"We are so screwed," Martin recalled saying early on, adding, "The casting of Arya was particularly difficult, as I somewhat feared it would be; I think we looked at more potential Aryas than any other role in this show."
"I wasn't physically present at the casting — I was back here in New Mexico working on the next book — but I was linked into it on the internet," he continued while speaking to Rolling Stone. "So they would videotape these girls … I think we probably saw like a hundred girls. And at a certain point in the process I was really beginning to say, 'This is a disaster, we can't find anyone here.' "
"These are not parts that require the girls to be cute, and deliver clever little one-liners to put down their idiot father, like you do in a sitcom. These are girls that are gonna go through really huge personal traumas. They're gonna see death and war. They're gonna see people close to them beheaded," Martin went on to say.
After numerous auditions, Williams finally came along and Martin revealed that he and the producers immediately knew that she was the perfect choice for the role.
"Then I saw Maisie's tape, and it was like, 'There she is. There she is. Arya.' She's saying the lines, she's alive, she's got Arya's spirit, you know? ] It was incredible," he shared. "David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] and I said, 'Yeah, we found her, hooray. Send up the skyrockets.' "
Martin later spoke about the casting of Sophie Turner, saying that she "was great also," and revealing that they "found her more quickly."
"And then when we cut the two of them together … I mean, they took to each other almost from the first shoot. Maisie came back from having met Sophie, and she actually told her mother, 'I don't know if I'm gonna get it or not, but I hope this other girl I met there gets it because she's great.' "0comments
Ultimately, when it comes to the casting on Game of Thrones, Martin said he has "to give an immense amount of credit to our casting director, Nina Gold," for how much dedication and commitment she put into finding the right actors for the roles.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m.