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Well, we're over the halfway hump in the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, and you know we couldn't get there without a few more high-profile deaths along the way.
WARNING! The following contains major plot spoilers for Episode 4 of Game of Thrones, "The Last of the Starks."
In last night's fourth episode, fans had to bid farewell to another one of Dany's dragons, Rhaegal, as well as Missandei of Naath (played by Nathalie Emmanuel). The second death was particularly heartbreaking, as Missandei was on the verge of starting a peaceful life with Unsullied leader Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson).
After a surprise naval attack by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), Missandei is captured and brought to King's Landing to be used as a bargaining chip. Dany (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), and the Unsullied army march on the Westeros capital to call for Cersei's unconditional surrender. Tyrion tries to appeal to his sister's better nature, but the attempt is futile: Cersei (Lena Headey), it seems, has no humanity left and gives The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) the go-ahead to chop off Missandei's head in front of everyone, but not before Missandei declares "Dracarys!"
Despite such a gruesome and untimely death that makes us hate Cersei even more than usual, Emmanuel is just happy her character went off in style. More importantly, it could be the spark that drives the Dragon Queen over the edge of insanity.
"I’m so happy that she has that kind of exit," she told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s emotional. She said she was willing to lay down her life but we hoped she wouldn’t have to. You can watch the end of a show and think the character is living on to do whatever. But there’s a real sadness to the fact that the character won’t. It seems likely to push Daenerys to a scary level."
In the latest episode, several characters began to voice their doubts about Dany's ability to rule. Is she exhibiting her ancestors' penchant for losing their minds and killing everyone in and out of sight with dragon fire? Could Jon Snow (Kit Harington) be the best fit for the Iron Throne after all? That may be Varys' (Conleth Hill) way of thinking, but before her murder, Missandei was Team Dany all the way.
"I do think Missandei is so loyal to Dany because she liberated her and gave her the respect she deserves," added Emmanuel. "They have a really strong friendship. Missandei would probably have justified some of Dany’s actions."
In the making-of video for the episode, it's revealed that since the scene called for Missandei to be standing at such a large height, she had to be added in digitally afterward just in case someone in the surrounding area was peeping for spoilers.
Emmanuel isn't sad at all, simply happy to have been a part of this popular show in any way. That being said, Emmanuel does wish her character got to kick some ass, White Walker or otherwise.
"I would have loved to see Missandei fighting. I think that’s just me projecting onto her that I want to see her being a badass with a sword or bow and arrow," she said. "I feel like a bow and arrow would be her thing as it’s super specific and requires a lot of skill. I guess I was relieved to not be doing 11 weeks of night shoots, but there’s a part of me that’s a little sad Missandei didn’t throw down in the battle."
Episode 5, the penultimate installment in the final epic season, airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.