Winter is Coming: News, Nathalie Emmanuel

Robert Oliver
3 min readJul 3, 2021

This story was originally published on July 1st, 2021. You can find the full article here, on Winter is Coming:

It’s no secret that the final season of Game of Thrones received a mixed response. Many fans were unsatisfied, citing fewer episodes, rushed character conclusions, and underwhelming final conflicts. Even members of the show’s huge cast, including Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) and Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), have expressed their disappointment at the finale.

But it’s not all doom and gloom among Game of Thrones alumni. Speaking to Elle UK, Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) offered a different perspective. “I did like the ending,” she said. “I thought what they were able to do, after such a huge monster of a show, was really impressive… I think what they’ve achieved for television is so insane. The amount of work and talent from every department; I was kind of blown away by it, and I was really proud of everybody.”

Emmanuel said that, having been a fan of the show since before she was even cast, she had been theorizing about how each character’s story might end, and hoped for a happier ending for Missandei. “But we need to think about how many people have been following the show,” she qualified. “There really was no way to make every single person happy.”

Nathalie Emmanuel was surprised Missandei survived to Game of Thrones season 8

On the show, the role of Missandei was greatly expanded beyond her part in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Game of Thrones saw her fall in love with leader of the Unsullied army, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), clash with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) over how to end slavery, and become one of Daenerys’ most trusted advisors and friends.

Sadly, in the final season, Missandei was executed by Gregor Clegane (Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson) on Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) orders — a tragic loss that, among other things, led to Daenerys’ decision to burn King’s Landing to the ground and massacre the city’s population. But Emmanuel said she was surprised Missandei lasted as long as she did:

Every season, I opened the script expecting to be killed. The fact that I made it to season 8 was a shock. And so when it finally happened, I wasn’t thinking ‘Oh no’, I was more like… ‘It was always going to happen eventually’. I didn’t necessarily have a fear because it was Game of Thrones — it was kind of known for [killing popular characters] and I don’t see why I would be any exception to the rule (laughs).

Looking back over her time on Game of Thrones, Emmanuel said her favorite memories were ones viewers didn’t get to see. “My favourite memories are those times when we weren’t filming, and we were just hanging out, being silly together with the cast and the crew. When we had dinners or went to concerts, just that fun stuff. That connection that I built with those people will be with me for a long time.”