Maisie Williams’ Two Weeks to Live character closely resembles her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Here’s what you need to know.
Maisie Williams’ Two Weeks to Live character closely resembles her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. The black comedy series centers on a young woman who roams Scotland in search of her father’s killer, with the early twist being that she thinks the world is about to end. With its cheeky humor and six 25-minute episodes, Two Weeks to Live is indeed a fun and engaging watch (now streaming on HBO Max), but it’s impossible to ignore the thematic parallels between Williams’ Kim Noakes and Arya Stark.
Written by Gaby Hull, the Two Weeks to Live series premiere begins with a bundled-up Kim arriving at a Scottish cafe. The owner spots her naïveté, and thus swindles the young woman out of a few bucks. Kim subsequently learns the bad news from a waitress, and then beats up the old man (off-camera). “I’ve had enough pig for one day,” Kim says, shortly before accidentally poking her eye; a bit of physical comedy that foreshadows what’s to come. Williams’ character eventually befriends two brothers named Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) and Jay (Taheen Modak), and reveals that she was raised in the woods by her survivalist mother. After a prank-gone-wrong, Kim mistakenly believes that the apocalypse is under way, and decides to immediately seek revenge on a crime boss who murdered her father 16 years before. From there, Two Weeks to Live blends stylized violence with cute comedy while citing various action-comedy tropes.
Two Weeks to Live blatantly references Game of Thrones with the premise alone. After escaping an isolated life in the woods, Kim navigates the real world with a journal labeled “Things to Do in the Real World,” which is similar in nature to Arya Stark’s kill list in the HBO series. Both characters venture off into a scary world, and seek revenge on people who have offended them in one way or another. With Kim, her rage is solely directed at one man, Jimmy (Sean Pertwee), whereas Arya’s list includes more than 10 people. Both characters wear dark clothing and have similar demeanors; however, Williams’ Two Weeks to Live character is entirely unfamiliar with the world around her. In Game of Thrones, Arya Stark knows every societal trick after living on her own in the outdoors.
In Two Weeks to Live, Hull and her fellow writers thematically split Arya Stark into two characters: Kim and Tina. The daughter sets forth into the wild like the younger version of Williams’ Game of Thrones hero, and the mother doesn’t really want to be bothered, much like the older version of Arya. Two Weeks to Live even abandons its titular premise rather quickly to focus on the familial friction between the focal mother and daughter. Just as the Mad Max sequels are retellings of a character archetype, Two Weeks to Live similarly feels like it’s part of Arya Stark lore; a story that’s not about the HBO character, but rather a re-imagining of what she represents.
The overall comedic tone of Two Weeks to Live suggests that the filmmakers knew exactly what the Game of Thrones faithful would be thinking while watching. For example, Kim’s skills are compared to The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen in the fourth episode, when the most obvious reference, of course, would be to Arya Stark. Two Week to Live presents the audience with a familiar concept, and then lightly trolls viewers with some passive-aggressive Game of Thrones references before shifting in an entirely new direction. Kim isn’t looking to explore the entirety of Scotland and the world beyond — she just wants to know a few simple truths about her life story. Williams’ character is neither Katniss Everdeen nor Arya Stark, but she’s a survivor all the same.