It’s hard to imagine Maisie Williams playing anyone other than Game of Thrones fan favorite Arya Stark, but the actor has moved on to other projects. With roles in The New Mutants and The Owners, she is looking to switch things up.
However, more than a year after the divisive, harshly-criticized Thrones series finale, Williams is happy to talk about what happened behind the scenes and offer a peek into one of the show’s secrets.
The ‘Game of Thrones’ ending was controversial
For the sake of putting things into context, we have to stroll down White Walkers’ memory lane. Arya killed the Night King and Jon Snow took out another fan favorite, Daenerys Targaryen.
Though the latter was an unpopular move, fans loved seeing young Arya in all her badass glory rack up another body with her dagger. She killed the show’s most reviled and most feared villain like a gangster and people loved it.
During and after season 8, fans took their non-Arya grievances to social media, and in some cases, rewrote the ending the way they wanted to see it. Even Richard Brake — who played the Night King through season 6 — wished for a specific GOT ending for his old character.
“I wanted him to wipe everyone out, I was hoping for that,” he said to NME. “But you can’t always get what you want!”
That would have been jaw-droppingly interesting, but Williams said the show’s original ending was changed.
Maisie Williams shared Kit Harington’s secret about the Night King
Among the show’s heroes was Harington’s Jon Snow. Fans were gutted when he died, rejoiced when he came back to life, and rooted for him to have a happy ending (without the auntie love tryst).
Williams recently told The Hollywood Reporter that originally, Snow was supposed to execute one of the show’s biggest moments in the end: killing the Night King. Harington was privy to that information early in the series and kept it secret. But most of the cast thought his character would be the one anyway. He thought that way until the end.
“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’,” Williams recounted.
“And then, he read the script, and it was Arya the whole time. 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.”
Harington was happy with Jon Snow’s ending
Many fans were disappointed to see Jon Snow return to the North after all his heroic deeds. But Harington was satisfied with his end and told THR he even cried a bit. He thought Jon Snow’s final moments were fitting for the character.
“Instead of being chained and sent to the Wall, it felt like he was set free,” Harrington said. “It was a really sweet ending. As much as he had done a horrible thing [in killing Daenerys], as much as he had felt that pain, the actual ending for him was finally being released.”
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