We all know and love Maisie Williams as fearless Arya Stark from HBO's Game of Thrones. As the seasons have progressed, Arya's childhood pluck blossoms into a singular boldness that has endeared audiences to the strong female character.
Since striking it big as Arya, Williams has been asked all sorts of questions in interviews. But on one of them in particular, concerning Arya's position as a feminist, Williams had a lot to say.
Williams told Entertainment Weekly that in one of her very first interviews, at age 12, she was asked whether Arya was a feminist.
"I didn't even know what a feminist was," Williams said, "I remember thinking, 'Isn't that just like everyone?' And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately."
The 18-year-old added:
But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists "feminists" and just start calling people who aren't feminist "sexist" — and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they're bad. Because it works the other way, as well.
Williams also touched on the controversial scenes in Game of Thrones that have sparked many a Twitter firestorm and the inevitable online think piece.
"A lot of men have it hard, too. On the show specifically, it's always been a constant debate because women are treated badly on the show, and they're treated well on the show. But it's the same as the boys and the girls and the men and the animals," Williams said.
The show's depiction of physical and sexual violence over the seasons has seen strong backlash, but its strong female characters — and outspoken female cast — have also earned praise. But Williams told EW that it can be challenging to speak up when faced with anger.
"I think everybody's allowed to be upset about what they're upset by. And once people are angry about something, you start worrying about saying the right thing instead of just saying what you mean. It's very easy to have an opinion. Everyone's got one. But it's very difficult to speak up about difficult subjects when people are angry with you. People say: 'Why don't you speak up!' [and I'm thinking], 'Because you all got pitchforks and you're ready to kill us!' It's scary if you say something wrong," Williams said.