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WARNING: CONTAINS GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS
Many of the people who have already tuned into the second episode of Game of Thrones season eight were left feeling more than just a little shocked when they saw the youngest Stark sister getting down and dirty with her mate Gendry.
But it turns out Maisie Williams was also pretty surprised herself when she found out about the scene, admitting she thought it was a wind-up.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams revealed that when co-star Sophie Turner told her about the steamy scene, she thought it was a prank from showrunners.
Williams explained: "Sophie said, 'Whatever you do, you have to skip to this episode, this scene first'.
"So I just read that and it was practically all I knew about the entire season."
She continued: "At first, I thought it was a prank.
"I was like, 'Yo, good one'. And [the showrunners were] like, 'No, we haven't done that this year'.
Show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been known for pranking the Game of Thrones cast by sending them bogus scripts in the past, meaning Williams just thought it was another wind-up job.
However, she later found out the scene was legit - but Benioff and Weiss were adamant not to push the actor out of her comfort zone, conscious that 22-year-old Williams had joined Game of Thrones when she was just 11, and that she had grown up in front of fans.
"David and Dan were like: 'You can show as much or as little as you want'," Williams said.
"So I kept myself pretty private. I don't think it's important for Arya to flash.
"This beat isn't really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show."
Williams said crew were 'respectful' with the shoot, but that eventually things had to be a little more 'rushed'.
"By the end we're rushing to finish the scene and David is going, 'Okay, you're going to come in and do this and do that and, great, take your top off' - and then walked off.
"And I'm like... 'Okay. Let's do it'."
She added: "David and Dan said: 'It's the end of the world, what else would you have her do?'"
Joe Dempsie, who plays Williams' on-screen lover Gendry, admitted he felt a little more weird about the experience.
Dempsie suggested the experience was strange for him, too, given how long he's known Williams, who's about a decade younger than he is.
"It's obviously slightly strange for me because I've known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old," said the 31-year-old actor.
"At the same time, I don't want to be patronising toward Maisie - she's a 20-year-old woman. So we just had a lot of fun with it."
Following the episode's release, fans have been pretty divided on Arya and Gendry's romp.
idk how I feel about #Arya scene tonight pic.twitter.com/nJZDf9YDs0
- Lillian C. (@luxiec) April 22, 2019
While some viewers took to Twitter to give Arya a bit of an online fist-bump, most people were voicing their sheer outrage that someone they saw as a 'little sister' was topless... Even though she's not their little sister, she's actually a 22-year-old actor.
One viewer tweeted: "Feels weird to see Arya do a nude scene man. Feels like watching your younger sibling."
Another added: "I dunno if it's because she was like 10 when the show started or that she still barely looks 15, but Arya Stark being involved in any kind of nude scene is weird at least, gross at most, and entirely exploitative in any case."
Others weren't quite so outraged, though, with one simply saying: "Y'all out there freaking out and acting like Arya's still a pre-teen. Maisie is 22 and Arya's 18, so calm down about the grown woman being barely-nude on the incest show."
A second agreed: "Also ppl really hot that Arya had sex? Maisie Williams is of age. She can consent to doing sex and nude scenes. Yes, I was a little sad bc I still see her as 10 y/o Arya. It wasn't full nude. Y'all need to relax."
Let's just be grateful the showrunners didn't go for the original love story between Arya and Jon Snow, eh?
Featured Image Credit: HBO
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