Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie[a][1] (born 9 February 1987)[1] is a Scottish actress. She is known for her roles as Gwen Dawson in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey and Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. She starred as Maia Rindell for three seasons of the CBS All Access legal and political drama The Good Fight. She was the star of 2022's The Time Traveler's Wife.

Rose Leslie
Rose Leslie (March 2013) (headshot).jpg
Leslie in 2013
Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie

(1987-02-09) 9 February 1987 (age 35)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Alma materLondon Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active2005–present
(m. 2018)

Early life and ancestryEdit

Leslie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland,[2] and raised at Lickleyhead Castle in Aberdeenshire, her family's 15th-century ancestral seat, where she lived until the age of 10.[3] Her father, Sebastian Arbuthnot-Leslie, is the Chieftain of the Aberdeenshire branch of the Scottish Clan Leslie. Her mother is Candida Mary Sibyl "Candy" Leslie (née Weld) of Clan Fraser of Lovat, whose maternal great-grandfather was Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat and a descendant of King Charles II.[4] Through her mother, Leslie is a great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Weld, the sixth prime minister of New Zealand and, through her father, she is a great-great-granddaughter of Don Guillermo Landa y Escandón, who served as governor of Mexico City.[5] Leslie's ancestors include Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps De Lisle, politician Charles March-Phillipps and MP James Grimston, 3rd Earl of Verulam. Her family currently lives at the 12th-century Wardhill Castle in Old Rayne.[6][7][8]

She was first educated at Rayne North School in Aberdeenshire. At 10, she went to Ermitage International School in Maisons-Laffitte, France, where her family lived for 3 years.[9] Upon their return to the UK, she was sent to Millfield, a boarding school in Street, Somerset,[10] before spending three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[11] She won a BASSC certificate in stage combat and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 2008.[11]


Leslie worked for BBC Radio narrating The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People.

Her leading on screen debut came at age 21 in the television film New Town (2009), for which she won the Scottish BAFTA for Best Acting Performance – New Talent Award.[12][13]

In September and October 2010, she became the lead in Nell Leyshon's infamous play Bedlam held at Globe Theatre.[14] Based on the Bethlem Royal Hospital, representative of the worst excesses of asylums in the era of lunacy reform, Leslie portrayed May, a beautiful country girl driven mad by lost love.[15] The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer praised her performance, commenting, "Leslie proves genuinely poignant."[16] Her break-through role came as Gwen Dawson, a housemaid, in the first series (2010–11) of the ITV television drama Downton Abbey.[17] In 2011, while on Downton Abbey, Leslie briefly appeared in two episodes of the British drama series Case Histories.[18][19]

Leslie in 2013 for Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel

In 2012, she was cast in seasons two, three and four of the popular HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones as the wildling Ygritte.[20] The A.V. Club's Rowan Kaiser stated: "As Ygritte, [Rose] is both dangerous and flirtatious, and it's fun to watch."[21] Den of Geek's David Crow exclaimed, "A complicated character [...] Rose Leslie devours the screen."[22] In 2013,'s Emily VanDerWerff (under The A.V. Club) review for "The Climb" episode, "(In the books) Ygritte is a means to an end... (but) on screen, as embodied by Rose Leslie, she becomes something more,"[23] whilst The Atlantic's Christopher Orr summed up her portrayal in the 2014 episode "The Watchers of the Wall" by concluding: "Rose Leslie has been one of a handful of performers on the show who’ve really elevated their characters above what they were in the books."[24]

While on Game of Thrones, Leslie appeared in the 2012 drama film Now Is Good[25] and in episodes of ITV detective television series Vera,[26] Channel 4 conspiracy drama Utopia[27] and BBC One's comedy series Blandings.[28]

From October to November 2014, she appeared in the four-part mini-series The Great Fire.[29] She then starred in the horror film Honeymoon.[30] She has since played DS Emma Lane in the BBC detective drama Luther with positive response[31] and starred in the 2015 action adventure/fantasy film The Last Witch Hunter.[32][33]

She and David Tennant recorded an audiobook version of Carmilla in 2015.[34][35] In 2016, she portrayed the character of Athena in Sticky Notes.[36]

In 2016, Leslie was cast in The Good Fight, a CBS All Access legal drama and spin off of The Good Wife. She plays Maia Rindell, a young lawyer who just passed the bar exam and whose family is involved in a financial scam, destroying her reputation. The first episode aired in February 2017.[37] In July 2019, it was revealed that Leslie would not return for the show's fourth season.[38]

In 2017 Leslie provided the voice for the female protagonist "En" in the video game Echo, a game by Copenhagen-based game developer Ultra Ultra.[39]

