'Game of Thrones' fans are mounting a passionate defence of Arya after that controversial steamy scene

HBOGendry (Joe Dempsie) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode two, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”
  • On Sunday’s episode, Arya Stark had sex for the first time with Gendry, her old friend from earlier seasons.
  • “We’re probably going to die soon,” Arya tells Gendry, initiating the encounter. “I want to know what it’s like before that happens.”
  • While some fans initially reacted with discomfort and disappointment, others are passionately defending the decision and celebrating Arya’s agency.

HBO’s latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” was a watershed moment for Arya Stark.

On the eve of the White Walkers’ arrival at Winterfell, the young warrior had sex for the first time with Gendry, her old friend from earlier seasons.

“We’re probably going to die soon. I want to know what it’s like before that happens,” Arya tells Gendry, just before grabbing and kissing him. She then proceeds to strip down and commands Gendry to take his own pants off.

Arya gendry hooking up game of thrones hboHBOArya and Gendry have a connection, thanks to their travels together on seasons two and three.

Viewers have watched Arya grow from a precocious 11-year-old to a disciplined fighter, almost entirely preoccupied with revenge – and so, for many, this scene was an unwelcome surprise. Some fans questioned her age and maturity, while others simply felt it was out of character for her to prioritise romance in the midst of a war.


Read more:
‘Game of Thrones’ fans are losing it over Arya’s steamiest scene yet, and some are seriously disappointed

After the scene received backlash, however, fans began to mount a passionate case in defence of Arya.

HBO confirmed that Arya is 18 years old on season eight

Although the show has been purposely vague about characters’ ages from season to season, HBO UK confirmed Arya’s onscreen age via Twitter on Sunday morning.

Arya is portrayed by Maisie Williams, who’s 22 years old. She may look much younger than Gendry, who’s portrayed by 31-year-old Joe Dempsie – but she’s just a few years younger than him in the book series.

According to “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Gendry is just five years older than the youngest Stark, which would make him 23 on season eight.

Viewers praised the show for its rare depiction of sex as both consensual and ’empowering’

Feminist writer Mikki Kendall found Arya’s first time refreshing, especially for a show that has been criticised for using sex and rape gratuitously.

“Arya is 18, in full control and making a choice,” Kendall wrote. “She’s having probably the least weird, and most empowering consensual interaction in the whole show. Ever. EVER.”

“Making sure she didn’t die a virgin might be the most normal thing Arya has done in years,” she continued. “YEARS.”

Indeed, the scene featured clear consent from both characters. While Arya was taking full control and ownership of her desires, she never coerced Gendry and made sure he was an equally willing partner.

Others pointed out the disproportionate reaction when Arya engages with brutality and violence.

As HBO’s tweet conspicuously noted, Arya may seem young, but she has brutally killed many people and long since lost her innocence.

“I haven’t seen Arya as a baby since she cut that man up in the bordello,” Kendall wrote in her Twitter thread, referring to Arya’s vicious murder of Ser Meryn Trant on season five. “She was grown emotionally long before.”

Indeed, to many viewers, it seems strange to be accepting of Arya’s life as an assassin while condemning her decision to have sex.

https://twitter.com/aryagendry/status/1120188343625474050?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

Ultimately, fans are proud of Arya for continuing to do whatever she wants

“Arya is a super powerful woman. Why shouldn’t she have sex? Good for her,” one Facebook user commented on INSIDER’s original post about this scene.

“She was absolutely true to her character,” wrote another. “She wanted to do something so she simply did it.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman said the showrunners wanted to be honest about “what a lot of these characters would do on their final night.”

“For Arya, there’s an attraction to Gendry and she’s like, ‘If I’m going to die, I might as well see what all the fuss is about,'” he said. “She executes that encounter and Gendry is more than happy to go along.”

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