Sometimes her name is Ashildr. Sometimes her name is just Me. But her face never changes, and it’s the magnificent Maisie Williams – who turns 20 today!
Maisie is a young English actress from Bristol who has become quite the global hit. She is best known as Arya Stark from HBO’s fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. Believe it or not – this was her first professional acting role! As the tomboyish girl from a noble family she is now a household name. She received a lot of critical acclaim for her performance and won numerous awards for the role. She even received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2016.
Elsewhere, Maisie has starred in a number of other films, TV series, and skits. Notable examples include British film The Falling (2014) and docu-drama Cyberbully (2015). She is also set to star as Wolfsbane in 2018 film The New Mutants.
“I’ve always been different. All my life I’ve known that…”
Of course, Maisie is familiar to Doctor Who viewers from her recurring appearances in Series 9. Throughout the 2015 season, she played four different versions of the same character. In The Girl Who Died, she was the smart and headstrong Viking girl Ashildr. After she died helping to save her village, The Doctor brought her back using Mire technology. Now part human and part alien, she became a hybrid. This process also made her immortal, which she considered both a blessing and a curse. We caught up with her again in The Woman Who Lived, now as the Knightmare/Lady Me. The Doctor saved her from Leandro but it was clear she had a dark side.
Then, in Face the Raven she makes a shock reappearance as the Mayor of Trap Street. Her dodgy deal with the Time Lords leads to The Doctor being imprisoned and Clara’s untimely death. Finally, in Hell Bent, The Doctor confronts her as she watches over the end of the universe.
The last time we saw her, Ashildr/Me was essentially Clara’s companion in their American diner TARDIS. It seems Miss Oswald forgave her for playing a pivotal role in her demise! Together they now travel the universe in search of fun and adventure. Ultimately, they will make their way back to Gallifrey – the long way round…
Join us in wishing Maisie a very happy 20th birthday. In appropriately immortal fashion, her character’s impact on Doctor Who will continue to live on!