Game of Thrones features some of the most incredible fight sequences in the history of the small screen, ranging from bloody one-on-one showdowns to epic battles with soldiers being roasted alive by dragon fire. The most notable fights usually require a certain amount of CGI, but a new behind-the-scenes video for Game of Thrones Season 7 has revealed one knife trick that Maisie Williams herself was capable of without the assistance of CGI. In the training skirmish between Arya and Brienne at Winterfell, Arya pulled off an awesome twirl of the catspaw dagger, it was evidently all Maisie Williams. Take a look!
As it turns out, Arya's mastery of the catspaw dagger wasn't entirely tricks of the camera and/or handling by a stuntwoman. Maisie Williams managed to perfect the knife twirl that added a little extra note of badass to the scene of Arya and Brienne sparring at Winterfell. The move is even more impressive considering the fact that Williams herself is right-handed. She has trained to use her left hand in fighting because Arya in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series is a lefty. Many people aren't able to do much precision work with their non-dominant hands, and Williams is easily flipping the training blade from one hand to the other. Way to go, Maisie Williams!
Maisie Williams doesn't get to do all of her stunts and fights on Game of Thrones, but it's fun to see that this particular move in the episode was not a stuntwoman pulling off the twirl before the camera panned up to Maisie Williams. Of course, the sparring scene with Brienne wasn't the most intense battle in which Arya has ever engaged. Still, it was fun to see her fighting in a way that was actually fun. Both Arya and Brienne clearly enjoyed fighting an opponent with very different skills than they were used to taking on. Both actresses look a lot more relaxed in their workout gear for training than they did in their leather for the actual scene.
The glimpse of Maisie Williams twirling the training knife comes courtesy of a behind-the-scenes video all about the warrior women of Winterfell in Season 7. For the whole story, check out the full clip for yourself:
Although Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie did their share of the stunts, there were also stunt people on hand for the more intense parts of the fight. Interestingly, the clip gives a close look at how Game of Thrones manages to substitute stunt people for the actors so seamlessly. The marks on Williams' stuntwoman's face allow the special effects experts to create a seamless transition, and they definitely don't peek through in the finished product. All things considered, the fight between Arya and Brienne was a combination of the actresses in action and stuntwomen filling in the blanks, and it was pretty great.
Sadly, we have a while to wait before we see Arya or Brienne back in action. Season 7 of Game of Thrones came to an astounding (and somewhat incestuous) end back in August, and there's no set premiere date for Season 8 just yet. For what you can watch while we wait for more Thrones, take a look at our fall TV guide and our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule.