Following the loss of her father, Arya Stark coped by developing a hit list of sorts. She spent some time adventuring with The Hound, training at the House of Black and White in Braavos, and eventually returned to Westeros to exact revenge for the Red Wedding by killing off the Freys. The youngest Stark daughter left a trail of blood in her wake, but actor Maisie Williams was unbothered by her character’s violent streak. “I didn’t find the scenes that I shot on ‘Game of Thrones and the nature of the violence and the descent into obsession over this list of names that [Arya] wants to kill — I didn’t necessarily find that traumatic to do.
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Williams’ experience was very different from that of Sophie Turner, who played her on-screen sister, Sansa Stark. Turner was often at the center of scenes featuring controversial sexual violence, and she told The Cut that she fully expected to experience some trauma down the road as a result. Explaining that she coped with the heaviness by having lots of fun between takes, Turner added, “At that age, I don’t think I could comprehend a lot of the scene matter.” Turner and Williams’ friendship has been well-documented, as they have both spoken about growing up together on the series. Despite their differing experiences
with the drama’s heavy thematic material, at least they had each other to lean on. After all, there’s nothing like a(n) (on-screen) sister!