“Winter is coming,” is becoming synonymous with “death is coming” on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Sunday’s jaw-dropping episode proved that no one is safe in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros — including the show’s star!
AccessHollywood.com recently caught up with the Stark Family standout, Maisie Williams, who plays the young Arya Stark on the hit HBO series, who said she was as shocked by Sunday’s gruesome plot development as the rest of the audience.
“My parents had read the books when I had done an audition for Arya… my mom was upstairs reading one day and she came down and was like, ‘You’ll never guess what they have just done!’ and I was like, ‘What have they done? What have they done?’ And my mom was like, ‘Well they’ve just killed Ned!’ And I was like, ‘What! They can’t do that!’’ Maisie recounted.
The battle for power between the Lannisters and anyone who would stand in their way of the throne reached a boiling point on Sunday night and cost former King’s Hand Ned Stark (Sean Bean) his life. Maisie told Access that she was excited to see all of the painstaking work required to film the gory beheading of her onscreen father.
“Filming it, it was a long day, but I think it definitely paid off and there was a lot of different angles. But they were all needed. Every single angle was needed, and every single angle was used. It was a great experience to see how it was done,” the 13-year-old actress said of the tragic beheading of Ned.
Maisie had mixed feelings about the death of her onscreen father and reconciling that with the fact that Sean would not be returning for the show’s second season, which HBO has already green lit.
“We’ve lost a lot of names now,” she said. “We just started to film, and then he went away… it was weird, because it was my first [role] ever and it was my last scene and to be with Sean on my last scene… it was really nice, [but,] I’m a bit sad that he’s not coming back, but I think there’s going to be lots of other people to come.”
The young star said she’s not bothered by the show’s often gory and adult situations — except when she’s watching with her parents.
“My parents weren’t really that bothered about me watching it,” she explained. “But, I covered my eyes at the bit that was a bit graphic and awkward because my family was there. I was there when I had to do that killing scene and it was a bit scary, but I know that when we were there filming it that it was just a big green screen.”
“Game of Thrones’” plucky sword-wielder Arya, is Maisie’s first role ever, something she unexpectedly danced her way into.
“I’ve never really done acting before, ‘cause dancing was my first love. And then, I sort of fell into it from a talent competition and never really looked back,” she said. “Doing the sword fighting is like picking up a dance routine… I think dancing really helps with the picking up of it.”
In addition to the challenges of such a high profile first role, the actress also has the task of playing a little girl debunking the idea of a woman’s role in a world dominated by mostly vicious men — something she has skillfully done week after week.
“You haven’t really seen anything yet,” she said of her character Arya. “There’s a lot more to come.”
According to Maisie’s mom, the actress and her character — who wields a sword better than many men in the Seven Kingdoms — are indistinguishable.
“Sometimes when the little feisty bits come up, my mom always says, “Oh Mais, that’s just like you!’ Because some of the lines Arya says are something I would say if I was put into those situations,” she told Access.
Maisie, who calls Dakota Fanning her “all-time idol” hopes her hit HBO series is just the start of her reign on the small and big screen.
“I hope there are going to be plenty of more roles to come. I’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline. And definitely some things I want to get into when I’m older… so hopefully you’ll see me in some more things,” she said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it finally paid off and people like it, and I think that’s all I could ask for, really, that people enjoy it and will see [more of] it next season.”
The season finale of “Game of Thrones” airs Sunday, June 19 on HBO at 9 PM.