Liam Cunningham reveals in the new “Game of Thrones” oral history book “Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon” that he pushed back against the creative team’s pitch to have his character, Ser Davos Seaworth, crush on Missandei of Naath (via Insider). The two characters come face to face in the series’ seventh season. According to Cunningham, an idea was floated around to have Davos attempt to be romantic with Nathalie Emmanuel’s character. Cunningham would’ve been around 56 years old at the time, while Emmanuel was 28.
“There’s a streak in Benioff that’s willful,” Cunningham said. “He likes to stir the shit. 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 fucking doing it. It’s the only thing I ever stood up to them on. 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.”
Lyanna Mormont and Shireen were two pre-teen girls that Davos became a mentor figure for over the course of the series. If Davos were to hit on a younger woman like Missandei, then Cunningham believed it would threaten to cast a dark shadow over the character’s relationship with other young woman characters.
Cunningham said he told the showrunnners: “You’re not undoing my hard work engendering the sympathy of the audience to have him be a perv.” While Cunningham remains in the dark about just how serious Benioff and the team were being, just the thought of Davos crushing on Missandei was so off-putting that he shut it down immediately.
Cunningham starred as Davos for seven years on “Game of Thrones” and appeared in 42 of the series’ 73 episodes. Following the end of “Thrones” in 2019, the actor has mostly taken on television voice roles in series such as “Rick and Morty,” “Solar Opposites,” and “Masters of the Universe: Revelation.” Cunningham’s film credits include “Clash of the Titans,” “War Horse,” “The Childhood of a Leader,” and “A Little Princess.”
The “Game of Thrones” oral history book “Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon” is now available for purchase.