Maisie Williams Gets into Arya’s Mindset & Teases Female Characters “Ruling”, “Back on Top” in Game of Thrones Season 8

Although she'll miss it, Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) is looking forward to the day when she can say goodbye to 'Game of Thrones' and focus on other work.

In a new interview, Maisie Williams gives unexpected insight into the final season… in a way. She divulges no spoilers, but she does discuss how the ever-growing importance of female characters will continue in the final season. We are also told what Maisie does to prepare when she adorns the mantle of Game of Thrones‘s resident “serial killer everyone’s rooting for” (her words), among other interesting soundbites. We’ll take it!

Maisie tells Elle that season seven was a turning point for Arya, because prior to it, we had largely seen her killing an assortment of bad eggs, including pedophiles (Meryn Trant), traitors (Walder Frey), and fellow psychopaths (The Waif), among many others:

“Arya was always killing the baddies, Williams notes. “But then we saw her start to use those manipulative powers. It’s not until she had that whole dialogue with her sister Sansa in the last season that you realise what she’s become, that she’s being awful to someone who we love. For me, it was a really great moment as an actor to be able to play the character you love as a baddie.”

Maisie goes on to discuss her friendship with fellow Stark sister, Sophie Turner:

“Also Sophie is my best friend. Who gets to be on set with their best friend? Me!”

As a guy who acted in high school alongside his best friend throughout many a stage production, I can attest that it’s pretty damn cool. Their real life bond has gone so far that the sisters will pair up when Maisie joins Sophie’s side at Sophie’s wedding. As fans, we are incredibly happy for them. As devout fans, we hope their wedding is neither red, nor purple, nor any other color. But I digress…

How does Maisie get into Arya’s head? It’s not always so easy, she says, as she uses a technique known as ’emotional memory’: “I find it very helpful, but it’s horrible. You have to draw on things from your own life. So sometimes, to get inside Arya’s head, I’m thinking about some awful things. It’s hard to just drop that and let it go.”

Additionally, Maisie acknowledges the show has grown with the changing tide of awareness: “For me, [Game of Thrones] is a medieval world in which women don’t have a lot of rights, and yet they still prevail. But I do think that as the seasons have gone on, it’s become more and more amazing for women.”

The ‘sexposition’ of seasons’ past has been nowhere near as prevalent in seasons 6 and 7. Then again, we recall a casting notice for season 8, reading ‘actress, aged 18-25, will have to go naked above-the-waist.’ So hey, ‘tits and dragons,’ I guess?  In all seriousness, Maisie is not wrong. The women’s power dynamics shifted drastically over the last few seasons, particularly when season 6 ended with Cersei atop the throne, Yara making a pact with Daenerys, who finally set sail for Westeros, and Sophie emerging as Lady Stark of Winterfell. While season 7 certainly furthered these plots for better or worse for the women involved, the power moves women have made as the show has gone on have increased dramatically, and this is an excellent direction, I’d say. So would Maisie, as she teases this trend will continue in season eight:

“[T]his final season is going to be incredible. It just feels great, being on set with all these girls. They’re all ruling, you know, they’re all back on top – it’s pretty impressive.”

So, will Arya Stark make it to the finale alive and well? The closest thing we get to a spoiler is Maisie’s personal desire: “Season one to eight, that’s what I wanted. I was in the first episode and I want to be in the last.” Note how she ‘wants’ to and does not confirm that she is. If I’m hedging my bets, however, I think Arya is one of the most assured characters to survive the entire show. Whether it’s a happy ending for her, or a sad and lonely one, I think there will be an ending involving life. If it’s a happy ending though, perhaps I haven’t been paying attention.

Check out the full interview for more on Maisie’s perceived parallels between herself and Arya, as well as on her relationship with her boyfriend and family.

131 responses

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    1. If I’m hedging my bets, however, I think Arya is one of the most assured characters to survive the entire show.

      As I’ve mentioned before, I think she is too so I agree. One would think that it could be the opposite, but she’s been brushing death the entire series and even when less equipped she escaped. Along with many, many fans, particularly specific users here, her dying would be the worst death for me in the entire story. It can’t happen!!

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    2. the unburdened,

      Like I’ve said before, Arya dying means GoT syndication value plummets to $0, and showrunners could never go out in public again. (And going out to a restaurant? They’d have to know the chef would skin his sausage into the turtle stew – or worse.)

      Besides – that kind of ending would mean watching 73 episodes over 8 seasons amounted to a total waste of time.

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    3. :: what Maisie does to prepare when she adorns the mantle of Game of Thrones‘s resident “serial killer everyone’s rooting for” ::

      I think you mean “dons the mantle”. If Maisie finally wins an Emmy for Season 8, then presumably it will adorn her mantle (the shelf-above-the-fireplace kind, not the cloak kind – that would be too heavy to wear).

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    4. Clob:
      ASNAWP!!!

      ✅✅✅✅✅

      Oh, and the best part of this Arya article is that nobody can be accused of Arya Thread Derailment in the Comments section.

      Now I’m going to look for my draft of a long post I typed a few weeks ago that vanished into the ether when I pressed “Post Comment.” It enumerated the reasons why the “badassery” of ASNAWP is not because she’s an assassin or a ninja warrior.

      I think I referenced a quote attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”, in discussing why Arya is not (as some call her) impulsive. but heroic.

      My hypothesis: Too often on GoT, people have witnessed injustices; only no one had the courage to intervene.

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    5. “If I’m hedging my bets, however, I think Arya is one of the most assured characters to survive the entire show. Whether it’s a happy ending for her, or a sad and lonely one, I think there will be an ending involving life. If it’s a happy ending though, perhaps I haven’t been paying attention.

      Arya has already suffered enough unhappiness to not deserve a happy ending.

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    6. Mr Derp: I think you meant “mantel”.

      Touché! I should have known that. In fact, I used to, but my old spelling bee trophies have gotten very dusty after sitting on my MANTEL for more than 50 years.

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    7. Thank you, David. Gotta love that photo! No doubt she’s going up as an actress even though she was so good even to begin with. Looking forward to seeing how that translates to theatre acting. For what its worth, I am currently on a train and spending the night in Bristol. Which I now think of as her hometown, rather than the home of the great suspension bridge a famous church, and some very nice people. GoT changes one’s perspective!

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    8. I got a chance to mention ASNAWP (well, not exactly as such) in an article that I just finished writing: a preview of the Woodstock (NY) Film Festival, coming Oct. 10-13. Maisie’s new movie, Peter Hutchings’ Then Came You, will be having its world premiere up here in the sticks! Unfortunately, neither Maisie nor her co-star, Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game etc.), is scheduled to put in a live appearance at the Festival. But the movie was largely shot around here last year, so local folks are excited about it.

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    9. Ten Bears:
      the unburdened,

      Like I’ve said before, Arya dying means GoT syndication value plummets to $0, and showrunners could never go out in public again. (And going out to a restaurant? They’d have to know the chef would skin his sausage into the turtle stew – or worse.)

      Besides – that kind of ending would mean watching 73 episodes over 8 seasons amounted to a total waste of time.

      </blockquote

      The problem with this is that a whole lot of fans feel the same way about multiple fan-favourite characters, so basically D&D can't win. They either deliver a Disney ending or they kill fan favourites and many fans will scream about "wasted time"

      I feel a lot of fans are not really prepared for what's likely going to happen this season, somehow secure in their knowledge that their own favourite character is secure and "safe."

      Fan favourites are going to die this season, folks, and not just secondary characters.

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    10. George,

      While that’s certainly true for many fans and their faces, Arya is literally one of THE most popular characters of the series (both book/show) and has been from day one. She’s up there (and often above) with Tyrion, Jon and Dany. The difference with all of them is that you will very rarely find her in “most hated/most disliked/most boring, etc.” type of lists.

      Arya Stark is not only VERY popular, she’s also NOT unpopular. The same can not be said for many of the other very popular characters in Game of Thrones. At least from what I’ve been reading all over, non-stop in varied places for the last eight years.

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    11. The strangest thing just happened. After finding no room at the inn I thought I was staying at, they found me a place at the Bristol airport hotel. I swear by the old gods and the new, maisie’s doppelgänger was at the desk. She doesn’t watch GoT and never heard of of the cast, but she looked Maisie up. Then she showed her colleague and they got excited. She let me take a picture, which I’d be glad to share with you, but I don’t know how.

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    12. JenniferH,

      I wouldn’t say this gives her any protection. I’m not saying I think she will die in S8 – I’m actually on the fence about almost all of the main characters – but I just don’t think popularity will save Arya (or any of the others). George (and D&D) will hve conceived an ending for the main characters before the show or even the books exploded in the manner in which it has and thoigh I am sure hundreds of plans and schemes have fallen by the wayside in that time, I imagine the fates of the lead characters will be something George sticks to. I don’t know why, but I see him as the kind of guy who wouldn’t bend to social pressures when it comes to telling his story the way he wants to tell it.

      All that said, I really do hope Arya survives to the end and she finally finds some happiness and peace.

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    13. When was the Arya beach photo taken? (in this article).

      For those Arya/Maisie fans, I just viewed an interesting hour+ YouTube interview with Maisie and Rob Moore from 2 weeks ago on a rooftop in England. She talked just a little about GOT, but alot about her life and other things. The sad thing for me is it sounds like she isn’t going to be doing many movies or TV projects any time soon. She really seems like she needs to take a break from her 6+ year contract (that turned into 8+ years) with GOT. She’s working on her Daisy startup. She is appearing in a play in London (that they didn’t even talk about in the interview). I think her new bangs hairstyle goes with her teen role in the play. I can speak for myself as a fan that she has a very natural acting style that is very believable. Her face is very emotive, and she’s just one of the actresses that has the “it” thing that people talk about. In GOT season 8, I do think she will make it to the end. I just want to her to have a major mission. Perhaps she will be sent to kill all of the generals of the Golden Company and take care of that group quickly. She has the ability. But Jon may not realize her abilities. He may still think of her as the little girl he left behind. I’m hoping for some major scene where Jon can witness her abilities and quickly understand how much of a weapon his sister has become. I think Arya will continue to use her skills for good. Even though Arya says she was the “Baddie” in season 7, I don’t agree. She still focuses on those who have wronged the Starks, and she’s not going to just kill anyone without a good reason. That’s pretty clear. I think she will have at least a few major ASNAWP scenes with her killing many White Walkers, or jumping off a dragon or something really cool. I don’t mind a few superhero scenes with Arya in Season 8. After all, the Starks are alot like the Xmen with some of their abilities. Her Xman movie still hasn’t been released. She talks about that in her interview as well.

