Nathalie Emmanuel on the final season of ‘Game Of Thrones’: “It was never the show that pleased everybody”

“When was it ever doing what everyone wanted it to?”

Nathalie Emmanuel has reflected on the divisive final season of Game Of Thrones, saying it was “never the show that pleased everybody”.

The HBO series, which came to an end in 2019 after eight seasons, gave Emmanuel her international breakthrough in the role of Missandei, who acted as an advisor to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

Speaking to NME about the show’s controversial end three years later, Emmanuel said: “It was never the show that pleased everybody or had happy endings. When was it ever doing what everyone wanted it to?


“Watching it as Nathalie the fan, I have my favourite characters and my own ideas about what happened to them or who I would love more time with.”

Game of Thrones
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) in Game of Thrones Credit: HBO

Among the criticisms of the final season was the death of Missandei – the only leading woman of colour in the show and a former slave – who was graphically decapitated by The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) in front of Daenerys, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).

Speaking about the backlash to Missandei’s death, Emmanuel said: “I think her killing really speaks to how there can be more than one person of colour on these big budget shows.

“I think when we do these shows in the future, we need to have this idea of inclusion at the forefront and a diversity of thought and ideas all the way up the chain.”

The first Game Of Thrones spin-off, House Of The Dragon, debuted last month. Set 200 years before events in the main series, the prequel, starring Paddy Considine, Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy, follows a war of succession among House Targaryen.


In a four-star review, NME wrote: “What is reassuring is that House Of The Dragon feels as though it is walking on solid ground: the bubbling rivalries, the jostling for power, the eruptions of violence; six episodes in, it is all coming together to create a rich stew.”