You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

What Maisie Williams has to say about GoT

Associated Press Associated Press 20/04/2016 Frazier Moore

Arya Stark was no coddled child.

Born with a fiercely independent spirit, she spent her teens on Game of Thrones braving hardship, loneliness and combat. Physically small but handy with a sword, Arya's creed seemed to be "You go, girl!"

Her latest challenge, imposed at the end of last season: She was struck blind as punishment for going rogue with a personal hit list. She still has bloody scores to settle. How will she cope now?

Among the legions of characters on Game of Thrones, Arya has remained one of its most popular throughout the first five seasons of this epic fantasy set in the make-believe continent of Westeros.

Now, with the sixth season just four days away, "GOT" devotees are ravenous for any advance intel on the show and its stars - who include Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Aiden Gillen and Sophie Turner as well as Maisie Williams, now 19, who, since she was 12, has invested Arya with her feisty charm.

So far, no beans have been spilled by any "GOT" insiders - though producers revealed months ago that this season, the plot will veer away from the George RR Martin books on which the show is based. And rest assured, if you bother to press Williams on how Arya is dealing with sightlessness, she will say, in the nicest way possible, don't waste MY time or YOURS.

Arya was the British-born Williams' first acting job, landed after an open casting call - a splashy way to enter the profession.

"I didn't know much about television or HBO," she says.

"The reason it was so exciting was not because I thought, 'Oh, this could be a really big TV show.' It was more like, 'Oh, look! Maisie got cast in something.'"

Of course, no one knew back then what a global phenomenon Game of Thrones would be. Williams says that hit home for her at the kickoff for season 3.

"We had our first proper premiere in LA, and that was the first time I saw lots of fans in one place, and lots of paparazzi and cameras," she says.

"I never believed that kind of thing actually happened, and there I was, standing in the middle of it all. That was the first time I thought, 'Wow, my life is changing."'

Since the beginning, she and Arya - each growing and learning - have followed somewhat parallel tracks in their development.

"I was just like Arya when I was little," she recalls.

"I was no daughter of a lord like Arya, but I definitely preferred playing with my brothers more than with my sister."

The role of Arya, and the opportunity it has given Williams to grow with it, may very well help carry her across that gulch that leaves so many child actors behind, helping her transition into future adult roles.

"We are both very different girls now than the ones we were when we first met each other," Williams notes.

In the meantime, her current off-screen role includes keeping all those "GOT" secrets.

For instance: Even after seeing Jon Snow's apparent death on last season's finale, fans have been dying to know whether Jon (Arya's beloved older brother, portrayed by Kit Harington) is really dead - or if that scene might have been a bit of narrative sleight-of-hand.

"People feel like they want to know what's going to happen, but they don't really want to know. They wouldn't want it spoiled for them," she insists.

"So it doesn't feel like I'm keeping a deep, dark secret. It feels like, 'Just wait! It's going to be so much better with you sitting down and watching it, than with me ruining it for you by explaining it now."'

* Game of Thrones Season 6 will launch on Foxtel's showcase channel on Monday, April 25 at 11am (AEST).

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon