The most shocking moment of Game Of Thrones Season Eight Episode Two had nothing to do with dragons or Valyrian steel or claims to the Iron Throne.
It was all about sex, baby.
On the last night before the battle with the Night King and the army of the dead,
It was a moment that floored (and divided) viewers, but that was nothing like how surprising it was to Maisie Williams!
The Emmy nominee spilled all to Entertainment Weekly about the controversial scene, from how it was first revealed to her to the awkwardness of filming.
The scene was basically the first Maisie read of the entire season — thanks to BFF Sophie Turner.
Sansa apparently speed reads because she called her future maid of honor just hours after receiving the scripts to direct her eye to the sexy bits. Sophie remembers:
“I called Maisie and was like: ‘Have you read it yet?’ And she’s like, ‘I’m midway through episode one.’ And I’m like: ‘This scene, this page, read it! This is awesome!’ She was very happy.”
“Sophie said, ‘Whatever you do, you have to skip to this episode, this scene first.’ So I just read that and it was practically all I knew about the entire season.”
Yep. The Season of Arya’s journey into womanhood. Also, there are ice zombies in the background occasionally. LOLz!
In case you were wondering, Sophie apparently LOVED the scene; she dropped an Instagram Story all about her bestie’s firstie Sunday night:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 22, 2019
The scene was such a surprise, Maisie sincerely thought it was a practical joke staged on her by David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who infamously have sent their actors fake pages before — like telling Kit Harington his beautiful face was going to get maimed in Season One.
“At first, I thought it was a prank. I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f**k!”
Yep. It was about to be all too real. She continues:
“I got to the read-through and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym.’ A whole list of things.”
A read-through is one thing. Filming is something else entirely.
Maisie is 22 years old. She’s a grown woman and an accomplished actress. BUT she was also cast on the show when she was only 11. She hadn’t signed on for nudity as some actors (and extras) on the show have had to.
So there was a real question about how much Arya would bare…
Luckily the showrunners left it all up to their star:
“David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want.’ So I kept myself pretty private. I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…”
In the end, what viewers ended up seeing was a tasteful boob profile and some top butt as Arya stripped down — and the focus was left on Gendry noticing not the naughty bits, but instead dwelling on Arya’s many scars.
He wasn’t the only one not looking. Maisie says of filming:
“In the beginning, everyone was really respectful. No one wants to make you feel uncomfortable which kind of makes you feel more uncomfortable, because no one wants to look at anything that they shouldn’t look at, which in turn makes you feel like you look awful because everyone is kind of like-” [averting her eyes]. “You want people to act more normal.”
Sounds like how half the audience reacted on Twitter.
The Age Thing
It’s not always clear how much time has passed on the show from season to season, so some fans were weirded out wondering how old Arya is.
Again, Maisie is 22, but Arya?
You can relax, she’s 18 years old. In fact, HBO apparently foresaw the worry and secretly warned people BEFORE the episode, tweeting Sunday morning:
By age 18 in Westeros you should have:
– Had a pet.
– Moved out on your own.
– Travelled extensively.
– Had a kill list.
– Pretended to be the opposite sex to evade capture.
– Been blind for a while.
– Ticked at least three people off of your kill list.
— HBO (@HBO_UK) April 21, 2019
“Age 18.” Hint hint.
BTW, Gendry is played by Joe Dempsie, who is 31 years old — a definite age gap but not unheard of, certainly not for Thrones. But for him, it was made more awkward by how long he’d worked with his costar.
He told EW:
“It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old. At the same time, I don’t want to be patronizing toward Maisie — she’s a 20-year-old woman. So we just had a lot of fun with it.”
A Girl Is A Girl
As for Maisie, it was always all about Arya. She loves her character and was more interested in what this did for her journey as a cold-blooded killer and a warm-blooded woman:
“It was really interesting because it’s a very human relationship for Arya. This is something she’s stayed away from, an emotion we’ve never really seen her engage with. David and Dan were like, ‘It’s the end of the world, what else would you have her do?’ This may be is a moment where Arya accepts death tomorrow, which she never does — ‘Not Today.’ So it was that moment where she says, ‘We’re probably going to die tomorrow, I want to know what this feels like before that happens.’ It’s interesting to see Arya be a bit more human, speak more normally about things people are scared of.”
What did YOU think about Arya’s big moment, Perezcious Thrones fans??
[Image via HBO/YouTube/Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]
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