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Games of Thrones star Maisie Williams thought Arya Stark was queer, too: ‘It was a surprise’

Emma Flint June 16, 2022
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Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. (HBO)

Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams has given LGBTQ+ fans something to talk about this Pride Month.

The actor revealed that until she filmed a sex scene in the final run of HBO series, she always believed her character, Arya Stark, was 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, I thought that Arya was queer, you know?” Williams told Teen Vogue.

“So… yeah. That was a surprise.”

Game of Thrones fans long suspected that Arya Stark was queer – so much so that in 2019, after Arya and Gendry’s sex scene aired, Buzzfeed published an article titled “Can We All Agree Arya Stark Is Actually A Lesbian, Right?”

Of course, Arya Stark could, and would, still be queer even if she slept with a man. While Game of Thrones declined to canonise her as the lesbian icon some longed for, she’s definitely a queer one to many.

As Autostraddle jokingly wrote: “No straight person could ever hold onto a list of grudges that long and hard.”

 

The sex scene in question, taken from Game of Thrones‘ season eight episode “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, saw Arya lose her virginity to Gendry Baratheon, played by British actor Joe Dempsie.

The two got intimate as they waited for the inevitable battle of Winterfell to take place, unsure of whether they’d survive.

Prior to this, Arya hadn’t had any romantic scenes, with her journey primarily focused on avenging her family.

Romantic stirrings were so far removed from Arya’s characterisation that Williams thought the scene was a joke when she first read it in the script.

“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.'” She told Entertainment Weekly back in 2019.

Williams has previously spoken about her complicated relationship with the character. She began playing Arya aged 12, and grew up with her as millions watched. 

She told GQ in April 2022: “I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn’t express who I was becoming.

“And then I also resented my body, because it wasn’t aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated.”

More: game of thrones, Maisie Williams

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