By Madeline Farber
Published May 03, 2019
(WARNING: This article contains a spoiler for “Game of Thrones” Season 8, Episode 3)
What would the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” be without a viral challenge?
Following Sunday’s episode – “The Long Night” – where Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) famously takes down the evil Night King by stabbing him with her Valyrian steel blade, Twitter users have taken to the social media platform with the viral “#AryaChallenge.”
The “challenge” is a simple one: Those participating can use basically any item (an umbrella, a banana, a remote control, a cellphone and more) to recreate the moment where Arya, despite being choked by the Night King, drops the blade from one of her hands into the other and stabs the fictional character. For the challenge, however, participants simply “stab” the air.
Thousands of people have taken to the challenge, including an Army lacrosse player who used his stick to mimic the move.
Separately, the Night King himself (seasoned actor and stuntman Vladimir Furdik) broke his silence following the widely talked-about scene in Season 8, Episode 3.
“It was a very emotional day and night. It was so strong. I spent all my energy playing it, and she [Maisie Williams] as well,” Furdik, 48, told The Hollywood Reporter this week.
“It was not an easy day. It was cold. There was rain. She was on a wire, in a harness, jumping many times. It wasn't just the one time; it was maybe 15 times. When I have to hold her under the jaw and it looks like she dies, we had to spend a lot of energy on that particular scene,” he continued, noting getting it just right was “very, very difficult.”
“We are very good friends. We know each other. It wasn't easy for me to [pretend to] hurt her. When I grabbed her under the jaw, it wasn't easy [on a practical level]. If you make a bad move – if you don't grab her well – she could have an injury. So I was under pressure and she was under pressure. It was not an easy day,” he added.
In fact, Furdik said filming the episode in its entirety – a process which took three months, he said – was “one of the hardest jobs of [his] life.”
Check out some of the #AryaChallenge videos below.