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    14. “Arya was always killing the baddies, Williams notes. “But then we saw her start to use those manipulative powers. It’s not until she had that whole dialogue with her sister Sansa in the last season that you realise what she’s become, that she’s being awful to someone who we love. For me, it was a really great moment as an actor to be able to play the character you love as a baddie.”

      Had this subplot been executed better, it could have been a very interesting look into how Arya has changed over the course of the series — both her and Sansa in fact — and how they deal with their shared trauma and experiences in coming together in these dangerous times. Just thank god for that last scene between them! I never really objected to the thematic content of their little sisterly spat, but more about the execution if it, and that it was all spurred on by fairly petty reasons.

      Also, as much as I love Maisie, I think she’s playing up the “baddie” thing a bit too much. Yes, she was acting irrationally, but she did not do anything of consequence that would be considered “bad”. Her flaws were showing, and she was struggling to manage her darker impulses when she grew suspicious of Sansa’s motives. But like always, her goodness and compassion wins out in the end.

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    15. George,

      True. There is absolutely no way the books or the show can end in a way that doesn’t piss off some part of the fandom. Many fans have their favourites that they desperately want to see survive the story, and then there are fans who want to see certain characters die, or even everyone to die. So even the “safe” Disney ending will outrage some people. And I do have to admit, the safe ending would not be a good way to end this story as it would seem very much like chickening out for a series that is notorious for huge dramatic moments of killing off beloved characters.

      That being said, the reason I am insistent upon Arya surviving is that I genuinely feel dying doesn’t do her story justice. Just as GRRM/D&D can’t be afraid to kill off fan-favourites just because they’re fan-favourites, they can’t kill fan-faves for that reason either. I’ve said many times that I hope all characters get an ending that does their journey justice. Arya’s is a journey in which she will have to come to terms with what she’s done and how her quest for vengeance has changed her, and she will have to live with the consequences. I fully expect to see these consequences in S8, and her survival may have a cost. That’s what I feel her story is about.

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    16. Enharmony1625,

      My theory why the S7 Arya-Sansa sisterly spat fell flat (and book readers, correct me if I’m wrong) is that the whole freakout over the stupid “letter” made no sense because of a divergence from the books.

      Like a hostage/POW propaganda video, everyone knows the captive is under duress and forced to read from a script. Catelyn and Robb knew when they received Sansa’s letter that while the handwriting was Sansa’s the words were really Cersei’s. Nobody would hold that letter against a scared 11 or 12-year old girl. And the Northern Lords were all on Team Sansa even though she’d married a Lannister and a Bolton.

      However, it’s my understanding from comments on this site and reading GRRM interviews that in the books, unlike the show, Sansa ratted out Ned’s escape plan to Cersei, thereby preventing Arya and Sansa from leaving KL safety, and giving Cersei a heads-up so she could outmaneuver Ned – contributing to Ned’s imprisonment and eventual execution.

      If TWOW is ever published, I think it’s quite possible that Arya may somehow find out about Sansa’s snitching to Cersei. That would be a more rational justification for blaming Sansa for Ned’s demise, rather than that relatively innocuous letter obviously written under compulsion.

      What was book! Sansa’s excuse for divulging Ned’s plans to Cersei? Wasn’t it something inane like (not) wanting to have to leave Joffrey?

      Arya discovering that betrayal would give her a reason to be pissed off at Sansa. But that LF letter plot – which depended on Arya not answering the direct question “Where did you get this?” – made both sisters behave out of character.

      If I’m mistaken about the books vs. show divergence, please let me know.

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    17. Ten Bears:
      Firannion,

      Did they change the name of Maisie’s movie from “Departures”?

      Not Firannion, but I can answer. Yeah, it was changed to you “Then Came You.” I’m really looking forward to that one because Nina Dobrev (the other lead aside from Maisie and Asa Butterfield) is another fave of mine.

      What was book! Sansa’s excuse for divulging Ned’s plans to Cersei? Wasn’t it something inane like (not) wanting to have to leave Joffrey?

      Yup, that’s what Sansa did in the books, and that is exactly why she did it.

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    18. Ten Bears,

      Yes, Sansa gets mad when Ned tells her and Arya that he’s sending them back to Winterfell after he discovers the truth about Joffrey. She wants to stay in KL and marry Joffrey, so she tells Cersei Ned’s plans.

      I can definitely see something similar playing out in the books as George could very well have told D&D about this plan he has for Arya and Sansa’s reunion, but the details of it and the execution will make a world of difference.

      Towards the end of season 7, a YouTuber put it pretty well: D&D sometimes struggle in getting from A to B, but typically they end up in a good place. They needed some drama and had basically 2 episodes to do it, so they jammed this in there disregarding any logic. Pretty much every reaction I’ve ever seen of 7×06 is just fans being confused at the whole thing.

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    19. Pigeon:
      Oh Maisie, you are my favourite person to have come out of this whole dang show. ❤

      I’ve tried to think of another child actress who impressed me more than young Maisie Williams as Arya in S1 and S2 of GoT, and I cannot. I considered eleven candidates, below. Let me know if I missed anyone. In my view, Maisie Williams was way better than all of them.

      In no particular order….

      Anna Paquin: The Piano 1993 at age 11 (Oscar, Best Supporting Actress), Fly Away Home 1996 at age 14

      Tatum O’Neill: Paper Moon 1973 at age 10 (Oscar, Best Supporting Actress)

      Thomas Robinson: The Switch 2010 at age 8 (age 6 during filming); Tomorrowland 2015 at age 13 (as young Frank, George Clooney’s character as a boy)

      Natalie Portman: Leon: The Professional 1994 at ~ age 12; Beautiful Girls 1995 ~ age 13

      Christina Ricci: Mermaids 1990 at age 9

      Eliza Dushku: True Lies 1994 at age 12

      Kristen Stewart: Panic Room 2002 at age 12

      Henry Thomas: E.T. 1982 at age 10-11

      Scarlett Johansson: The Horse Whisperer 1998 at age ~ 13

      Nicholas Hoult: About a Boy 2002 at ~ age 12-13
      [I included him because he had fun scenes with a 17 year-old Natalia Tena (GoT’s Osha; Harry Potter’s Tonks) and more recently he was outstanding as Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road 2015]

      Jodie Foster: Taxi Driver 1976 at age 13-14

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    20. Ten Bears: I’ve tried to think of another child actress who impressed me more than young Maisie Williams as Arya in S1 and S2 of GoT, and I cannot. I considered eleven candidates, below. Let me know if I missed anyone. In my view, Maisie Williams was way better than all of them.

      In no particular order….

      Anna Paquin: The Piano 1993 at age 11 (Oscar, Best Supporting Actress), Fly Away Home 1996 at age 14

      Tatum O’Neill: Paper Moon 1973 at age 10 (Oscar, Best Supporting Actress)

      Thomas Robinson: The Switch 2010 at age 8 (age 6 during filming); Tomorrowland 2015 at age 13 (as young Frank, George Clooney’s character as a boy)

      Natalie Portman: Leon: The Professional 1994 at ~ age 12; Beautiful Girls 1995 ~ age 13

      Christina Ricci: Mermaids 1990 at age 9

      Eliza Dushku: True Lies 1994 at age 12

      Kristen Stewart: Panic Room 2002 at age 12

      Henry Thomas: E.T. 1982 at age 10-11

      Scarlett Johansson: The Horse Whisperer 1998 at age ~ 13

      Nicholas Hoult: About a Boy 2002 at ~ age 12-13
      [I included him because he had fun scenes with a17 year-old Natalia Tena (GoT’s Osha; Harry Potter’s Tonks) and more recently he was outstanding as Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road 2015]

      Jodie Foster: Taxi Driver 1976 at age 13-14

      I can’t stand Anna, Kristen, or Scarlett, so unfortunately I can’t be very objective there (although that reminds me, I really liked Thora Birch, she was in Ghostworld with Scarlett, I think. Where did she go?) Some might say another Kristen, the one from Interview with the Vampire. I thought she was insufferable. 😜 Natalie Portman is really good, really like Eliza who is now just ridiculously good looking as well…Nicholas Hoult and Henry Thomas for sure, and although I am neutral on Jodie Foster now, she was a great child actress. I am gonna add to your list:

      Margaret O’Brien: “Meet Me in St Louis” 1944 at age 7, Academy Award (which was stolen and only recovered in 1995!)

      Jackie Coogan: “The Kid” (with Charlie Chaplin) 1921, age 7.

      Shirley Temple: because Shirley Temple. Can you tell I am a huge golden age of Holkywood fan? Heehee.

      Jamie Bell: “Billy Elliot” 2000, age 14, BAFTA Lead Actor, absolutely LOVED him.

      And my absolute favourite alongside Maisie:

      Jacob Tremblay: “Room” 2015, age 8, youngest SAGA nominee for Outstanding supporting actor. I have never seen such a great performance by such a young person, blew my mind. Also in “Wonder” 2017, “The Death & Life of John F. Donovan” 2018 with our dear ol Kit Harington, and The Predator 2018 with Alfie Allen.

      I know there are more, but these ones along with several on your list are top of my mind! 😊

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    21. Pigeon,

      Oh my God, how can I forget the actress in my favourite movie of all time:

      Ivana Baquero: “Pan’s Labyrinth” 2006, age 11

      Oh, and Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb in “Bridge to Terabithia”, but seriously, fuck that movie. 🤬

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    22. Pigeon,

      I’m not a huge fan of Anna Paquin either. I listed her and Tatum O’Neal because they won Oscars. And I listed Scarlett Johansson and Kristen Stewart because they supposedly had “breakthrough” performances in those films, though they didn’t knock my socks off.

