Missandei

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Missandei
Missandei2.jpg
Daenerys and Missandei - by Enife ©

Allegiance House Targaryen
Culture Naathi
Born In 289AC[1], at Naath
Book(s) A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)

Played by Nathalie Emmanuel
TV series Season 3 | Season 4

Missandei is a servant of Daenerys Targaryen and former slave. She is Naathi. Three of her brothers are Unsullied but one was killed in training and only Marselen and Mossador remain.[2][3] She has a sweet, strong voice.[4]

Contents

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Missandei

She has a round flat face, dusky skin and eyes like molten gold.[5][6] She is no more than ten when she is freed by Daenerys in Astapor.[5] She had turned eleven by the time Daenerys married Hizdahr zo Loraq [6]. Despite her young age she is very strong willed and intelligent.[7]

Education

Missandei has been trained to speak the Common Tongue of Westeros, High Valyrian, and bastard Valyrian.[5][2] She has some knowledge of Ghiscari.[8] Missandei was taught to refer to herself as "this one" instead of using first-person pronouns, a habit she tries to overcome:-[7]

You are good to this- to me.[7]

History

Missandei and her brothers were born at Naath. She remembers Mossador teaching her to climb trees.[3]

They were eventually captured by raiders from the Basilisk Isles, then sold into slavery in Astapor. While still very young Missandei had a noticeable gift, easily learning languages. Consequently, the Good Masters chose to train her as a scribe.[3]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

Missandei was a slave interpreter for Kraznys mo Nakloz when Daenerys Targaryen came to inspect the Unsullied in Astapor. She left untranslated several of his phrases such as "Westerosi whore", "sunset savage", and "Westerosi pigs". She offered to Kraznys both accurate translations of Daenerys' words and notes of the motives behind them. For example, Missandei noted that "she speaks no praise, to keep the price down". While Missandei translated Kraznys' sales pitch to Dany, Kraznys kept poking the slave girl with the end of his lash, urging her to add more details.[5]

At one point Kraznys joked that Missandei should tell "Arstan Whitebeard" that the old man had the smell of piss on him and could not stand without his walking stick. Missandei took the joke literally, but Kraznys prevented her from translating his insults. He had her claim that there was a rival buyer, a "corsair king", though Missandei reminded him that the corsair was only interested in no more than 100 Unsullied.[5] When Kraznys ended his pitch and offered to show Astapor to Daenerys, Missandei edited his words to sound more polite and pleasant, leaving out entirely his sexual proposals.[5]

After Daenerys struck a bargain with the Good Masters of Astapor concerning payment for the Unsullied, Kraznys gave Missandei to Daenerys as an interpreter to give them commands until the Unsullied had learned Daenerys's language. Missandei revealed no feelings concerning the decision.[2] Both the Good Masters and Missandei were under the impression that Daenerys could only converse in the Common Tongue. Daenerys actually was fluent in Valyrian, and had understood the discussions which Missandei left untranslated. Just after the initial meeting, Missandei was surprised when Daenerys, in High Valyrian, asked her name in order to proclaim her free.[2]

As a freedwoman, Missandei was offered employment by Daenerys and listened to her terms of service. She would serve as a handmaiden and interpreter to Dany, kept close by her side until such time as she chose to leave. She would have her freedom guaranteed, but not her safety, thanks to the dangers of hunger, sickness and violence on Dany's journeys. Missandei accepted, saying she had nowhere else to go. As for the fear of dying, Missandei responded with the phrase "Valar Morghulis".[2]

Missandei explained to Daenerys basic information on the Unsullied. She also discussed the matter of what to do with the Unsullied once the wars were over. She suggested using them as guard and watchmen for life, or else finding buyers for them. Regarding the latter option Dany pointed that the Unsullied could then be used against her. Missandei offered a third solution, though she seemed troubled over it: that the Unsullied commit mass suicide, ending any potential threat from them. Dany noted that Missandei seemed to personally dread this option, and had a simple question for her new handmaid: "Why do you care?" Missandei was forced to admit that she had two brothers among the Unsullied troops.[2]

When Daenerys entered Astapor to complete the deal, Missandei walked to the left side of the Silver. She pointed at the Plaza of Punishment and explained that it stood at the front of the main gate so that new slaves could witness first-hand the fate of rebellious slaves.[2] At the meeting, Kraznys still gave orders to Missandei, despite no longer owning her. Missandei left some of his phrases untranslated, such as "whore of Westeros". As the deal concluded, Missandei witnessed the Sack of Astapor.[2]

