If you were taken aback by Arya Stark’s steamy love scene in the final season of Game of Thrones, you weren’t alone.
Maisie Williams, who played Arya on the HBO fantasy epic, now tells Teen Vogue she was “surprised” by her character’s pre-battle romp with Gendry — mostly because she didn’t think Arya would be attracted to him.
“The first time that I was surprised by Arya, I guess, was probably in the final [season] where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry,” Williams says. “I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So… yeah. That was a surprise.”
Williams was just 12 years old when she was cast as headstrong daughter Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, and the show’s worldwide success propelled her to stardom. She grew up on screen as Arya went into hiding and plotted revenge on those who murdered her family. Williams was 22 years old when the final season aired on HBO, which featured the aforementioned sex scene with Gendry — and alarmed some viewers who had watched Arya (and Williams) grow up. (Prior to that scene, Arya hadn’t had any love scenes or even shown romantic feelings towards another character.)
Now 25 years old, Williams currently costars as punk rocker Jordan in FX/Hulu’s Sex Pistols chronicle Pistol. The Game of Thrones franchise, meanwhile, continues with the HBO spinoff House of the Dragon, premiering this August.
How about it, Game of Thrones fans: Did you think Arya was queer, too? Hit the comments below and share your reaction to her big love scene.