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Game Of Thrones Fame Is Bittersweet And Maisie Williams Has Decided To Instead Prioritise Her Mental Health

"It's not worth it."

Maisie Williams was 13 years old when she joined the cast of Game of Thrones as the definitive fan favourite Arya Stark, and now at 22, she’s being very frank about how the past eight years have affected her mental health.

In an interview on the Happy Place podcast, Williams admits that her mental health and self-esteem suffered because of the extreme fame brought on by the Game of Thrones franchise and the social media criticism that is inevitably paired with that.

“It got to me a lot, because there’s just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you,” Williams explained.

“It got to the point where I’d be in a conversation with my friends and my mind would be running and running and running and thinking about all the stupid things I’d said in my life, and all of the people that had looked at me a certain way, and it would just race and race and race,” she said. “We’d be talking and I’d be like, ‘I hate myself.’”

Maisie Williams has made it abundantly clear time and time again how grateful and appreciative she is of her opportunity to be a part of Game of Thrones, and publicly sharing the darker side of that experience is a bold stand for the importance of mental health.

In spite of the perks of fame, notoriety and money that came with her role, Williams has decided that fame is “not worth it.” So, as the series comes to a close, Maisie Williams plans to take a break from acting.

“Honestly, I want a normal life,” she said. “I don’t want any of this crazy, crazy world because it’s not worth it.”

Williams opened up about the pressure she felt to assure herself and others that “everything is fine” because her situation was so envied. But understandably, going through your teen years with that immense scrutiny took its toll.

“It gets to a point where you’re almost craving something negative so you can sit in a hole of sadness, and it’s really bizarre the way it starts to consume you.” She said.

It seems it was only last year that Maisie Williams developed a hold on self-care and “just took a step away from it all.”

“Last year, I think in my own personal life, I went through a lot of revelations where I was like, ‘I’m not very happy doing this and pretending that everything’s fine’. She said.

“That wasn’t like a public thing, but after going through that, I’ve tried to be a lot more genuine. It just becomes a lot more relaxing after that. Once you drop it all, that’s when you can really have fun.”

She’s still working on her self-care, admitting that.

“I still lie in bed at, like, 11 o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself,” Williams said. “It’s just really terrifying that you’re ever going to slip back into it. That’s still something that I’m really working on, because I think that’s really hard. It’s really hard to feel sad and not feel completely defeated by it.”

Maisie’s co-star and best friend Sophie Turner similarly has opened up about mental health challenges she faced amidst the extreme fame. Talking about the struggles that were coupled with their Game of Thrones experiences is a brave way to help debunk myths around mental health and success.

Guys, Arya Is Not Secretly Dead, That’s One Game Of Thrones Theory That Won’t Fly

Stop trying to make afterlife Arya happen, it’s NOT going to happen.

With the Game of Thrones grand finale fast approaching, we are in peak fan theory mode. If you haven’t watched the penultimate episode of the final season, you’re about to see spoilers.

The final shot of episode five saw Arya Stark miraculously survive the carnage in King’s Landing (inflicted by the now-cracked-her-shit Queen Daenerys). In the ashen rubble Arya is approached by a blood-soaked white horse – like the one she rode into King’s Landing on.

The general consensus for that scene is that the cinematography was beautiful, though the appearance of the horse was pretty random. Was it a nod to the reference of Dany seeing death riding in on a white horse? Was it Bran Stark sending an Uber for his little sis? Was it just a beautiful post-chaos moment of survival?

Hard to say.

But now one theory that’s making the rounds is that Arya is actually dead. Props to Reddit user HelheimX, their theory is very detailed and complex. It calls back to her time training with the Faceless Men, contending that Arya is actually the Queen of death, and has died and be reborn many times before.

“When Arya was in the House of Black & White, she was blinded by the Faceless Man. He then drinks the poison meant to kill Arya to die for her and therefore he ultimately strips Arya of her name in a final death. She goes to reveal his true face and sees herself. Why? Because Arya has lived many times just like her brother Bran.”

The theory is a bit confusingly complex, which makes it unlikely to come to fruition in the final episode of Game of Thrones, if not only because there is not time to explain this. It’s a lot like the theories we all had for the White Walker story arc, which ended up being much less complex in the actual show.

There are fans theorising a much simpler version of the above, that simply suggests that Arya died in the Kings Landing carnage and the final scene was something from the afterlife.

Admittedly, in episode five there were plenty of moments where it seemed that Arya Stark had died. But seeing as Game of Thrones is not one for ambiguity when killing off key characters, and seeing as we have seen Arya in the teaser for the final episode, the ghost theory seems wildly unlikely.

Although fans have criticised the writing of this final season, introducing an Arya-is-a-ghost plot in the final episode is not something we can reasonably expect to see.

It’s more likely that Arya miraculously survived the burning of King’s Landing for the same reason Jon Snow and our other main characters have survived an improbably number of battles and near-death experiences. Because they are main characters.

The theory that does stand up is that Arya fulfils the prophecy by closing green eyes forever. Cersei is dead, but Arya vowed to kill the queen and there is another green-eyed, tyrannical queen that needs taking care of now. We just pray Arya doesn’t die in the process.

The Official, Mathematical Top 10 Best TV Shows Ever Have Been Decided To End Your Debates

If you trust IMDb voters.

Everyone seems to really enjoy diving head first into arguments of the respective quality of different pop culture creations, so why not throw some fuel on the fire with this semi-official top 10 TV show calculation?

The list was created by Reddit user wittmannf, who used the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) crowd-sourced ratings to rank the series. To start, they narrowed down the choices to IMDb’s top 250 highly-rated shows – which were ranked based on the mean rating of all episodes of each series.

IMDb ratings are culminations of public ratings that are registered with the site, so for democratic fairness/statistical significance wittmannf excluded shows that had less than 50k ratings.

That took some popular shows out of the running, especially if they are more recent released that have not yet garnered a huge audience. The science of it isn’t perfect, but it’s something.

With the shows that remained, wittmanf ranked the top 10 by averaging out the ratings for all of the episodes, but also listed the show’s series rating. The difference between these is interesting, and so are the winners.

As you can see, the Japanese anime series Attack on Titan came out well and truly victorious.  

In second place we have the 2014 Cosmos science documentary series hosted by the one and only Neil deGrasse Tyson. I think as a civilisation we can be proud of this.

From there we’ve got plenty of binge-worthy options, including Game of Thrones just sneaking into fourth place. Depending on the upcoming show finale we may or may not see GoT move up or down this ranking, though seeing as fans seem to love to be negative it’s good to keep expectations low.

Of course, IMDb is not necessarily the perfect platform from which to calculate show value, but the listed shows are undoubtedly pretty damn good.

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