Warning: Spoilers from the “Game of Thrones” Season 4 premiere episode, “Two Swords,” are below.
“To Arya, he’s a bad character,” Maisie Williams tells Zap2it. “But just because they’re bad in your storyline doesn’t mean they’re a bad person in life, you know what I mean? He may have two kids at home who call him daddy and he actually just needs to make a living type of thing. No one is born evil, it’s just the choices that they make. And to you, they may seem like a bad thing to do — this is Maisie speaking now, not Arya — so she doesn’t mean to become this bad person, this evil character. She’s just doing what she has to do, almost, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”
Fans will likely feel otherwise, as Polliver’s death seems like the first good thing to happen in a long time for Arya — and the Starks as a whole. And though Williams feels the murder is triggering an unchangeable darkness in Arya, even she admits the death of Polliver is welcome.
“It was so nice to see Arya, finally, something going right, and something that’s planned almost,” Williams says. “She’s been thinking about this for a long, long time and all of the sudden he’s there. It’s a dangerous move, but it’s like why am I making this list? So I can kill them. So if I walk away now, is that OK? Not at all. She owes it to Yoren, who taught her about this, to Lommy, to everyone who has ever been affected by Polliver. So she does.”
Williams’ explanation for Arya’s smile at the end of the episode might not be what fans expect, or read into it themselves.
“When I hear bad news, I laugh — which is awful, but it’s just my way of reacting to things,” Williams says. “And I think that’s the kind of thing with Arya. She doesn’t feel anything at all, and she’s just laughing at that. She doesn’t even feel revenge, she doesn’t feel happy, she just doesn’t feel anything. That’s wonderful, because feeling nothing is just nothing, because you’re not going to get hurt.
“She has that line: ‘Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing.’ And that’s a really stable place almost, nothing, because you’re not worse off and you’re not better off — and if you’re better off, you’re just waiting to get knocked back down again, and if you’re worse off you’re worse off. So feeling nothing is the best possible scenario for her at this point.”
That’s the same type of humor “Game of Thrones” had in the Season 4 premiere. There are laugh-out-loud moments, but not because something one of the characters said is intrinsically funny.
“The scenes are really funny, but they’re not funny at all. They’re not comedic scenes, there are no one-liners,” Williams says. “It’s all really funny stuff, but it’s not deliberately funny. It’s like when you hear bad news and you laugh. A guy’s just about to laugh, but we’re giggling. It’s a weird kind of situation that ‘Game of Thrones’ puts the audience in.”
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.