Many LGBTQI viewers assumed our favourite character was part of the community, and it turns out we weren’t alone!
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY GAME OF THRONES © 2019 HOME BOX OFFICE
Back when my housemates and I used to get together to watch the weekly servings of Game Of Thrones, we all resonated with our all time fave Ayra Stark. Many fans assumed Arya was either a WLW icon or genderfluid. From the way she defied societal expectations and said “no, that’s not me” when her father described her future duties as a Lady, to becoming one of the Faceless Men and being able to masquerade as any living person, regardless of gender. Maisie Williams, who bought Arya to life on the screen, did a superb job at portraying the character and the journey she went on. For me, it was one of the most engaging aspects of the show and kept me eagerly tuning in from the very beginning.
We hoped that one day the show would make Arya’s queerness canon, and we weren’t alone. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Maisie confirmed that she was right there with us. She admitted that: “The first time that I was surprised by Arya I guess was probably in the final series where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry.” She went on to say that: “I thought Arya was queer, you know? So … yeah. That was a surprise.” Back in 2019, Maisie shared that she thought Arya’s sex scene with Gendry was a prank from the showrunners.
At the beginning of the final season, fearing that they be dead by the morning, Arya and Gendry share a love scene. Maisie wasn’t the only one caught off guard by it. One Buzzfeed article reacting to the episode was titled: “We Can All Agree That Arya Stark Is Actually A Lesbian, Right?”
Jill Gutowitz, author of Girls Can Kiss Now, posted on Twitter:
arya stark’s sexuality is either “queer” or “war” and nothing else— Jill Gutowitz (@jillboard) April 22, 2019
The show did admittedly have a handful of LGBTQI characters. From fan fave bisexual Oberyn Martell, to the likes of Loras Tyrell, Renly Baratheon and Yara Greyjoy. The Mother Of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen was also canonically queer in the books. Whilst the series mercilessly kills off a large portion of the characters in general, it certainly followed the “kill your gays” trope. I still can’t see a grape being squished without thinking of poor Oberyn… But with Arya making it all the way to the final episode and her arc ending with her sailing off for her next adventure, I couldn’t help but think of how truly epic it would’ve been for viewers to see a canonically LGBTQI hero having a happy ending in such a popular show.
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