      Now, Natalie Portman on the other hand stole the show from a huge ensemble cast in an otherwise just-okay movie, “Beautiful Girls.” Her scenes with Timothy Hutton, especially the one while she’s skating on an outdoor ice skating rink, and the one she calls “Romeo & Juliet: The Dyslexic Version” when he calls doen to her from an upstairs window, were so good.

      I will definitely check out Jacob Tremblsy in “Room.” I heard good things about that movie. Just like “The Babadook” with Essie Davis (Lady Crane), it’ll be on my to-do/to-watch list. Along with the others you recommended.

      I saw “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

      So heartbreaking the way she passed the test at the end and returned to ethereal form by sacrificing herself to save her baby half-brother.

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    23. Pigeon,

      PS The only “gripe” I have with Pan’s Labyrinth is with its director, Guillermo del Torro, who made the fun Jaegers (human-piloted giant robots) vs. giant monsters movie “Pacific Rim.”* He made big news when after meeting with Maisie Williams, he said publicly how impressed he was, and that if Pacific Rim 2 were made: “That girl is definitely getting a Jaeger.” His words, not mine.

      But when Pacific Rim 2 was made… no Maisie. 😡 Kind of a big disappointment. Not sure what happened… Perhaps something as simple as a scheduling conflict.

      * featuring Burn “Karl Tanner, the Fooking Legend of Gin Alley” Gorman as a nerd scientist

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    24. Ten Bears,

      Pan’s Labyrinth is my favourite movie, and I don’t know that I’ll ever watch it again. There are some movies that just punch me directly in the feels that I go around in a bit of a daze for, well, days. I am not a very easily emotion-d person when it comes to movies, but give me something like that or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (speaking of amazing child actors) and I will ugly cry. Good lord.

      Guillermo del Toro is also my favourite director/producer, he can definitely miss the mark, but when he hits it, hoo boy. Even “Mama” (hi Nicolaj), and “Crimson Peak” (hi Hiddles) were absolutely amazing to the eyeballs.

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    25. Bufferzone,

      I know del Torro didn’t direct it. He was an exec producer. Probably all for the best that Maisie wasn’t in it. It got middling reviews.

      It’s just that… Maisie Williams does so well in one-on-one scenes with other actors, and the shared consciousness of the Jaeger copliots would’ve been perfect for her and another actor or actress.

      No big deal… If I wanna see her copiloting an advanced technology machine,

      I’ll rewatch her last Dr Who episode when Ashildr and Clara get their own Tardis and set off together on adventures in space and time.

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    26. Che:
      JenniferH,

      I wouldn’t say this gives her any protection. I’m not saying I think she will die in S8 – I’m actually on the fence about almost all of the main characters – but I just don’t think popularity will save Arya (or any of the others). George (and D&D) will hve conceived an ending for the main characters before the show or even the books exploded in the manner in which it has and thoigh I am sure hundreds of plans and schemes have fallen by the wayside in that time, I imagine the fates of the lead characters will be something George sticks to. I don’t know why, but I see him as the kind of guy who wouldn’t bend to social pressures when it comes to telling his story the way he wants to tell it.

      All that said, I really do hope Arya survives to the end and she finally finds some happiness and peace.

      I agree; I love Arya and don’t want or really expect her to die, but at the same time don’t think she’s necessarily safer than anyone else despite being more-liked/less-disliked than most. (In fact, knowing George as we do, that could make her more of a target…)

      I also never viewed her as a baddie, muddled as the S7 Winterfell storyline became. Definitely agree that the point should’ve been about Sansa spilling Ned’s beans to Cersei, rather than the letter alone. Still, it all wrapped up all right and is now a minor thing in terms of criticisms to be leveled against Arya…I don’t think she’s done anything major that I found unjustified.

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    27. I liked a very young Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara) in Whale Rider and Kerry Ingram who played Princess Shireen. I liked most of the young actors on GoT actually though Maisie has an ability to play a range of roles I think. He only had a small part but I liked Art Parkinson who played Rickon, but as stated he only had a limited chance to show what he could do.

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    28. Ten Bears,

      Here’s a couple more I can think of:

      Freddie Highmore in Finding Neverland (2004) at age 12. He did a great job opposite Johnny Depp, actually stealing a heartbreaking scene or two.

      Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999) at age 11. Not much to be said here that people don’t already know, but it’s one of the quintessential child performances. He was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar for the role in 2000.

      That being said, I was immediately captivated by Maisie’s performance so I completely agree with you that she is at least every bit the equal of all these other great performances by young actors/actresses.

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    29. Pigeon,

      Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my all-time favourites! Absolutely beautiful movie, and Ivana does a great job in it. The music is also fantastic, especially the lullaby in its haunting beauty.

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    30. From what I understand, Arya is the favorite character of GRRM’s wife. Needless to say, Arya ain’t dying unless GRRM is looking for a divorce 😉

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    31. Tron79: When was the Arya beach photo taken? (in this article).

      I think it may be an outtake from the pre-Season 4 Annie Liebowitz photoshoot for Vanity Fair.

      They had the main cast shoot on a cliffside and some rocks on a beach on Northern Ireland.

      That’s the only occasion I can think of where Maisie/Arya would’ve been near a beach with her Season 4 outfit and hair.

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    32. Jaehaerys,

      Agreed about Kick-Ass, although I’ve not seen her in any other role as she’s become older so it’s hard for me to judge.

      Strikes me that she has an attitude quite like Maisie, that she wants to select roles that she feels are especially right for her and not just a pathway to being a “star”.

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    33. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I think it may be an outtake from the pre-Season 4 Annie Liebowitz photoshoot for Vanity Fair.

      They had the main cast shoot on a cliffside and some rocks on a beach on Northern Ireland.

      That’s the only occasion I can think of where Maisie/Arya would’ve been near a beach with her Season 4 outfit and hair.

      Thanks! I didn’t recognize that shot.

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    34. Enharmony1625:
      Pigeon,

      Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my all-time favourites! Absolutely beautiful movie, and Ivana does a great job in it. The music is also fantastic, especially the lullaby in its haunting beauty.

      Mine too! Yes, Ofelia was willing to die for her baby brother, but she did get to become a princess after all. The director won an Oscar last year for “the shape of water“. Its plot beats were similar to those of “pans labyrinth” but it was not set against war, and was a fantasy romance instead. It was my favorite film of last year.

      Jodie Foster, Judy Garland, and Natalie Portman in Leon were all very impressive actresses as children. I also liked Thomas Brodie
      Sangster, especially in “love, actually“. And many moons ago, Haley Mills was an awfully good actress. IMO, Maisie belongs in their company.

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    35. No one has mentioned Quvenzhané Wallis, who got a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 2012 – the youngest ever, at age 5 – for her portrayal of Hushpuppy, the lead role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. She totally knocked my socks off. It’s quite an amazing movie, especially considering that it’s a low-budget indie film.

      Jacob Tremblay was incredible in Room. I was slightly less impressed with his performance in Wonder, but he was hampered by the heavy makeup and prosthetics, I think.

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    36. Stark raven’ Rad,

      Round about the time of Hayley Mills what about Jane Asher who at one time looked like she might become Mrs McCartney. She eventually married Scarfe the cartoonist so I don’t think she has any complaints about her life – and also became famous for cakes.

      I was doing a “for fun” thread about 1960/70s stars for GoT if it had been made then – I thought perhaps she might suit for Ygritte. But that’s just me being frivolous.

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    37. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      What, no love for Chloë Grace Moretz in Kickass?!

      I’ll get me coat…

      I got lots of love for Chloe Grace Moretz in Kickass. I think she was 13 at the time so she qualifies as a “child actress.” Good call.

      I really wanted to include on my list Claire Danes in Baz Luhrman’s “Romeo + Juliet”, but I think she was a teenage (not a “child”) actress by then. Everybody else in that movie (sorry Leo) spoke their lines as if they were high schoolers reading from a book. Claire Danes breathed life into Shakespeare’s words. Her delivery was natural and believable. Her inflection was perfect. Damn she was good…

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    38. Ten Bears,

      Me too I loved Claire Danes. We had to see Romeo and Juliet with our school and write an essay about it. I wrote that I didn’t like the movie but loved Claire Danes.

      I’ve also seen Pan’s labyrinth. Beautiful movie but I found the ending sad.

      I’ve seen Art Parkinson in Dracula Untold. Small role but he played it well. It’s a pity he didn’t have any dialogue in his last season on Game of Thrones.

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    39. Chilli,

      I also could have or should have included Vanessa Zima in Ulee’s Gold 1997 at age 10. I just figured it was an indie film (though Peter Fonda got multiple award nominations) that few people had seen, and Vanessa Zima kind of disappeared after that film.
      A young Jessica Biel was in it too, but Vanessa Zima was way better. They played sisters being raised by their widowed grandfather, a Florida beekeeper, after their father was sent to prison and their mother left to become a full-time drug addict. Vanessa Zima has a beautiful speech in a scene with Grandpa Ulee (Peter Fonda) explaining to him the meaning of a picture she drew.

      One bonus of catching “Ulee’s Gold” [title has multiple meanings], filmed on location in the only place in the world where genuine Tupelo Honey is produced: Van Morrison sings “Tupelo Honey” over the closing credits.

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    40. Che,

      The reason that young Maisie Williams made such an indelible impression on me was the way she was able to portray the full gamut of emotions in a short scene in S1e2, when Jon gives her Needle. (Starting at about 1:44 in the clip below).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB9Ks-sL6So

      For similar reasons I liked Sandor’s S4e7 scene when he tells Arya about Gregor burning him: He starts off raging at her (“Shut up about it! Shut up about everything!”…. “Wish I’d never laid eyes on you!”) and by the end he’s empathizing with her (“You think you’re on your own?”)

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    41. Dame of Mercia,

      “I was doing a “for fun” thread about 1960/70s stars for GoT if it had been made then…”
      …………
      Almost by default, you’d have to start with Diana Rigg as Margaery Tyrell.

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    42. Chilli,

      True. He did really good in that movie as well opposite a very.. “interesting” Johnny Depp. 🙂 I also heard he’s excellent in Bates Motel as a young Norman Bates, though I haven’t seen it.

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    43. News about game of thrones telltale game season 2. It’s canceled. Telltale is quiting completely. Such a shame, was really invested in the story and characters. Are more people disappointed by this news?

