Nathalie Emmanuel wrote a heartbreaking farewell message Tuesday detailing how much playing the character Missandei on HBO's Game of Thrones over the years has meant to her.
"She represented so much for me, personally, that I have no choice but to carry the things she has taught me into my life going forward," Emmanuel wrote in an Instagram caption about the role she played for seven years.
(This post will definitely include major spoilers from Season 8 of Game of Thrones, so if you haven't been watching, you may want to click out of this post now!)
In a sad turn of events on Sunday night's episode, Emmanuel's character, Missandei of Naath, the interpreter and close friend of Queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), met her demise after being captured near Dragonstone during a surprise attack from Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk).
She was then imprisoned and held hostage on Cersei Lannister's (Lena Headey) orders and was subsequently beheaded when Daenerys refused to bend the knee to Cersei, who currently occupies the oh-so-coveted Iron Throne.
Emmanuel said that stepping into Missandei's shoes had been "one of my greatest joys," further describing her character as "[a] brilliant woman who overcame so much suffering and found herself, her voice...and her one and only love."
Once a slave, Missandei rose to become one of Daenerys's most trusted advisers, and closest friends, throughout the series. She also fell in love with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), the leader of the Unsullied, who was obviously distraught at being forced to watch her execution.
The death of Missandei caused an outcry from some viewers because Emmanuel's character was one of the few black figures on a show that's overwhelmingly white.
Writer Mikki Kendall said, "Missandei's story is what happens when the writers can not imagine a world where Black characters are fully developed so...not surprised."
"I'm not just 'I liked Missandei' mad," another viewer wrote. "I'm 'Dany's entire storyline has been built on the backs of people of color and we didn't need the murder of the one black woman on the show to solidify her ~loss~' mad."
Missandei's death was felt at some of the highest levels in the entertainment industry, as in this bit of criticism from filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who said, "So... the one and only sister on the whole epic, years-long series? That's what you wanna do? Okay."
Emmanuel even retweeted DuVernay's message, adding a slew of heart emojis.
Viewers hoped that there was a chance Missandei and Grey Worm would ride off into the sunset together, but the showrunners clearly had other plans.
Anderson, who also uses the alias Raleigh Ritchie, shared a video of the two actors dancing on the set while he sang Ghost Town DJ's "My Boo."
"I know it hurts. But Somewhere in the multiverse 👑🌞🌴," he wrote, suggesting the two presumably have a happier ending in an alternative timeline.
In her lengthy caption, Emmanuel wrote about how much being Anderson's costar meant to her.
“I found performances I didn’t know I had inside me, simply because you gave me so much to work against,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a more generous and supportive co-star.”
Emmanuel also fit in some inside jokes between the two, saying, "Also... We’ve been out in these streets together boiiii🤣😂" before thanking Anderson for being "a dear friend at every point."
Emmanuel also thanked Clarke, calling the actor "a source of light and laughter."
"I love you... SO much," she told Clarke. "I’ve loved playing your BFF for the past 7 years. Thank you for being such a wonderful person in my life and a source of light and laughter.
"The Bad Ass Boss Lady Warrior Goddess club will live on forever 😂🙌🏽," she wrote.
Finally, the actor ended her caption with a message to fans for their "love and support" and offered up a more pleasant ending for her character than the one she received Sunday night.
"I know last night was pretty intense for some of you," she wrote, "so I invite you to participate in my fantasy where I like to think that, right now.... Missandei is sipping a rum on a beach somwhere [sic] in sky 😂... 🍹🌴."