Since its premiere in 2011, HBO’s Game of Thrones has undoubtedly managed to shock, stun, horrify, and amaze a unified fanbase of diehard book lovers and devoted show watchers.An adaptation of plot-heavy fantasy novels by mersin tarsus escort George R.R. Martin, the television series is bursting with more characters, elaborate settings, and unexpected twists than you can swing a sword at.
If there’s one thing Game of Thrones is known for (besides its award-winning storytelling and memorable roles), it’s the series’s ever-increasing body count of characters both great and small in service, making it one of the few shows where no character feels safe or sacred enough to escape death.
One of the most enduring characters within the feudal society of Westeros, and one that has successfully managed to survive the on-screen events thus far (not to mention undergo one of the biggest transformations), is fan-favourite Arya Stark, a role played by English actress Maisie Williams.
“I honestly had the best time doing the stunted scenes. There’s never a dull moment playing Arya,” says Williams by phone from her home in the U.K. The actress reveals that a background in dance allowed her to master some of her own swashbuckling moves with ease. “It was a lot of crazy fun pretending to beat the hell out of each other,” she laughs.
With the highly anticipated eighth and final season of the fire-breathing, family-betraying, back-stabbing, White-Walking drama airing this April, Williams remains super tight-lipped about which way the storyline is going. She confesses, however, that wrapping the saga back in July was sombre for everyone involved.
“There are times when people feel like they own you, especially when you’re going through your adolescence and trying to figure out who you are and really put a stamp on your personality,” she says. “There are a billion people saying, ‘Oh that’s not right. This isn’t you.’ That was really, really confusing as a 15-year-old,” she continues. “I felt like I was constantly trying to do the right thing, say the right thing, not piss people off, but also trying to become my own woman.”
Despite the trials during her teenage years, Williams wouldn’t trade in her experience and is thankful for her fans around the world. “It’s bizarre, but obviously amazing when you go to a place you’ve never been in your life on the other side of the planet and there are hundreds of people screaming at you. The scale of the show is unbelievable,” she says. For Williams, her fanbase can’t be beaten, as swarms of show watchers have continued backing her on non-GoT projects. “They just dedicate their lives to supporting me. I’m so grateful for people like that. It makes you feel incredible.”
Similar to the way Arya Stark’s journey across continents throughout the show gained her powerful relationships with other key characters, Williams too has developed tight-knit connections with fellow actors off-screen.
Although they may play combative Stark sisters in the series, little is sweeter than the real-life bond between Williams and fellow actress Sophie Turner. The two have regularly documented their hangouts on social media, and even come complete with their own hashtag, #Mophie.
That feeling of equal treatment and recognition from such a veteran co-star was huge for Williams, as navigating life while in the spotlight felt particularly unusual. “I really loved that, because it was such a weird world; one week, I was at school having to raise my hand to ask to go to the toilet, and the next week we’re with fans signing autographs,” says Williams. “She just always respected me.”
Between filming the final season of Game of Thrones—two years in the making—Williams shot Marvel horror flick The New Mutants, made her stage debut at Hampstead Theatre in Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and managed to find time to launch a tech start-up.
The idea was born out of personal experience, given that her rapid rise was a stroke of luck, she says. “There’s huge injustice in the industry; it’s very hard to break in. There are so many people who are at the top of their game, who probably graduated from a really expensive school, or who have very successful parents,” states Williams. “It’s very difficult for people like me to break in. The set of circumstances that got me into the industry are really ones that can’t be recreated.”
When Williams and Santry first started the company, Daisie was a small team of six. The duo has since been able to raise capital and grow the business to 16 employees. “It’s been amazing. Now we’re just working away,” she says, adding that a desktop version of the app is launching in April. “I truly believe that this is something that can help people. We really poured our heart and soul into the company.”