Warning: This article contains Game of Thrones spoilers.
The popular HBO series has often been the target of criticism for the lack of diversity in its casting.
For a TV series with so many characters, Game of Thrones features just two actors of colour in Season Eight.
Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays the character of Missandei, and Jacob Anderson, better known as Grey Worm, are the only people of colour to star in the final season.
When Missandei died in episode four, titled The Last of the Starks, fans were left outraged.
Bound in prison shackles, Daenerys’ faithful advisor Missandei was beheaded by Cersei as a punishment to the Dragon Queen.
In an interview with ELLE Magazine, Nathalie opened up about the complex meaning behind her final scene.
She said: ‘It’s fair that people are frustrated that she was killed. At the end of the day, there aren’t many of us (people of colour) on the show.
“So to lose one of them — one of two — is hard.”
Before continuing: “But if I immerse myself in Missandei’s place in the story, she is somebody that is very close to, and important to, Daenerys.
“For someone to capture her and to use her in this way is a really strong move in this chess game they’re all playing.”
The 30-year-old also spoke about how it felt to play a character in chains, particularly as her own family history features slavery.
She admitted: “It was a punch to the gut, is what it was. I found shooting those scenes in chains really hard, really emotional.”
Commenting on the online response to her character’s death, Nathalie confessed that she was moved by the intensity of viewers’ reactions.
The British beauty continued: 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 colour say, ‘It meant so much seeing you there’.”
In the future, the actress hopes that writers will be more open-minded and accepting when it comes to introducing diversity into storylines.
She added: “The writers’ room of the future should and will be more and more inclusive.”
- Game of Thrones
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