Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Fans Are Talking About Race After This Season 8 Death
Season 8 has brought on many tragic deaths, but the latest one has people talking for a different reason. Once again Game of Thrones is at the center of controversy because of how it mishandles race. What are fans saying? Here is everything you need to know. WARNING SPOILERS!
Missandei is murdered by The Mountain in chains
In the episode “The Last of the Starks,” Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)’ ships and dragons get ambushed by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)’s fleet. It was a devastating blow considering one of her dragons get taken down and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) gets captured.
Daenerys and her men go to the walls of Kings Landing to confront Cersei (Lena Headey). There, Missandei is beside her with her hands in chains. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) tries to reason with his sister saying she could refuse to fight and save her unborn child’s life. However, she doesn’t back down and has Missandei beheaded by The Mountain to show that.
This death was a shocking one for many reasons. It also has fans talking about the show and how it mishandles race once again.
Fans point out the problem of Missandei dying in chains
Game of Thrones fans are used to devastating deaths on the show. This one led to a different conversation because of the history of the portrayal of people of color on the show, and Missandei’s story specifically.
First of all, there is a lack of people of color in general. The few that were somewhat developed characters were Missandei and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson.)
Outside of them, people of color have been seen in chains waiting to be freed by Daenerys Targaryen. The shot of them being freed and carrying Daenerys over their heads led to a lot of discussion about the show depicting a white savior storyline.
The show has since given more screen time to Missandei. She tries to advise Daenerys on what to do with the former slaves. Grey Worm is very focused on serving the Targaryen queen because he believes in her cause. The two happen to fall in love through their journey.
However, the one thing that is hanging over them is the pursuit of freedom. So seeing Missandei’s last moments in the very chains her life’s work has been about breaking is a devastating blow to many fans.
Writer Mikki Kendall and more fans point this out. Some also talk about how even more minor characters like Lady Mormont (Bella Ramsey) are given heroic deaths in battle, unlike Missandei’s captured moment.
Another fan tweeted, “Jesus H it’s so f*cking obvious this ep was written by straight dudes. Lady Mormont (whom I love!) gets to kill a zombie giant, & Missandei is callously fridged so Dany can feel more feelings?? Sacrificing characters of color so white characters can develop is disgusting.”
Fans point out the Game of Thrones showrunners announcement of Confederate
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss previously announced that their next HBO show will be Confederate. The show takes place post-Civil War and the South successfully succeeds from the union. A Third Civil War is coming and the South wants to continue to defend its practice of slavery.
This announcement got a lot of backlash considering how Game of Thrones mishandled race in the past. Will it be another white savior plot? Will most of the Black characters reach a tragic end in chains despite their efforts to avoid them? The death of Missandei in chains had people like writer David Dennis Jr. mentioning the show.
Confederate is reportedly still in the works after being delayed. There isn’t anything to be done about Missandei’s tragic death. Hopefully, the controversy will lead to those who need to listen about viewers’ concerns about the franchise’s handling of race in the future spinoffs.
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