Speaking to Teen Vogue, Williams, who played Arya across all eight seasons of the Emmy-winning HBO drama, revealed she was taken aback when she first learned of Arya’s sex scene with Gendry Baratheon (Joe Dempsie) as she assumed her character identified as queer.
“The first time that I was surprised by Arya, I guess, was probably in the final series where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry,” Williams explained. “I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So…yeah. That was a surprise.”
The scene in question happened in the April 2019 episode “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” which sees Arya and Gendry sharing an intimate moment before the impending Battle of Winterfell. At the time of the episode airing, Williams told Entertainment Weekly that she thought the scene was a “prank” when she first read the script.
“At first, I thought it was a prank. I was like, ‘Yo, good one,’” she said, knowing that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had pranked the cast with fake scripts in the past. “And [the showrunners were] like, ‘No, we haven’t done that this year.’ Oh f***!”
“I got to the read-through, and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this. When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym.’ A whole list of things.”
Earlier this year, Williams told British GQ that she “resented” playing Arya during her formative teenage years. “I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming,” she stated. “And then I also resented my body because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated.”
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