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    44. Kevin1989,

      Never heard of Telltale. Never played it. Therefore, I can’t say I’m disappointed. GoT has been monetized and merchandised up the wazoo.

      Out of curiosity, why did they cancel GoT Telltale 2? Did Avatar Arya poison too many of the characters at the end of Telltake 1?

      I am sorry though that you’re disappointed. Everybody’s got their favorite GoT merch. I cannot fathom spending money on those Funko Pop plastic dolls that all look the same except for “hair” coloring and costume, but I understand why some fans like to collect them. Hell, I almost frittered away a month of mortgage and car payments and was ready to subsist on oatmeal and water to bid on the eBay auction of the autographed enlargement of the Royal Mail Arya stamp*, so I’m the last person to question whether Telltale GoT was worth whatever it cost.

      If Telltale 1 was popular, I’ll bet there was a royalty or licensing dispute that scuttled S2. Corporate greed.

      * I was half relieved and half disappointed when I got outbid on the MW autographed Arya stamp with 8 seconds left in the auction. So I decided instead to donate some of the money I wouild have spent to one of the charities Maisie Williams supports.

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    45. I don’t think I’ve heard of Telltale either. I know two games were announced recently…one that reminded me of an old one called Ascent (not sure what’s going on with it), and the “Reign” app I pre-ordered because it looks like a lot of fun. Can’t wait for it to be released next month. I’d been on an e-mail list for one called Conquest, but couldn’t get it when I had an iPhone 5 since it wasn’t compatible, and by now from all I’ve heard it wasn’t even worth downloading. Yeesh! I was let down by the developer of a Hunger Games game that I’d loved, who kept claiming they were working on chapters corresponding to the last two movies/the last book, but I saw right through ’em. >8| Just keep claiming ’til the players lose interest. Anyways. I do have a lot of Funkos of favorite characters (from GoT and many various titles), although I wish the default style were a more realistic figure rather than being stylized. I’ve always preferred realism. Ah well…finally couldn’t resist starting a collection anyway. x-p Also just ordered a GoT t-shirt from Hot Topic. 8-D *whoohoo*

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    46. Dame of Mercia,

      Linda Fiorentino as Melisandre. She was in a couple of ’80z movies but was wickedly excellent as Bridgette in “The Last Seduction” in 1994. She co-starred in “Men in Black” in 1997; “Dogma” with Alan Rickman et al. in 1999; and “Where the Money Is” with Paul Newman in 2000… and then kind of disappeared.

      David McCallum (Illya Kuryakin in “The Man from Uncle” and nowadays as Ducky Mallard in NCIS) as Rhaegar Targaryen.

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    47. Kevin1989,

      I’ve never played any of the Telltale games, but I heard the news. I feel bad for the hard-working employees of the company and the fans, but as for the company itself, good riddance. Many employees have come forth about the toxic work environment and the overly long work hours (80 – 100 hours per week at times!). Now there’s a class-action lawsuit launched by former employees alleging violation of labour laws. So yeah..

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    48. Dame of Mercia:
      Stark raven’ Rad,

      I was doing a “for fun” thread about 1960/70s stars for GoT if it had been made then – I thought perhaps she might suit for Ygritte.But that’s just me being frivolous.

      I forgot about Jane Asher nearly marrying Paul. I love the idea casting a GOT from that era. A number of the great 20th century Shakespearean actors were still around and probably would have been cast in several rolls. Here’s a few people I would like to have seen:

      NED: John Neville
      JAIME: Peter O’Toole
      CERSEI: Diana Rigg
      ARYA: Rita Tushingham
      SANSA: Maggie Smith
      TYWIN: Laurence Olivier
      And nobody can be Tyrion!!!

      Oh well—the cast we have is a keeper.

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    49. Ten Bears,

      Oh I agree, I think she’s a phenomenal actress. Arya was one of my favourites in the early seasons, but as time has gone on, I feel more neutral about her. I definitely still root for the character and hope she finds happiness and peace, but she’s not one of my favourites anymore. I understand I’m probably in the minority in that view. I still appreciate how excellent Maisie William’s acting is and I think she is one of the strongest in the show.

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    50. Che,

      They’ve sidelined Arya somewhat for several seasons – ever since her boat ride to Braavos in the final scene of S4. Except for a few wonderful scenes with Essie Davis, most of S5 and S6 in Braavos was getting bashed with sticks, blinded, and stabbed, and turn the end of S6 & beginning of S7 was Arya Stoneheart exterminating Freys and doing the face peeling trick. I’ve said enough about the PsychoArya vs. FranticSansa LF letter “plot.”

      I think they’ve had Arya treading water for three seasons, but S8 will be ASNAWP-centric. At least it better be. And they’d better devote enough screen time to do it justice. (E.g. S8e1: Sandor & Arya reunite and chat; 48 minutes; Dany & Jon disembark at White Harbor: 5 minutes; Lord Glover steps on a rake, dies, gets whitened: 3 minutes; Gendry kicks meth habit: 2 minutes; Sandor in new armor & Arya, incognito, ride to White Hsrbot to greet Jon: 4 minutes. End Ep. 1)

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    51. Ten Bears,

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Game_of_Thrones:_A_Telltale_Games_Series

      It was released as a TV-show, big storyline that started after the Red Wedding about a new family in the north (not the Starks). It was all about the story and the choices you made as a player. But I’m more disapointed that the walking dead game will probably not have an ending, was one of the few games where I cried while playing. (Show GoT is better, game TWD in my opinion).

      It’s a game that was hyped when WotW was still winteriscoming.
      And many actors voiced their character on that game, Lena Heady, Peter Dinklage, and many more.

      Enharmony1625: Kev

      True, the games were amazing (if you like those kind of games), but the company deserved what they got. I hope some other game company will take over the games which will treat their employers better.

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    52. Ten Bears,

      Oh Joanne Whalley, I know her from Scarlett. She played opposite Sean Bean where his character was abusing her. I really hated Sean Bean, even in interviews he was giving I hated him. I really thought you could see he was a bad man. I didn’t like him in Lord of the rings either. And now in Game of Thrones, he became one of my favourite actors. I can’t believe I once hated him. Good actor!

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    53. My post about casting stars from the past was for 60/70s but the other suggestions are cool. My suggestions were different from Stark Raven’s but I can see where SRR is coming from. Plagiarising my thread my suggestions (and I have not cast every character) were:-
      for Cersei:- Nyree Dawn Porter (New Zealand); Diane Client (Australian and once married to Sean Connery); Genevieve Casile (French) – don’t know what her English is like; Julie Christie (British)
      Ashara: (not cast in show) Yvonne Furneaux (English/French)
      Caitlin: Ann-Margret Olssen (American but I think of Scandinavian descent); Senta Berger (Austrian); Romy Schneider (I always thought she was Austrian but Wiki says she had French and German citizenship); Samantha Eggar (British)
      Ygritte: Jane Asher
      Sansa: Jenny Asher (wiggy or hair dye route)
      Lynna: Pamela Franklin – I’d also thought of Isobel Black but I hadn’t mentioned her in my thread yet.

      I started the thread when I was laid up with a broken arm and couldn’t do much – the early part of it at least was typed with one finger. As I say, it’s not intended to be terribly serious.

      Pamela Franklin and Isobel Black both seem to have cut back on their acting careers although they were both doing pretty well at one point.

      Getting back on topic, I don’t know if Arya will actually give the coup-de-grace to Cersei but with all the banging on about Arya going to “kill the queen” I could see some conflict between the two of them before the final credits roll on GoT.

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    54. Above entry was getting long. Cersei is on Arya’s “list”. In my fantasy casting where I gave more than one suggestion of course it was an either/or situation.

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    55. I’m still very frustrated about Arya in Braavos. Arya fans had been looking forwards to the Braavos storyline since, well, since it was written. But getting the book storyline and what we got were two different things. Except for a few scenes, the only thing worthwhile about it was Maisie Williams’ flawless performance (as usual). Training scenes are known throughout the history of television/movie as a really cool way to tell a story and advance the growth of a character… but not how D&D did it for Arya.

      Gone were her learning about poisons, and other tools of the Faceless Men, finding out about herself, warging into cats, finding her way around Braavos as Cat of the Canals, etc. Nope, instead we got scenes of her sweeping and cleaning dead bodies and being beaten up by the Waif. And a few scenes as “Lana” in Braaovs that said nothing about the new “character.”

      There was nothing about “Cat of the Canals” (replaced by the generic “Lana”), the character that Arya created (which was clearly based partly on her mother–Catelyn) or Beth (the blind girl)—who in D&D’s version only purpose was to be beat upon by the Waif and learn to fight with a stick to kill in a dark room—another ideniity that Arya created. In the books, Arya actually crafted these new identities. In the show, the first was just a name with some information Jaquen gave her.

      There was so much that could have been done that was not. Arya learning about poisons, learning other ways of fighting, Arya learning the ways of the courtesan (the way she started to in the book-where she was talking to the madame, not actually participating–I’m pretty sure that happened, unless I’m mixing it up with a fanfic), Arya in the kitchens talking to the servants there. In the books, Arya, also began learning the Braavosi language and when she was blind Beth, she was not just begging, but also wandering the streets of Braavos, begging for money but also listening for bits and pieces of information. That is when she became better at lying and detecting the lies of others. Also in the book, Arya was IN the play which put her more in the middle of the caricature of “events” of what happened in King’s Landing.

      *sigh* So much lost opportunity. There was a reason that fans of Arya who had read the books were so looking forward to Arya in Braavos. And there was a reason that we were really disappointed. Instead of so much richness of awesome stuff to see with Arya and for Maisie to do, we didn’t see her much and when we did, we got sweeping floors, cleaning dead bodies and Arya getting beat up by the Waif. *double sigh*

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    56. One of the reasons I wouldn’t mind an audio dramatisation of ASOIAF by someone like Big Finish or even the Beeb is that they could do some of the subplots that have been excised from the TV adaptation. I think ASOIAF is so long there would always have to be some trimming of the fat. I don’t dislike the TV show (of course there are some things I would have done differently) and I was somewhat relieved THAT tedious river cruise was cut (I know a lot of people think differently – it’s just my opinion and I’m trying to put things in a way that won’t “spoil” for people who only know the show who might like to read the books later). With an audio adaptation one’s imagination can go to work (like when reading a book) so even if Cersei was played by a 5 ft 2 in redhead as long as she SOUNDED like Cersei it could work.

