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The One Thing Maisie Williams Regrets About Game Of Thrones Season 8

Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8

The Game of Thrones series finale is all anyone can talk about — largely because of how controversial it was. Some hated it, some found it perfectly serviceable, and some were underwhelmed but not outraged. Fans cried out for HBO to remake the eighth season, the show's stars fired back at those petitioners, a handful of actors expressed frustration over the way it ended, and everyone and their mother yelled into the social media void about the things they would change on the last-ever episode. 

It seems Arya Stark actress Maisie Williams is one of the few people not infuriated by the finale. However, she did recently reveal the one thing she regrets about how Game of Thrones ended. 

Speaking in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams shared that she really wished Arya would have killed Lena Headey's Cersei Lannister — or at least gotten close enough to try. 

On the finale, Arya made it all the way to King's Landing from Winterfell and was this close to slaughtering the reigning queen when the Hound (Rory McCann) advised her to turn around if she wanted to make it out of the city alive. Arya heeded the Hound's warning, and Cersei wound up dying in the arms of her brother-lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), crushed beneath thousands of bricks that caved in while Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) sacked King's Landing. 

"I just wanted to be on set with Lena again, she's good fun," Williams explained. "And I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too. Even up to the point when Cersei's with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], 'He's going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]' and they're both going to die. I thought that's what Arya's drive has been."

As it happens, Headey feels exactly the same way Williams does: the actress wished that Cersei and Arya could have reunited face to face and something – anything — could have happened between the two women. Arya lunging at Cersei with the pointy end of her trusty sword Needle, killing her and finally crossing the Lannister lady's name off her hit list? Sure! Cersei swiftly flick her wrist and dump wine all over the Stark girl, then ordering her lumbering lackey the Mountain to snap her neck? Yeah, why not?

Headey shared with Entertainment Weekly that she "lived that fantasy" of her and Williams sharing a scene at some point during season 8, and was sobered when she read the scripts and learned that it simply wouldn't happen. She isn't too upset, though, as she understands the significance of Cersei's character arc and how a possible showdown with Arya may have complicated it. 

"I lived that fantasy until I read the script," said Headey. "There were chunky scenes and it was nothing that I had dreamt about. It was a bit of come down and you have to accept that it wasn't to be. There is something poetic about the way it all happens in the end with her and Jaime."

Despite not getting a chance to give Cersei Lannister a peace of her mind or spend additional time working with Headey, Williams is happy with how Arya's story came to a close on the Game of Thrones finale. It took a bit of time for Williams to reconcile with it all, particularly because she initially had different ideas about where her character would end up, but the 22-year-old actress shared that she understands why showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss gave Arya the ending they did. Though Williams may have initially felt that Arya should have followed in the footsteps of the Hound to become a hardened warrior, she wound up seeing that there was a world of possibilities out there for her character that didn't revolve around death.

"The Hound says, 'You want to be like me? You want to live your life like me?' In my head, the answer was: 'Yeah.' But I guess sleeping with Gendry, seeing Jon again, realizing she's not just fighting for herself anymore but also her family — it's bringing up all these human emotions that Arya hasn't felt for a long time. When the Hound asks her if she has another option, all of a sudden there are so many more things in [Arya's] life that she can live for, that she can do," Williams said. "It was a shock for me because that wasn't how I envisioned her arc going this year. Then I realized there were other things I could play, bringing Arya back to being a 16-year-old again."

Williams concluded by saying that Arya's ending was surprisingly happy, and one that she never thought the character would actually get: "It's not a Game of Thrones ending for Arya, it's a happy ending. It gave me a place to take Arya that I never thought I'd go with her again."

Williams took Arya to a surprising emotional and mental place, and Arya took herself to a physical location she'd longed to explore: the uncharted lands west of Westeros.