Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams aired her opinions on fan theories about Arya Stark’s assassination of the Night King at the show’s final San Diego’s Comic-Con panel.
The Night King’s death in the final season of Game of Thrones proved a controversial plot point. For some, his dying early in the season felt like a letdown. For others, it revealed that the true villain was man all along.
For others, it was how the Night King died that disappointed. Arya kills the Night King in the Battle of Winterfell by sneaking into the Godswood and taking him out with a well-aimed stab from her Valyrian steel blade. The assassination appeared to lack strategy — Arya essentially darts in, scuffles with this dread abomination, and then stabs him while he’s got her by the throat. Ta-da!
But while the moment itself felt haphazard, Arya is the only character who trained for years in the art of assassination. On paper, she was the perfect foil for the Night King, no matter how anticlimactic the moment was.
Still, some viewers have tried to undercut the moment by theorizing that it was Jon Snow who ordered Arya to find the Night King and kill him. Maisie Williams disagrees.
“She did that on her own,” she said to a packed Hall H. “If we’re gonna give credit to anyone, it’s Melisandre. She knew what she had to do to put the mission in Arya’s head when she’s at her lowest point.”
Melisandre spoke to Arya immediately after the final death of Beric Dondarrion during the battle, telling her that Ser Beric had “served his purpose,” — AKA protecting Arya. Those words inspired Arya to charge off into the darkness and do the deed that puts an end to the battle, and saves humankind.
“After so long being on her own, she has something to lose now,” Williams continued. “Being back with her family has made her that much more vulnerable. So if we’re going to put it down to anyone for helping her finish the job, it was Melisandre for the ‘brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes’ line.”