The reunions were many: Arya and Jon, possibly the most lovable Stark siblings; Arya and Gendry, who lost touch because of Melisandre’s seduction scheme; Sansa and Tyrion, who last locked eyes at Joffrey’s wedding-murder; Arya and the Hound, who ended their strange partnership with a request for death. (Request denied!)
And of course there’s Bran and Jaime, who last saw each other through a fateful window. Very briefly.
We talked to actors Maisie Williams (Arya), Sophie Turner (Sansa) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) about what their characters might be feeling as “Game of Thrones” rounds the homestretch. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Q: It’s reunion time for the Starks and their guests, and some of this can only be awkward …
Maisie Williams: Did Sansa and Tyrion ever file for that divorce?
Sophie Turner: It should have been an annulment, really. But no, they never filed for a divorce or an annulment, so I guess they technically are still married! I don’t think it’s as awkward as people would say because Sansa has been through so many rocky relationships that her relationship with Tyrion actually seems pretty sweet, in retrospect. It would be nice for her to see a familiar face, especially someone who treated her well and respected her. I think that would be nice for her.
Q: What about Arya and Gendry? Would that be awkward? Or would it be fun and frolics?
Williams: I think it would be kind of strange! I don’t know if Arya and Gendry have a lot in common anymore. And Arya’s never really been very good at communicating verbally how she feels on the inside anyway, and so any sort of reunion is … I mean, the one with Sansa in Season 7 couldn’t have been any more awkward! If it hadn’t been for the redeeming hug at the end, it would have just been really (expletive) icy. So yeah, I think in terms of Arya meeting characters this season, I think for her, it’s really odd! It’s weird for her to be reminded of the girl that she was, you know, and how she last felt when she was with certain characters, because I feel like she’s sort of severed that part of herself.
Q: It must be tricky to re-encounter someone you left for dead, or someone who tried to kill you. How does Bran feel about Jaime Lannister? Does he understand now what happened between them? Would he hold a grudge?
Isaac Hempstead Wright: It had to happen, I reckon. It’s given him incredible abilities, which made him far more significant than he could have ever dreamed of being, had he not had the power. It’s kind of a neat idea: Why does he have the Sight? Did he have to fall to get the Sight? But he certainly doesn’t hold grudges. He kind of transcends all the petty quarrels of most of the other characters.
Q: Those petty quarrels still need to be resolved, though. What would a Stark family therapy session look like?
Turner: Oh, god! That would be really intense.
Williams: They each would have to hold the talking stick, and you can only speak when you have that.
Turner: I think it would be very intense. I think there would be lots of tears. But ultimately, I think it’s what they all need.
Williams: Don’t you think Bran would be, like, a really good therapist? Because he knows everything?
Hempstead Wright: If someone says, “Look this up for me, Bran,” he’s your guy. But the Three-Eyed Raven doesn’t think in terms of emotions. He just thinks in terms of what’s destiny. He’s sort of the keeper of time and history. He doesn’t see things in terms of “Oh, that’s personally upsetting to me” or “Well, that’s personally upsetting to them.” It’s just “This had to happen” or “This doesn’t have to happen.” And he got quite a zen, removed approach to it all.
Turner: He would be like (imitates Bran), “You … need to talk to her.” And that would be it. Yeah. Bran should be the therapist.
Williams: And then we could be like, “How are you feeling, Bran?”
Turner: And he would be like (imitates Bran), “I am well, thank you. I am the Three-Eyed Raven.”
Q: How much is Bran still Bran, and how much is he the Three-Eyed Raven?
Hempstead Wright: The thing is, it’s hard to know, because there aren’t any exact definitions of what the Three-Eyed Raven is and how that all works. I think when he’s surrounded by his family, he’s probably a little bit more Bran than when he’s not surrounded by them, because that’s bringing back the small part of him that is Bran Stark. But I wouldn’t even say that he necessarily has a huge allegiance to the Starks anymore. It’s like Bran Stark is just a very small part of the Three-Eyed Raven entity as a whole now.
As I understand it, the Three-Eyed Raven is kind of like a chi, like a psychic energy that is manifesting itself in Bran. He can see that there’s a lot of friction and tension that is not necessary, not when they’re all trying to stop the dead from taking over the living.
Q: The Bran-is-the-Night-King theory continues to persist …
Hempstead Wright: (Laughs) I wish I could help you there.
Q: There isa story that Old Nan tells about him in the books, that he was a distant Stark ancestor.
Hempstead Wright: Really? The Night’s King, as far as I can remember, is a slightly different thing in the books. He’s an old commander of the Night’s Watch who disappeared and set up with a White Walker.
Q: Well, Benjen was both a Stark and a member of the Night’s Watch. It’s possible to be both.
Hempstead Wright: Ah! See, I thought he was a Targaryen. Maybe I misread that somewhere. I’ve also seen theories that Samwell Tarly is George R.R. Martin. All these weird theories will suddenly come true, and we’d be there going, “I told you so!”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.