*WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight, episode three*
The conclusion to episode three’s the Battle of Winterfell may have come as a surprise for fans, but it’s been in the minds of creators David Benioff and DB Weiss for over three years.
In the end, it was Arya who saved Westeros by defeating the Night King, using Valyrian steel to get the job done (and having been given a prophetic nudge by Melisandre).
On the Game of Thrones aftershow, Benioff and Weiss said that they’ve known for years that Arya would take down the series’s major villain.
“For, god, I think it’s probably three years now, we’ve known that it was going to be Arya who delivers that fatal blow,” Benioff said. “We hoped to kind of avoid the expected. Jon Snow has always been the hero, the one who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us, for this moment.”
Maisie Williams, though, who plays Arya, has admitted she was unsure whether fans would accept it was her character who got to kill the show’s most fearsome villain.
“It was so unbelievably exciting,” she said, adding: “But 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.”
Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, also shared his surprise, adding: “I thought it was gonna be me! But I like it. It gives Arya’s training a purpose to have an end goal. It’s much better how she does it the way she does it.”
The intense trailer for next week’s episode sees everyone turn their attentions to the Iron Throne and the fate of Cersei Lannister.
The show will be available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK.
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