Nathalie Emmanuel discusses the Grey Worm-Missandei sex scene


In “Stormborn,” Missandei and Grey Worm consummated their long-simmering romance with a tender sex scene that may well have broken new ground — has there ever been a televised love scene featuring a eunuch before? I doubt it.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) talked about how the scene served as the climax to everything that’s happened between the characters up to this point. “There’s something unique about it purely because of Grey Worm’s situation,” she said, “his brutal history of being mutilated — there’s a real sense of trust here and that really plays out in this lovely scene where they physically act upon their love.”

"For him to do that is a really big deal and Missandei knows that and doesn’t really care. She just loves him and that intimacy they’ve shared comes to a head. Missandei is always so official and straight and poised so to be vulnerable and see her human side of her, a little off balance, is kind of great and fun to play. She’s kept things very together to stay composed but this scene is the opposite of that. She’s quite clear about what she wants because she fears she’ll never have the chance to have that with him again."

That vulnerability really came though on screen, particularly for Grey Worm. We’re used to both of these characters keeping things close to the chest — they’ve been beaten down by years of slavery, after all — and watching them be vulnerable with each other gave me a new appreciation for their arc. It didn’t quite make me a Grey Worm-Missandei shipper, but I agree with Emmanuel that it’s nice to have a “beacon of something sweet and pure and beautiful” among the grimness this show usually serves up. “There’s love displayed in this show in so many ways but it’s normally so tragic. They have tragedy in their past but they found something useful from that and I love how the showrunners have decided to preserve that. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it really resonates.”

Emmanuel also commenting on doing nude scenes in general — this was her first, and while she thought it was tastefully done, she admitted to some apprehension. “Whether you’ve done it many times, or none at all, it’s a big deal. You feel like you’re giving something quite vulnerable and, yes, it’s hard.”

"It’s never a comfortable thing to do but if you trust your director and actors and the people on set, it’s fine. It was treated very well and very respectfully and I feel like we had a really great day showing these two characters being completely vulnerable with each other. And it sort of helps the scene to actually feel very vulnerable and exposed. It’s good to use that energy and it made it so much better."

As for how the scene continued despite Grey Worm’s lack of equipment, the show was nonspecific. “The scene keeps everybody guessing about certain things,” Emmanuel said. Probably for the best.

Next: Book-Reader’s Recap—Game of Thrones, Episode 702—'Stormborn'

So how will things work out for Grey Worm and MIssandei in the end? “You hope those two have a happy ending,” Emmanuel said. “But you try not even say it out loud.” No, best not. You never know when George R.R. Martin might be listening.

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Meanwhile, Gemma Whelan and Indira Varma talked to EW about the other (kind of) romantic moment in the episode: the kiss between Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand. “It wasn’t directed that we would kiss,” Whelan said. “It just seemed like something we should do.

"We led it, very much so. It was meant to be a suggestion [of flirting] and then it became more sexual than we expected because it seemed right. There was only a skeleton crew working because the rig could only take so much weight, so we were left very much on our own. And who wouldn’t want to kiss Indira? I mean, come on!"

Well, Myrcella, for one, but if Tyrion can look past that and form a working relationship with Ellaria, I suppose there’s hope for anyone.

“I think it’s a wonderful scene and amusing as well — like that look from Yara to Theon that says a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do...”

It didn’t go entirely smoothly, though. Because Whelan had hurt her back, she couldn’t perform all the stunts the scene required — remember, Yara and Ellaria are jolted out of their lip lock when Euron Greyjoy brings his fleet around. That meant a stunt double had to kiss Indira Varma for a few takes, which was something the stunt double wasn’t used to. “I don’t think she’d ever been put in that situation before,” Varma said. “She’s used to falling over and being attacked and all the stunts, but to be kissed by an actress was a bit beyond her.”

So an interesting day on set all around.

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