By now, even if you haven’t ever watched an episode of Game of Thrones, you’ve probably heard that a lot of people were unhappy with the ending of the series. After spending eight long years of fighting for the throne, the ending of the show was underwhelming for many fans. All of the storylines we were following, all of the prophecies we have been told—they all went right out the window in the 8th season of the show.
At the end of the series, Jon Snow kills Daenerys Targaryen after she goes all “mad queen” on King’s Landing. As punishment, Jon is sent to Castle Black for good. The remaining characters of the show elect Bran Stark as the new King of the now 6 Kingdoms because Sansa Stark (the Queen in the North) insists that the North become its own free state again. Arya sails off to find out what’s west of Westeros, Tyrion becomes the hand of the king—and everyone else pretty much dies.
After the series finale aired, many of the cast and crew began to speak out in interviews about saying goodbye to a show they worked on for 10+ years. One of the actresses, Maisie Williams—who plays Arya Stark—admitted to Entertainment Weekly that she had wanted a different ending for Arya.
She said openly that when Arya went to ride for King’s Landing with The Hound, she truly hoped that she was going to actually kill Cersei.
I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too. Even up to the point when Cersei’s with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], ‘He’s going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]’ and they’re both going to die. I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been.
Williams said part of it was wanting to get to do another final scene with Lena Headey, too.
I just wanted to be on set with Lena again, she’s good fun.
But, Williams wasn’t super disappointed by the final season—in fact, she said Arya got everything she ever dreamed of.
Sleeping with Gendry, seeing Jon again, realizing she’s not just fighting for herself anymore but also her family — it’s bringing up all these human emotions that Arya hasn’t felt for a long time.
When The Hound asks her if she has another option, all of a sudden there are so many more things in [Arya’s] life that she can live for, that she can do. It was a shock for me because that wasn’t how I envisioned her arc going this year. Then I realized there were other things I could play, bringing Arya back to being a 16-year-old again.