Leave a Comment
Major spoilers are flying around below for the "The Battle of Winterfell," so be sure you've watched the entire episode before reading on.
With the third episode of its eighth and final season, Game of Thrones delivered a deadly – but not too deadly – battle the likes of which TV viewers have never seen before. (They legitimately had a hard time seeing it on the screen, too, given the extremely dark lighting.) Arguably the biggest moment of all came when Maisie Williams' endlessly dedicated Arya Stark became humanity's unexpected savior by killing off the seemingly unstoppable Night King. Was everyone head over heels with excitement for that moment? Not so much.
It turns out Maisie Williams' own boyfriend was rather unmoved by the whole thing, and appeared to have his own ideas for how the Battle of Winterfell should have peaked. According to Williams:
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 100-pound 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?’
Not exactly the most comforting and enthusiastic reply to what could amount to the most celebrated scene of Maisie Williams' entire career, and not in any kind of context. It's already enough to have automatically replaced Williams' Arya with a male character to be the Night King-killing hero, but that was just made worse by adding sibling rivalry to the fire. How dare he.
It'd be one thing if Game of Thrones was written completely by the seat of co-showrunners' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' pants. However, the two have put an ungodly amount of time into crafting this series' highly dense run, and they've spent years setting up the pieces for this conflict and its surprising turnout.
For one, Maisie took out the Night King using the same Valyrian steel blade that Bran granted her in Season 7; it was, of course, the very dagger that Bran had been holding onto since Season 1 when it was used in an assassination attempt on his life. Two, it can easily be argued that the Night King was prophesied to be one of Arya's victims, with Melisandre offering up this then-cryptic but now-clear foreshadowing.
I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you will shut forever. We will meet again.
Finally, Arya's eventual confrontation with the Night King was also somewhat predicted by the advice/mantra she'd received during her early training with Syrio Forel, which amounted to saying "Not today" to the God of Death. In this instance, a very literal supernatural entity had the potential to wipe out much of humanity, which counts as a God of Death in my book. And so Arya used the Valyrian blade to say "not today" for her, which was good, seeing as how he was holding her by the throat.
To be fair, Maisie Williams' boyfriend could have been having a laugh when saying that Jon Snow should have gotten the honor. He may have been jokingly trying to get under the actress' skin by dismissing her character's epic moment in such a way. Granted EW didn't make it very clear or not what Williams' tone was in that moment, so it's only natural to read it as genuine sentiment.
That's what many people within Maisie Williams' fanbase did, anyway. It wouldn't take a deep dive into the Twitter-verse to find people calling for the actress to drop him faster than someone stepping through the moon door. Here's one such message.
For now, it appears as if Maisie Williams' love life is still on good terms, but if word ever gets out that she starts keeping her own kill list in the near future, maybe that would amount to a warning sign.
Keeping viewers obsessed and busy until the summer TV season starts up, Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO at 8:00 p.m. ET.