A woman who bears a striking resemblance to Arya Stark, on the HBO series Game of Thrones can be seen cosplaying as the character in a series of photos despite thinking she doesn’t look like the Game of Thrones star at all.
Photos of Stefany Lauren of Toronto, Canada, show the 22-year-old in full costume and holding her trusted sword, Needle, along with other striking shots that display Stefany in her everyday life where she could easily be mistaken for actress Maisie Williams.
But despite being told by multiple people including Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor on the show, that she looks like the 21-year-old actress, she doesn’t see the resemblance.
Identical: Stefany Lauren, 22, of Toronto, Canada, (left) cosplays as Arya Stark, Maisie Williams, 21, character on the HBO series Game of Thrones
Skeptical: Despite being told by multiple people that she looks like the 21-year-old actress, she doesn’t see the resemblance
She said: ‘If I’m being honest, I don’t actually see any resemblance between us, other than the fact that we both have power brows.’
‘It was something that I was told for years but only recently did I ever start to play into it. I do however strongly remember a time when I was 16 or 17 and I was about to post a video before I finally caught a glimpse of what they were saying.’
‘In a panic, I promptly deleted it. Looking back on that now, it’s comical because there’s nothing wrong with having a similarity to someone else. It doesn’t diminish who you are as an individual.’
‘I did meet Kristian Nairn recently though and he absolutely lost his mind over the likeness of myself and my friends, which was super cool. He was such a sweet man and I’m so very thankful that I had the pleasure of saying hello.’
Eyebrows for days: Stefany said that the only resemblance she sees is the fact they both have ‘power brows’
Told for years: Maisie said that she was told for years how much she looked like Maisie
Lost his mind: When she met Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor, she said he lost his mind over their likeness
Stefany was persuaded to cosplay as Arya by her best friend but since dressing as the character, she has also decided to try out a few other of her characters including Ashildr from Doctor Who.
But cosplaying isn’t just for fun as Stefany is a budding actress herself and views the hobby as ‘acting without the audition’.
‘I find an absurd joy in breaking down a character and costume to analyze them,’ she said.
‘For me, a successful cosplay is one that I can fully embody with mannerisms and voice – if I can nail that, I’m happy.’
Trying other characters: Since cosplaying as Arya, Stefany has decided to dress as other characters as well
More than hobby: Stefany is an aspiring actress who views cosplay as ‘acting without the audition’
Happy: Stefany said she’s happiest when she can fully embody with mannerisms and voice of a character
‘Nothing beats that moment when you see someone’s eyes light up because they are seeing their favorite character in the flesh. It’s a strange kind of magic that can really only ever be given through costuming.’
‘People of all ages suspend disbelief for a brief moment and in a world that can be so cruel and harsh, it’s beautiful to see that people still believe in imagination.’
‘When I was doing Rey, the looks on little girls faces as they ran up to me to tell me their hopes and dreams forever warms my heart. I will never forget one mother who came up to me in tears, thanking me for doing what I did because her daughter was heavily bullied for being into “boys’ things'”.
‘In seeing female characters who are celebrated for exactly that portrayed in the media and through cosplay, she found that she wasn’t alone or wrong in liking what she did.’
Nothing better: Stefany said that nothing beats the moment she sees someone’s eyes light up because they are playing their favorite character
Imagination: Stefany said that in a world that can be so cruel and harsh, it’s beautiful to see that people still believe in imagination
Authentic: As a stickler for accuracy Stefany usually makes her costumes herself to try and look like she has just ‘stepped out of the screen’
‘My heart broke for her but I’m forever grateful that I was able to be part of her journey, even in a small way. It was then that I knew that everything I was doing was really worth it.’
Stefany has more than 7,000 followers on Instagram where fans can keep up with her latest Arya Stark pictures.
As a stickler for accuracy Stefany usually makes her costumes herself to try and look like she has just ‘stepped out of the screen’.
‘Sometimes I get incredibly lucky and find something in the wild or previously owned,’ she explained.
‘For instance, my season four costume was made by someone called Chelsey Cosplays and they were looking to find it a home. I snapped that up so quickly that it was stupid. I love it so very much and it’s one of my favorite costumes to wear.’
Crafty: Stefany said that if she’s making a costume herself, she’ll try to re-purpose some of the clothing
Not enjoyable: She said that she doesn’t particularly enjoy sewing but she considers some of her work ‘a small success’
Return: Maisie has been starring as Arya (pictured) Game of Thrones, which will not return until April 2019, since its premiere
‘If I’m making the costume myself, I’ll try to re-purpose anything I can before I head to the actual fabric stores. My doublet was made out of leather from an old sofa. I oiled it and dyed it until it looked how I needed it to and then came the hard part of assembling.’
‘I don’t particularly enjoy sewing as I’m new to the craft but I eyeballed it and now it’s on my body so I consider that a small success.’
‘My goals are to look as if I’ve walked out of the screen not just as if I’ve walked off set, if that makes sense.’
But at least Stefany will have enough time to perfect her Arya costume as the eighth season of the show will not premiere until April 2019.