Game Of Thrones‘ final season has been kind of a bummer for lots of fans. The show’s final episode has a 48 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is one of the lowest scores any GOT episode has garnered after almost a decade on the air. But the fans aren’t the only ones who are disappointed about aspects of Season 8, some of the actors are too. Maisie Williams, who played Arya, told Entertainment Weekly that she had one regret about her character.
“I just wanted to be on set with Lena (Cersei Lannister) again, she’s good fun,” she said. “And I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too. Even up to the point when Cersei’s with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], ‘He’s going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]’ and they’re both going to die. I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been.”
There are likely lots of fans who hoped that would happen too since Arya spent most of Season 5 and 6 training to be a part of Faceless Man, a mysterious order of assassins. Instead, Arya killed the Night King, the leader of the White Walkers, a race of ice zombies that had been an encroaching threat to Westeros since Season 1. Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, had been the character many pegged as the warrior who would save the world from them but it looks like showrunners, David Benioff and D.B Weiss, felt that would have been too “expected.”
“We hoped to kind of avoid the expected and Jon Snow has always been the hero, who’s been the savior, but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment,” Benioff said in the behind-the-scenes mini-documentary HBO released for this episode.
But some fans and critics have argued that the decision sidelined Jon and sucked the wind out of the show’s narrative since there were three more episodes after the Night King died.
After Episode 4, a petition popped up on Change.org, demanding that the season be remade with “competent writers.” As of writing, close to 1.5 million people have signed it. The petition’s creator has said that there was no real expectation that HBO would redo the season but wanted to voice disappointment with the show overall.
As for Maisie Williams and Arya, many fans pointed out that her final scene — as she sails to find out what’s west of Westeros — looks like a setup for a sequel. However, CNN reports that an HBO executive has shot down that speculation, so we may not see Arya Stark onscreen ever again.