When it comes to Game of Thrones, nothing is ever as it seems.
On Sunday night’s (June 12) episode, fans watched as the Waif chased a bleeding Arya down the streets of Braavos, culminating in a fight that left the Faceless Woman without, well, a face.
Though the chase may have appeared straightforward — perhaps even disappointingly so for some, considering all the Arya and the Waif theories that had been floating around prior to the episode airing — it turns out, there was actually a built-in twist that many fans missed.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Game of Thrones director Mark Mylod revealed that he wanted fans to think that Arya was a goner the moment she tumbled down the steps — when in reality it was all just a part of her plan.
“So, it was really just working the jigsaw puzzle on that, just working toward it, and actually knowing exactly tonally where I wanted to be at each beat, hopefully, in this misdirect that this was ultimately going to lead to the death of Arya,” Mylod told WSJ about crafting the pivotal moment in which Arya jumps and falls down a bunch of steps, while knocking over oranges and the like. “And hopefully the audience will be caught up in that beat and then only retrospectively flip back and realize that actually Arya had been running things the whole time in terms of luring the Waif back to the place where she could have an advantage over her.”
So does that mean Arya was playing the Waif from the moment she seemingly decided to leave for Westeros in the previous episode? When asked by WSJ, Mylod said that according to him, Arya’s decision to go out in to the market to buy passage for Westeros wasn’t a trap to lure out the Waif — it was just a very bad decision.
“My choice is, in episode 7, the character has made her decision to leave the city, and really makes a mistake. She lets her guard down,” said Mylod. “…. I think that, subsequently, she knows once she’s recovering at Lady Crane’s apartment that the Waif will come after her. She knows it’s inevitable. She hopes it won’t be there. That, in my head at least, in terms of my own internal logic, that is where the thought process is: How can I get myself to a position where I have an advantage over this character? In terms of [Arya] choosing that particular basement area where the character hides out — no windows, one door in, one door out, no other light sources — one could make the argument that she set that up long before then and is simply caught out in the open in episode 7.”
In other words, Arya’s face-off (ha!) with the Waif wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed, but also not as complex as some might make it out to be.
Are you satisfied with this new twist? Let us know in the comments!