Editor’s Note: This story contains spoilers about the HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
Fans said farewell to the HBO hit drama after eight seasons on May 19. Even before the finale, some had concerns about the series’ ending. (CNN and HBO are owned by the same parent company, WarnerMedia.)
Since then, “Thrones” actors have shared their thoughts on the show’s ending.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams said she had hoped the writers would take a different approach with her character, Arya Stark, when it came to riding into King’s Landing with the Hound.
Williams said she wanted Arya to use her skills as a trained faceless assassin to kill Cersei Lannister.
“I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too,” Williams said. “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.”
But aside from the storyline, Williams said she also wanted another opportunity to work with Lena Headey, who plays Queen Cersei.
“I just wanted to be on set with Lena again, she’s good fun,” Williams said.
The “Thrones” star may not have gotten the ending she wanted, but she did have a lot of thoughts on her character’s actual ending.
“Sleeping with Gendry, seeing Jon again, realizing she’s not just fighting for herself anymore but also her family – it’s bringing up all these human emotions that Arya hasn’t felt for a long time,” she said.
Williams said that is why she was surprised when she read her character’s final scene with the Hound.
He begs Arya to think about her other options before continuing on her path to try to kill Cersei, while Daenerys Targaryen burns down the Red Keep with her dragon, Drogon.
“[T]hat wasn’t how I envisioned her arc going this year,” she said. “Then I realized there were other things I could play, bringing Arya back to being a 16-year-old again.”
Arya’s ending isn’t typical for “Game of Thrones,” where tragedy and disaster seem inevitable for everyone, Williams said. It’s a happy one.
“It gave me a place to take Arya that I never thought I’d go with her again,” she said.