Arya Stark Actress Talks Game of Thrones Season Four Decisions

Arya Stark Actress Talks Game of Thrones Season Four Decisions

Arya and the hound

Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, lets on how she feels on the character's big decision in Game of Thrones' fourth season finale.

Before you read on, it's important to note that unless you've finished Game of Thrones' fourth season, then what's talked about below will spoil a very big plot point. So, proceed with that in mind. For those who watched the season four finale, you've no doubt seen the rather merciless (or merciful?) way Arya Star left Sandor Clegane -- aka "The Hound" -- to bleed to death after fighting with Brienne. Now, speaking to IGN, Maisie Williams weighs in on her character's big decisions in the finale. She first talks about whether leaving Clegane to die on a rock alone was whether an act of mercy or revenge.

Arya's been through so much up to this point in that she doesn't know what's right or wrong...She's still trying to figure that out. She's struggling to hold onto that little girl inside her, but she doesn't know how to. It's like when your mom says, 'Go apologize to your brother,' or, 'I think you should apologize to me for what you've done wrong' - as soon as someone says that, you immediately don't want to, because you feel like it's being forced. You know, he's talking down to her and telling her how useless she is and how she doesn't know what she's doing and that I'm a dumb girl; she's got these stupid dreams that are never going to come true. And then he turns around and asks her to kill him says, 'You know where the heart is. Go on, girl.' She's just like, 'You know what? I put my trust in you, and you've helped me out a lot, but I'm not going to give you this final thing that you want. I'm going to show you a lesson. You can't treat people like this and get away with it forever.' I think that's what she's trying to do. Plus, she doesn't want to kill this guy. She makes it out like she's this hard, bada** girl that has no emotions, but he has done a lot for her. Maybe not killing him is the worse outcome or whatever you want to call it, but she doesn't want to kill him, and she wants him to finally take her seriously, and he does.

He looks at her and realizes that he's created a bit of a monster...She's really proud of that. Unfortunately, it's a really dark way of getting that message across, but she does. People were really pissed about that, and you have every right to be -- so was I -- but I think they're not looking at the bigger picture. People turn a blind eye to the kind of brutality that Arya's been put through. They just enjoy her storyline because she has these sarcastic lines and her and the Hound are constantly bickering. That bit's funny, and I think people really enjoy that, but it's not real, unfortunately. Game of Thrones focuses on what's real. So that's why Arya leaves at the end

Regarding Brienne, Williams thinks that it's due to all that "loyalty" and safety talk that ticked her character off somewhat, which is understandable given what has happened to Arya and her family so far.

think in Arya's eyes Brienne just ruins it for herself when she starts talking about how she sworn to protect her mother and all this stuff about loyalty...That's all she's heard her whole life. That's all she ever knew, was her family was these perfect people and did the right things and never wanted to upset anyone intentionally. Then she realized, actually, it doesn't matter if you're that person or not. It doesn't count. No one is playing by the rules. I think when Brienne comes out with this spiel about safety and the Hound puts her in her place, Arya really kind of believes that and is like, 'I understand you may be out to look after me, but nowhere is safe in this world.' So that, again, is why she doesn't go with Brienne.

For more Game of Thrones reading here on The Escapist, Jon Snow actor Kit Harington reveals he's ordered by the show to "stay pale" due to being a Northerner.

What's your take on Arya's decisions on the finale before leaving for Braavos? Did she do the right thing or was ending Clegane's suffering something she owed him?

Source: IGN

Permalink

The way I see it, The Hound has been on Arya's hit list from Day 1, but even though he's treated her like crap, in the end she's more attached to this bitter man trying to protect her than anything else in the world. Letting him live felt like her way of saying, "Maybe you weren't such a terrible person after all. You're off the list - but you still piss me off, so no peaceful death for you."

She also doens't go with Brienne because in the books they never even meet so it would've made little sense...

If I have one major problem with the whole Arya-Hound dynamic, it's that the Hound risked his life in numerous situations to protect her, and in the end all Arya seems to have gotten from it is that the Hound sounds mean. Well, yes he does. He sounds very mean. She also needed him to stay alive, and he made sure that happened and tried to teach her things that would help her continue to stay alive in a very dangerous world. But the Hound wasn't nice enough about it, so now he has to slowly bleed out, alone, on a rock.

But instead of Arya having to learn anything from this situation, the next person she meets immediately picks her up due to a random nice thing she did a couple seasons ago (fun fact: doing a criminal a favor doesn't usually grant you three wishes), takes his turn protecting her for free, and helps make her dreams come true just because she used her magic coin.

But apparently I'm the only person who has a problem with any of this (at least if the Arya Stark love-fests are any indication), so...enjoy?

teamcharlie:
If I have one major problem with the whole Arya-Hound dynamic, it's that the Hound risked his life in numerous situations to protect her, and in the end all Arya seems to have gotten from it is that the Hound sounds mean. Well, yes he does. He sounds very mean. She also needed him to stay alive, and he made sure that happened and tried to teach her things that would help her continue to stay alive in a very dangerous world. But the Hound wasn't nice enough about it, so now he has to slowly bleed out, alone, on a rock.

But instead of Arya having to learn anything from this situation, the next person she meets immediately picks her up due to a random nice thing she did a couple seasons ago (fun fact: doing a criminal a favor doesn't usually grant you three wishes), takes his turn protecting her for free, and helps make her dreams come true just because she used her magic coin.

But apparently I'm the only person who has a problem with any of this (at least if the Arya Stark love-fests are any indication), so...enjoy?

