*Major spoilers below – you have been warned*
In the HBO show’s longest episode to date, many characters met their end at the hands of the Night King’s army who left Winterfell in tatters. They didn’t win, though, and that’s thanks to none other than Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who – thanks to a nudge by Melisandre – defeated the fearsome leader, having been destined to do so since season three.
This twist came as a shock to Kit Harington who believed his character, Jon Snow, would be the one to save the day.
“I was surprised, I thought it was gonna be me!” Harington told Entertainment Weekly after the broadcast of the episode, titled “The Long Night”. “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.”
He continued: “I think it will frustrate some in the audience that Jon’s hunting the Night King and you’re expecting this epic fight and it never happens – that’s kind of Thrones. But it’s the right thing for the characters. There’s also something about it not being the person you expect. The young lady sticks it to the man.”
If fans have this response, that’s mission accomplished for the episode’s director Miguel Sapochnik.
“It’s about almost losing [Arya] from the story and then have her come in as a surprise and pinning all our hopes on Jon being the guy going to do it – because Jon’s always the guy. So we follow Jon in a continuous shot I want the audience to think: ‘Jon’s gonna do it, Jon’s gonna do it…’ and then he fails. He fails at the very last minute. So I’m hoping that’s a nice switch that no one sees coming.“
Williams herself has revealed that she was worried fans would feel disappointed by the fact it was Arya who saves the day.
The intense trailer for next week’s episode sees everyone turn their attentions to the Iron Throne and the fate of Cersei Lannister.
The final season of Game of Thrones continues every Sunday.
Our extensive ranking of every character in the series – from worst to best – is below.
The show will be available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK.
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