'Game of Thrones' star Maisie Williams trained in this Filipino martial art for Battle of Winterfell scene


Posted at May 11 2019 06:49 PM | Updated as of May 12 2019 07:19 AM


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Defending Winterfell against the Night King's army was no small matter.

It's no surprise that Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones," came prepared, training in all sorts of martial arts, including in the Philippines' Pekiti-Tirsia Kali.

As revealed in an interview with US-based site Inverse, the stunt team of "Game of Thrones" shared that they had Williams learn an "adapted version" of the style in preparation for the final season.

"Kali is a style we drew from," stunt choreographer Rowley Irlam said. "My team comes from a very wide background of martial artists, weapons experts, so we draw from all styles we possibly can. Filipino stick work is definitely one of them for this piece."

Irlam shared that fans can see this during the scene where Arya had to continue fighting despite her spear being broken in half.

Kali is a style that specializes in close quarter fights and situations where people are forced to use improvised weapons.

Irlam also explained that the idea of incorporating Kali came to them when they were presented with the plan to have Arya fight in a tight interior stairway, which was part of the Winterfell set.

The Battle of Winterfell was the centerpiece fight of the show's final season, which began airing midway last month.

He said that they were "looking for something new and original" when they opted for the Filipino style. "We never wanted to repeat anything we've done before."