Maisie Williams Reveals What You Didn't See When Arya Stark Saved the Day on Game of Thrones

Go behind the scenes of the biggest battle in Thrones history

By Chris Harnick Apr 30, 2019 1:56 PMTags
Game of Thrones Behind the ScenesYouTube

"F—king hell! Sorry guys!" That's what Maisie Williams said, more than once, while filming her big Game of Thrones battle.

"I think I probably hold the record for the most apologies on set," Williams said when discussing her long battle with White Walkers inside the Winterfell castle.

In the behind-the-scenes video below, Williams and the Game of Thrones crew detailed all the work that went into Arya's heroic day at Winterfell. Williams said she was told to start training a year before it happened.

"Maisie does almost all of this stuff on her own," co-creator David Benioff said about Williams' fight scenes. "She has an excellent stuntwoman for the dangerous stuff, but most of it is actually Maisie."

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Williams' stunt double Kristina Baskett praised the actress. "Her coordination, and she's really quick, can make changes on the spot and it actually—she's really easy to work with," Baskett said over images of Williams training.

Arya's big episode culminated with the young woman taking down the big bad, the Night King.

"Just when you think that it's all over, and just when you think that Jon Snow is going to be the hero—again—we realize that Arya appears through the mist," Williams said.

In the video above Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen, gave her honest reaction to Arya's big kill and it must be watched, it's pointless to describe.

"In the read-through when Maisie was doing it, we are all just whooping and cheering," Clarke said.

Kit Harington joked he was pissed it wasn't Jon Snow who took out the big bad. "I would've given you, like—I'd have bet you thousands, before we read the finals, I was like, ‘Yeah, it's definitely me,'" Harington said.

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Benioff said they've known for three years it was going to be Arya. "It just didn't seem right to us for this moment," he said about using Jon Snow as the hero.

For the show, director Miguel Sapochnik said, "Dan and David let me break all the Game of Thrones rules."

"The majority of it is shot 96 frames a second, it's all super-slow motion, it's all heightened reality, which is not what they usually do. It was a surreal nightmare," Sapochnik said.

To make the moment even more intense, Sapochnik said they kept cutting to "it's f—ked" shots of characters not going to make it to Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and the Night King.

In the video above, the cast and crew break down the wire right set up for Arya's big jump out of nowhere.

"Shooting that was tedious, but so great to be able to perform all these different beats within, maybe like, two seconds of footage," Williams said.

"It's exactly what you need…Out of the air she takes him down, it's so good. It's so good. It's perfect," Clarke said.

"Reading what I get to achieve and Arya's whole purpose in this world and everything she's trained for comes down to this one episode, it's just amazing. And it's beautiful, it's poetry," Williams said. "And I'm grateful it was me and not Kit."

Game of Thrones airs Sundays 9 p.m. on HBO.