As we head into the Battle of Winterfell on the next episode of Game of Thrones, fans are desperately trying to figure out what's going to happen next. Will Brienne and Jaime ever make it official? Can we defeat the Night King? If anyone is able to survive, who's going to sit upon the Iron Throne? We're legit grasping at straws here—how's it all going to end?!
Just in case you're not scared enough, I'm here to add one more layer of confusion and anxiety to your GoT jitters, courtesy of one particularly frightening fan theory: Missandei is actually a Faceless Man.
We first met Missandei back in season three when Daenerys sailed to Astapor to purchase the Unsullied. Though Missandei was formerly a slave, she's well-educated—she speaks nineteen languages including High Valyrian, Low Valyrian, Dothraki, and the common tongue of Westerosi people. Her intellect and ride-or-die attitude wins Dany's favor, and Missandei becomes the primary aide to the Mother of Dragons.
So why do people suspect Missandei after all this time? She's been nothing but supportive of Dany's cause, and she hasn't killed anyone à la Arya Stark—how can Missandei be one of the Faceless Men?
We can look to the A Song of Ice and Fire novels for more evidence of Missandei's true identity. In the books, Missandei is only a child when she first meets Daernarys in Astapor. She talks in a weird way, often referring to herself as "this one," and has an surprising amount of intel about the sociopolitical inner-workings of the Seven Kingdoms. Many fans have done a deep dive into the possibilities of her accumulating all of this knowledge about Westeros, coming to the conclusion that Missandei's expansive insight can only be explained by her being one of the Faceless Men.
To refresh your memory, the Faceless Men are a group of assassins with origins in Braavos. They serve the Many-Faced God, and as part of their worship, they kill people and literally steal their faces. We watched Arya's violent journey to become a girl with no name in both season five and season six, and if this theory holds weight, that means Missandei is curently wearing someone else's face and has been doing so since we first encountered her. Creepy, right?
I'm not sure that I'm completely sold on this hypothesis, though. At this point, Missandei has been by Dany's side for five seasons without a real hint of her being anything other than the possible Mad Queen's trusted friend and confidante. If Missandei was a Faceless Man, I think we'd know by now.
Faceless Man or not, a possible betrayal at the hands of Missandei could still be in the cards for Daenerys, especially now that Grey Worm has basically been sentenced to death as the Unsullied head into battle with the Night King's army. Winterfell has been nothing short of a nightmare for the ridiculously attractive couple; it's an ugly, cold mess of a castle, and the folks in the North are high-key racist af (people of color can't even catch a break in a fictional kingdom). Grey Worm promised Missandei that they will go back to the warm beaches of Naath when the war is over, but since he's probably going to die in battle, that's probably canceled. Unless Missandei is able to save him, that is.
Another theory suggests that Missandei will turn on Daenerys in order to ensure Grey Worm's safety. In the books, Dany visits the House of the Undying in Qarth and receives a three-part prophecy: she'll be betrayed for blood, for gold, and for love. The witch Mirri Maz Duur betrayed Daenerys by murdering her unborn child (blood), and Ser Jorah of Mormont betrayed her by selling the late King Robert Baratheon information about her whereabouts (gold). Missandei could be the last of the three betrayals, turning on her close friend to make sure that her lover Grey Worm isn't killed. One deleted scene from the fourth season of the show hints that her treachery may very well be in the cards.
Knowing that everything in Game of Thrones happens for a reason (including that fiery message from the Night King), I can't fight the sneaking suspicion that these two besties are headed towards a very permanent breakup. I'm crying already.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.