Game of Thrones has been known to push the envelope in many directions over the years. But for some reason—perhaps because of all the new viewers jumping on for Season 8—the image of a teenaged Arya Stark having sex with her longtime crush, Gendry Baratheon, on (possibly) their last night on earth seems to have ruffled more feathers than incest, patricide, the undead, and genocide ever have. Co-executive producer and longtime writer on the show Bryan Cogman joined the Still Watching podcast to discuss “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” tackling everything from that emotional Jaime and Brienne scene to what Bran and Tyrion talked about—and, yes, why you need to get over your Arya squeamishness. You can listen to the full episode here.
Cogman actually sounded surprised when he heard that a heated discussion had been bubbling around this particular scene. One major concern—for some viewers at least—seemed to be that because actress Maisie Williams joined the show as a child actor, it was tough to see her as a young woman in control of her own sexuality. “I hope none of those people ever have kids that have to grow up,” Cogman replied. “Thats what happens! [ . . . ] Teenagers have sex, guys. Hate to tell you!”
Speaking of which: is Arya actually a teenager? Yes. The Game of Thrones social-media team made sure to make viewers aware of this ahead of the sex scene; HBO U.K. conveniently tweeted out this pointed little meme the morning that the episode aired.
“Obviously, the passage of time is murky on the show for lots of reasons,” Cogman conceded. “Obviously, Tommen grew up really fast.” (Thats a joking reference to the actor Dean-Charles Chapman, who replaced the younger Callum Wharry.) Cogman added that “trying to figure out the exact age Arya is foolhardy,” but also pointed out that the actress herself is 22.
More importantly, he added, Arya is “a human being.” And we havent seen Aryas sexual side—or even much of her humanity—since Gendry left her in Season 3. As Cogman explained: “Shes been so focused on one thing for so long, which is vengeance, and almost forgetting herself and what it is to be human. That was very much what the time at the Faceless Men was—it was about erasing humanity.”
Williams herself said something similar in a post-episode interview: “It was really interesting because its a very human relationship for Arya. This is something shes stayed away from, an emotion weve never really seen her engage with.”
Cogman—who wrote the episode with input from show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff—said that Aryas inner monologue in that moment was something like this: “I want to be a human being. I want to be a woman. I want to experience this stuff, and I want to experience it on my terms.” That Arya drove the scene was extremely important to both Cogman and Williams. “Gendry is happy to follow along and go along with it, but its all on her terms,” he said.
Still, if you were feeling a touch of unease beyond Aryas age, perhaps it was because of the darkness still burbling inside the Stark girl. Cogman wrote into the script that GRead More – Source