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    57. For child actors with some ability can one mention children from “so bad they were good” films. There are some films I’ve caught (by accident) on TV; there was one (a 2008 film called Wild Child starring an actress (grown up by now I guess) Emma Roberts as a bratty kid who gets sent to a posh English boarding school to have the rough edges knocked off. It was a silly but fun movie if you’ve got nothing better to do or watch (and I didn’t at the time) and I thought she wasn’t half bad.

      I think I already mentioned Kerry Ingram but I also liked Bella Ramsay even if some of the fandom are tiring of her now. Olivia Hallinan who is now in her 30s was a decent child actor. (At one time she was one of my picks for young Caitlin [though 33 might be the senior edge for young Caitlin, though OH does look young] if the show had covered more of Robert’s Rebellion – we only got Rhaegar and Lyanna and young Ned, Howland Reed and the folks they fought at the ToJ).

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    58. JenniferH,

      I didn’t read the books until after season 6, so my initial impression of Arya’s story in Braavos wasn’t nearly as disappointed because I didn’t have any expectations built up. However, after I finished reading them (particularly her chapters in books 4 & 5) I was rather mystified as to why the show cut out some of this amazing material: her learning how to navigate the HoB&W while blind, her travels around Braavos bringing back three pieces of information to the Kindly Man, and actually taking part in the play instead of just reacting to it. The show definitely could have enriched her Braavos story, but I’m still not as down on it as some because my initial reaction wasn’t that negative. Oh, and she did learn poisons on the show in an (albeit) brief scene in season 6.

      One thing the show did right though, is not developing her warging abilities. Since she’s not training to become a physical fighter in the books, I can only assume her role and contribution in the war will be warging and covert assassinations, but warging isn’t the most exciting thing to watch on screen and doesn’t give the actor much to do except sit motionless with their eyes rolled back in their head. I would much rather see Arya out there shooting arrows and killing WW with her Valyrian steel on the show. Then there’s also the issue of the time and cost to do the wolves, which might have meant much less screen time for her fighting in the war.

      As such I can see why the show used the Waif as they did in order to develop Arya’s fighting abilities, so that part I didn’t have a problem with really. For me, it was mostly season 5 that fell kind of flat (more so after I read the books) apart from some standout scenes (Arya’s inability to let go of Needle, the reveal of the Hall of Faces, her playing the game with Jaqen, and the MFT kill).

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    59. Ten Bears,

      I see it a bit differently to be honest, and I wouldn’t use the word “sidelined”. Season 5 & 6 were quite seminal for her character because it involved her struggling to hold on to her identity in the “face” of (pun intended) becoming a killer to pursue her list. Ultimately she of course holds on to her identity, but she’s still using the skills that were taught to her, so there is this unresolved tension going forward. Arya was also in more episodes and had more screen time in season 6 than she did in season 4, and a lot of promo material for season 6 uses the Hall of Faces, so I don’t feel at all that she was sidelined. For the most part (except for her miraculous escape from the Waif), I liked her season 6 material. Season 5 could have used some extra spice though.

      I do think that the show has been saving some of her big stuff for season 8, and considering how much filming Maisie has done for next season, I fully expect some amazing ASNAWP material (character moments and fighting).

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    60. Firannion:
      No one has mentioned Quvenzhané Wallis, who got a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 2012 – the youngest ever, at age 5 – for her portrayal of Hushpuppy, the lead role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. She totally knocked my socks off. It’s quite an amazing movie, especially considering that it’s a low-budget indie film.

      Jacob Tremblay was incredible in Room. I was slightly less impressed with his performance in Wonder, but he was hampered by the heavy makeup and prosthetics, I think.

      if my socks were all “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has blown off… that movie just hit me like a train, and Quvenzhané Wallis was sort of supernatural.

      i stopped reading the child-actors-sub after your comment, so i don’t know if someone happened to mention not-so-much-of-a-child-anymore-then Leo di Caprio for his absolutely outstanding performance in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. he definitely vaporized Johnny Depp and Juliette Lewis.

      Tatum O’Neill in “Papermoon” is one of my all-time-favorites ever until the sun rises in the west and all that…

      but for me, nothing comes close to Everlyn Sampi in “Rabbit-Proof Fence”. nothing, really nothing.

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    61. JenniferH: also began learning the Braavosi language

      Not just Braavosi but the dialects and languages of Pentos, Lys and High Valyrian as well. I’ve mentioned it numerous times that I wish they’d at least hinted at her languages training on the show because I want(ed) her to be able to speak High Valyrian to Daenerys. Of course there is a chance they just give her the ability and have her say she learned it from “No One,” but it still would have been nice to know she was being taught.

      Enharmony1625: One thing the show did right though, is not developing her warging abilities.

      I’ll always be on the opposite regarding this. I still think the direwolves and the connection Jon and Arya have through warging will be a bigger part of the endgame in the books. Even if it’s not a major thing to eliminate for the show story, doing so makes Bran look like an even bigger super freak than he is. All of the Stark kids have special abilities in the books, or are supposed to according to George, particularly J & A to their point so far. While Jon has just started feeling it Arya has already been using it to her benefit. It feels like it’s becoming a big part of who she is yet the show just completely stripped her of that element.

      Besides anything possible specific to the plot, ASoIaF is a high fantasy series even if some people got into it and enjoy it more for the mundane political backbone. I’m all for more of the magic, monsters and mystical that the genre typically delivers.

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    62. Enharmony1625,

      I agree with Ten Bears, she may have had more screen time, but I felt very much that Arya was sidelined in season 6. The biggest problem I had is that everything that happened in season 6 in the Winterfell arc was from Sansa’s point of view. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED what we got as a Sansa storyline. I just feel that we should have gotten an Arya point of view as well (and Bran, but this is about Arya). Instead, we only got Sansa’s point of view. The Winterfell story, I feel, was just about Sansa’s take (because apparently that was the only way to lead to the silly gotcha reveal about Littlefinger in the finale).

      Everything that happened in Winterfell was about, focused on, revolved around Sansa. We didn’t get Arya trying to acquaint herself with home, spending time with Brienne, or Bran, or with the weapons master, maybe wanting to go and find Jon, something, anything that was an actual Arya-based storyline. There was so much more that could have been done with Arya that didn’t revolve around the skulking game of subterfuge that was all about Sansa and Littlefinger, but about Arya being home… but, you know, that would have been about, well, Arya. We got that lovely scene with the Lannister soldiers and Hot Pie… and that was it. Once she got to Winterfell, everything became about Sansa. (Again, loved, loved Sansa’s story for Sansa’s sake, but Arya deserved her own point of view story.)

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    63. Ten Bears:
      Che,

      S8e1: Sandor & Arya reunite and chat; 48 minutes; Dany & Jon disembark at White Harbor: 5 minutes; Lord Glover steps on a rake, dies, gets whitened: 3 minutes; Gendry kicks meth habit: 2 minutes; Sandor in new armor & Arya, incognito, ride to White Hsrbot to greet Jon: 4 minutes.

      I’m good with this episode outline, so long as 3 of Dany & Jon’s 5 minutes in White Harbor are devoted to a rousing speech from Lord Manderly. He’s owed some compensation for having his Frey Pies storyline given to Arya. And please, no more recitations of Dany’s list of titles.

      I especially like Lord Glover’s demise here. We need more people in the Seven Kingdoms dying from mundane causes like tetanus or flu or being kicked in the head while shoeing a horse or run over by a heavily loaded wain. It can’t all be glamour and gore.

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    64. JenniferH,

      You mean season 7, right? I was talking about seasons 5 & 6, but I can agree that she was somewhat sidelined for the Winterfell plot in season 7. There were a couple of scenes from Arya’s point of view, such as discovering the scroll and spying on LF, and seeing Sansa dealing with the Northern Lords, but all of episode 6 and the trial of episode 7 was all from Sansa’s POV. Season 7 did feel like a bit of a holding pattern for Arya until things (hopefully!) kick into gear in season 8. So yes, I do wish we got more from Arya in season 7 with her trying to acclimate herself being back home.

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    65. What if it is not “all cocks in the end”? What if the Night Kings reasoning to take all the male babies isn’t simply to build an army but to stop human breeding being possible? What if Dany, Arya, Sansa, etc.(women in power) all survive with only Theon, Varys, Grey Worm, Unsullied.
      The Women win but cannot procreate so they will only be in power until they all die.
      #Bittersweet.

      Ha

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    66. JenniferH,

      Yep, that’s my perspective and why I personally saw the writing for Arya’s S7 as a bit of a failure. To be honest they’ve actually probably not done as ‘hot’ on her storyline as others past the book material or expanding on it.

      When you think about it, from the very start of the books and show every part of her storyline was all Her. Whether it was Ned, Sansa, show!Tywin, Sandor, etc., their involvement with Arya was mainly for her arc. Her individual story was moving forward all the time. Then the show takes her back to Winterfell and suddenly she’s just window dressing on a Sansa-Littlefinger second tier storyline. I’m fairly confident in believing none of that is going to happen in the books so I’m eager to see what she actually does upon return to Westeros.

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    67. Count me in with the readers very disappointed with the screen version of Arya’s sojourn at the HoBaW. One of the fantasy genre’s biggest draws for me is the vivid evocation of places; and of all the locales visited in the books, Braavos is the one that, for me, comes most alive and makes me want to spend time there. The world of the docks and canals and squares is so rich with sights and sounds and smells and quirky characters. The showrunners did a fine job with the Hall of Faces set, but I’d have given a lot to see Cat of the Canals sitting for two minutes chatting with the busker with the trained seal, or exchanging words with one of the exotic courtesans in their curtained gondolas, or watching a couple of drunken bravos duel beside a fountain, or scampering around on rooftops. And, as others have pointed out, her education in the HoBaW itself – especially while blind and training her other senses – is immensely more intricate than just getting bashed regularly with a stick. It’s very much a continuation of her water dancer exercises with Syrio, but focused mainly on honing her observational skills. I loved those chapters so much. HBO only skimmed Braavos’ surface.

