Ever since Game of Thrones first aired on HBO in 2011, fans have flocked towards the character of the youngest Stark daughter, Arya, portrayed by Maisie Williams. One of the most popular characters on the show, Arya was celebrated for her strong, independent, and gutsy persona. Arya’s tomboyish ways led many fans to speculate about the character’s sexuality for multiple seasons — and apparently, they weren’t the only ones making guesses about Arya’s identity. Maisie Williams recently revealed that until the show’s final season in 2019, she thought her character was queer.
In her new Teen Vogue Firsts interview, Maisie opened up about the first time she was ever surprised by her GoT character.
“The first time that I was surprised by Arya I guess was probably in the final series where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry,” Maisie says in the video with an ironic chuckle. “I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So… yeah. That was a surprise.” Maisie adds, shrugging.
Arya’s steamy love scene with Gendry at the beginning of Season 8 caught fans off guard, too. Even though Arya’s decision to have sex with Gendry was heavily influenced by the idea that she would be killed in the looming Battle of Winterfell, the unlikely romance confused viewers enough to make headlines for several days after the episode aired. “Game of Thrones Just Had Its Most Surprising Sex Scene Ever,” read one Thrillist headline. “We Can All Agree That Arya Stark Is Actually A Lesbian, Right?” questioned the title of an article from Buzzfeed. (Even rapper T-Pain was unconvinced by Arya and Gendry’s chemistry.)
“Happy for Arya and a nice lil consensual empowering moment of sex on the show but Arya Stark not being a powerful lesbian is the LEAST believable thing in this show about zombies and dragons,” wrote one fan.