The second episode of Game of Thrones Season 8 gave us a lot of great character moments that feel like a setup for many deaths. There was not much shock or violence but only small moments that made us appreciate the journey we’ve been on with these characters so far.
That said, one such scene did catch most viewers by surprise involving Arya and the sequence has sparked some controversy online. Especially, in concerns of Maisie Williams’ age as well as her character, Arya.
Friendly warning: From here, spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones will follow.
How old is Arya Stark?
The scene in question involves Arya and Gendry having an extremely intimate moment before war breaks out in Winterfell. She pushes herself on him saying, ‘We’re probably going to die tomorrow, I want to know what this feels like before that happens.’
A moment later we see her remove her clothing–and while it’s not a gratuitous nude scene, the moment has sparked controversy because most viewers have watched her grow up since the character was 11.
That said, most audiences might be shocked to know the age of Maisie Williams. The longtime Game of Thrones actress is actually 22 years old. When she first started the HBO series she was 12, so naturally, this is jarring for most fans to know this once young girl is, in fact, now a woman.
As far as the age of Arya, well, it seems HBO was well aware the scene would cause some questions because they highlighted her age on the network’s UK Twitter page:
By age 18 in Westeros you should have:
– Had a pet.
– Moved out on your own.
– Travelled extensively.
– Had a kill list.
– Pretended to be the opposite sex to evade capture.
– Been blind for a while.
– Ticked at least three people off of your kill list.
— HBO (@HBO_UK) April 21, 2019
How old is Gendry? Well, Gendry’s age is more ambiguous than most. As Time points out, his age in the book is five years older than that of Arya but the show is a little more unclear in that detail. Most sites have him estimated to be around the age of 25 to 27, whereas the actor Joe Dempsie is 31.
What did Maisie Williams think about Arya and Gendry’s scene?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams actually says when she first heard about the sequence, she believed it was a joke. She explains the moment when she first heard about it, describing the conversation saying:
“At first, I thought it was a prank, I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f**k!”
However, she further details that show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss allowed her complete freedom to choose the level of explicitness of the scene, which she says ended up being minimal:
“David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want, So I kept myself pretty private. I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so …”
This coming Sunday, Arya will get to sport the new weapon Gendry created for her in the looming Battle of Winterfell, which should get fans excited. Whether she and Gendry survive remains to be seen but it should be an unforgettable episode. Hopefully, the two love birds live to fight another day.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c on HBO.