Arya and Sansa Stark will be firmly aligned in Game of Thrones season 8 and, according to star Maisie Williams, the effect is a powerful one. Based on the A Song of Ice of Fire book series by George R. R. Martin and adapted for the screen by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon since it debuted on HBO back in 2011. With season 8 confirmed as Game of Thrones‘ last, the remaining six episodes will finally bring that epic war to a head, with a huge battle at Winterfell already teased. As members of Winterfell’s resident family, Arya (Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) have been staples of the show since the very beginning.
To say the characters have had a rough time over the show’s run would be an understatement. After both witnessing the execution of their father, Ned Stark, the young women found themselves on wildly divergent paths akin to their extremely disparate personalities. After being frequently abused by the cruel Joffrey, Sansa was forced into not one, but two marriages. While the first was to the kind-hearted Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), the second was to the even more sadistic Ramsay Bolton, resulting in some of the show’s more controversial scenes. Arya, meanwhile, found herself on a road trip that saw her witness and experience even more loss. After completing her brutal training with the group of assassins known as the Faceless Men, Arya returned home. Reunited, the sisters managed to put aside their previous enmities in order to expose and execute Petyr Baelish, a.k.a Littlefinger.
Speaking with EW, Williams teased that the partnership would continue and thrive powerfully in the final season. Where the season left off, Arya and Sansa, still unaware of the threats coming their way, reminisced their fallen father while awaiting the return of Jon Snow. Whether or not Arya and Sansa make it through to the end of the show remains to be seen. Fans will no doubt be pleased, however, that no matter the outcome, the sisters will remain solid allies – even against Jon’s decisions. “It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her,” Williams said. “This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon. It felt nice and powerful to stand next to Sophie.”
Turner will also play Jean Grey in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, one of the last installments of Fox’s big-screen franchise before Disney reboots the characters for the MCU. Williams, meanwhile, was previously cast in New Mutants. The release of the film remains firmly up in the air – with even Williams having no idea when it will be released. All eyes remain firmly on Game of Thrones, however, as fans wait to see who, if anyone, ends up on The Iron Throne.
Many will no doubt remain eager to see the reunion of Arya and Jon. After all, they were the closest of the Stark children when the show began. It would appear, however, that things won’t be all smooth sailing for the family. With the White Walkers finally marching south, it was believed that personal disputes would fall to the wayside. That will no doubt be true before too long, in order for the pack to survive. It’s a plus, though, that the writers won’t be neglecting the interpersonal bonds and dynamics along the way – making any deaths all the more impactful. Jon Snow may technically be the King in the North now but it would be a disservice to Arya and Sansa, as characters, to not call him out if need be. And, after everything that’s happened, inject some much needed, long overdue girl power to proceedings.