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Game of Thrones star left social media because of fan backlash

Social media reactions for stars of a hit TV series or movie can be brutal, but for one Game of Thrones star, it got so bad that they had to leave social media.

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Sometimes, an actor will play a TV or movie villain so well, they end up becoming the subject of hate on social media. This is obviously stupid, because the characters they play are not real — but the online harassment they face definitely is. This is especially true when it comes to series like Game of Thrones, and no one knows this better than Faye Marsay, who, after playing the Waif in the fantasy series faced relentless backlash on social media.

In an interview with The Independent, she explained how fans were so outraged by her character’s treatment of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) she ultimately had to “take a step back” from the internet.

“After Thrones came out, there was quite intense backlash at one point,” she recalled. “Just because of the character I played. [The fans] hated her. Because Maisie’s character was, like, the one – and there I am, hitting her with a stick.” The Andor cast member added, “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!”

Someone who can undoubtedly relate to Marsay’s experience is fellow Game of Thrones star Bella Ramsey. When cast as Ellie in The Last of Us TV series, they faced an onslaught of social media abuse.

In an interview with The New York Times, the actor admitted that the cruel abuse they faced on social media when the news broke had a lasting impact on their confidence.

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“It’s the first time I’ve ever had a negative reaction to something,” the actor explained. “There would be times I’d find it funny. Then I’d get to the end of a 10-minute scrolling session, put my phone down and realize: Maybe that was a bad idea. It’s only recently that I’ve accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor, but this will last for a few weeks, and then I’ll think I’m terrible again. That’s just the process.”

For more on Ramsey’s portrayal of Ellie, which is set to continue with another season, check out our guide to the Last of Us season 2 release date. Or, return to the world of Westeros with our guides to the House of the Dragon cast and the House of the Dragon season 2 release date.