During the initial conflict with Yunkai, Missandei explained to Daenerys that the Yunkai'i spoke a Valyrian dialect mutually intelligible to that of Astapor. She also pointed out that the ruling class there dubbed themselves Wise Masters.[8] The night before the battle, Dany was too restless to sleep. Missandei offered to sing her a lullaby of the Peaceful People, but was turned down. Dany instead had her summon "Arstan Whitebeard".[8] After a three-day siege of Yunkai, the Wise Masters released a large number of slaves to Daenerys. Missandei explained to them that they owed their freedom to Daenerys. She then had to translate their new term for Daenerys: "Mhysa", Ghiscari for "Mother".[8]

During the Siege of Meereen, Strong Belwas won a duel against Oznak zo Pahl, but suffered a wound. Daenerys was worried about infection, so she sent Missandei to locate a healer. The man was a Yunkish freedman "renowned for his skill in the healing arts".[9] Dany later called for Missandei to have the Silver and the girl's own horse saddled, in preparation for a visit to the camps. Missandei offered to call the bloodriders to serve as guards, but Daenerys chose "Arstan" instead. When The Titan's Bastard attempted to assassinate Daenerys, Missandei called for help. "Arstan" was able to wound Mero and save Daenerys. Meanwhile Missandei pulled Dany back on her feet. A number of freedmen, likely responding to Missandei's calls, then attacked Mero; he was torn apart.[9]

While contemplating gods, Daenerys recalled Missandei's narrative concerning the Lord of Harmony, and later recalled other details concerning Naath told by Missandei. She noted growing very fond of the girl.[7] With Meereen fallen, Daenerys chose the Great Pyramid as her new seat. Missandei, Irri, and Jhiqui moved to the royal apartments with her, with Missandei sleeping in her own bed.[7] When Missandei served her breakfast, Dany asked her a question concerning the flies of Naath. Missandei responded that Naath has butterflies. Daenerys promised Missandei to take her "home" to Naath one day, but Missandei replied that she was content to stay with the Targaryen.[7] While contemplating her various allies' and supporters' reliability, Daenerys noted fearing betrayal by all of them. Missandei, Jhiqui, Irri, Grey Worm, Ben Plumm, and Daario Naharis all looked suspect in her eyes.[7]

When Daenerys decided to bury the corpses of Meereen, Missandei offered advice, saying the Ghiscari have their honored dead interred in crypts beneath their manses. She suggested boiling the bones clean, and returning them to their kin for burial as an act of kindness.[7] Missandei attended the initial meeting of Daenerys with Ghael, the envoy of King Cleon of Astapor. She made sure that this was Cleon, the former slave of Grazdan mo Ullhor, then whispered to Daenerys information on the background of Cleon. When Ghael detailed Cleon's marriage proposal to Daenerys and his promise to give her many strong sons, Missandei asked the obvious question: whether Cleon ever had sons and, by implication, whether he could father more of them. Ghael was forced to admit that Cleon had only fathered daughters in his previous wedding.[7]

Daenerys was surprised to find that several men of Meereen volunteered to become slaves, in exchange for transport to Qarth. She decided to allow for any man or woman to sell themselves, but forbade anyone to sell their children or wives. She was initially content to have no profit from the sales, but Missandei pointed out that in Astapor the Good Masters had taken a 10% sales tax. Daenerys decided to adopt the same measure for Meereen, adding some much needed gold to the royal coffers.[7]

At night, Daenerys suffered from nightmares. She rose from her bed, leaving her paramour Irri asleep. She noted Missandei and Irri sleeping in their own beds. Missandei soon woke up and discovered Dany missing. She went in search of her queen, finding her in the terrace garden. She was puzzled to hear Daenerys mention looking for "a house with a red door". Dany then had the girl promise to never lie to her, to never betray her. The two watched the sunrise together, holding hands.[7]

When Daenerys berated herself for bringing "death and ruin" to Slaver's Bay, Missandei reminded her that she had brought freedom as well.[7]

A Dance with Dragons

Missandei by Paul Phillips©

Missandei took on the role of herald for Daenerys Targaryen.[4] [10] At night, Missandei woke up Daenerys to inform her that Stalwart Shield was murdered. Daenerys moved to the hall, waiting for the corpse to be transferred for examination.[4] During the day, Missandei announced the entry of Daenerys to the hall, signaling the beginning of the daily audience with envoys and petitioners. Missandei used the same opening line every day:[4]