In October 2019 Leslie was cast as Louise Bourget in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Death on The Nile. The film was released on 11 February 2022.[40]

In January 2020, Leslie joined the cast of BBC's and World Productions's drama series Vigil, which premiered in 2021.[41]

HBO has confirmed that The Time Traveler's Wife based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger and starring Theo James and Rose Leslie, has been canceled after one season.[42]

Personal lifeEdit

Leslie became fluent in French while living with her family in France during her pre-adolescent years. While working as an actress, she lived in Battersea, London, until moving to North London.[43] She often refers to missing Aberdeen, saying "I feel very much at peace in Scotland."[43]

In 2011, Leslie began dating Kit Harington, who had played her love interest, Jon Snow, in Game of Thrones. They married on 23 June 2018.[44] In September 2020, Leslie posed for a magazine photo shoot visibly pregnant.[45] Their son was born in January 2021.

Politics and other interestsEdit

Leslie supported Scotland remaining as part of the United Kingdom during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign.[46] At the 2015 UK general election, she campaigned with the Conservatives in her local constituency of Gordon.[47]

She sees herself as a runner and enjoys rock climbing, cooking,[48] skiing, archery, and tennis.[11]

She is a patron of the charity Firefly International.[49]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012 Now Is Good Fiona [25]
2014 Honeymoon Bea [30]
2015 The Last Witch Hunter Chloe [32]
2016 The Backup Dancer Athena US title: Sticky Notes [36]
2016 Morgan Amy Menser [50]
2022 Death on the Nile Louise [51]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2008 Banged Up Abroad Kim Episode: "Lima"
2009 New Town Rhian Television film [12]
2010, 2015 Downton Abbey Gwen Dawson Main role (season 1); guest role (season 6) [18]
2011 Case Histories Laura Wyre 2 episodes [18]
2012 Vera Lena Holgate Episode: "The Ghost Position" [26]
2012–2014 Game of Thrones Ygritte Recurring role (season 2); main role (seasons 3–4) [20]
2014 Blandings Niagra Donaldson Episode: "Custody of the Pumpkin" [28]
2014 Utopia Young Milner Episode #2.1 [27]
2014 The Great Fire Sarah Farriner 4 episodes [29]
2015 Luther Emma Lane Series 4 [31]
2016 Revolting Rhymes Red Riding Hood (voice) 2 episodes
2017–2019 The Good Fight Maia Rindell Main role (seasons 1–3) [37][52]
2019 Saturday Night Live Herself Episode: "Kit Harington / Sara Bareilles" [53]
2021 Vigil Kirsten Longacre Miniseries
2022 The Time Traveler's Wife Clare Main role [54]

Video gameEdit

Year Title Role Ref.
2017 Echo En [55]


Year Title Venue / touring theatre Director Ref
2005–2015 Mixed Up North Touring
Wilton's Music Hall
Octagon Theatre
Max Stafford-Clark [11]
Romeo and Juliet Love and Madness Company John Link
Can-Can LAMDA Anne Durham
Pericles Rodney Cottier
The Learned Ladies Jenny Lipman
The Caucasian Chalk Circle Touring
Out of Joint Theatre Company
MacOwan Theatre
John Baxter
Breaking Barriers in Burnley Out of Joint Theatre Company Robin Soans & Clark
Uncle Vanya LAMDA Colin Cook
Antigone Mark Bell kings
The Children's Monologues Royal Court Theatre Danny Boyle
Bedlam Globe Theatre Nell Leyshon

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2009 British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards Best Acting Performance New Town Won
2013 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
(shared with the cast)
Game of Thrones Nominated


  1. ^ This British person has the barrelled surname Arbuthnot-Leslie, but is known by the surname Leslie.


