Updated: 19th April 2018

Game of Thrones got its latest sex scene beautifully, astoundingly right

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the latest episode ofGame of Thrones, Stormborn.

Sundaynight’s episode of Game of Throneswas packed with important reveals, symbolism, and death. But one momentstood out fromthe usual tension and slaughter: a shockingly tender love scene between Grey Worm and Missandei.

The two former slaves have been prominent side characters for several seasons now, and they have built up fan followings despite their minor roles. The blossoming romance between them has been building since season 4, so when theescalatingtension between them finally came to fruitionin Sunday’s episode, fans were delighted.

Game of Thrones is often sexual, but real romance and intimacy are exceedingly rare. Sex is used more often as an expression of powerand the series hasbeen criticized more than once for its depictions of rape.

Perhaps that’s why this delicate love scenenot found in the booksbetweentwo former slaves touched fans’ hearts. The scene starts with Missandei approaching Grey Worm vulnerable and hurt that he plannedto leave for war without saying goodbye. The interaction culminates in the hardened warrior finally admitting that he hasfeelings for Missandei. You can almost hear the fanbase cheeras the two share a passionate kiss that has been a long time coming.

A close-up of Grey Worm’s hand, full of tension and fear before slowly relaxing, encompasses the struggle and weight that these complex characters carry with them. It hints at Grey Worm’s body insecurityhe was castrated as a slavewithout letting it be prohibitive. Missandei makes it clear she wants to see and be with her loveras he is. It’s a moment they reclaim power over their bodies and desires after living for so long as someone else’s property. The sex itself isgentle and tenderan expression of love wholly unlike anything we’ve seen so far on the show.

In a world where the common man tends to be cannon fodder, giving these two this beautiful, human moment that served only themselvesnot some ruling housewas pure, simple, and perfect.

Unfortunately, this short break from the onslaught of war will surely not last long. Thisis Game of Thrones, after all, and the night is dark and full of terrors

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