Game of Thrones: Why It’s Significant That Grey Worm Is Going to Naath

At the end of Game of Thrones, Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied, loads his people on a bunch of ships and sails for Naath.

Naath is an island off the Summer Sea, where Missandei was from. It’s located south of Old Valyria, where the Targaryens originated. Missandei was taken from Naath to be a slave when she was five years old. She recalls its white sands and tall trees. It’s known for its tropical climate, palm trees, peaceful people, and butterflies. In Season 7, Davos Seaworth says that he’s heard it’s beautiful there, and he is a beautiful man, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about.

But why is Naath significant beyond its beauty, and why does Grey Worm take the Unsullied there?

In Season 8 Episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” Grey Worm and Missandei plan their future after Daenerys wins the Iron Throne. Neither feel welcome by the people of Westeros (especially the blatantly racist Northerners), so they agree that once they’re done serving Daenerys, they’ll peace out and live out the rest of their lives in Naath.

So the two agree they’ll sail for Naath once Daenerys takes over the Seven Kingdoms, and the Unsullied will tag along to help protect Naath’s peaceful people. Unfortunately, Cersei Lannister captures Missandei in the next episode and beheads her in front of Grey Worm and Daenerys, so plans change. Grey Worm goes on a rogue killing spree during the Siege of King’s Landing, but ultimately decides to take himself and the Unsullied (and maybe the Dothraki?) to Naath, because he’s done with all the Westeros politics stuff.

It’s unclear whether this is canon on the show, but The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, describes “butterfly fever,” an illness that kills all those foreign to Naath. Those local to Naath are immune to the fever, but it’s believed to be spread by the island’s butterflies, and those who remain on the island too long eventually die from it. According to A Wiki of Ice and Fire:

But when it comes to the show, Grey Worm and the Unsullied probably didn’t send themselves to die of butterfly fever. If it was canon to the series, Missandei likely would have mentioned it when she suggested going back there with Grey Worm. Instead, Grey Worm’s journey ends with him fulfilling his promise to protect the Naathi from the kind of people who took Missandei from her home when she was a child.

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