Maisie Williams became a TV icon with her very first role as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. One of the most popular shows in the world during its heyday, the final season of the series divided fans and critics alike because of a number of bewildering narrative choices. In a bew interview, Williams revealed one of those choices was originally meant to play out very differently.
“[Kit Harrington] expected it to go that way, too, and he even said, “It was going to go that way. Someone told me in season three that I was going to kill The Night King.” And then, he read the [season 8] script, and it was Arya the whole time. Yeah, I think it would’ve been too obvious. I’m glad that it was Arya, honestly. I think I had the best storyline of the final season.”
In Game of Thrones, the character of Jon Snow, played by Harrington, was set up from the start as the conventional protagonist, in the vein of King Arthur or Aragorn, with a mysterious past, some serious sword skills, and an unshakeable sense of honor.
Since Game of Thrones delighted in upturning expectations, fans were afraid Jon would get killed off abruptly, in a similar manner to his father Ned Stark, another heroic figure. But Jon kept surviving, even coming back from the dead at one point, and once it was revealed he had a legitimate claim to the Iron Thrones, fans were convinced it was Jon’s destiny to be the ultimate hero of the story, and the one who would vanquish the dreaded Night King.
But then that fateful third episode of the final season aired where the Night
King stormed Winterfell and was killed, not by Jon, but by his little sister Arya. Fans were shocked, not just because they felt Jon’s big moment had been robbed, but because it felt distinctly anti-climatic to see the most fearsome villain in the show taken out with a knife.
Now it seems the plan early on had indeed been to have Jon Snow kill the Night King. Perhaps the writers thought that since everyone was expecting it to happen, the most unexpected development would be to have someone else land the killing blow. While it was certainly an unexpected twist, fans are still arguing to this day whether it was a particularly good one.
Still, good or not, that moment is a part of the show’s history, and has become a popular moment to be shared on the internet. For her part, Maisie Williams feels she should be using that scene to tease Harrington about what could have been, and how Jon Snow’s thunder was stolen by his baby sister.
“We do tease Kit, but I don’t tease him about the dagger moment at all, but maybe I should. That’s a new weapon that I can use.”
These quotes originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.