‘Game of Thrones’: Why Missandei’s Death in Episode 4 Is Causing Controversy
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 4 of Game of Thrones, “The Last Of The Starks.”]
Game of Thrones fans were thrown for a loop on Sunday when some unexpected deaths took place following the Battle of Winterfell.
While we expect to lose some characters, Missandei’s death stings just a bit more than most so far this season. Fans have a number of issues with the choice, but the biggest is probably that the HBO series killed off its only female character of color.
That left many fans bitter and we don’t disagree — Missandei and frankly most of the female characters in “The Last Of The Starks” deserved better. Apart from driving Daenerys to full Mad Queen mode with her move, Cersei (Lena Headey) effectively cut the diversity of Thrones in half by having one of its two non-white characters killed off.
Adding insult to injury, it was the way in which Missandei perished that was particularly painful — and it’s not her beheading. After having her chains struck off in her Season 3 introduction, the previously enslaved woman has been living and making choices of her own volition only to have them stripped away from her in her final moments.
The imagery was extra problematic, depicting a woman of color in chains before she’s killed. And by killing Missandei, the writers have now motivated Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) to take action. This is also troublesome in its own respect as Missandei’s death is being used as a tool to motivate her true love.
There are a number of other tactics the show could’ve used to incite his rage and action. There’s so much wrong with it all that fans were sounding off furiously on social media.
— Chanel Lerm (@LermChanel) May 6, 2019
Black people: *mourning Missandei (one of the only black people) and Rhaegal (a whole ass dragon)*
White people: *mad that Jon didn’t hug the dog*
— Bryanna Stark (@awkwardib) May 6, 2019
My issue isn’t that Missandei’s death happened. I never expected her & Grey Worm to make it to that beach. My issue is that her death is the one way she said she didn’t want to die. She died in chains with no way to defend herself. Lyanna slays a giant. Missandei should have too.
— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) May 6, 2019
Missandei really died back in chains, that’s the saddest part of last nights episode.
— King in the Nawf (@ThatCaliSigma) May 6, 2019
Samwell and Gilly are chilling, but Missandei and Grey Worm can’t know peace? Ok.
— lamide (@lameeday) May 6, 2019
Let Black women feel however they want to feel about the death of Missandei.
As maligned and unsupported as BW are in society they have every right to be upset at how Missandei’s story was wrapped up.
BW don’t need you in their mentions telling them they’re overreacting.
— André J. Daughtry ♿ ♒ (@Tripping_Crutch) May 6, 2019
And Missandei’s death wasn’t the only choice inciting viewer anger online. There was Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) claim that her sexual abuse actually helped her become the strong woman she is now, as well as Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) consummating her relationship with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) only to be abandoned and left begging for him to stay. This episode had many saying the women of Thrones deserved better in “The Last Of The Starks.”
that exchange between The Hound and Sansa was definitely written by a man. For the millionth time, rape and abuse of women isn’t just character development or a way to show a female character has matured
— Amy Collier (@Amy_Corp) May 6, 2019
Also the writers really mishandled Sansa’s conversation with The Hound. Her seeming to be grateful for what happened to her, in any capacity, is sick and I just know a man who’s not familiar with trauma or abuse wrote it.
— ron ⍟ (@danieldayslewis) May 6, 2019
Brienne’s here looking the most feminine she ever has done, like she’s finally able to embrace both the warrior and the woman only for jaime to be a complete wanker. I can’t with this show. pic.twitter.com/SMDegHuZVl
— lion of tarth (@lionoftarth) May 6, 2019
Me trying to live my life normally after watching what Jaime did to Brienne:pic.twitter.com/CwiiHw5MZa
— Lea loves Brienne ❅ (@ragazzaparadiso) May 6, 2019
So what did you think about the episode’s treatment of Missandei and the other Thrones women? Let us know in the comments below.
Game of Thrones, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO