Last night's episode of Game of Thrones shocked fans with a surprising sex scene between Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) that sent some fans straight to Google to make sure what they were watching wasn't unsavory and illegal. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner David Benioff explained why they included that scene in the episode.
"For us, what was interesting about this episode was that this is our last night together, and I think everyone would face the end in different ways," he says. "Some characters want to make love for the first time because they've never done it before, and other characters are getting drunk and singing songs.
"Everyone faces [the end of the world] in different ways," he says, "but they're all facing it and that's why this episode was so important to us because it's all these characters that we've been following for so long and now they're facing a common enemy."
Williams thought the scene was a prank when she first heard about it. But the writers were serious and Williams tells Entertainment Weekly that she was given the freedom to decide what she was comfortable with doing.
"David and [co-creator Dan Weiss] were like: 'You can show as much or as little as you want,'" she 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."
Now that it's been seen, she explained what she believes the scene reveals about her character. "It was really interesting because it's a very human relationship for Arya," Williams says. "This is something she's stayed away from, an emotion we've never really seen her engage with. David and Dan were like, 'It's the end of the world, what else would you have her do?' This may be is a moment where Arya accepts death tomorrow, which she never does — 'Not Today.' So it was that moment where she says, 'We're probably going to die tomorrow, I want to know what this feels like before that happens.' It's interesting to see Arya be a bit more human, speak more normally about things people are scared of."
Before this moment, Gendry presented Arya with the special weapon she requested for fighting the Night King's army. She'll likely have a chance to put the weapon to good use in next week's episode.
What did you think of Arya's sex scene in last night's episode? Let us know in the comments. Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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