"Game of Thrones" concluded Season 5 with the Mother of Dragons surrounded by Dothraki riders and far from her advisers, her people and her Unsullied in Meereen.
Leaving Tyrion Lannister to rule the city and Grey Worm to helm the former-slave soldiers, Daario and Jorah embark on a mission to find their missing queen after an attack by gold-masked Sons of the Harpy. And it appears no one in Meereen is safe.
At an art show dedicated to the series, we grabbed a few minutes with Jacob Anderson -- otherwise known as Grey Worm -- to chat about what's going on in Essos, how many of his fellow soldiers are left after Season 5's bloodbath, and a strange link between the Unsullied and the White Walkers.
While Anderson admits he hasn't read the book series on which the HBO series is based, he appreciates the intricate details George R. R. Martin pours into the story that's inspired a huge fandom. Off-set, the actor lets his hair grow out and typically doesn't walk around in armor, but that doesn't stop fans from occasionally spotting him.
What's the best fan interaction you've had?
My favorite -- but it was also quite disconcerting -- was after the first season I was in. I was on a subway here [in New York] and some guy went -- can I swear?
He went, "FUCK YEAH, Grey Worm!" And I looked up, and I was like, "What?" I wasn't even in the third season that much! And then I looked up and the guy just went back to his paper and didn't refer to it at all. It was strange.
Yeah. Is Grey Worm safe right now in Meereen?
I don't think anyone's safe. No one's safe in Meereen.
Or in the whole show. So, I have some questions about the Unsullied. How much of their humanity do you think is left in them?
I think they have all of their humanity contained within them. It's just about getting it back. Reclaiming it.
It's just repressed.
Yeah, very, very heavily repressed. I think of them almost as robots, with, like, organic matter inside. Like cyborgs.
Robots with hearts of gold. Like Wall-E?
Like, yeah, if Wall-E had organs and a heart. I mean, that robot has a heart. Grey Worm is like Wall-E. I've never thought that before. That's kind of true.
There's a scene at the end of Season 5 where Missandei asks your character what use the Unsullied have for brothels after one was killed there, and Grey Worm says, "I don't know." Do you have an answer?
Yeah. I think it's companionship. I think that now they have their freedom, and they're just learning how to be human. That's something they're unfamiliar with -- it's not sexual. It's purely an instinctive thing, almost, being loved by somebody. Being held by somebody. I think it's almost like an infantile thing rather than being sexual in any way. But that's quite embarrassing, I think, for Grey Worm to admit that, and that's why he says "I don't know."
Yeah. I think George R. R. Martin had them go to brothels for cuddles.
Yeah! That's exactly what it is.
What do you think about the budding romance between your character and Missandei?
The thing I really like about it is it's really innocent. I think it's really pure. And the only way that Grey Worm understands love is her -- he only feels it because he met her. I think that's really cool and really unique. And also it's kind of the same for her, as well -- she's been used to a lot of really horrible experiences with men. I think Grey Worm's just really gentle. I think it's really sweet that they found each other.
There's this theory on Reddit about a thematic link between the Unsullied and the White Walkers. Season 4, Episode 4, begins with Grey Worm telling Missandei he doesn't remember his childhood because he's always been a slave, and it ends with a White Walker holding an infant that's to become one of the Others. The idea is that maybe White Walkers are like the Unsullied, where they're both slaves to a life they didn't choose.
Ah! That's really interesting. I've never noticed that myself.
It's sort of just how the episode is structured.
Yeah, and I think everything's deliberate. With David and Dan, nothing's accidental. So I wouldn't be surprised -- if it's not that, that it would be something else. The stories all weave together in such a subtle way, once it's all over, we'll watch it all back from the beginning and go, "Oh, my god! They seeded that in the very beginning!" It's cool. I like that theory.
One more question. So many Unsullied seemed to die last season -- how many are left?
Well, it's hard to say, because I don't think they were being killed all over the city.
I reckon they probably lost a few hundred.
Yeah, out of eight thousand.
So Dany's still good.
Yeah, she's fine!
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on April 24 at 9 p.m. EST.