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As Arya and Sansa Stark...

... we have Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, respectively.

These were the toughest ones to find clues for, since neither one can be found on IMDB, YouTube, Google, or any of the other places I searched. When you google Maisie's name, however, you get a bunch of hits for Maizie Williams, a singer for an old pop group called Boney M. But of course THAT Maizie Williams was not our Arya, hence the clue that one player was NOT a boney pop singer.

Here's our Arya:

Sophie Turner was just as hard to find. No, she's not the middle-aged actress who played in the DR. WHO episode. She's not any of the other Sophie Turners that google will turn up, either. I thought about trying to cobble together some kind of "not Sophie Tucker" clue, but finally gave it up as a bad idea, and in the end I never did drop a hint for Sophie.

Here's Sansa:

(That's not the best picture, I know. Sorry, didn't have a lot to choose from. I am sure better pictures of both Maisie and Sophie will be forthcoming).

You guys cannot possibly know how hard these roles were to cast. I've viewed dozens of readings for both girls. Sweet kids, some with great looks, all of them bright and eager and enthusiastic... but good child actors are rare. Maisie brought Arya alive in a way that none of the other kids could match, right from the first. Sophie read two scenes; the scene with Arya on the kingsroad, and a much later one when Joff is forcing her to look at the heads on the walls. Two very different sides of the character. She knocked 'em both out of the park.

I think you're going to love these girls. I know I do.


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
IF you are happy, then I am estatic! I have ultimate faith in you! They are gonna be super! Can't wait to see their promo photos.
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
My exact thoughts.
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
Oh wow, not really the easiest parts to play during your casting! Especially for young girls like these.

I'm dying to know/see how Sophie portrayed her second scene (with the heads), only reading it almost made me cry.

Even though the pics aren't the best, I'm like both girls already.
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
I am so excited!
Mar. 4th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
yea me too , just so amazing
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:52 am (UTC)
She doesn't have a 'horse-face'. I guess that's good. Good looking girls both. Congrats to them on their big break. Way to go George!
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:06 am (UTC)
thank you for the updates! i'm so excited for this!
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
Maizie looks exactly how I always pictured Arya, perfect. Can't really tell for Sansa from that pic though, hopefully people will dig up a better picture of her soon.
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
Hah, I knew their thing say (Dr Who) for Sophie Turner had to be wrong! They are both adorable! I love how spunky Maizie is, she's a really good person for Arya!
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Ooooh, this post makes me happy. The girls look lovely and sound amazing - can't wait to see them both on screen. Thanks for the news!
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Can't tell very easily about the girl playing Sansa, but Arya looks perfect!
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)
well, the Sophie Turner that kept appearing on Google picture search did seem a bit old for the part..
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for finding pics for us. I didn't have luck googling Arya's actress. I wonder how she would look holding "Needle"...
Aug. 21st, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
They look so cute, and already look the parts!
Aug. 21st, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
Not much of a "horse-face" on Arya. Gotta disagree with some others who have posted.
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
As I recall, Arya is supposed to get her looks mostly from the Stark bloodline and Sean Bean doesn't really have a horse face either, nor does Kit Harrington.

I also agree with the comment below by Metalgoddess, she looks perfect when compared to several artist depictions, especially the one she mentions.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
I agree Tygroth. I always took "Horse-face" with a grain of salt. I think only a couple people called her that (I think it was Sansa and Jayne) and I think they were just trying to be mean. Kids, especially siblings who are so different, say mean things all the time. They don't really have to be literal or true. She is supposed to be a tomboy, and her looks aren't supposed to be "princessy" or delicate like Sansa, but that doesn't mean she necessarily has to have a long, literally horse-like face.

I think she looks perfect for the part. Sansa too, although I wonder if they're going to change her hair, since Sansa isn't blond. In the end, it's the story and acting I care about more though :) and it sounds like everything is working out well so far. I'm stoked!
Aug. 25th, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
i agree fully
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Arya is absolutely one of my favorite characters from your series...
There is a drawing of her in the artbook that sums up what I pictured her as...the small one with the dagger and the pigeon? do you know the one I am talking about? Of all the artists depictions of her, THAT is the one I think gets the closest in my minds eye. and from this small photo above, this actress has that look...so I am happy, and really look forward to her interpretation of Arya.
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
The article on Hollywood Reporter made the mistake of saying that our Sophie Turner was the Doctor Who one. :)
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
SOooooo absolutely geeked at these particular castings. Both seem perfect. Maizie (Arya) in particular seems to fit the look and build perfectly.