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    68. Enharmony1625:
      JenniferH,

      You mean season 7, right? I was talking about seasons 5 & 6, but I can agree that she was somewhat sidelined for the Winterfell plot in season 7. There were a couple of scenes from Arya’s point of view, such as discovering the scroll and spying on LF, and seeing Sansa dealing with the Northern Lords, but all of episode 6 and the trial of episode 7 was all from Sansa’s POV. Season 7 did feel like a bit of a holding pattern for Arya until things (hopefully!) kick into gear in season 8. So yes, I do wish we got more from Arya in season 7 with her trying to acclimate herself being back home.

      Yes, you’re right, I was thinking of season 07 there. But do still think she was sidelined in season 5 and 6. I think she was sidelined the entire Braavos story. Maisie made the absolute most of it, and absolute killed in specific scenes — unable to throw Needle away, watching the play, seeing ‘Ned’ die again, all of her interactions with Lady Crane, getting her revenge, her ‘A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home,” — but overall, the writing, the pacing was just not there for Arya. It simply came across as if D&D simply didn’t care about the character.

      Here’s the thing, if one didn’t read the books they wouldn’t know that the five main characters in ASOIAF are Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Arya and Bran. They would think they are Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Cersei and Sansa, while Arya is a supporting character and Bran is a tertiary supporting character (not getting into that, because again, this is about Arya) and I don’t think that’s cool. Especially in the case of Arya because Arya is a VERY popular character on the show, Maisie is one of the most critically acclaimed and nominated actors on the show… and yet, for some reason, D&D have relegated her character to a supporting role, literally disregarding some awesome, cool stuff that they could have used in the books to beef up her journey. Why? I have no clue. One can only guess.

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    69. JenniferH: D&D have relegated her character to a supporting role, literally disregarding some awesome, cool stuff that they could have used in the books to beef up her journey. Why? I have no clue. One can only guess.

      They have a chance to rectify that with S8. They did do a really good job of adapting (sticking to) her story up to the HoBaW, and even improved it by substituting Tywin into it. Since then they could have tried harder. Why they didn’t I don’t know either. I do know that Dan has said, and David agreed, that he really likes the Sansa character because she’s real and relatable. They seem to like Sophie as a person too so maybe they’ve tried harder on that… not that they don’t like Maisie though. Perhaps they also though Sansa’s story needed an injection of interesting so they focused more on it and we got changed storylines like her in Jeyne’s role.

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    70. OK I have to admit defeat and ignorance, not following the chat here as much as I used to. Just what is “ASNAWP”?

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    71. Clob: They have a chance to rectify that with S8.They did do a really good job of adapting (sticking to) her story up to the HoBaW, and even improved it by substituting Tywin into it.Since then they could have tried harder.Why they didn’t I don’t know either.I do know that Dan has said, and David agreed, that he really likes the Sansa character because she’s real and relatable.They seem to like Sophie as a person too so maybe they’ve tried harder on that… not that they don’t like Maisie though.Perhaps they also though Sansa’s story needed an injection of interesting so they focused more on it and we got changed storylines like her in Jeyne’s role.

      Yeah, their preference for Sophia/Sansa is fairly obvious… unfortunately it hasn’t shown up in the writing in enough cases. I’m still not happy with some decisions they’ve made with the character.

      *sigh* As for Arya, while I do have hope that we’ll see better for her in season 08, it doesn’t make up for the disservice done to her story in Braavos for me. (What can I say, I’m bitter… I’m holding a grudge, LOL!) I did like the addition of Tywin over Roose, and I loved the Arya/Sandor adventures, but what was done (and not done) to/with Arya seasons 05, 06 *and* 07 really sticks in my craw.

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    72. Stark Raven’ Rad:

      NED: John Neville
      JAIME: Peter O’Toole
      CERSEI: Diana Rigg
      ARYA: Rita Tushingham
      SANSA: Maggie Smith
      TYWIN: Laurence Olivier
      And nobody can be Tyrion!!!

      I’m not feeling Maggie Smith as Sansa. Was she ever that young? Certainly not in the ‘60s. Even in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, she was already confronting middle age.

      I adore Peter O’Toole, and would have loved to see him cast in GoT, but Jaime strikes me as too subdued a role for his scenery-chewing skills. Not sure what character’s a better fit, though: Tywin? Roose? Jorah? JonCon? Jaqen? None of those really get to rampage the way O’Toole could, as Henry II or Eli Cross, say. He could also do urbane well, of course, and might’ve had fun with a smaller role like Tycho Nestoris.

      I think the young Oliver Reed had the perfect blobby creepiness to play Ramsay.

      How about Vanessa Redgrave as Cersei? She might’ve relished a chance to play an evil queen.

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    73. JenniferH,

      I think you’re being a bit harsh. Of course they could have done more with the Arya storyline, but her isolation presented a big problem. It’s easy to say that you would have liked to see her learn foreign languages and study poisons in depth, but how that would have translated on screen is another question entirely. As it is, we saw Arya learn to fight, study poisons briefly via montage, use stealth, strengthen her senses, change faces, and the game of faces. I really enjoyed Arya’s Braavos storyline, especially in season 6, but I do admit they could have done better. And let’s face facts. She and the other two Stark children were sidelined in the books as well. The only difference is that they changed Sansa’s narrative to make her a bigger character.

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    74. Clob,

      I’m one of the few who really doesn’t care one bit about the direwolves. Sure, they’re cool to see, but if they’re not doing anything relevant, there is no need for them to be on screen. And I disagree about their relevance to the story. Against the army of the dead, what can they possibly do?

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    75. Young Dragon,

      I don’t see how her isolation presented a problem in this case. Everything that was needed to create a better story was actually there in the books. As to how it would have translated onto screen… showing her with different teachers at the HOTBAW learning the language and then later conversing with different side characters from Braavos, Pentos, Lys and High Valyrian with them at different times. Also as Firannion mentioned:

      I’d have given a lot to see Cat of the Canals sitting for two minutes chatting with the busker with the trained seal, or exchanging words with one of the exotic courtesans in their curtained gondolas, or watching a couple of drunken bravos duel beside a fountain, or scampering around on rooftops.

      Some of these scenes could have been done in those foreign languages. Studying poisons is something that should have been done more than one brief montage. Learning to fight would have been nice to actually see because we certainly didn’t. I mean, we didn’t see her learn to fight in Braavos. We saw her get her butt kicked over and over and over again by the Waif… and then, oops! She was blinded, got stabbed, miraculously survived a long chase, etc. and then fought the Waif in the dark that we never saw. We didn’t actually *see* Arya succeed in learning how to fight. We never saw her transition of skill start to really grow, how it went from being pretty crappy compared to the Waif to being on par with Brienne in season 07. We saw a few bits and pieces of her getting some good hits in, but mostly it was her getting her butt kicked by the Waif.

      The only difference is that they changed Sansa’s narrative to make her a bigger character.

      They didn’t just change Sansa’s narrative to make her a bigger character, they changed her narrative to make her a lead character while continuing to relegate Arya to a supporting role–in fact, an even smaller supporting role than she had been in seasons prior in terms of story and character substance, it felt like–and dampened much of her Braavos storyline, and made her season 07 storyline all about Sansa.*

      * Again, I LOVED Sansa’s storyline *for* Sansa, I just think that Arya and Bran deserved their own arcs that were about them. I don’t know, in my opinion, the Winterfell arc should have been about all three Stark children, not just Sansa.

      I’m really hoping that season 08 is a resurgence of a strong Arya-based storyline. Season 05 and 06 were quite a disappointment when I was so looking forward to the Braavos storyline, and season 07 was just… bleurgh with the exception of a few scenes in terms of Arya-stuff.

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    76. Che:

      Oh I agree, I think she’s a phenomenal actress. Arya was one of my favourites in the early seasons, but as time has gone on, I feel more neutral about her. I definitely still root for the character and hope she finds happiness and peace, but she’s not one of my favourites anymore. I understand I’m probably in the minority in that view. I still appreciate how excellent Maisie William’s acting is and I think she is one of the strongest in the show.

      Pretty much straight from my keyboard.

      We might be in the minority (especially among regular commenters on this site 🙂 ) but we’re not alone.

      Maisie Williams is an excellent actor despite her young age. She was excellent already as a 12 yr old.

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    77. JenniferH,

      How many pages in the book dealt with her poison, language, and combat training? If I recall, it wasn’t many and felt very montage like. Regarding her combat training in the show, you could tell she was getting a lot better as time progressed. Sure, she was hit a lot, but as Arya said in season 1, “ Each hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better.” I had no problem believing Arya was a match for Brienne, just like I had no problem believing Davos could suddenly read full sentences after only previously learning one letter. Your mind fills in the lesson gaps.

      As for Sansa, you missed the point. The point I was making was that Arya was sidelined in the books as well and that Martin should share the blame. It was a lot easier for D&D to expand Sansa’s storyline as she was still in Westeros and was in the perfect position to fill in someone else’s role. Sansa’s storyline effected so many other storylines, such as Brienne, the Boltons, Theon, Jon, and Littlefinger. Arya’s storyline in Braavos only effected her.

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    78. Firannion,

      Maggie Smith used to look quite young for her age at one time. I first thing I remember her in (it’s possible I’d seen her in other things) was as Desdemona in Othello at the cinema* (my class studied the play for A level) and then on TV in Much Ado About Nothing. Perhaps she could have pulled off 1950s Sansa – it was all just a bit of fun really, anyway, as the books weren’t written then. Perhaps Vanessa Redgrave as Cersei might have worked (wasn’t there a suggestion on the website at one time that she was being headhunted for a part in season 8 – but it could just have been someone taking the mickey). As somebody mentioned Brian Blessed a clip from the show that made Brian Blessed a name in the UK at least Z Cars. He’s at circa 3:57 onwards as a copper stopping some underage girls going into a nightclub (well licensed premises anyway). https://youtu.be/CBqqnCtaG7k

      * I failed A level English Literature the first time – well I got a pass at O level which I’d already obtained two years previously. I decided to do A level E Lit at night school some years later and they were doing Othello again. Fortunately I passed the second time – mind you I was paying for myself so I suppose it gave me the kick up the never mind needed to work conscientiously.

