The Game of Thrones Twist That Surprised Maisie Williams and Kit Harington in 'The Long Night'

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO / Helen Sloan, HBO

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” left fans shocked, excited, and wondering what’s coming next. The pivotal moment of the episode, which saw Arya Stark defeating the Night King, was not one that the audience—or the cast—anticipated.

Maisie Williams, the 22-year-old actress who plays Arya, had her shining moment last night when she plunged her Valyrian steel dagger into the Night King and saved the Seven Kingdoms from the army of the dead. The actress did not know that was how the highly anticipated battle was going to end until she was at the cast’s table read for the episode.

“It was so unbelievably exciting,” Williams told Entertainment Weekly. “But I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. The hardest thing in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.’ You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’”

Williams’s insecurity subsided when the crew began their 55-day endeavor of filming the largest battle in television history.

“When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realized the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past six seasons—four if you think about it since [Arya] got to the House of Black and White,” Williams said. “It all comes down to this one very moment. It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does. So then I was like, ‘F—k you Jon, I get it.’”

Kit Harington, who plays fan-favorite Jon Snow, wasn’t expecting the Night King to meet his demise this way.

“I was surprised, I thought it was gonna be me! But I like it. It gives Arya’s training a purpose to have an end goal,” the 32-year-old actor told EW. “It’s much better how she does it the way she does it. I think it will frustrate some in the audience that Jon’s hunting the Night King and you’re expecting this epic fight and it never happens—that’s kind of Thrones. But it’s the right thing for the characters. There’s also something about it not being the person you expect. The young lady sticks it to the man.”

Some fans may be disappointed that the Night King was killed so easily, but we’re glad Arya was the one to do it.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]