Maisie Williams is giving her final say on the last season of “Game of Thrones.”
The controversial conclusion to the Emmy-winning HBO fantasy series left critics and actress Williams a little less than enthused. “Game of Thrones” ran from 2011 to 2019, with Williams portraying warrior Arya Stark.
“It definitely fell off at the end,” Williams said during a Twitch stream (via Insider). “But it started really strong. I was heartbroken when Ned [Stark, Arya’s father] died, yet I knew it was coming. For the first time, I could really feel the story.”
She continued, “Honestly, it kinda popped off. I could never see it from the outside. So I could never say that and actually understand it. For the first time, it feels good to be proud of it. It was 10 years of my life.”
Williams previously reflected on her turn as the youngest Stark sibling, revealing that she at times “resented” the character during puberty and that she always believed Arya to be queer. Williams said she was “surprised” that Arya had a heterosexual sex scene in the final season that seemed to stray from the character arc.
And Williams isn’t the only one who saw the series deviate in later seasons. Author and franchise creator George R.R. Martin revealed that he was “out of the loop” on production for the final seasons of the critically acclaimed series, led by showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.
Martin formerly had consulted on scripts and casting for the first four seasons of the series. “By Season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop,” Martin revealed to The New York Times.
The backlash to the finale of “Game of Thrones” also led HBO to brace for reactions to the prequel series “House of the Dragon,” which has shattered viewership records for the network. HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys assured that Martin would remain an integral part of the new series for its duration.
“George, for us, in this process has been a really valuable resource,” Bloys said of Martin, who co-created “House of Dragon” with showrunner Ryan J. Condal. “He is literally the creator of this world. He is its historian, its creator, its keeper. And so I can’t imagine doing a show that he didn’t believe in or didn’t endorse.”