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    79. Enharmony1625,

      Hmmm. Maybe “sidelined” wasn’t the best word to describe Arya in S5 and S6. There were still plenty of classic scenes. I liked every scene she had with Lady Crane (Essie Davis). I don’t know anyone who wasn’t impressed with Maisie’s wordless portrayal of “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue from the books – using just facial expressions.

      Also. there are plenty of scenes I use for “mix tape” rewatches – scenes from different seasons that bookend or complement each other. For instance:

      • S1 Meryn Trant trying to abduct Arya; frightened Arya begging Syrio, “Come with me. Run!”: Syria’s heroic response: “The First Sword of Braavos does not run”: and Syrio sacrificing himself so she can escape.
      …. then cut to….
      S5 Arya avenging Syrio

      • S4e10 Arya leaving a grievously injured Sandor and refusing his requests/demands “Kill me!”
      …. then cut to …
      S5 Jaqen calling out Arya for lying to herself that she hated Sandor and wanted him to suffer, and S6 admitting to the Waif that she had been confused and took Sandor off her list because she didn’t want him dead anymore.

      I gotta be honest: The episodes directed by my not-favorite director, which included the oblivious Arya strolling around like a tourist getting stabbed by the Waif, and then the silly foot chase, were not high points for me. Nor was the off-screen dispatching of the Waif. (Though I guess I should not complain that they didn’t include a gruesome shot of Arya giving the Waif a posthumous face lift.)

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    80. Clob,

      I definitely see your point that Arya’s warging abilities in the books deepens her connection with Nymeria, and that it will important in the endgame. I love the dire wolves, and would happily trade more screen time with them for a little less dragons. However, I’ve never found warging to be as interesting on screen as it is in the books. It’s a very internal thing that books do really well, but visually it’s not that exciting. Like I mentioned earlier, there are also all the practical difficulties in bringing the dire wolves to life on screen, and if it will be such a big part of Arya’s role in the endgame, that means the show might have drastically cut that down, or.. who knows. I would much rather see Arya physically take part in the fighting than seeing her just standing around while Nymeria does the killing.

      I’m trying to think of other ways they could have made Arya’s connection to Nymeria more significant in the show, and one way would have been to extend her time with her after they reunite. This is just off the top of my head, but if season 7 had the full 10 episodes, Arya could have travelled and spent time with Nymeria on her way back to Winterfell perhaps.

      Ultimately, it doesn’t bother me that on the show each of the Stark kids have their own unique “powers” as opposed to them all being wargs. Again, maybe this is just because I was a show-only fan until season 6, so it’s interesting how expectation (or lack thereof) changes your view on things. I’m hoping that the Stark children’s unique skills will come together and complement one another in season 8.

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    81. JenniferH,

      Being a show-only watcher up until season 6, it never once even crossed my mind that Arya is a supporting character in the show. That’s completely untrue! She’s every bit the main character that Sansa is, just as Sansa is a main character in the books. And why just 5 main characters? Just because they are the ones George originally had planned to survive the series? In the show, there are 7 main characters: Jon, Dany, Cersei, Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, and Jamie. Bran is kind of an odd one. I can see arguments for him being a main character, but he feels like an important supporting character to me. Anyway, those 7 characters and actors are the ones HBO consistently push forward in promo material, nominate for awards, and get the most screen time and focus on the show.

      Also, any suggestion that D&D don’t care about Arya is silly. In an interview around the time of season 6, Benioff admitted that he tried to convince his wife to name their second daughter Arya, and named her along with Tyrion as two characters he loves in the story. D&D do love Sansa too, but I think that because there are a lot of people that still give her a lot of hate, they jump to her defence, and this has made it seem to some that they prefer or care about Sansa more than Arya. But I don’t think that’s true.

      I agree that they’ve made some odd choices in adapting her story from the books (although 90% of it in my mind is amazing), but they’ve done that with other characters too. Jamie and Sansa spring immediately to mind for me.

      Arya’s story is interesting and unique among the other main characters because hers is the most personal in some ways. She’s spent the least amount of time with other main characters (and let’s be honest, as soon as you join the orbit of one Jon Snow or Tyrion Lannister, your screen time goes up up up) yet she still has more screen time than Jamie and was pretty much equal with Sansa until season 7. Perhaps that’s why George gave her the name he did — Arya = aria = an operatic song for solo voice.

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    82. Enharmony1625,

      Enharmony, I agree with every word you said in this last post. This is a fascinating discussion, and I wish I could’ve replied to have to more posts but typing on planes and trains is impossible.

      My take is that Arya’s story is as important as in the books, but her final emergence must be supported by her experiences and learning from them or she will look too much like a Mary Sue when we finally get to see what she is capable of. Although the house of black and white was fascinating in the books,, it is not terribly visual. The producers had to include it, but it did get relative short shrift. I’m glad they added the play from her published WoW chapter because it hinted at a lot of what she had learned and her new maturity. And the scenes with lady crane launched her returning to the Arya Stark we remember. Jon and Dany and Tyrion are THE leads, story-wise and acting-wise, But the stark sisters are EQUAL and just a bit below that level.

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    83. Another interesting yet semi-cryptic interview that leaves a lot open to interpretation. Arya for me is one of my favourite characters yet the idea of women coming out on top at the end of the story kind of leaves me feeling disappointed. Not that I have anything against women ruling but it feels like a ‘cheap’ end game, especially as I am not sure where that would leave Jon. Equally Sansa and Dany are two of my least favourite characters and I kind of don’t really care about their stories as much as I do Jon and Arya.

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    84. Ten Bears,

      Wasn’t it something inane like (not) wanting to have to leave Joffrey?

      To an 11 year old girl who was was raised to be a princess and marry a prince, its not inane.

      Do agree that some more interaction or something with Arya . Sansa and Bran would have been very helpful.

      I see her on top of the throne (with lots of pillows and such) If she had someone like Tyrion and Jorah for advisors, just might work

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    85. Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      What was book! Sansa’s excuse for divulging Ned’s plans to Cersei? Wasn’t it something inanelike (not) wanting to have to leave Joffrey?

      Yes, and wanting to marry Joffrey was the reason behind Sansa writing the letter as well.

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    86. Jon Snowed:
      Another interesting yet semi-cryptic interview that leaves a lot open to interpretation.Arya for me is one of my favourite characters yet the idea of women coming out on top at the end of the story kind of leaves me feeling disappointed.Not that I have anything against women ruling but it feels like a ‘cheap’ end game, especially as I am not sure where that would leave Jon.Equally Sansa and Dany are two of my least favourite characters and I kind of don’t really care about their stories as much as I do Jon and Arya.

      Careful, you’ll get pulled over by the PC police for saying that. Lol, j/k.

      I don’t mind the women ruling aspect just as long as it’s organic to the story and not some forced tripe just to make them look super progressive and “woke” or something. That would be a shame.

      I feel pretty confident that the end game won’t amount to something just to appease the PC crowd. Personally speaking, as long as justice is done to the main characters’ story arcs then I’ll be happy regardless of who ends up on top. That is, if anyone ends up on top at all.

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    87. Ten Bears: My theory why the S7 Arya-Sansa sisterly spat fell flat (and book readers, correct me if I’m wrong) is that the whole freakout over the stupid “letter” made no sense because of a divergence from the books.

      I’ve only read the books once but from what I recall S1 of GOT is as close to a perfect adaptation as you are ever likely to see, with only very minor changes. S2 cut some minor stuff from A Clash of Kings which was a bigger book than the first one but again was a pretty close adaptation so not sure you are correct here. As for Winds of Winter I don’t think we will see Arya back in Westeros, judging by the early released chapters she will be following her S6 GOT plot line with the theatre trope and presumably leaving Essos towards the end.

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    88. Mr Derp: Careful, you’ll get pulled over by the PC police for saying that.Lol, j/k.

      I don’t mind the women ruling aspect just as long as it’s organic to the story and not some forced tripe just to make them look super progressive and “woke” or something.That would be a shame.

      I feel pretty confident that the end game won’t amount to something just to appease the PC crowd.Personally speaking, as long as justice is done to the main characters’ story arcs then I’ll be happy regardless of who ends up on top.That is, if anyone ends up on top at all.

      ^ Agree. I don’t think or hope that it’s that kind of show. Of course I pray that I’m satisfied by at least 70% of my favorite characters’ conclusions, but I do have so many…>w>;

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    89. Jon Snowed,

      Respectfully, by quoting only the first paragraph of my seven-paragraph comment on 9/24/18 at 10:33 pm I think you missed my point. I don’t dispute that S1 was a faithful adaptation from the books. I was speculating that if the sisterly spat in S7 was part of GRRM’s road map, a slight book-to-show deviation in Sansa’s S1/book 1 conduct diluted Arya’s justification for accusing Sansa of causing their father’s death; the hostage letter by itself wasn’t enough.

      Kindly scroll up and read what I wrote in its entirety and if you’re so inclined, tell me if you disagree.

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    90. Shelle: ^ Agree. I don’t think or hope that it’s that kind of show. Of course I pray that I’m satisfied by at least 70% of my favorite characters’ conclusions, but I do have so many…>w>;

      That’s kind of the problem: Everybody’s got different favorite characters, and each of us want the show to focus on those characters. With only six hours left, it’s inevitable that large segments of the fandom will feel their favorite characters’ story lines were shortchanged in S8. I for one would want to 80% of the total six hours remaining devoted to Arya and Sandor. As for the other 20%, any apportionment between Dany, Jon, NK, Jaime, Tyrion, Cersei, dragons, WWs et al. would be fine.

      I’ve accepted that S8 will probably be the Jon & Dany Show.

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    91. JenniferH:
      I’m still very frustrated about Arya in Braavos. Arya fans had been looking forwards to the Braavos storyline since, well, since it was written.But getting the book storyline and what we got weretwo different things. Except for a few scenes, the only thing worthwhile about it was Maisie Williams’ flawless performance (as usual). Training scenes are known throughout the history of television/movie as a really cool way to tell a story and advance the growth of a character… but not how D&D did it for Arya.

      Gone were her learning about poisons, and other tools of the Faceless Men, finding out about herself, warging into cats, finding her way around Braavos as Cat of the Canals, etc. Nope, instead we got scenes of her sweeping and cleaning dead bodies and being beaten up by the Waif. And a few scenes as “Lana” in Braaovs that said nothing about the new “character.”

      There was nothing about “Cat of the Canals” (replaced by the generic “Lana”), the character that Arya created (which was clearly based partly on her mother–Catelyn) or Beth (the blind girl)—who in D&D’s version only purpose was to be beat upon by the Waif and learn to fight with a stick to kill in a dark room—another ideniity that Arya created. In the books, Arya actually crafted these new identities. In the show, the first was just a name with some information Jaquen gave her.

      There was so much that could have been done that was not. Arya learning about poisons, learning other ways of fighting, Arya learning the ways of the courtesan (the way she started to in the book-where she was talking to the madame, not actually participating–I’m pretty sure that happened, unless I’m mixing it up with a fanfic), Arya in the kitchens talking to the servants there. In the books, Arya, also began learning the Braavosi language and when she was blind Beth, she was not just begging, but also wandering the streets of Braavos, begging for money but alsolistening for bits and pieces of information. That is when she became better at lying and detecting the lies of others. Also in the book, Arya was IN the play which put her more in the middle of the caricature of “events” of what happened in King’s Landing.

      *sigh* So much lost opportunity. There was a reason that fans of Arya who had read the books were so looking forward to Arya in Braavos. And there was a reason that we were really disappointed. Instead of so much richness of awesome stuff to see with Arya and for Maisie to do, we didn’t see her much and when we did, we got sweeping floors, cleaning dead bodies and Arya getting beat up by the Waif. *double sigh*

      Respect your opinion but feel Arya warging into cats would have made poor TV and was glad they cut that minor diversion. It was fine in the book but with a visual medium we could see the city ourselves and we could then focus on training. The poisons bit I do agree with but again was only a minor exclusion in my view.

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    92. I’ve accepted that S8 will probably be the Jon & Dany Show.

      I’ve been a little bit afraid of that, and hope that they know better than to reduce this amazing cast of characters to two as if they’re the only people who ultimately matter. Don’t get me wrong, I love both Jon and Dany, but they are far from the only ones I really care about. And I want to see a satisfying ending for all, honestly, with no one forgotten or left ambiguously hanging. (I mean, I suppose I could do without seeing someone like Robin Arryn again or whomever, but it’d be good to at least hear the future plans for survivors summed up. Assuming there are to be survivors!) I can tell you’d be down for an Arya/Hound spin-off, and honestly so would I. xD
      It is concerning how little time is left; sure hope multiple episodes are over an hour…ideally the finale would be something like an hour-and-45-to-2 hours…

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    93. Arya remains one of the most beloved characters – largely because we met her as a cute child. And as a Stark she gets always the benefit of any doubt about personal conduct.
      The mass killing of the Freys was appalling. There was a lack of appropriate process and no difference in punishment consistent with degree of responsibility for the betrayal and death of the Stark contingent. The Frey individuals giving the orders (Father Frey and the senior Freys) and those compelled by threat of death to comply with the orders (the majority of the Frey men) all suffer the same fate. Surely some Frey men who may have been absent from the Red Wedding would have been killed. (Who knows – perhaps one of two were sick that night OR away on errands OR just a year or two too young to attend the red wedding feast but aged up in time to join this new feast). Further, the punishment showed no recognition of the failures of Robb in the conflict with treacherous Freys. Justice can be harsh in GOT but Arya may have crossed from dispensing justice to regrettable conduct in the pursuit of personal revenge.
      Comically all the women are left alive. Because none of them can/will ever aspire to kill in revenge. None of them is pregnant and will bear sons that will hate the Starks in a blood feud. Yes, they are treated badly by the men but they are still Freys. In the storyline it was also very extravagant. War with the dead is coming but badass Arya disposes of a large number of fighting men. Just what is needed.

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    94. Mango:
      The mass killing of the Freys was appalling. There was a lack of appropriate process and no difference in punishment consistent with degree of responsibility for the betrayal and death of the Stark contingent.The Frey individuals giving the orders (Father Frey and the senior Freys) and those compelled by threat of death to comply with the orders (the majority of the Frey men) all suffer the same fate. Surely some Frey men who may have been absent from the Red Wedding would have been killed. (Who knows – perhaps one of two were sick that night OR away on errands OR just a year or two too young to attend the red wedding feast but aged up in time to join this new feast).

      Wow, seriously? You’re just making stuff up. When did we ever see Walder or any of his sons force the obedience of the others to take part in the RW under the threat of death? Never. It hasn’t even been hinted at on the show. When she came upon those three Freys in 3×10 who were mocking Robb and Catelyn’s death, they didn’t at all seem regretful for the part they played. Or those who paraded Robb’s desecrated body around after the massacre. Or all those who cheered in the feast before Arya poisoned them all. If this was going to be important to Arya’s story and her actions, they could have easily panned to show one or two Frey men feeling uncomfortable or present any of the Frey men as decent in the story. But they haven’t. Ever.

      Any valid insight, interpretation or theory in a story has to be based on evidence and hints that story gives you. Here you have none! As I’ve said elsewhere, Arya’s killing of the Freys, while justified, is also unsettling, but not for these reasons.

      And if you really think this is appalling, you must also think Sansa feeding Ramsay to his dogs is equally appalling. But you know what else is appalling? What the Freys did to Robb, and to Catelyn, and to Robb’s wife and unborn child. Under the protection of guest right. And then to parade Robb’s body around the way they did. And for petty, petty reasons.

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    95. Pigeon,

      Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my own favorites, and I finally got Saner Half to watch it with me a few weeks ago. He loved it, and thankfully, didn’t compare it to LotR (a habit that drives me batshit-crazy—comparing all fantasy to LotR).

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    96. Clob,

      Running on Empty, yet another one of my all-time faves. How did this thread turn into a trip down Memory Lane? (Or is the Dornish red making me maudlin?)

        Quote  Reply

    97. Wolfish:
      Pigeon,

      Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my own favorites, and I finally got Saner Half to watch it with me a few weeks ago. He loved it, and thankfully, didn’t compare it to LotR (a habit that drives me batshit-crazy—comparing all fantasy to LotR).

      It is just such a beautifully shot and beautifully acted movie. Honestly, there wasn’t a character that wasn’t portrayed wonderfully. The awful stepfather sewing his face….my god. And (for me), how I never really was sure if parts of Ofelia’s fantasy were ‘real’ or not. And Pan himself – good or evil, or both or neither? Just so much to take in. There are about 3-4 movies in my lifetime that have made me feel absolutely punched in the gut as the credits roll, and they’ve all been the good ones. Similar to my reaction to Oberyn vs Mountain – and I KNEW what was going to happen! Heh.

      Dangit, my eyeballs must be reacting to some sort of allergen just thinking about it.

      I randomly mentioned Pan’s Labyrinth to my doctor, who is from Spain, and she said it was almost too much for her…her parents lived there during the Spanish Civil War and she said that some of that incredible cruelty between people was very accurately depicted, and very close to home.

      Anyhow. I’m always glad to find people who liked it – the friend I went to see it with was mad the whole film about “having to try to read the stupid subtitles” and a real pill. 😂

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    98. Ten Bears: Claire Danes breathed life into Shakespeare’s words. Her delivery was natural and believable. Her inflection was perfect. Damn she was good…

      I loved her Desdemona death scene in Stage Beauty. Absolutely visceral.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Chilli,

      Oh, if you’d really like to have your heart shattered, see Sean Bean in The Field (1990), a Jim Sheridan film (based on a 1965 play) where he plays Richard Harris’s son. Amazing cast (Brenda Fricker, Tom Berenger and Brenda Gleeson are also in it), wrenching story.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Yes, seriously.

      The Frey men/army would be made up of leaders and regular soldiers. Regular soldiers take orders and have a different level of responsibility from commanders in any army. I am not sure we need evidence to support these two assertions. (Ok, they may not have all served at risk of death but given Father Frey’s conduct and how Westeros works, I think this is also fair to say for some of these men.) The punishment was uniform across the men – unless we are to believe that (where it is merited) some of the Frey men are alive and serving other punishments. We were specifically told all the Freys were dead so it would be a happy surprise.

      Yes, we can speculate that Arya did a secret investigation on “who did what when” for the Stark deaths. The show did not provide any storyline on how she would have managed that. Or where she got expertise in large investigations. Even so, that would have made Arya – victims’ family, investigator, the arresting officer, judge, jury and executioner. This is not how justice is usually well served.

      So yes, appalling.

      The characters in GOT are grey – including Arya. We may differ on what actions are justified versus not but each of them have made terrible mistakes, usually murderous mistakes. Mass killings are rarely uniformly justified across all the dead.

      I will leave Sansa until another time.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Mango,

      You would have a point if we were discussing reality, where things are not so simple. A large banquet like that in reality would probably include people that weren’t directly involved with the Red Wedding. However, we are talking about a work of fiction and fantasy. Realistic complications are not required. D&D made it clear that everyone there was involved in the Red Wedding and unapologetically so. It’s as simple as that.

      Even with that said, I believe the audience was still supposed to feel somewhat uneasy about the mass killing based on the somewhat psychotic look that Arya had on her face at the end of that scene. I think the audience was supposed to feel mixed about it. Whether or not D&D were successful is another debate.

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    102. Mr.Derp…We can agree that the scene was meant to disturb/give mixed feelings.

      I am demanding viewer. I am also easily confused by nonsense. I expect stories to make some sense. (Although real life these days is increasingly a farce). I am happy to ask questions of other viewers that may have understood what the hell happened.

      On another thread, there was a discussion of Pan Labyrinth, one of my favourite movies. I get great pleasure form surrealism, magic realism and the use of metaphor in storytelling. In the right hands, these stories are amazing and deeply effective in communicating complex ideas.

      But messy storytelling annoys me no end. It needs to hang together in some reasonable way or I really wish their creators “fire and blood” for wasting my time.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Clob:
      ASNAWP!!!

      ASNAWP!

      (= Arya Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess)
      = 👸🏻
      = Wolf Girl
      = The Bloody Hound’s Traveling Companion
      = Lovely Girl
      = No One
      = A Girl
      = Arya Stark of Winterfell

        Quote  Reply

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