HBO’s Game of Thrones has been threatened with “cancel culture” after the show killed off Missandei in the most recent episode.
In the latest episode of the epic HBO show, Cersei had the Mountain decapitate Missandei after Daenerys’ trusted advisor was captured by Euron Greyjoy. Missandei’s death was one of two shocking deaths that rocked the HBO series. The other saw Euron Greyjoy kill off Rhaegal and wipe out much of Daenerys’ naval forces.
Following Missandei’s death a number of people called for the show to be “cancelled.” And it wasn’t just folks on Twitter criticizing Game of Thrones for killing off Missandei. Ben Philippe at Vanity Fair wrote an entire article lamenting Missandei’s death. He specifically wrote, “Thrones just has a blind spot – a tremendous lack of effort when it comes to the arcs of its minority characters.”
Philippe also tries to paint a picture that Missandei’s death is somehow out of place in Game of Thrones because of her race:
“Yet this show has also never been in danger of running out of battle-weary white men atoning for their past sins. And in its final throes, Thrones has made a concerted effort to give every character a final moment in the spotlight—yet it did not extend that courtesy to the only black woman in Westeros.”
Phillipe would also claim that Missandei’s death “invoked uncomfortably realistic imagery to heighten stakes without addressing what those stakes meant.”
Nevermind the fact that Ned Stark was executed in a similar manner in the very first season.
Ned Stark is not the only character, who has been executed. For fans of the series, they’ve seen countless people get killed and executed. In fact, Daenerys had Drogon burn the Tarlys after they lost a battle.
And let’s not forget the Red Wedding. Catelyn Stark was forced to watch the brutal slaying of her son, his unborn child, and for all she knew, any chance of rescuing Sansa from the grasp of the Lannisters. She died with no hope:
Phillipe would not be alone in his complaints regarding Missandei’s death.
Twitter user MyNameisMarines claims that Daenerys’ storyline was built on the backs of nonwhite characters.
I’m not just “I liked Missandei” mad. I’m “Dany’s entire storyline has been built on the backs of people of color and we didn’t need the murder of the one black woman on the show to solidify her ~loss~” mad. #GameofThrones #gameofsnark
— marines (@mynameismarines) May 6, 2019
Though some might be able to make that argument, it leaves out the idea that the Unsullied chose to fight for Daenerys.
Daenerys never forced her army or followers to fight for her. She, like any good leader, used her humanity to see them as more than slaves or weapons. She took to heart her role as their leader. Her Unsullied Army fought for her cause, not because they had to, but because her cause became theirs.
Others pointed out how other prominent black characters were killed off in the series so far. They insinuate that the show is whitewashing itself by killing off many nonwhite characters. It’s an argument similar to one made by W Magazine after the Dothraki were extinguished in the Battle of Winterfell.
😭 cancelling GOT
— Puzzy🥂 (@pontsho_puz) May 6, 2019
— sir alexandre 🐺 (@allesorz) May 6, 2019
Game of thrones really gonna kill 1 of 2 black people on the show wow they’re cancelled
— Josée Davis (@cuppajo88) May 6, 2019
— BP (@BPXiKONXSBXT13) May 6, 2019
— Justin Frac (@JustinCentric) May 6, 2019
A few others complained about the fact that Missandei died in chains.
— Chanel Lerm (@LermChanel) May 6, 2019
daenerys freed missandei from chains, only for her to die in chains. she deserves so much better. pic.twitter.com/WxeKs0Ts7n
— DRACARYS BITCHES (@daenerysthor) May 6, 2019
“all men fear death”.
“no, not death. i fear i never again see missandei from the Island of naath”.
I WILL NEVER RECOVER THEY DID THEM SO DIRTY pic.twitter.com/d43aWveeM1
— mich (@emiliacIrk) May 6, 2019
Actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who portrayed Missandei, had a very different view of her death scene. She spoke to Entertainment Weekly where she described the scene as “fantastic.”
“I thought it was a fantastic scene. I’ve said in so many interviews that I don’t mind if I die I’m just happy to be here and be a part of the show. But I just wanted it to be really cool and a moment that people remember and I feel like they really give me that moment and I’m excited to shoot it. It’s going to be really emotional and she’s so brave in it and shows her strength and fearlessness even though she doesn’t wield a sword. She believes in her queen and believes in her cause. I’m so happy that she has that kind of exit. 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.”
What do you think of Missandei’s end? Does it fit the storytelling style of Game of Thrones? Or did it feel out of place? Let me know your thoughts!