Trigger Warning: At this point, I really don’t feel compelled to announce the presence of spoiler alerts in this piece. You should have watched Game of Thrones in its entirety by now.
The series finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones has come and gone and although I still feel some type of way about the final episode, I count the show as one of my favorite series of all time. As a writer, I appreciated the depth in which each character was developed and I loved the surprising arks of some characters that made me love, then hate them all in the span of a few episodes. As a single man hoping to find my soulmate, there were two characters that stood out as more than interesting roles in the elaborate story of the quest for domination over seven kingdoms. The love between Grey Worm, commander of the Unsullied of Astapor and Missandei of Naath, counsel to the Mother of Dragons, was as perfect as love could ever endeavor to be, and I want it.
Grey Worm and Missandei’s love was a special love. It was a love unburdened by the traditional paranoia of carnal intentions. It was a love born from the shared experience of adjusting to a new life of freedom. It was a love that developed after their individual purpose was discovered and their combined purpose was pursued.
Daenerys Targaryen, the Unburnt and the Breaker of Chains, traversed the known southern world liberating the oppressed along her route to the Iron Throne. During her quest for domination over the seven kingdoms, Daenerys commandeered a radical group of highly trained eunuch warriors called, The Unsullied led by an extremely disciplined general, Grey Worm. The dehumanization of the Unsullied stretched well-beyond their insulting names. These men were killers who would fight until death at the whim of whichever master controlled them.
Daenerys also freed Missandei, an exceptional translator who spoke 19 languages, from the slavers who purchased her in her youth. Missandei became the queen’s confidant and most trusted adviser; eventually, she became the queen’s best friend.
There’s something very special about freedom, especially when freedom accompanies a re-establishment of personhood. As Grey Worm began embracing newfound emotions and feelings, he maintained his lethal skill set but found himself smitten by the beautiful Missandei. Their relationship started innocently and Missandei’s empathy and compassion for Grey Worm was the foundation for their connection. Even before he began attempting to embrace his humanity, Missandei saw him as a man and not simply a weapon.
Caught between the life he lived as a purveyor of death and this new life where Missandei was patiently teaching him the common tongue, Grey Worm often found himself conflicted and confused about feelings that he biologically shouldn’t have been experiencing. According to my research, Grey Worm’s altered state would have left him pretty deficient of testosterone, but there were no limitations on his ability to produce dopamine, the pleasure hormone.
As the series progressed, the two grew closer and an enduring friendship began to blossom. There was no doubt that Grey Worm was attracted to Missandei and even less doubt that Missandei was equally beguiled by Grey Worm. On one occasion, Missandei consulted Daenerys for advice when she caught Grey Worm staring at her while she bathed in a pond. Though Daenerys dismissed any intent behind Grey Worm’s voyeurism, Missandei was convinced that Grey Worm was considering shooting his shot!
Here is about the point where envy began to set in for me. The flirtatious and seemingly innocent way Grey Worm interacted with Missandei was endearing and damn near erotic. When they finally surrendered to their mutual passions, the heat from their first kiss could have easily been summoned with the command, “Dracarys!”
With intercourse off the table, Grey Worm had no choice but to illustrate his growing desire for Missandei in ways that would satisfy her need for physical intimacy. Conventional wisdom regarding sex had to be completely abandoned. Grey Worm had to explore Missandei’s body with her pleasure serving as his map and compass. As a man, I saw this as a huge advantage for Grey Worm. Now, I’m not suggesting I would gladly accept his limitations but I do appreciate the fact that he understood that intimacy transcends sex. As proficient as he was at killing, Grey Worm seduced Missandei with his touch, his devotion, and his unyielding loyalty and admiration for her. He shed his protective exterior in her presence and allowed himself to be vulnerable. Missandei facilitated his comfort for transparency by serving as a helpmeet without ever attacking his ego. Throughout the series, there was never a time when she weaponized his vulnerability, nor did she force him to change. She simply assisted in his evolution.
I want what they had. Even when she faced death, Grey Worm stood by her side for as long as he could. She became the gatekeeper for his humanity and without her, he reverted back to his primal, bloodthirsty nature. Missandei didn’t just love Grey Worm, she honored his position, championed his causes, nursed him back to health when he was injured in battle, and even laughed at his silly jokes. Grey Worm spoke up for Missandei when she needed him to and remained silent when a situation required her voice. Although they both were in service to a queen, Grey Worm and Missandei were the quintessential power couple. They knew one another on a level deeper than a physical or even emotional attraction. Their love was transformational and it survived Missandei’s untimely death. They experienced intimacy — into-me-see. They saw each other, not with their eyes but with their hearts. It would be simple to desire a woman like Missandei, but I understand that I would have to first be a man like Grey Worm.
As I watched the final moments of the show, I found myself once again impressed with the love and devotion that Grey Worm possessed for Missandei. Boarding a ship with the surviving Unsullied, the warrior set sail for his lover’s home, Naath. I can only imagine that being among her people in her land would allow Grey Worm to forever keep Missandei in his heart.
One day, I hope to find my Missandei. Like Grey Worm, I will seek intimacy before sex and I will place loyalty and security as my chief priorities. I’ll lay down my sword in her presence and fight ferociously for her honor. I will be a man of principle not easily moved and never susceptible to corruption. I will be open to her instruction and provide a safe place for her transparency. If my time on this earth exceeds her, I will remain a fixture in the life of her family so that her name will forever reign as the sovereign monarch of my heart.