something completely flabbergasting, but we'll take any Stark sibling's celebration that we can get.
For her talk with EW, Maisie Williams also discussed the very particular method by which she was able to take out so many people at once.
When I heard first heard about the Faceless Men, I always thought it would be really cool if she switched faces with a leading character rather than an unknown person's face. I really hope [viewers] don't guess it's her straight away.)
Game of Thrones had admittedly given viewers something of a heads up when it came to how things played out during the premiere's opening. Arya's proficiency with the identity-swapping talents of the Faceless Men already adds a sense of curiosity to any time reports arise with an actor reprising the role of a dead character, which is exactly what happened when it came to light that Walder Frey portrayer David Bradley would be returning for a Season 7 appearance. But regardless of its potential predictability, there's no denying the mass murder sequence was a superb way for Game of Thrones to kick off its penultimate season.
Even though the premiere was only last night, we somehow only have six episodes left of Season 7, which means we're likely getting way more scenes in which big groups of people are all killed off in haste. (For example, here's one that the premiere may have foreshadowed.) Find out what happens next when Game of Thrones airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see everything else heading to primetime soon, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.