Game Of Thrones fans have branded a sex scene featuring Arya Stark ‘weird’ and ‘uncomfortable’ after the character lost her virginity in the latest episode.
The youngest Stark sister got intimate with her lifelong friend Gendry in an unexpected nude scene in Sunday night’s installment of the HBO show.
Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) – who is the unacknowledged bastard son of the late Robert Baratheon – acted upon their flirtations as Winterfell prepared for a battle with the Night King.
After asking her friend about his past lovers, Arya revealed she was a virgin, and told the skilled blacksmith: ‘We’re going to die soon. I’d like to know what it’s like before that happens’.
The pair were later seen in bed together as the camera panned over the characters in their last peaceful moments before the White Walkers arrived at Winterfell.
But viewers have been left conflicted by the raunchy scene – which came after Gendry forged Arya’s custom dragon glass weapon.
On Twitter, one fan said: ‘An Arya sex scene is something I could have lived without’.
‘The Arya and Gendry sex scene will literally have fans conflicted until the next bombshell next week. #GameofThrones’, said a second. Another viewer said she thought the romance had been ‘rushed’ between the pair.
She said: ‘But for real. The sex scene between Arya and Gendry felt a bit weird. Feels like they rushed the romance too quick #GameOfThrones’. Some fans were shocked to see Arya, who was 11 when the show began, in a nude scene as it felt like ‘watching a little sister’.
One said: ‘Call me crazy, but it felt so weird watching Arya’s sex scene. Idk [I don’t know] but I always see her as my little sister and I was so uncomfortable during that scene’.
But other viewers were thrilled that the pair, who have had undeniable chemistry since the first season, were finally together. One said: ‘Arya and Gendry FINALLY together #GameOfThrones’.
Another, Mikki Kendall, added: ‘Arya is 18, in full control and making a choice. She’s having probably the least weird, and most empowering consensual interaction in the whole show. Ever. EVER’.
The coupling harks back to a moment in the pilot of Game of Thrones – when the then-king Robert Baratheon tells Arya’s father Nedd Stark: ‘I have a son, you have a daughter. We will join our houses’.
At the time, the pair were speaking about Arya’s elder sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) and the heir Joffrey, but it seems the scene may have instead foreshadowed another relationship.
The episode, which aired on Sunday night, continued the show’s stream of emotional reunions as Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) arrived at Winterfell and was reunited with Sansa.
Tensions were also rising between the Starks and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) as the would-be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms discovered her lover, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), is her nephew – and the last living male Targaryen heir.
The dramatic first episode of season eight attracted an audience of more than 17.4 million in the US – with millions more watching across the world as the show was simultaneously broadcast in 170 countries.
This eclipsed the show’s previous high of 16.9 million viewers for the season seven finale in 2017.
The eighth season of Game of Thrones is also said to be the most expensive season of television ever shot, with a budget of £11 million ($15 million.)