Maisie Williams Expected Arya to be Queer on 'Game of Thrones' : 'That Was a Surprise'

Maisie Williams pointed to Arya Stark's season 8 sexual encounter as one of the most shocking moments on Game of Thrones

Arya Stark being straight wasn't how Maisie Williams envisioned her Game of Thrones character — in fact, the actress said Arya's sexuality actually surprised her as the show progressed.

"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," Maisie told Teen Vogue of her intimate scene with actor Joe Dempsie. "I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So … yeah. That was a surprise."

Williams, 25, wasn't the only one who questioned the onscreen moment. Fans had similar reactions while viewing the season 8 episode.

Maisie Williams
Helen Sloan/HBO

"Arya and Gendry was so forced. She had big lesbian energy," one fan tweeted in 2019. Others had different assumptions on her sexuality. "I'm queer and always thought of Arya as more gender queer than lesbian," another viewer wrote. "She's clearly been into Gendry since they met. She's just not into typical 'feminine' roles."

And during the show's eight-season run, a handful of articles were published regarding whether Arya might be a lesbian.

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Throughout her time on Game of Thrones — especially as she matured from a 12-year-old girl to a woman in her early 20s — Williams said Arya's tomboyish demeanor often felt stifling.

"I think that when I started becoming a woman, I resented Arya because I couldn't express who I was becoming," she told British GQ. "And then I also resented my body, because it wasn't aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated."

Game of Thrones ended with a controversial final season in May 2019. Though viewers didn't necessarily love the HBO show's conclusion, Williams did.

"We had such a blast. We loved it. I was so happy with my ending, and it was just a beautiful end to a decade of my life," Williams said on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2020. "I couldn't be happier with it, honestly."

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