|A Song of Ice and Fire character |
Game of Thrones character
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
|Created by||George R. R. Martin|
|Portrayed by||Nathalie Emmanuel|
(Game of Thrones)
|Title||Queen's Personal Advisor|
|Occupation||Advisor to the Queen|
Introduced in 2000's A Storm of Swords, Missandei was a slave interpreter, before joining Daenerys Targaryen. She is from the island of Naath, off the coast of Sothoryos. She subsequently appeared in Martin's A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Missandei is not a point of view character in the novels, so her actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people, especially Daenerys Targaryen. Missandei is mostly a background character in the novels.
In the books
As children, Missandei and her three brothers are captured by raiders from the Basilisk Isles and sold into slavery in Astapor. Missandei's talent for learning languages easily is noticed by the masters of Astapor, who train her as a scribe. Missandei's brothers Marselen and Mossador are made into Unsullied (the third brother is also made into an Unsullied but dies during his training).
A Storm of Swords
Missandei is working as an interpreter for Astapori slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz when Daenerys Targaryen comes to inspect his army of Unsullied. After Daenerys strikes a bargain with the Good Masters of Astapor concerning payment for the Unsullied, Kraznys gives Missandei to Daenerys as an interpreter to give them commands. To Missandei's surprise, Daenerys frees her; having nowhere else to go, Missandei accepts Daenerys' offer to stay as her interpreter and handmaiden. Missandei subsequently accompanies Daenerys as she liberates the neighbouring cities of Yunkai and Meereen.
A Dance With Dragons
Missandei becomes Daenerys' herald, announcing her entry when she meets with the people of Meereen. After Mossador is killed by the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys offers to let Missandei return to Naath; Missandei refuses, noting that she would be an easy target for slavers.
Following the reopening of the fighting pits and Daenerys' flight from Meereen with her dragon Drogon, Daenerys' new husband Hizdhar zo Loraq removes Missandei from her position as herald. With Daenerys' other servants Irri and Jhiqui joining the Dothraki in their search for Daenerys in the Dothraki Sea, Missandei is left as the only occupant in the Great Pyramid's royal apartments. When Barristan Selmy seizes control of Meereen, he has Missandei tend to the mortally wounded Quentyn Martell.
In the show
Missandei's backstory is mostly the same as in the books. However, she is aged up to be a young woman, and no mention is made of her having any brothers.
Most of Missandei's storyline from A Storm of Swords is retained for the third season. However, when Daenerys agrees for the purchase of Kraznys' Unsullied, she demands Missandei's services as part of the exchange, instead of Kraznys giving her to Daenerys of his own accord.
Missandei befriends Grey Worm, the commander of the Unsullied, and gives him lessons in the Common Tongue. While bathing in a stream she witnesses Grey Worm watching her; although she covers herself, she later admits to Grey Worm that she is glad he saw her. She expresses sorrow that Grey Worm was castrated during his training, though Grey Worm notes that if he had not become Unsullied he never would have met her.
Grey Worm is gravely wounded in a skirmish with the Sons of the Harpy, and Missandei stands vigil by his side. When Grey Worm wakes he reveals to her that, in battle, he felt fear for the first time, fear that he would never see Missandei again; Missandei is clearly moved by his sentiment. When the Sons of the Harpy launch an attack at the reopening of the fighting pits, one of the Sons nearly kills Missandei before he is killed by Tyrion Lannister. Daenerys subsequently flies away on Drogon, and Daario Naharis decrees that Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm should govern Meereen in her absence.
To keep the peace with the slavers, Tyrion grants them seven years to transition from slavery. Although Missandei helps defend Tyrion's decision to the outraged Meereenese freedman, in private she warns Tyrion that the masters will betray him. She is eventually vindicated, when the slavers send a fleet to lay siege to Meereen. She accompanies Daenerys to a parley with the slavers' representatives. When Daenerys leaves on Drogon to destroy the fleet, Missandei tells the masters that Daenerys has ordered one of their deaths as punishment for their treachery, though when two of them offer up the third Grey Worm kills those two instead. Missandei later accompanies Daenerys and her forces as they sail to Westeros.
Missandei is present throughout Daenerys's reclamation of her ancestral stronghold of Dragonstone. She presides over Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth's arrival at the island. Davos is quite taken with Missandei and inquires about her background, but she remains mysterious. Later, as the Unsullied prepare to leave for the seizure of Casterly Rock, Missandei goes to Grey Worm to talk about their feelings and the pair consummate their relationship. Missandei eventually reveals her entire backstory to Jon and Davos in an attempt to impress Daenerys' character upon them.
Missandei travels with Daenerys' court to Winterfell. Feeling unwelcome amongst the Northerns, she and Grey Worm plan to sail to Naath after Daenerys wins the Iron Throne. During the Long Night, Missandei shelters in the crypts, and survives the Night King's reanimation of the dead Starks in the crypts. After the defeat of the White Walkers, she accompanies Daenerys' forces to Dragonstone, but they are ambushed by Euron Greyjoy's fleet and Missandei is taken prisoner and brought to Cersei Lannister in King's Landing. Tyrion, Daenerys, and Grey Worm journey to King's Landing and Tyrion begs Cersei to surrender, but Cersei has Gregor Clegane behead Missandei.
Missandei is played by the British actress Nathalie Emmanuel in the television adaption. Emmanuel revealed in an interview about the support of her character by fans of the show, saying "I've really just been so happy to have people be high-fiving me and be like, 'Yeah, you're representing strong women.' I had someone high-five me and be like, 'Yeah, thank you for representing women of color in Game of Thrones.'".
Remarking on the character's romance with Grey Worm:
The romantic side is just such a sweet thing and I love it. Their storyline is so, so, so endearing, and I always enjoy working with Jacob (Anderson). He's just wonderful. So to maybe explore that some more would be really fun. It's so nice to watch. Whenever I see our scenes together, or our little moments together, I'm always like, "yay." It makes me really happy.
Recognition and awards
|2014||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|2015||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|Empire Awards||Empire Hero Award (Ensemble)||Won|||
|2016||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|2017||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
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