It's common knowledge that Game of Thrones, much like the George R.R. Martin source material, isn't always kind to female characters, so Maisie Williams' continued involvement is either a testament to her acting talent, or a case of sheer luck. In either case, Arya Stark, played by Maisie, has been through more than her share of ordeals and torments. Helping Williams to make those barbaric adventures seem as real as possible has been a slew of stunt doubles, but Williams says she disliked many of them for her character. Maisie reveals why and also reveals how her dreams of another favorite character's return was recently crushed.
Game Of Thrones Actress Maisie Williams Is Picky When It Comes To Stunt Doubles
Season 5 of Game of Thrones left Arya Stark suffering at the hands of Waif (Faye Marsay) and possibly blinded, but one portion of the second teaser for Game of Thrones Season 6 reveals Williams' character flipping up in rebellion, suggesting that, while Arya may be down, she's definitely not out.
As might be suspected, Maisie reveals that not all of those fancy fight moves her Game of Thrones character employs are done by the actress herself. Instead, Maisie says she has worked with a number of stunt doubles through the years and the Game of Thrones actress adds that not all of them worked out so well.
"I've had stunt doubles before where — they were lovely girls — but they didn't look like me. I didn't buy it. Like, I don't look at you from behind and think that you look like me. And that means the audience is gonna be the same," Ms. Williams says. "They're gonna be like, 'That's not Arya!' And instead of watching a fight scene like, 'Oh my gosh girl, get up! Get up!,' you're going to be going, 'That wasn't even Maisie!'"
Williams says that's not going to be an issue in Game of Thrones Season 6, because the new stunt doubles were very close in looks and actions to the way Maisie handles herself. She adds that she worked very closely with her stunt doubles, so her finished Game of Thrones scenes came off looking very much like a seamless, believable story.
"They were so great, and they were absolute troopers," the Game of Thrones actress said of her stunt doubles. "They were so fit and incredible and made us look really, really good at fighting. Faye and I were pretty good at fighting, as well, but they were much better than us."
Maisie Williams Shares Her Sorrow Over The Loss Of A Favorite Game Of Thrones Character
Arya Stark went through a real metamorphosis last year, due in no small part to the training she received from her mentor, Jaqen H'ghar (played by Tom Wlaschiha), who taught her the art of becoming no one. Additionally, many Game of Thrones fans suspected he was also another one of Arya's instructors, sword fighting teacher Syrio Forel. Inspiring this theory was the fact that Jaqen H'ghar was known as the faceless man and it would have been no tall task for Jaqen H'ghar to become Forel at will. Syrio is presumed dead, but, as some Game of Thrones fans have pointed out in the past, no one actually witnessed his demise.
"I always was like, 'Oh, no, I feel like he's still alive,'" says Maisie Williams, revealing that she was among those hoping for H'ghar's return. "I always had my own theory that he and Jaqen were the same person."
The Game of Thrones actress proves she has more pull with the show's producers than the average fan, because she went right to those sources for a definitive answer. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are known for keeping story twists from the cast and from fans, but this time, they seemed to be playing it straight when Maisie went to them with her theory.
"No, he is dead," Benioff and Weiss both confirmed.
"I was like, 'Oh, OK.' So that put that to bed really quickly, but I guess we can all still dream."
The Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones is set to air on Sunday, April 24, on HBO.
[Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]