Game of Thrones actress Faye Marsay, who played the character of the Waif, recently opened up about the backlash she received on social media for her role in the hit series.
Speaking to The Independent, the actor revealed that she took a “step back” from social media following the intense backlash she received from fans of the show.
“After Thrones came out, there was quite an intense backlash at one point. Just because of the character I played,” Marsay explained. ” [The fans] hated her. Because Maisie’s character was, like, the one — and there I am, hitting her with a stick.”
Marsay’s character, the Waif, was a member of the Faceless Men and was responsible for training Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, in the art of assassination. However, fans of the show did not take kindly to her character’s treatment of Arya and expressed their anger towards Marsay on social media.
The Andor star also spoke about the negative effects of social media, saying, “Social media can be a brutal tool, and we all know it. Look at the mental health crisis that young people are going through right now — that’s not just because of the pandemic or teenage angst!”
Marsay’s experience with online bullying is unfortunately not uncommon in the entertainment industry. Many actors and actresses have spoken out about the negative impact of social media and the hate they receive from fans.
However, not all Game of Thrones actors have had such negative experiences. Jack Gleeson, who played the infamous villain Joffrey Baratheon on the show, revealed at a fan convention in December 2022 that he has never had any negative fan experiences.
“A lot of people come up to me because I guess this rumor started that people were horrible to me on the street or I get attacked… whereas I’ve never had one negative experience,” Gleeson said, adding, “I feel like people are extra nice to me because they think people attack me, so maybe I should keep the rumor going.”
The issue of online bullying and the impact of social media on mental health continues to be a growing concern, not just in the entertainment industry but for people of all ages and backgrounds. Hopefully, by speaking out about their experiences, actors like Marsay can help raise awareness and promote positive change.