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Game of Thrones’ final season came with a lot of surprises, and not all of them went over well with fans. One of Season 8’s most unexpected detours came during the “miserable” to film Battle at Winterfell, which saw humanity engage in its decisive battle with the White Walkers. Now, Maisie Williams is explaining why Kit Harington thought Jon Snow would kill the Night King.
In a stunning turn, Game of Thrones had Jon Snow’s younger sister, Arya, kill the Night King instead. A quick prophetical tie-in happened just before the shocker played out. Discussing Kit Harington’s thoughts ahead of the twist, Maisie Williams explained that Harington had based his prediction on more than intuition. Williams told The Hollywood Reporter:
He expected it to go that way, too, and he even said, 'It was going to go that way. Someone told me in season three that I was going to kill The Night King.' And then, he read the script, and it was Arya the whole time. (Laughs.) Yeah, I think it would’ve been too obvious. I’m glad that it was Arya, honestly. I think I had the best storyline of the final season. (Laughs.).
Maisie Williams revealed that during Season 3, Harington was told that Jon Snow would be the one to vanquish the Night King. So what on Earth happened to that? Fast forward to Game of Thrones’ final season, and Harington was (understandably) stunned to learn Jon would not. And he later lamented his initial frustration over it.
I do not have a difficult time understanding why Kit Harington would believe Jon Snow was destined to kill the Night King on Game of Thrones. Not only had Harington been told he would, but Jon Snow had also spent eight seasons preparing to face off with the dreaded villain, so it seemed he would be the one to do it. Personally, the twist -- while surprising -- proved incredibly frustrating to me.
Game of Thrones had built up plenty of context for Jon Snow to kill the Night King, only to undermine that for a fleeting moment of surprise. Worsening matters was Jon’s lack of participation in the battle and his involvement in the twist. While I was a massive Arya fan, it felt like a rip-off then, and it still does.
Kit Harington previously spoke out regarding his mixed emotions surrounding the twist, expressing his happiness for Maisie Williams. In a poll run by CinemaBlend, 80% of readers said Jon Snow should have killed the Night King. For her part, Williams also experienced some surprise of her own when Arya’s storyline wrapped up.
While Maisie Williams celebrated the twist of Arya killing the Night King, she was not entirely satisfied with how Arya’s revenge on Cersei played out. Actor Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) even shared his disappointment surrounding the widely-divisive final season. So it would seem that a few Game of Thrones stars somewhat struggled with something not coming together the way they anticipated. Maybe Kit Harington should start a club.
As for Jon Snow, him not getting to kill the Night King was just the beginning of his ending struggles. It had to be brutal for Kit Harington to be told something, believe it for six years, and then be told it was not going to happen. A year later, I still think he deserved better.
Regardless of what I think, you can currently stream every season of the series on HBO Max. And while you wait for House of the Dragon to heat up your screen, check out this fall’s premieres.