Game of Thrones: Liam Cunningham Balked at Davos's Missandei Fawning

There's something to be said on how protective actor Liam Cunningham is over the character of Ser Davos Seaworth in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Originally the right-hand man of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), Davos ended up allied with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and later, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in a pact to try to topple the Lannisters from King's Landing in season eight. Throughout his story on the long-running series, Davos developed paternal-type bonds with Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram), daughter of Stannis, and Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), the leader of Bear Island in the North. In James Hibberd's behind-the-scenes book, "Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon", it is revealed via Insider that executive producers and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss proposed Davos develop a crush on Dany's right-hand woman in Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) when they met in season seven. Cunningham more than scoffed at the notion.

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LOS ANGELES – SEP 21: Liam Cunningham arrives to the BAFTA Los Angeles and BBC America TV Tea Party on September 21, 2019 in Hollywood, CA (Image: DFree/

The Issue Liam Cunningham Had with the Game of Thrones Story Proposed

"There's a streak in Benioff that's willful," Cunningham said. "He likes to stir the s—. When we first meet Daenerys, Benioff and [director Mark Mylod] wanted Davos to have a crush on Missandei. And I fought them. I'm not f****** doing it!" The actor, who was 56 then, didn't want to flip to compromise on Davo's principals even on the then 28-year old Emmanuel. "It's the only thing I ever stood up to them on," he continued. "The woman is a goddess, but with Davos' history with Lyanna Mormont and Shireen, you can't have him getting the hots for a young woman. I'm not 100 percent sure David [Benioff] wasn't just doing it to annoy me." The actor recalled his response to them. "You're not undoing my hard work engendering the sympathy of the audience to have him be a perv."

Game of Thrones: Liam Cunningham Balked at Davos Fawning of Missandei
Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO/WarnerMedia

By the time the two characters actually did meet, Missandei was already involved with the Unsullied leader Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). Unfortunately, all three women met grisly fates in the HBO show. Shireen became a blood sacrifice to curry favor with the Gods in hopes he can win against Ramsey Bolton's (Iwan Rheon) forces. Lyanna fell at Winterfell after being crushed by a white walker giant during "The Long Night" but not before delivering the fatal blow to its eye. Missandei was executed by the order of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) after being captured despite her brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) pleading for mercy. Cunningham is was recently in Solar Opposites, completed Way Down, and currently filming Domina for Sky in the UK. "Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon" is available at bookstores and on digital.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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