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Game of Thrones actress back for Mqabba feast

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Malta may be a long way from Westeros, the fantasy world of the massively popular Game of Thrones television series, but young actress Kerry Ingram has both equally close to her heart.

The 17-year old British actress, who played the character of Shireen Baratheon on Game of Thrones for three years, is intimately acquainted with Malta: her grandfather is from Mqabba and she has visited the island for the village feast every year since she was born.

This year, she went one step further, accepting an invitation from the local band club to sing during the celebrations. Despite already having an Olivier Award, the highest honour in British theatre, to her name for her role in the hit musical Matilda, the invitation was one she was honoured to accept.

“I grew up with the feast, learning about it and enjoying it, so it was really nice to be able to take part in it,” she told the Times of Malta, following a brief meeting with culture minister Owen Bonnici in Valletta today. “My Maltese side is really important to me. We’ve been coming out for the feast every year, so it’s very close to my heart.”

Game of Thrones, which filmed large parts of its first season in Malta, has a large following on the island – which Ingram said has made her annual visits even more special.

“I didn’t really know how big it was until just after I was cast just after season two. As the seasons went on, it’s just got more and more popular,” she said, adjusting her hair to reveal earrings in the shape of the eight-pointed cross.

“Malta got it later than the UK, so it’s really great to see the beginning of that sort of fan-base, because I missed it in the UK – I was only 12. It’s really nice to be able to see that again, and enjoy it another country.”

She has been recognised a few times by local fans, although the fact that her character on the series has a large disfiguration on her face makes her “very disguisable”.

“A couple of years ago I was watching the fireworks and somebody took a picture and it ended up on the news, which was really cool,” she said.

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