  1. ^ a b "Rose Leslie". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Downton Abbey web-site". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  3. ^ McDonald, Toby (12 October 2011). "Downton Abbey maid Rose Leslie grew up a Scottish castle Lady". Daily Record. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  4. ^ Smith, Emma (12 May 2013). "Aberdeenshire castle where Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie was born is put on the market for £1.3 million". Daily Record. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  5. ^ "'Juego de Tronos': Descubrimos los orígenes aristocráticos de Rose Leslie ante su boda con Kit Harington" (in Spanish). Antena 3. 23 June 2018.
  6. ^ Leslie, Sebastian. "Warthill Castle". About Scotland. Archived from the original on 24 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Clan Leslie, Aberdeenshire Council". Aberdeenshire Council. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Obituary Jillian Ada Burcher". Newsletter of Clan Leslie Society of Australia and New Zealand, CLANZ. December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Qui Est Rose Leslie, la girlfriend de Kit Harington?". Le Figaro. 4 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Old Millfieldian Society". Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d "Rose Leslie" (PDF). London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "New Talent Awards in 2009". The BAFTA site: Scotland. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 12 March 2009. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  13. ^ "Awards and Nominations". LAMDA. The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Review of Nell Leyshon's Bedlam at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London 2010". London Theatre. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Rose Leslie CV". Hamilton Hodell. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Bedlam, Globe Theatre, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Downton Abbey web-site". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  18. ^ a b c "Case Histories, Series 1, Case Histories – Part 1". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Cast and Credits". PBS. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Rose Leslie: 'It was hard to say goodbye to Ygritte'". The Guardian. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  21. ^ Kaiser, Rowan. "GAME OF THRONES RECAP 6: THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW". Press Play. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Game of Thrones: The Watchers On The Wall Review". Den of Geek. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Game of Thrones (experts): "The Climb" (for experts)". 6 May 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  24. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer; Orr, Christopher; Sullivan, Amy (8 June 2014). "The One Disappointing Thing About That Huge Game of Thrones Battle". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Now Is Good (2012) – Cast, Crew & Credits". Moviefone. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  26. ^ a b "'Vera,' Episode 5: 'The Ghost Position'". KCET. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  27. ^ a b Jeffery, Morgan (16 October 2013). "'Game of Thrones' star Rose Leslie joins 'Utopia' series 2". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Blandings, Series 2, Custody of the Pumpkin". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  29. ^ a b "ITV casting announcement of The Great Fire". ITV Press Centre. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  30. ^ a b Collis, Clark (12 September 2014). "Rose Leslie's 'Honeymoon' turns horrible in new clip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Luther series 4 episode 2 review". Den of Geek. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Vin Diesel's Bushy 'The Last Witch Hunter' Beard". Bloody Disgusting. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  33. ^ Mr. Disgusting (6 August 2015). "New 'The Last Witch Hunter' Trailer Pits Vin Diesel in the Middle of a Witch War!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  34. ^ Biedenharn Updated, Isabella (27 October 2015). "Listen to 'Doctor Who's' David Tennant and 'Game of Thrones' star Rose Leslie read a gothic tale". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  35. ^ "Six of the best vampires, chosen by Rose Leslie, actress". The Times. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  36. ^ a b Lesnick, Silas (4 June 2014). "Sticky Notes Adds Rose Leslie, Justin Bartha and Gina Rodriguez". Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  37. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (12 October 2016). "'The Good Wife': Rose Leslie Cast In Spinoff Series For CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  38. ^ Haring, Bruce (30 July 2019). "'The Good Fight' Says Goodbye To Original Cast Member Rose Leslie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  39. ^ "New Echo Trailer From Ultra Ultra Finally Reveals Voice Actor". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  40. ^ Osoria, Jacob (1 October 2019). "Kenneth Branagh's 'Death on the Nile' Adds Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, & More to the Star-Studded Ensemble". The GWW.
  41. ^ Kanter, Jake (17 January 2020). "'Bodyguard' Producer World Productions To Make BBC Thriller 'Vigil,' Starring Suranne Jones & Rose Leslie". Deadline Hollywood.
  42. ^ Netzley, Sara (1 July 2022). "HBO cancels The Time Traveler's Wife after one season". Entertainment Weekly.
  43. ^ a b "Interview: Rose Leslie, from Wildling warrior to London detective". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  44. ^ "See Every Photo from Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Wedding". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  45. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (26 September 2020). "Rose Leslie Is Pregnant! Actress and Husband Kit Harington Expecting Their First Child". People.
  46. ^ "Scottish Game Of Thrones actress backs Union". Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  47. ^ Walsh, Stephen (24 April 2015). "Game of Thrones star joins the Tory campaign trail in north-east". Press and Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  48. ^ "DATE WITH KATE: ROSE LESLIE". Kate Waterhouse. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  49. ^
  50. ^ Getell, Oliver (24 May 2016). "First look at Kate Mara in Luke Scott's sci-fi thriller Morgan". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  51. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (1 October 2019). "Fox & Kenneth Branagh's All-Star Agatha Christie Movie 'Death On The Nile' Begins Production In UK".
  52. ^ "Rose Leslie will not be returning for fourth season of 'The Good Fight'". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  53. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (13 March 2019). "Kit Harington, Emma Stone to Host SNL in April; Sara Bareilles, BTS to Perform". TVLine.
  54. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 February 2021). "Rose Leslie & Theo James To Star In 'The Time Traveler's Wife' HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  55. ^ Jones, Ali (4 April 2020). "Watch Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie in the new trailer for Echo". PCGamesN.
  56. ^ "SAG Awards Nominations: '12 Years A Slave' and 'Breaking Bad' Lead Way". Deadline Hollywood. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.

External linksEdit