Nathalie Emmanuel Rejects Toxic Fan Backlash to Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones has been resting peacefully for about 2 months now, or at least it would, if only anyone would let it. In the wake of the finale, fan fervor, enthusiastically by all accounts positive or negative, has truly reached heights the likes of which haven’t been seen since LOST ended in 2010. While the Internet was certainly ablaze back then – “I wasted all these years of my life all for this crappy ending!” was a common phrase even back in those simpler times – now, in the age of thinkpieces and online watercooler-ing, it seems as though the negative voices have emerged ever victorious amidst the discourse. And such, we have found ourselves with an echo-chamber of over a million signatures, smugly adorning the fan-led petition to remake season 8 with “competent writers.” Thankfully, our very own Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) is firmly not on board.

Speaking with TVLine, Nathalie concedes that “[I]t’s totally fine if you don’t like something.” She, like all of us, is an audience participant in enjoying art. But she hits the nail on the head when she says of the petition: “You can’t ask for receipts on art. You just can’t. The art has been created for you, and you can either choose to like it or not.” I feel very similarly to her. You can talk to death about what it should have been, but ultimately it isn’t yours. It isn’t your art. It is someone else’s art that you were trying to enjoy. Maybe you didn’t. And that’s OK! So, create your own art.

Nathalie also discusses her final scenes, and what worked for her as an actor: “I was very grateful for the strength that she had when she left. That was a performance choice for me…She’s not going to be crying. She’s not going to be stereotypically scared. She’s scared, but she owns it.” I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say I extend a hearty thank you to Nathalie for pouring her soul into Missandei over the course of 6 seasons of television. Ultimately she was herself “blown away” by the finale.

Check out the interview for several more quotes.

Up next for Nathalie? She’ll lead the cast in Hulu’s upcoming miniseries re-remake of Four Weddings and a Funeral. Her American accent actually sounds pretty damn good in the trailer, something you don’t always see in most shows or movies. If she brings the same passion to this new project as she always did to Game of Thrones, then it could truly turn into something special.