So far the overall casting is amazing. I can't wait to pick up my HBO subscription.
Aug. 21st, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
I think Maizie looks a bit like Ashley Greene in Twilight. But she's cute. Looks better than how I imagined Arya though... Good choices nevertheless.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Arya is one of my favorite characters. I think that little girl will do fine. She looks the part.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
Good Arya (trust GRRM's sensibility for their acting) but I wish Sansa would be much prettier (I really saw her as a medieval knock out beauty with soft, rose edges *the prettier, more fragile version of Dany looks wise).
Dec. 30th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm.
If you'd direct your attention to the below link, I think she's actually spot-on for Sansa if she has her hair dyed:

Dec. 30th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: hmmm.
She's the one on the left
Aug. 22nd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to seeing more about them - Arya is my favorite character by a mile, so I hope Maisie is up to the task.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 08:36 am (UTC)
The scene you mention of Sansa viewing the heads on the wall has always been the most specific in my mind when I read it. I see Sansa and Joff in focus with the back of the head blurry in the forground, just to the edge of the shot. I think it's all the more horrible if we never get to see the head clearly.

As for the actresses, I look forward to some better pics. I always suspected that a TV Arya would be more attractive than the book Arya, who I picture as somewhat horse-faced. I'm not surprised that I was right. I think there's a law about putting unattractive people on TV. I can only imagine what Brianne will look like.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
I *fear* how attractive they will try to make Brianne. :S

Who and what she is should be enough to endear her to the people who would love that character. Making her pretty could only be a cheap attempt to get people who wouldn't otherwise like her to at least warm to the idea of her.

My fingers are crossed for a realistic depiction, but my hopes aren't terribly high.
Aug. 23rd, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
I agree. It would change who Brianne is to make her too attractive. There's ugly, then there's TV ugly, which isn't very ugly.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
Horse-faced doesn't necessarily mean ugly. For example, I'd say Jennifer Garner is kind of horse faced. Long face, rather big teeth, etc. I believe Arya is also mentioned as resembling Lyanna, who seems to have been rather popular with men.

That said, it's true that Maisie doesn't really look horse faced. I don't think following the exact descriptions is as important as getting the basic feel of the character, though. Arya needs to be kind of plain-looking, able to pass for a boy, but also not look awful to the point that growing up to look a bit like her Aunt did is out the question. I hope we get a better picture soon, but I'd say Maisie fits those criteria pretty well.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Sansa is probably my favorite character from the book, not for the character itself, but for how she dealt with the difficulties around her. Part of what attracted me about Sansa was the sort of dual personality that the character had: symbolizing both vulnerability and innocence in a virulent world (IE: Her naivety during the invasion of King's Landing) and embodying the cunning and resolve to get past difficult situations (IE: Playing the daughter of Littlefinger). If, as the original poster mentioned, the actress demonstrates the sort of acting range needed to accurately portray Sansa, then I am all the more enthused about this casting.
Aug. 23rd, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Arya's actress doesn't look much like her to me, but esp. with child actors, acting skill is FAR more important than looking the part because it's so rare...
Oct. 9th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Dang tried to get an audition couldnt get one
COngrats to Maisie!
We are realy envious but seriously we wish you the very very best!!!
Have a great time on set!!! Its an awesome role...
My daughter Margot Berner tried to get an audition for Arya but we just didnt have the right connections! Sucks living in Canada sometimes...

George - If you ever need a kid actor again please contact us - Our whole family loves your work and think you are brilliant - !
Next time we dont want to miss the boat!
Margot would love to audition for you another day!
She was probably too old for the role (at 12 she plays 9 - 10 cause shes small) I know you were looking for a younger actress.

( Covering the bases in case anything will come of this...)

Margot is an actress best known role -she was the creepy kid that ate her mother in Supernatural episode "The Kids Are Alright"
She has a sword fighting link on you tube... just type in Margot Berner.

Seriously to Misie to get this role you must be an amazing actor - great job - have a wonderful time on set - and stay away from crafty until the end of the day... (Margot's warning - she made herself sick one day on set eating too much garbage at crafty)

Nov. 28th, 2009 06:54 am (UTC)
Oh, this makes me so excited! Both of these girls look like they'll be excellent for the parts! And heck, if you approve, then who are we to disapprove, right? These characters are your babies!

I can't wait. This is going to be spectacular!
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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