In Game of Thrones S05E01 "The Wars to Come", one of the Unsullied is shown to be visiting a brothel. Missandei has also mentioned that she has heard that "more than one Unsullied has been known to visit Meereen's brothels."

I have the same question as Missandei's to Grey Worm: Why would an Unsullied go to a brothel? (Aren't they castrated, and would derive no pleasure from the services offered by brothels?)

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    The title sounds like the setup for a joke.
    – magnattic
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 8:28
  • Isn't another castratee by the name of Varys known to frequent brothels in Kings Landing partaking in what appears some very questionable pleasures?
    – user20477
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:53
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    @atticae He went to the chick across the road? Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 19:38
  • So I'm pretty sure none of the Unsullied actually remember their castration and I'm pretty sure, even though I've never read the books, you never see an Unsullied genital area. Although it is unlikely I would like to point out that maybe the Unsullied only think that they have been castrated because they don't know what normal genitals look like and are actually competely normal down there. I know it's far fetched but knowing George, it's not impossible. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:06

5 Answers 5


To seek pleasures other than sexual (which is sometimes the case also for not castrated men).

The below fragment from A Wiki of Ice and Fire is about the Unsullied you mention (in the book he is called Stalwart Shield). Note that this a Wiki about the books, not the TV series, so it may contain spoilers.

Stalwart Shield would occasionally go to a brothel in Meereen where he would pay women just to lie with him and hold him.

  • 5
    This seemed reasonably clear from to me from the TV scene as well, and I had completely forgotten that bit from the book.
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 20:08
  • @mattdm Indeed it was clear in the TV scene - the Unsullied told the prostitute that she didn't need to undress and then they were just lying together and she was singing to him. I didn't include it in my answer, because I haven't watched the episode until yesterday. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 8:19

Daario Naharis mentioned that his mother was a whore, and I suppose some of The Unsullieds have similar background as they grew up in a brothel. Having a woman hold them and sing for them, stroke their hair may remind them of the feeling of having a mother.

  • Agreed, I think that's our answer. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:07

No, in the books it is clear that The Unsullied have "neither root nor stem."

But they are still people. They are still men. They may still long for human - and female -contact and may fantasize sexually even if they have no sex organs.

  • Can you find the quote?
    – