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Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): “There’s a lot of death” in season 8

We’re just a few weeks away from the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) is giving her fans more curiosity and goosebumps in every trailer coing out… “There’s a lot of death this year,” she said.

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We’ve heard about how the opening of season 8 will mimic the opening of season 1, with Daenerys and her entourage arriving at Winterfell much as King Robert and his arrived back in the series premiere. To hear Williams tell it, the comparisons go deeper than that. “After reading the scripts I went back and watched season 1 again because so much of it refers back to that season,” she said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar.”

And also I watched just to remind myself of the arc I’ve taken already. I wanted Arya to go full circle and try for some kind of normalcy like when she was younger. Basically this year it’s like she has a dual personality — there are so many emotions and memories that come flooding back when you’re with your family and the things that you fight for become very different, yet she’s also remaining on this path to try and kill Cersei and remembering her list and getting closer to that. So there’s this split with Arya between trying to be who she wants to be — getting back to the naïveté and innocence with her family — and unfinished business.

Williams also had some thoughts about standing unified with Sansa, played by her real-life best friend Sophie Turner. “It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her.” This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon.

Ah, so Arya is going to call out Jon’s reasons for bending the knee to Daenerys? I’m already looking forward to that drama.

But let’s get back to death. Arya’s always been a bit of a prodigy when it comes to killing, but in seven seasons, she’s never taken part in any major battles. In season 8, that changes. “I feel like I’ve always been a part of this big show but in terms of being part of the episodes that really define us, this is my first taste of it.”

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