Showing Interview With Maisie Williams aka Arya Stark Of â€œGame Of Thronesâ€
The beginning of Season 5 of â€œGame of Thronesâ€ was a time of great excitement for Arya Stark, the fiery young woman, played by Maisie Williams, who is on a mission to right the many wrongs done to her and her tormented family. After finally leaving the hostile Westeros countryside behind, she was on a boat to Braavos, exploring a new world with dreams of a vengeful, exciting life as a highly trained assassin.
Sundayâ€™s Season 6 premiere illustrated how badly Arya miscalculated her prospects. After running afoul in last seasonâ€™s finale of the rules of the Faceless Men, the religious order training her, she is now freshly blind, and spent Sundayâ€™s episode begging in the streets when she wasnâ€™t being whacked with a stick by a girl called the Waif (Faye Marsay).
â€œIf she doesnâ€™t learn to fight without her eyes, sheâ€™s getting hit,â€ Ms. Williams said recently. â€œThe Waif, sheâ€™s evil.â€
Ms. Williams discussed fighting blind, impatient Arya fans and what Season 6 holds for the youngest Stark daughter. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Q. Where do things stand with Arya now?
A. You canâ€™t comprehend being without your eyes, and you have to put your faith and trust in the people around you, who are also the ones who put you in that position. She has no other choice. So thatâ€™s a really interesting position to see her in, because sheâ€™s never had to trust someone. Itâ€™s a very vulnerable place for her to be at the beginning of the series, but things will turn around.
How does this fit into her overall evolution?
Because sheâ€™s gonna use it all again â€” these are all skills that sheâ€™s gonna take with her. A lot of people found Aryaâ€™s Season 5 really boring. They were like, â€œWhy is she sweeping floors? Why is she getting hit on the hands?â€ But this is about a process that sheâ€™s going through and its ultimately going to be the best weapon. And when that day comes, when she uses all of this, everyoneâ€™s gonna be like, â€œWow, thatâ€™s so cool!â€ Which is great, but it wouldnâ€™t have been as cool if you hadnâ€™t seen her go through that process. No one becomes a [warrior] overnight, guys. Give her a break.
Is it hard to act blind?
For a lot of the close-ups, I had contact lenses that were opaque, so I couldnâ€™t see anything anyway. For the fight scenes, I had contact lenses I could see through. But that was more of a health and safety thing, because I was wielding a stick and poor Faye didnâ€™t want to get hit in the face. But she still did.
Did she really?
Not in the face. We just clipped each other a couple of times.
So that was you in the fight scene in the premiere, not a stunt double?
That one was all me. Thereâ€™s stuff later on that we had girls help us with.
Thereâ€™s a shot in the trailer of you taking a flying leap.
Yeah that gets a lot more technical. There were two wonderful stunt doubles.
How has Aryaâ€™s perspective changed since last season?
Arya was quite shallow. â€œIâ€™m gonna be a sick killer and then have my list, and Iâ€™m gonna go back and avenge my family.â€ It was such a childish way of thinking about it. Then she got there and realized this isnâ€™t a joke; this isnâ€™t like a holiday camp your parents send you off to.
I know you canâ€™t get into plot detailsâ€¦
Iâ€™m giving you really good hints. [Laughs.] I feel like Iâ€™m selling this season really well.
But can you speak more broadly about what Season 6 is about for her?
Itâ€™s her second chance. Sheâ€™s learning to fight blind, and at the beginning people are going to have that same opinion of, â€œGod, this is so boring. Why isnâ€™t Arya the [warrior] she used to be?â€ O.K., letâ€™s take away your sight and see how you do without it. There are episodes when itâ€™s going to be really difficult to watch. Arya, who weâ€™ve always loved, is getting pulled apart. But she will ultimately use it to her advantage, just as she always does. She takes every negative and uses it as a positive, and that happens in a big way this year.
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