It wasn’t Daenerys who determined the destruction of King’s Landing…

5 years ago we discussed the “turn” of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in Game of Thrones, who spent two seasons trying to recover the Iron Throne without using violence. Or a lot of violence. She endured incredible betrayals and losses, but one was decisive for her: the execution of Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). And it was the former slave who determines the future of King’s Landing with a single word.

Daenerys meets an enslaved Missandei as the interpreter for Kraznys mo Nakloz of Astapor. Polyglot and original from Naath, the young Missandei conquered the Mother of Dragons for her sweetness and tranquility, above all for a small detail. As the slaver didn’t know that Danny spoke Valyrian, he offends her, but Missandei omits the words in her translation, something the Khaleesi notices and appreciated. After all, it was insubordination on her part to alter a translation and it signaled a boldness despite her submissive appearance. The admiration is mutual, for the translator, Danny was already a strong, leader, and empowered woman. The two are mutually supportive and even freed, Missandei chooses to follow Daenerys, becoming her trusted advisor, and one of her most loyal subordinates.

In the negotiation for the Unsullied, Missandei enters as “a bonus”, but, in fact, it was already her freedom, something she only discovers when Daenerys asks the young woman her name and if she has a living family, to which she says no. That’s when she hears the invitation to accompany the mother of dragons to war, but aware that it can be deadly. “Valar morghulis,” Missandei replies. “All men must die, but we are not men”, retorts Daenery, conquering the young woman for good.

Having a friend and partner is essential to Daenerys’ mental health, isolated and struggling in a man’s world. As she spoke 19 languages, including High Valyrian and Dothraki, Missandei also had an important role as an interpreter for the Queen.

Missandei’s romantic involvement with the leader of the Unsullied, Gray Worm, was one of the most beautiful (and saddest) love stories in Game of Thrones, and Daenerys felt close to both of them. What was common, calmly and firmly, was that Missandei knew the Queen’s emotions and that when politics went against her intentions, she felt very lonely. The interpreter’s advice was simple: follow your heart and that thought was decisive last season.

Despite being close, Missandei did not see in Daenerys’s attitude a growing paranoia or insecurity, the only image she kept as the true one was that of a liberator. So once arriving in Westeros, when she herself experienced the racism and xenophobia of the North, Missandei began to resent the way Daenerys was rejected.

In particular, he heard firsthand a resistant and suspicious Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) express her contempt and ingratitude, which was fueling his own rejection of Westeros, so much so that he planned to return to Naath with Gray Worm when Daenerys took the throne. There was no time.

Caught in an ambush, she is captured by Cersei Lannister (Lena Headly). Cersei, who was consistently undermining Tyrion’s diplomatic strategy, managed to kill one of the dragons (the other was eliminated by the Night King) and left an already insecure Daenerys more vulnerable. Cersei’s cruelty was crowned with the conditions she put forward to free Missandei: Daenerys would give up the Iron Throne. Before the answer, the counselor coldly executed, allowing her the last words. The answer was simple and direct for Daenerys: “Dracarys”. Khaleesi knew what she meant, but she was floored all the same. She wanted to attack from the start, but she heard Tyrion. When recommending burning everything, it was the final advice to listen to your heart. And that’s what Daenerys did.

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Could the tragedy have been avoided without Missandei’s death? Cersei “won” the battle, but lost the war. Daenerys mercilessly destroyed the people who wronged her and her best and only friend. Unfortunately, it was too late. For both.


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