WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "The Rightful Queen," the second episode of Game of Thrones Season 8, now streaming.
As the defenders of Winterfell waited for the arrival of the White Walkers and the epic battle to begin, two longtime characters shared a surprising, intimate moment on the night of the fight as Arya Stark and the blacksmith Gendry had sex.
First alerted to the scene by co-star and friend Sophie Turner, actress Maisie Williams at first thought the sequence in the script for the second episode of the final season was a joke by creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss. After contacting them, however, the two writers informed Williams the sex scene was absolutely intended to happen to provide the character with a tender, human moment before fighting the Army of the Dead.
"I got to the read-through and I’m reading the scene and thought, ‘Oh, we’re actually going to do this,'" Williams recalled in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "'When do I shoot this? I need to go to the gym.’ A whole list of things.”
Assured by the showrunners that could reveal as much of herself in the scene as she was comfortable with, the sequence was filmed relatively quickly, with much of Williams' nudity in the scene to the side or just off-camera.
"[The scene] was rushed. We were [directed by] David Nutter, who has a habit of speaking fast anyway," Williams explained. "By the end we’re rushing to finish the scene and David is going, ‘Okay, you’re going to come in and do this and do that and, great, take your top off’ -- and then walked off. And I’m like … 'Okay. Let’s do it.'"
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.