- Missandei: "I am from an island called Naath...when did they take me? I was five years old."
- Grey Worm: "You remember your home?"
- Missandei: "I remember when they rowed us away from shore. How white the beaches were, how tall the trees. And I remember my village burning, smoke rising into the sky."
- — Missandei recalls how she was taken in a slaving raid as a child.[src]
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Naath is a large, curving island. It is known as a land of peace where war does not exist. The people of Naath, the Naathi, are also known as the Peaceful People. As is typical of the peoples of Sothoryos, the Naathi are dark-skinned. In addition, typical Naathi features include a round flat face and golden eyes.
Naath is located on the same line of longitude as Old Valyria, though much further south and separated by a great distance across the Summer Sea.
The Naathi worship a single deity called the Lord of Harmony, who created the entire universe and everything in it. Due to their religious beliefs the Naathi do not harm any living thing, refusing to eat the flesh of animals and abstaining from violence and martial endeavors. As a result the Naathi are vegetarians - their main diet consisting of fruit - and their main recreational activity is the making of music.
The World of Ice & Fire sourcebook stated that Naath is also known as the "Isle of Butterflies" due to the many species of the insect that inhabit the island (this detail has been subtly included in the TV series; in the opening credits, the small image appearing next to Nathalie Emmanuel, who portrays Missandei, is a butterfly).
The sourcebook also mentions that because the island's climate is very conducive to insect life, Naath was once a major exporter of silk (from silkworms) to both sides of the Narrow Sea. Naathi silk was often found in the markets of King's Landing, Oldtown, and the Free Cities, along with spiced wines and various handicrafts they also produced.
Unfortunately, because of their tranquil nature, the peaceful Naathi are a favored target for slavers. They raid the island's coastal areas and take numerous captives back to nearby Slaver's Bay (to the northeast), or even to the Free Cities (to the northwest). The slavers were always a problem, but after the Doom of Valyria, with no Valyrian fleets to control the seas, the slaving raids drastically increased and devastated Naath. The island's silk industry was mostly destroyed as the inhabitants fled to the hills of the interior, and Naathi exports are now a rare sight in foreign markets.
A large species of butterfly on Naath is a carrier for a horrific disease that makes the flesh literally slough off of a man's bones, but the Naathi themselves are immune to it. For centuries, would-be foreign invaders would end up succumbing to the "butterfly fever", and the Naathi say none maintained a presence on the island for more than a single year. It also deterred slavers for generations. However, slavers eventually realized that if they only stayed on the island for a few hours in quick raids and then departed with captives, they would not contract the disease - and better still if they attacked only at night, because the butterflies are only active during the daylight hours. Naath has still technically never been "conquered" by outside forces due to fear of staying too long and catching the butterfly fever, but otherwise the island's society has been severely damaged by frequent slaver raids.
|Islands of the Summer Sea||