Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1: Maisie Williams discusses her deadly return as Arya Stark

'Even Arya is surprised she has so much power'

The power which the female characters relish nevertheless corrupts, just as it does their male counterparts
The power which the female characters relish nevertheless corrupts, just as it does their male counterparts

After months of waiting, Game of Thrones has finally returned, the premiere steadily setting up the (shorter) season to come.

**Spoilers ahead for season seven, episode one ‘Dragonstone’**

Arya Stark took centre stage for much of the episode — even if Maisie Williams wasn’t always playing the character.

The premiere opened with ‘Walder Frey’ hosting his entire family, toasting to their good health and congratulating them on killing the Starks.

However, as we all know, Arya killed the Lord last season. Was this a flashback? No. The young Stark was wearing Walder’s face, the drink being passed around the family member not being wine but poison. A cold, deadly open to a promising season.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Williams spoke about the scene: “When I heard first heard about the Faceless Men, I always thought it would be really cool if she switched faces with a leading character rather than an unknown person’s face. I really hope [viewers] don’t guess it’s her straight away.”

Once the Frey’s last breaths are made, Arya then walks through the bodies: “It’s so f**ked up!” the actor told the publication.

“Even Arya is surprised she has so much power. In that last moment she’s staring out at all those men dying, she’s turned into a bit more of a monster than she’s ever realised. I don’t think she’s sad about that but she’s got it on her mind.”

Williams also offered her hopes for season eight’s conclusion, saying: “I’ve always had this fantasy in the back of my head — I don’t think it’s a good ending and fans might not like it — but that somebody would sit on the Iron Throne at the end and then they whip their face off and it’s Arya instead,” she says. “I’ve always had that dream.”

Also in the episode, Arya meets a band of Lannister soldiers, their leader played by Glastonbury headliner Ed Sheeran. While the appearance has split opinion, the song the character sings has an extra meaning for books readers.

The premiere also saw Lyanna Mormont reinforce her status as a feminist icon, Tormond pick things back up with Brienne, Cleganebowl being teased, and The Hound make an emotional callback to season four.

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