Many Game of Thrones fans will probably wind up rewatching parts of Season 7 before Season 8 begins in April, but according to one of the series’ stars, it might be an even better idea to spend your limited time rewatching Season 1 instead.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Monday, actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, said that after finding out what happens in Season 8, she rewatched Season 1.
“After reading the scripts I went back and watched Season 1 again because so much of it refers back to that season,” Williams said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar. And also I watched just to remind myself of the arc I’ve taken already. I wanted Arya to go full circle and try for some kind of normalcy like when she was younger.”
Every Stark has had their own perilous journey over the course of eight seasons, but Arya figuratively and literally became no one by stripping away her identity.” These days, she might boast the skills of a Faceless assassin, but she’s still very much Arya Stark, a Lady of Winterfell. In recent years, she has at times assumed a cold and distant perspective as she focused on her murderous list, but she’s still that little girl from Season 1 in some respects.
Williams called Arya’s situation in Season 8 a “dual personality,” saying, “There are so many emotions and memories that come flooding back when you’re with your family and the things that you fight for become very different, yet she’s also remaining on this path to try and kill Cersei and remembering her list and getting closer to that. So there’s this split with Arya between trying to be who she wants to be — getting back to the naïveté and innocence with her family — and unfinished business.”
We can probably expect a lot of visual parallels to Season 1, or at the very least thematically resonant callbacks. We’ve already seen a brief shot where Arya marvels at the sight of a dragon, an important reminder that she’s a huge history buff, especially when it comes to powerful heroines.
There’s also the short teaser from early January when Sansa Stark meets Daenerys Targaryen and says, “Winterfell is yours, Your Grace.” This line echoes what her father, Ned Stark, said to Robert Baratheon in the very first Game of Thrones episode ever. These are only a few ways that Season 8 will reflect back on the series’ much more humble beginnings.
It’ll therefore be a good idea to rewatch the entirety of Season 1 to remember where all of these characters came from before we learn, once and for all, what’s going to happen to them in the future.
Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14, 2019.