« I am a firm believer in being ambitious – if you don’t take part in the race then you can’t sulk if you don’t win. It’s not about being cut-throat or taking opportunities away from others, it’s about working as hard as you possibly can to attain your own personal goal – if you’re wanting to pursue what you dream of doing for the rest of your life then you have to count yourself in the race if you want to succeed. »

« I’m a dinosaur when it comes to social media. I don’t have any personal accounts, so I don’t really know if there’s much attention. I’m aware because of the shows and there is some element of hype behind it. But I genuinely, genuinely don’t try to engage on that front. I try to keep myself relatively private. I don’t really look for anything so it’s not really there in my periphery. »

« I think it’s important to do your own projects that mean a lot to you individually rather than be associated with someone else. I’m a big believer in doing your own thing. »

« Right now I feel that, fundamentally, I would like to be doing this for the rest of my life, if I’m lucky enough. And I feel that with longevity in my mind, I would like to play the full-on long game, and I feel that with that personally – and this is just my own opinion – that needs range and that needs versatility and that needs to keep people guessing, and to hopefully show the different range that you can do. And so I’m wanting to do different projects, whereby it stretches me in that way. And how fortunate I am to be able to do that right now, and I never know how long it would last for. »

« I’m really drawn to self-reliant, strong characters – I love the bite that these women have. They’re dominant in their own worlds and they take control. With Ygritte, I love the fact that she’s brilliant at archery and as a result, she can stand up to anyone ten times her size because she’s proficient in her art. »

[about private life] « I think I would have been incredibly naive in setting out into this industry and thinking that is not something you sacrifice. I’m fully aware, and I know all the other cast members are, that is something you kind of give up if you are lucky enough to be on a show of this magnitude. I do feel there is some power within the actor to either embrace that or not, and so you can either put yourself out there with Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, or you can hang back on the sidelines. It’s obviously a personal preference, and it’s a wonderful thing to still be given opportunities, but I don’t think it has to be the be-all end-all. »

« Family, for me, is the most important thing because it is constant and real. Much as I love my job, it picks you up and it puts you down. »

« My plan B has always been psychology. I’m fascinated at observing human nature and body langage, and I think it kind of correlates with what an actor does in that respect. So if my career dries up, I reckon that will be my next conquest. »

[about seeing gifs of her on internet] « I think it’s a lovely thing to experience. Also it’s great to know the character is still being loved and still living on through the Internet. It’s a nice accolade. »

« My favourite memory from any job – and I think it’s going to be very hard to surpass – was being in Iceland where we filmed [Game of Thrones] for 7 months. Every scene was beautiful; oh my God it’s just breathtaking, whether we were on a frozen lake or up in the mountains or just surrounded by this extraordinary landscape. I felt like I was on the moon sometimes. »

« Spending three years at drama school really helped to prepare me for the challenges of the industry. When you’re in that bubble, you’re constantly told by older students and teachers that it’s never going to be an easy path. It will be fluctuant, there will be (hopefully sporadic) moments of unemployment. The advice we received meant that none of the graduates in my year expected an easy ride. So whenever anything seemingly disastrous has happened, I’ve always overridden it with the knowledge that I should pipe down, because at least I’m actually working. »

« I think the wonderful thing about having gone to drama school is they made every single person well aware of just how cut-throat and hard this industry can be. So I was all too aware that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. »

« I’m extremely close to my mum. She’s a wise woman whom I admire so much. When I was cast as Ygritte, she ploughed through the books and became a fan of the show. Dad was not, though, as interested in Game of Thrones as my mum. We once bumped into each other at Heathrow – he was on a business trip, I was flying out to Iceland for season three of the series. He said, ‘Rosie! What are you doing here?’ And when I explained, he said vaguely, ‘Yes, yes. I think I knew about that show.’ Not too sure he did, though. »

« I wish I were as tough and strong as the women that I’m lucky enough to portray. I suddenly feel that I’ve learned a lot when it comes to standing up for your beliefs and answering back if you think that something is wrong, or if you’re passionate about something you believe in. »