Arya’s surprise attack in ‘Battle of Winterfell’ explained by Game of Thrones director

Game of Thrones Arya Night King

The last season of Game of Thrones caused quite a stir with a lot of fans, especially with the way things panned out and how characters were portrayed. The whole series kept on teasing “Winter is coming,” and when it came, it came with a whimper. One scene that split audiences was the ending of “The Long Night,” which had Arya go up against the Night King. Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the episode, explains why the scene played out that way.

Spoilers Ahead

There was a lot of buildup for scenes involving Arya running for her life from the undead and Jon Stark trying to get to the Night King. In the end, expectations were subverted to give viewers a surprise ending. The Night King was on his way to kill Bran, and he was surrounded by his own squad. Arya comes out of nowhere with a jumping attack against the Night King and ultimately was able to kill him. Her actions saved Winterfell, but the attack caused mixed reactions from fans. Those who opposed the scene was wondering how she was able to dodge all the undead between her and the Night King.

In an interview, Sapochnik reveals why they decided to omit Arya’s whole travel from point A to B to kill the Night King.

“I questioned everything and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment,” Sapochnik tells THR. “Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm.”

“At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the Weirwood forest,” he added. “But as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end, we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out. I loved Maisie’s performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. ‘Not today.'”

What did you think of the scene? Let us know!


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