Game of Thrones received a lot of criticism for its final season, and "The Long Night" is when most of the grievances from fans started. Plenty of viewers complained that the Battle of Winterfell was too dark, but some also took issue with Arya Stark's big scene. Maisie Williams' character was responsible for killing the Night King in a moment that was praised, but also criticized for its seemingly improbably logic. Turns out director Miguel Sapochnik and series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss weren't all that bothered about the finer details, even if some fans were.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sapochnik broke down how him and the team behind the show struggled to make Arya's big moment come together. "I questioned everything and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment," he said of the scene, which showed Arya flying through the air to attack the Night King.
"Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm," he continued. "At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the Weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end, we felt it didn’t matter how she got there—what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out."
Before the scene, Arya was last seen by viewers with Melisandre, which prompted some to believe she came out of nowhere to protect her brother Bran Stark. Of all the big criticisms leveled at the final season, the death of the Night King was comparatively minor. Still, Sapochnik implied that he was just as puzzled as viewers of the show until he likely remembered that it's a show with dragons and magic, so people can probably suspend their disbelief that Arya could get to the Night King as fast as she did.