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Game of Thrones finally gave us the feminist sex scene we deserve

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Kayleigh Dray
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Warning: this article contains spoilers for Stormborn, the second episode of the seventh series of Game of Thrones.

HBO’s Game of Thrones has sparked controversy in the past over its portrayal of female characters; some felt that women have been objectified in nude scenes, that rape scenes have been “gratuitous”, and that most of Westeros’ women come to power through physical and emotional humiliation.

But, when loyal Daenerys supporters Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) finally gave in to their feelings in Stormborn (S7, E2), it was an incredibly tender, intimate and beautiful moment – one which focused on consent, respect and female pleasure.

Missandei and Grey Worm’s delicate romance has been building for the past few seasons, so when she learns that her friend is being sent to Casterly Rock on a dangerous mission, Missandei makes the decision to cherish what could very well be their last night together.

Grey Worm, though, reminds her that he is a eunuch: when he was a very young boy, he was castrated as part of his merciless induction into the ranks of former slave army The Unsullied. Its member’s sole reason for existing is to be obedient and skilled soldiers – and by leaving their warriors without a penis or testicles, the enslavers hoped they would also remove any distraction caused by sexual desire.

Because of this, Grey Worm admits that he is self-conscious about his appearance and about his abilities as a lover. But Missandei, after slipping off her own clothes, gently encourages him to let her see him – and Grey Worm, reassured by her words, agrees.

The pair soon fall upon a bed together and it isn’t long before Grey Worm is kissing Missandei all over her body. Focusing in on female sexuality, the camera remains on Missandei’s face, capturing her expression of ecstatic pleasure as the warrior begins to go down on her.



Emmanuel – who admitted that she was initially nervous about filming the nude scenes – agrees that Missandei and Grey Worm’s sex scene is a “really big deal”.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said: “There’s something unique about it purely because of Grey Worm’s situation – his brutal history of being mutilated – there’s a real sense of trust here and that really plays out in this lovely scene where they physically act upon their love.

“For him to do that is a really big deal and Missandei knows that and doesn’t really care. She just loves him and that intimacy they’ve shared comes to a head.”

And, with female oral sex scenes so rare in film and television, there’s no denying that this scene was a progressive and feminist move from Game of Thrones producers (who, it’s worth noting, previously had Jon Snow go down on Ygritte all those seasons ago).

The encounter also reminded viewers that there is far more to sex than penetration.

Missandei and Grey Worm finally succumbed to their feelings in Stormborn

Missandei and Grey Worm finally succumbed to their feelings in Stormborn

Dr Thomas W Johnson, a retired cultural anthropologist and expert on eunuchs, previously told Vulture that “sexuality doesn’t require an erect penis”.

“Tongue, lips, fingers – there are all kinds of ways for a male to be sexual with a woman,” he continued.

“They become far less sexual, but they do not become asexual.”



Psychosexual therapist Mike Lousada agrees, pointing out that Missandei and Grey Worm’s relationship isn’t just based on physical attraction – it’s deeply rooted in their emotional connection, too, which is more than enough to form the basis of a satisfying sex life.

Speaking to Newsweek, he said: “Lesbians manage to have full and delicious sex lives, and there’s no penis penetration. There’s this very heteronormative attitude that we have – that sex is a penis going into a vagina, and it’s such a limited understanding of what sex is.”

Lousada added: “If you limit to the genitals, orgasm, getting an erection, we really limit our understanding of what’s possible.”

We hope that Game of Thrones continues to defy stereotypes and subvert run-of-the-mill male-stream media – and, more importantly, acknowledge the fact that women are sexual beings, with wants, needs and desires.

Images: HBO

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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