1) The Hound killed her friend
2) She didn't kill the Hound but took his coin and left him to die because he did the same to that farmer who tried to help them
3) That isn't a magic coin, and you pay the bearer with the upmost respect unless you want to die horribly +)

teamcharlie:
If I have one major problem with the whole Arya-Hound dynamic, it's that the Hound risked his life in numerous situations to protect her, and in the end all Arya seems to have gotten from it is that the Hound sounds mean. Well, yes he does. He sounds very mean. She also needed him to stay alive, and he made sure that happened and tried to teach her things that would help her continue to stay alive in a very dangerous world. But the Hound wasn't nice enough about it, so now he has to slowly bleed out, alone, on a rock.

But instead of Arya having to learn anything from this situation, the next person she meets immediately picks her up due to a random nice thing she did a couple seasons ago (fun fact: doing a criminal a favor doesn't usually grant you three wishes), takes his turn protecting her for free, and helps make her dreams come true just because she used her magic coin.

But apparently I'm the only person who has a problem with any of this (at least if the Arya Stark love-fests are any indication), so...enjoy?

He didn't save her life for her, he saved it because she was valuable to him. He said flat out that she was going to be worth coin to him as ransom. He was protecting an investment. He didn't do it for an altruistic reasons, he did it for personal reasons. He was a terrible person, and he knew it, but saving her from threats (that were also threats to his own life) doesn't absolve him of the shitty things he's done in the past, nor does it clean the slate with Arya for his casual murder of her friend. They had a relationship of convenience and opportunity. There was no love lost between either of them. So when the situation changed, Arya let him bleed out slowly, because she still didn't like him. She still always planned on killing him, and even told him as much with her nightly chant. She didn't owe the Hound anything, as he wasn't doing anything for her other than protecting his investment.

As to the thing about the coin...well, saying anything would spoil future plot events, but there is a reason behind that of course. There's a reason they used that bit for the season finale cliffhanger.

There is no right answer here. Every choice has reasons for and against. One rather salient point is that the Hound was already doomed to die, thus Arya's choice was not between killing him and not killing him, but rather killing him mercifully or leaving him to die slowly.

I like the idea quoted above: "Plus, she doesn't want to kill this guy. She makes it out like she's this hard, bada** girl that has no emotions, but he has done a lot for her. Maybe not killing him is the worse outcome or whatever you want to call it, but she doesn't want to kill him, and she wants him to finally take her seriously, and he does."

It's like she's taken him off her list, he earned it over the course of their adventures together. He dies, but not by her hand....maybe that's the outcome she wanted; him dead but she didn't want to be the one to do it.

As for ignoring Brienne again there's for and against. Yes she has a protector, but where would she be safe? Brienne has "honour" and "loyalty" but what help is that in Westeros? I think Arya's lost too much and seen too much to swallow it. Lastly, she isn't just after surviving...the only motivation she has left is her list so maybe she wants to get stronger and return with a vengeance, and the most badarse person who could help her is Jaquen Hagar.

I read the Brienne thing a bit differently. Arya doesn't want safety. She wants to finish her list. Going with Brienne would not allow that.

Hear me out. Sure she's dark and sarcastic and for some reason adults find it very entertaining to watch a child act like that. However, she's pretty much broken. How many 11 year olds do you know who have a hitlist and fully intend to carry it out? Even in the unlikely event Rickon came out of hiding and claimed the North and if they won against Bolton, I still don't think she'd be able to return home without finishing her list.

In the TV Show they changed the dynamic between Arya and The Hound.

In the book, the only reason The Hound doesn't rape Arya is because he's trying to turn her over to someone who actually cares about her (Robb Stark, Lysa Arryn etc), otherwise that's something he's totally capable of. The Hound is a bad, bad man, but he's also very practical. He bit the hand that fed him and now he needs a new master. He wasn't intending to just give Arya over to her mother/brother/aunt, collect a reward and leave, he wanted to join the Stark side just to have a side to back him up.

In the show, the actor's chemistry changed that relationship quite a bit. They came off as more of a father/daughter dynamic and there was some skipping over of The Hounds other character flaws.

So TV Arya should have killed The Hound because it would have made more sense in context. Book Arya left The Hound to die because it made sense in that context.

Also, Book Arya would have stabbed The Hound in the back and joined Brienne in a heartbeat if they'd ever crossed paths, but they didn't.

Happyninja42:

He didn't save her life for her, he saved it because she was valuable to him. He said flat out that she was going to be worth coin to him as ransom. He was protecting an investment. He didn't do it for an altruistic reasons, he did it for personal reasons. He was a terrible person, and he knew it, but saving her from threats (that were also threats to his own life) doesn't absolve him of the shitty things he's done in the past, nor does it clean the slate with Arya for his casual murder of her friend. They had a relationship of convenience and opportunity. There was no love lost between either of them. So when the situation changed, Arya let him bleed out slowly, because she still didn't like him. She still always planned on killing him, and even told him as much with her nightly chant. She didn't owe the Hound anything, as he wasn't doing anything for her other than protecting his investment.

As to the thing about the coin...well, saying anything would spoil future plot events, but there is a reason behind that of course. There's a reason they used that bit for the season finale cliffhanger.

I read that relationship differently: it seemed to me that the Hound grew attached to Arya over time, and much as he tried to explain to her (read: himself) that he was doing it for the money, I got the distinct feeling that he really did care about what happened to her. Especially during the Brienne fight. I also thought Arya could figure out that that's what was going on. On that reading, Arya turned her back on what turned out to be a pretty good (if not very polite) friend for rather unsympathetic reasons.

But you're entitled to your own take on the situation, as much as I'm entitled to mine.

Nice to know that Maisie Williams really seems to get Arya. Not that there was much doubt since she's been playing her so brilliantly.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here