The end of HBO's hit fantasy epic Game of Thrones will be a sad event for its millions of fans around the world, but star Maisie Williams can't wait for the curtain to fall on the series that made her a household name.

The show has been an enormous part of the 20-year-old's life, but she's eager for it to end so she has more free time. "I'm really excited for Game of Thrones to finish and there's going to be time for me to do whatever I want," she told BBC's Newsbeat.

"That's just incredibly exciting and it will be nice to pick roles that I want to do. I can show the world what sort of actress I want to be and shape my career a little bit."

Williams has played Arya Stark since she was 14, and will play an important part in the show in its eighth and final series – expected to air in 2019.

"On one hand it's really nerve-wracking to know that I won't have that support blanket and safety net, but on the other hand I'm free.

"I'd love to do a British independent film, I'd love to make it and I'd love to be in it. There are a couple of directors that I'd love to work with – [former Gamesmaster host] Dexter Fletcher being one. I'd like to just do some work here, for Britain."

Since becoming a star thanks to the show, Williams' most notable additional role has been in BBC sci-fi favourite Doctor Who.

Next year she'll be making a splash on the big screen, voicing a character in Aardman Animation's caveman comedy Early Man and starring in Fox superhero movie The New Mutants as a girl who can turn into a wolf (called Wolfsbane, obviously).

One thing is for sure, when Game of Thrones ends, Maisie Williams will certainly be keeping herself busy. "Anytime I get to work from home, is downtime," she says. "I think if you stop and do nothing, it drives you insane. Well it does to me anyway.

"I've been lucky enough to be home for a whole month now, which has been wonderful.

"I've just started a production company, so I'm now realising how hard the industry can be. Coming back here and listening to all the films nominated and getting back into watching independent films just makes me realise how much I miss it.

"It's the only place I've ever really wanted to be to be honest."