Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanual is facing some serious presumptions after her stint on Game of Thrones. The actress played Missandei from Season 3 to Season 8, and appeared nude in the series twice in that time. During an interview on the Make It Reign with Josh Smith podcast last month, she said that producers now seem to assume she is comfortable doing nudity in any production.
"When I did Game of Thrones, I agreed toward certain nude scenes or nudity within the show," Emmanuel said on the podcast. "And the percept from other projects, when the role required nudity, that I was just open to do anything because I did it on that one show. I've had people challenge me and be like, 'but this part requires that,' and I said, 'That's fine if you require it in the part, I don't feel comfortable doing that level of nudity. I will do this amount, you know, I can do this, which I think is necessary for the part.'"
Emmanuel went from a recurring character to a series regular on Game of Thrones. Her character was a fan-favorite — a slave taken from an obscure, peaceful island who learned many languages to become a translator for her captors, Missandei was eventually liberated by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). She stayed with Daenerys to serve as her translator, counselor and friend.
With the stardom afforded her by this and other roles, Emmanuel said she now sets clear boundaries on things like nudity on camera. She said that when producers try to insist on more nudity than she feels comfortable with, she replies something like: "Well, thank you very much, I appreciate your interest but that's just not what I feel is necessary for this part and it's a difference of opinion and creative differences and that's fine."
"Nine times out of 10, people are much more solutions-based and want to come to a compromise," she added. Emmanuel's nude scenes on Game of Thrones served the purpose of establishing sexual tension between Missandei and fellow liberated slave Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). First, the two spotted each other bathing from across a public river in Season 4, then in Season 7 they finally consummate their romance.
Fans are still speculating about whether Missandei and Grey Worm will have a similar romantic plotline in George R.R. Martin's book, A Song of Ice and Fire. In the books' version of events so far, Missandei is only 10 years old while Grey Worm is in his late 20s, and they do not seem to have an especially close relationship. However, Grey Worm could conceivably have the same cathartic entanglement with one of Daenerys' other, more adult female companions, who were removed or left out of the show in later seasons.
This is just one of the many ways the final two books in the series will likely be different from the show's controversial ending — and one of the smallest ways at that. You can check out all five books here on Amazon in print, digital and audiobook formats. Martin has written on his blog that he is making great progress on the next novel, The Winds of Winter. Game of Thrones is streaming now on HBO Max.