Expect the unexpected. One of the biggest moments in the notorious eighth and final season of the HBO hit series Game of Thrones almost never happened. Maisie Williams (The New Mutants), who played warrior Arya Stark, won over gasps and cheers all across the world when she killed the invincible Night King. But, Williams recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and told them that the original slayer of The Night King was to be a much more obvious choice: Jon Snow.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated episode of the entire series, the third episode of the last season entitled “The Long Night” tackled its biggest battle yet. The living versus the dead. As everyone sets aside their differences in coming together to defeat the most daunting evil, the white walkers, it seems grim. How could mere humans kill supernatural beings, and most importantly, the untouchable Night King? It looked as though no one was more perfect for the job than the righteous white knight, Snow. But, there was a different fighter who had slowly been rising throughout the series with a thirst for vengeance and it was Arya.
Williams recounted that shocking moment of killing the Night King, and how it was planned early on in the series to be Snow committing the dirty deed. She told The Hollywood Reporter: “[Kit Harington] expected it to go [Jon Snow’s] way, too, and he even said, ‘It was going to go that way. Someone told me in season three that I was going to kill The Night King…And then, he read the script, and it was Arya the whole time. Yeah, I think it would’ve been too obvious. I’m glad that it was Arya, honestly. I think I had the best storyline of the final season.” In that moment of glory, the image of Arya leaping through the air and killing The Night King instantly was made into memes, posters, and even t-shirts which compared her to the likes of Michael Jordan.
The eighth season of Game of Thrones was over-all extremely controversial. Fans created petitions, begging for a re-do of the final season which many found to be rushed and unsatisfying. But, a moment most fans could agree upon was that Arya killing The Night King was like a light in that dark, disappointing final season.