Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame has reached the ripe old age of 19 years old today (15 April). The teen made her professional acting debut as Arya Stark in the HBO fantasy television series for which she has won a slew of accolades including the EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama and the Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress.
So in celebration of her birthday and phenomenal television success, IBTimes UK recaps on the Bristolian star's best moments in the hit show as the tomboyish ingénue from a noble family.
1. When Jon Snow gives her Needle, not realising he's created a monster
Arya has become a force to be reckoned with during GoT so far, and season one reveals a touching moment between the feisty youngster and the show's now deceased resident heart-throb Jon Snow (Kit Harington). The emotion in the scene is palpable as the Stark household say their goodbyes and Jon presents his little sister with one final gift. Receiving Needle is a defining moment for Arya and shows Williams' heart and depth to the character, making it the perfect introduction.
2. That time she killed a stable boy because he told her what to do
The stable boy is an unnamed minor character in the first season, played by guest star Hugo Culverhouse, and tries to stop Arya as she retrieves Needle from a baggage cart in the Red Keep during the massacre of the Stark household. When he has a pop at her and then tries to grab her, Arya turns around and stabs him in the belly. No messing with this one. Yikes.
3. Her bonding sessions with Tywin Lannister get us all choked up
The unlikely duo spark up a special kinship during the second season of GoT as Arya becomes his cupbearer. Though not aware of Arya's honourable upbringing, Tywin sniffs out the fact that she's not a mere commoner and they develop a mutual respect for one another. He's the first person she opens up to about her father's death and Twyin constantly praises her for her sharpness and ambitions. Makes a change from her usual killing sprees.
4. Arya kills villainous Ser Meryn Trant with ultimate sass
She doesn't seem to comprehend the full meaning of the gift of death, but Arya goes to town during the season five finale of Game of Thrones when she crosses off another villain from her list. Ser Meryn Trant gets the pleasure of being stabbed multiple times in the eyes and then torso by the less-than-gracious Ms Stark, because she blames him for killing Syrio Forel – the man hired by Ned Stark to train her with a sword. Again, we wouldn't want to get in little Arya's bad books, or on her infamous hit list, for that matter.
Season six of Game of Thrones returns on Sunday, 24 April on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK.