[But srsly if you’re a fan you BETTER know what we’re talking about by now.]
Game Of Thrones fans were devastated last week by the death of fan favorite Missandei of Naath.
The translator and confidant of Daenerys Targaryen was taken prisoner then executed in a heart-stopping final scene — and emotional low point for the viewers and the show’s heroes.
Of course, the biggest tragedy is no longer seeing the immensely talented, stunningly bioluminescent Nathalie Emmanuel in the role every week.
Thankfully she’ll soon be back on the small screen as she’s been cast in Mindy Kaling‘s reimagining of the classic British rom com Four Weddings And A Funeral for Hulu.
In a new extended interview for Elle, she answers some pretty big questions.
On learning of Missandei’s Death:
“As soon as I read that she was captured I was like, Oh, okaaay. I knew. But I was pleased that they gave her death such a moment. It was quite a game changer for the direction of the general story.
I always expected to die at any moment. Every time I got through to the end of a season I thought, ‘Oh wow. She made it.’ It was always a surprise for me, in a show where people go constantly.
So I wasn’t particularly upset about her death, but I was upset for the character because I love her, she’s a good person, and she goes out in such a brutal way, in chains, which is obviously hugely weighted because of the fact that she was once enslaved.”
On her final onscreen moment:
“I went back and forth about how I would deliver that line. Missandei is going to die. She’s leaving the only man she’s ever loved and her best friend. She’s only been free for a short amount of her life and now it’s over. If that were me, I’d be begging for my life in a flood of tears. But Missandei had survived a lot of horror and brutality. The very first time we meet her, Daenerys tells her, ‘I’m going to take you to war. You may fall sick, you may go hungry, you may even die.’ And Missandei’s response is, ‘Valar morghulis,’ which means, “All men must die.” To which Dany says, “But we are not men.”
So I really thought hard about how she would deliver that line, how she would be in her final moments. Yes, she would be afraid, but I didn’t want her to be crying. Not that being vulnerable would necessarily make her weak. But I wanted to feel her strength and her power and her agency in this moment.
She’s normally quite calm and stoic. Her yelling is not really something we’ve seen before. I wanted to make the most of this moment and make sure that it meant something. In a way it was her own war cry, to her friend and her queen. It’s so funny because she’d told Grey Worm earlier, ‘My people are peaceful.’ But in her last breath she’s like, ‘Burn them all! Burn these f**kers to the ground.’”
On how her TV death (and life) affected fans:
“What’s been really overwhelming to me is how much it’s meant to fans that she died. When people tell you how much your character means to them, or how they were rooting for you, it’s so lovely. It’s been emotional hearing a lot of people and women of color say, ‘It meant so much seeing you there.’ And now she’s not there.
I’ll be honest, this conversation will make me cry very easily. The fact that people looked to Missandei in that way — I knew what it meant to be there. Because I’ve had those conversations, the ones being had all the time, surrounding representation. Now that she’s gone, I’ve really felt her impact. You come up in this industry and you come up in life, and you want to see yourself onscreen. Often, I didn’t. The idea that I was that for our audience has been overwhelming and amazing.”
On new boss Mindy Kaling and diversity:
“It just goes to show what we can create when somebody like her is championed, when somebody like her gets to write, gets the funding, gets the production, gets that backing behind her. The diversity of the cast and writers was the whole point, right out the gate.
The original Four Weddings is a mostly white movie. In 2019, you can’t make a show or a movie based in London, which is just a big melting pot of culture and race and language and music and food, and not make it diverse. It doesn’t make sense.”
Read the entire interview HERE!
[Images via Allie Holloway/ELLE.]