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Maisie Williams’ performance of Arya’s amazing dagger trick was achieved with skill, not CGI

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It turns out Maisie Williams really is that good

Game of Thrones 701 - Arya and Lannister soldier Helen Sloan/HBO

The latest episode of Game of Thrones’ “Game Revealed” series focuses on one of the best moments of last season: that epic sparring session between Arya and Brienne. It was a fight that few of us knew we wanted to see until it was suddenly happening, and the behind-the-scenes footage is fascinating.

One of the tidbits revealed is that the ground leg twist, which leads into a standing ready stance, was actually performed by a stunt person whose face was digitally replaced by that of Maisie Williams.

Here’s the shot as it actually appeared, and how the pre-CGI image looked in-camera:

The coolest thing revealed in this video, however, is the fact that the final dagger twirl is a very real thing that Maisie Williams was able to learn. Not only that, but she’s naturally right-handed, and she trained to use her left hand while fighting. It’s a small detail, but welcomed by fans of the books.

Anyway, check it out. The move is beautiful, even in the gym.

I’ve watched this a few dozen times, and it still makes me happy. Even the actors look like they’re having fun doing things that look and feel like they should be impossible.