All kneel for Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of [the] Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Shackles, and Mother of Dragons.[4]

She was distraught when Mossador, one of her brothers, was killed by the Sons of the Harpy. In the night, Daenerys was roused by Irri to be informed about the latest series of murders. Dany could hear someone weeping, but could not place the voice. Irri had to point out that Missandei wept for her brother. [3] After meeting with Skahaz mo Kandaq and deciding on a new strategy against the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys returned to the royal apartments. Finding Missandei still crying, she invited the girl to sleep with her, which Missandei accepted. Before falling asleep, Missandei shared some of her memories of Mossador with Dany. Dany once again offered Missandei a chance to return to Naath. Missandei replied that at Naath she would be afraid, easy prey for slavers. She felt safe with the Targaryen, calling her "mother" in a whisper and hugging her tight, and Dany kissed her goodnight.[3]

Dany herself was unable to sleep that night, and left the bed and heading to the terrace pool for a swim. There she had a vision of Quaithe. Missandei woke up and went in search for her. She discovered Dany still at the pool, apparently talking to nobody at all. This made Dany wonder whether Quaithe was but a shadow, a memory - never physically there. Just before dawn, Missandei served breakfast to Dany, still at the garden.[3]

In the day, Daenerys had a meeting with Hizdahr zo Loraq, concerning his petition to re-open the fighting pits. Daenerys wanted them closed for good, mentally noting that Missandei seemingly shared her opinion. Reznak mo Reznak, Galazza Galare, Skahaz, and Belwas were all in favor of the petition, though each for his own reasons. Barristan Selmy wanted to introduce Westerosi-style tourney to Meereen, using the fighting pits as tourney grounds.[3]

Galazza Galare, the Green Grace, arrived at the Great Pyramid escorted by a dozen White Graces. Daenerys tasked Missandei with having the girls fed and entertained. [11] About 25 days later, Missandei interrupted a conversation between Daenerys and Selmy to announce that Skahaz had requested an audience. He wanted to give her the latest reports of the surveillance team which followed Hizdahr. The would-be-king had visited 11 pyramids.[12]

Following a visit to the camps of refugees outside Meereen, Daenerys returned to the royal apartments. There he found Irri and Jhiqui arguing over Rakharo, while Missandei studied an old scroll. She stopped the argument and headed for the terrace pool, inviting Missandei to join her in the water. While swimming, the girl claimed to have heard strange sounds in the night: someone scratching at the wall's old, crumbling bricks. She believed the Astapori were trying to enter. Irri and Jhiqui claimed to have heard nothing that night. Daenerys dismissed the sounds as mere dreams.[13] Viserion was later discovered to have used his flame and claws to carve a hole in the walls.[14]

Missandei reminded Daenerys of her arranged meeting with Reznak and Galazza to discuss wedding preparations.[13] When Daario Naharis brought news that Ben Plumm and the Second Sons had defected to the enemy, there were varying reactions in the court of Meereen. Surrounded by the voices of her advisors, Daenerys asked them to be quiet. She noted that only Missandei heard her the first time. Dany had to raise her voice and repeat the order to silence them. [13] Two nights prior to her wedding, Daenerys had a sexual encounter with Daario. In the morning, Missandei asked about her health, having overheard the sounds of the lovemaking, but having misunderstood their meaning:[6]

In the black of night this one heard you scream.[6]

At dawn on Daenerys' wedding day, Missandei insisted that the queen should have a simple, full breakfast of goat cheese, olives, and raisins. She pointed that Daenerys needed her strength, and mere wine was not enough. She also pointed out that Dany was "such a tiny thing". She understood that Dany was having second thoughts about the wedding, suggesting that it was not too late to cancel the wedding. Dany instead thought that it was too late for such a decision. Missandei insisted that Dany did not love Hizdahr, and could choose another husband, but Dany responded that a queen marries for duty, not love.[6]

Missandei reported that both Reznak and Skahaz wished to escort the queen to the Temple of the Graces, as part of her marriage procession. Dany insisted on riding the Silver to the Temple, until Missandei reminded her that "you cannot ride in a tokar". Daenerys still felt that the palanquin, which Reznak had suggested, was a poor choice for a hot day, and had Missandei arrange a sedan chair for her.[6] Following the wedding, Daenerys had a disappointing consummation with Hizdahr, who was drunk and did not last long. Daenerys herself was unable to sleep. Missandei listened to her crying, and approached the bed. Daenerys asked the girl to keep her company, unwilling to be alone. Missandei did her best to comfort Daenerys, sharing her memories with Dany. She was still talking when the queen fell asleep.[15]

Missandei washed Daenerys' hair prior to visiting fighting pits, their long awaited re-opening. Missandei accepted that the pits would open, but suggested that Daenerys herself did not have to attend the opening. When Daenerys claimed that half of Meereen would be there to see her, Missandei instisted that the spectators only wanted to see men bleeding and dying. [16] Missandei later reported that Quentyn Martell and his Dornishmen were expecting an audience.[16]

When Daenerys disappeared on Drogon's back, her consort Hizdahr took full control of Meereen. He had Missandei replaced as herald, citing that it was undignified for a king to use a child or a former slave as a herald.[16][10] Irri and Jhiqui moved out of the royal apartments, leaving Meereen with most of Daenerys's Dothraki khalasar. The khalasar has set out to search the Dothraki Sea for their missing queen. Hizhar had chosen to establish his own suite of rooms, and Daenerys's cupbearers moved with him. This left Missandei the only occupant of the royal apartments, described by Selmy as a "forlorn little ghost".[10]

Ser Barristan comes to understand why Daenerys is so fond of Missandei - by Sir-Heartsalot ©

Barristan Selmy continued sharing the apex of the Great Pyramid with Missandei, having his own cell by the royal apartments.[10][17] Missandei approached him in the terrace, overhearing the knight voicing his thoughts. He wondered whether Daenerys was flying home to Westeros. The soft voice of Missandei replied from behind him, startling Selmy. He had not heard her approach, nor felt her standing right behind him. She assured him that Daenerys would not leave without them, then revealed the real reason she approached him: a message from Skahaz. She explained that the former leader of the Brazen Beasts still entered and exited the Pyramid at will. He asked for a secret meeting with Selmy. Selmy send his own reply through the former herald.[10]

Before his coup d'etat against Hizhahr, Selmy visited the royal apartments, where he found Missandei among her piles of scrolls and books. He warned her to not leave the queen's chambers for any reason that night.[18] Selmy deposed Hizdahr in a coup d'etat and was proclaimed Queen's Hand, ruling in the name of the missing Daenerys. He arranged for Quentyn Martell, mortally burned by Rhaegal, to be transferred to the bed of Daenerys. Missandei took care of the wounded man for three days, sitting at his bedside night and day and offering him water and milk of the poppy. Barristan tried to arrange some assistance for her efforts, but the cupbearers feared the sight of the burned Dornishman, and the Blue Graces did not reply to his summons. Missandei reported the death of Quentyn just before the dawn. She was certain that the "Dornish gods" took him home and that Quentyl smiled at death, finally beyond pain. Barristan kepts his thoughts on the matter to himself, that Quentyn had no lips to smile.[14][19]

Missandei was interested in the fate of Quentyn's corpse, but Selmy reminded her to get some proper sleep, in her own bed instead of a chair. She offered the same advise to him, having noted that Selmy gets little sleep at night.[19] Missandei aids Ser Barristan in taking control of the court of Meereen. He used one of her ideas in negotiations with the enemy, offering each man's weight in gold ransom for the release of the hostages (Daario Naharis, Hero, Jhogo). While the Wise Masters neither want nor need the gold, their mercenaries are likely to support the deal, creating division in the enemy ranks. Selmy finds Missandei's strategy reminiscent of both Petyr Baelish (whose plans included bribes) and Varys (whose plans included fostering division in the enemy ranks).[19]

Quotes about Missandei

The little scribe with the big golden eyes was wise beyond her years. She is brave as well. She had to be to survive the life she's lived".[7]
Daenerys Targaryen


She relied so much on the little scribe that she oft forgot that Missandei had only turned eleven.[6]
Daenerys Targaryen


Eleven years of age, yet Missandei is as clever as half the men at this table and wiser than all of them.[19]
Barristan Selmy, comparing Missandei to the Ruling council of Meereen

References and Notes

  1. Missandei was "no more than ten" during the events of 299, and mentioned as being "eleven" during events of 300
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard (Barristan I).
  11. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys.
  12. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 30, Daenerys.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys.
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer (Quentyn IV).
  15. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight (Barristan II).
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker (Barristan III).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand (Barristan IV).
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