Maisie Williams (born 15 April 1997) is an English actress, best known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which earned her a Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television (2012), Portal Award for Best Young Actor (2012), BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actor (2013), Scream Award for Best Ensemble nomination (2011), and Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actress nomination (2013).
Williams was born in Bristol, South West England, to mother Hilary Williams, a former university course administrator. She grew up in Somerset, and is the youngest of four children. She attended Clutton Primary School and Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton before moving to Bath Dance College to study Performing Arts.
Since 2011, Williams has played Arya Stark, a tomboyish young girl from a noble family, in the HBO fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. It was her first role, and she was the first child actor in the show whose character killed another onscreen. She received acclaim for her performance. Williams continued to garner praise in the show's second season and HBO submitted her for consideration as Outstanding Supporting Actress at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards. She won the 2012 Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television, and the Portal Award for Best Young Actor. At 15 years of age, Williams is the youngest ever to win the Best Supporting Actress category. In March 2013 she was nominated for a Young Artist Award as Best Young Supporting Actress in a TV Series and, in November 2013, won a BBC Radio 1 Teen Award for Best British Actor.
In 2012, Williams played Loren Caleigh in the BBC series The Secret of Crickley Hall and appeared in a Funny or Die skit titled The Olympic Ticket Scalper. She also appeared in the independent films Heatstroke (2012) and Gold (2013), and the short films Corvidae (2013) and Up On The Roof (2013). In addition, Williams has signed to play Lorna Thompson in the sci-fi film We Are Monsters, which is currently in pre-production and set for a 2014 release. Williams will also play as Lydia in the British film The Falling, which is currently filming and set for 2014 release.
Williams has stated that her "first love" is dancing.
Williams is a friend of actress Sophie Turner, who plays her character's sister, Sansa Stark, in Game of Thrones. They met during their auditions, with Williams discovering she got the part two weeks after Turner.