Whether you thought Sunday night’s episode was a complete snooze-fest (so. many. fireside. chats.) or totally gripping (the White Walkers are coming!), there were two clear highlights. Firstly, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) finally getting what she deserves (a knighthood, NBD). Secondly, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) getting down and dirty with her handsome former traveling companion Gendry (Joe Dempsie). After having basically watched Williams grow up on screen these last eight seasons, it was kind of a big deal.
But what did the actress first think when she read the script? Actually, co-star and real-life bestie Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark) told her first.
The Game of Thrones stars were sent their scripts at the same time, but Turner finished reading her copy first, reports Entertainment Weekly. And when the actress found out about Arya Stark having sex for the first time, she immediately called her friend.
“I called Maisie and was like: ‘Have you read it yet?’” Turner says. “And she’s like, ‘I’m midway through episode one.’ And I’m like: ‘This scene, this page,
But Williams initially thought that the scene was a joke. “At first, I thought it was a prank,” she says. “I was like, ‘Yo, good one.’ And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f—k!” (Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have pranked their cast in the past by sending them fake scripts.)
The former Emmy nominee may have been caught off-guard with the script but the showrunners gave her total control when it came to how much she wanted to show.
“David and Dan were like: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want,’” Williams recalls. “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…”
What’s next for Arya and Gendry? If they survive the great Winterfell battle against the Army of the Dead, could they continue their relationship? If Gendry really is a Baratheon, does he have a claim to the throne? What would Arya think about the theory that Gendry is actually a Targaryen? We’ll just have to wait to find out.