Maisie Williams Almost Skipped Her ‘Game of Thrones’ Audition for a Field Trip to a Local Pig Farm

Maisie Williams starred in Game of Thrones, one of the most significant cultural phenomena of the 2010s. The fantastic ensemble cast carried the popular show. Williams’ Arya Stark became a fan-favorite character throughout its run. However, few know how close they came to missing out on Williams’ talent. She nearly skipped the audition that would land her the role.

Arya was one of the best ‘Game of Thrones’ characters, thanks to Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams attends the “Game Of Thrones” season 8 premiere on April 3, 2019 in New York City. | Mike Coppola/FilmMagic

The Arya Stark character was a fan favorite even before the show started. She debuted in the A Song of Ice and Fire series in the original book. Arya enthralled readers with her quest for revenge and the lengths she’ll go to get back at the men who wronged her and her family.

After the HBO series premiered, Williams received near-universal acclaim for her performance. Taking everything fans loved about the book Arya, Williams turned up the heat with her incredible acting skills. It was even more impressive knowing she was barely older than her character — just 14 when the show premiered

Williams earned two Emmy Award nominations for portraying Arya. Even as the show faced criticism during the last season, she still came out as one of the least ruined characters, according to many.

Williams almost skipped the audition for a field trip

As iconic as Williams’ portrayal of Arya has become, it almost didn’t happen. In 2014, the BBC reported from the English village of Clutton, aka Williams’ hometown. Having returned to visit with old friends and raise awareness for the village’s needs, the actor spoke about how close she came to skipping the audition years earlier.

According to Williams, she nearly left on a school field trip to a pig farm the same day she planned to go to London for the audition. She’d recently lost out on another role (her first audition, in fact) — that of Megsie in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. Making it to the final two only to ultimately fail put a damper on her spirits and made her doubt if she could make it as an actor after all.

 “At the time, I was really disappointed,” Williams said, referring to that original audition, “but I now realize that I did well to get that far.” She noted she learned a lot from the experience. Maisie Williams expected to learn something from another rejection at the Game of Thrones audition, but instead, she landed the part.

Williams’ exciting career since the end of ‘GoT’

Having established herself as one of the most talented actors of her generation, Williams has landed several roles since the show came to a close. There’s quite a bit of variety in her choices, too.

Maisie Williams’ first non-Game of Thrones role came in the short film The Olympic Ticket Scalper, where she performed with Sir Patrick Stewart. Williams also recurred in Doctor Who as Ashildr. On stage, she played Caroline in the 2018 Hampstead Theatre production of I and You. And she made her way into the superhero genre with the X-Men flick The New Mutants and the Netflix movie iBoy

Williams also returned to the role that made her famous. Arya in the bizarre-but-intriguing WB crossover fighting game MultiVersus. But it’s safe to assume she didn’t have to audition this time around.

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