Warning: this post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.
Fans of Game of Thrones know that Arya (Maisie Williams) has never really been an independent character through any of the seasons. After her father was beheaded in King’s Landing, Arya found herself held captive by one group or another until the last season of Game of Thrones, when she left Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) for dead.
The start of Game of Thrones‘ fifth season, however, brings much needed change to the character and to Ms. Williams herself. For Maisie, the Game of Thrones storyline has led to a location change, sending Ms. Williams from Croatia to the new Game of Thrones shooting location in Belfast. Along with the change in locale, Arya’s new quest has necessitated a much-needed wardrobe upgrade, the first such change since the show’s premiere season.
Those that have seen the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “The House of Black and White,” know that this is where Arya’s quest has begun and, although she begins that Game of Thrones episode letting her anger and resentment get the better of her, Ms. Williams says that her character is really looking for something new.
“She’s just looking for someone new and someone who will take her under their wing and show her happiness, and that you don’t need to avenge your family to feel satisfied,” Ms. Williams said. “She can become someone new for a little while.”
That bitterness comes from having been rejected by so many others, people that Arya thought would help her, Maisie explained. Having nowhere else to go, she spent the most recent Game of Thrones episode pursuing her own happiness and following her own ideas. As the second episode of Game of Thrones progressed, Ms. Williams’ character began to meet a new breed of people and began to feel her own heart soften toward them.
“She found Jaqen very interesting, but I don’t think she every really believes that this place Braavos would ever be beneficial to her, until she gets there and meets these wonderful people and realizes she can’t be that mean-spirited little girl, and can’t be bratty and actually has to shut up and listen a little bit in order to go further and be a better person. And a better killer.”
Maisie Williams as Arya in Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO.
Ms. Williams regrets seeing the relationship between Arya and the Hound come to an end, because she feels the Game of Thrones duo had developed some genuine chemistry. Maisie admitted that her own relationship with her Game of Thrones co-star, Mr. McCann, mirrored their roles in some ways, so it was a pleasure for them to work together. Ms. Williams went on to say that, as Game of Thrones plays such a big role in her life, it’s not surprising that the two had become such good friends.
If Arya and the Hound had such a great bond, why did things end the way they did?
“I think Arya leaving the Hound for dead at the end of Season 4 was something that lots of people disagreed with. And in this new season you might find out a little bit why she did it. Maybe?”
Ms. Williams said that her Game of Thrones character is being forced into changing her selfish ways, as she goes through the training that she finds so important to her quest. Even Maisie feels it’s time for other Game of Thrones characters to put their foot down with Arya. Along with that, this season of Game of Thrones is acting as a proving ground for Arya, helping her to mature and to learn new skills that will help her down the road.
The next episode of Game of Thrones airs on Sunday, April 26, on HBO.
[Featured image courtesy of HBO/Game of Thrones]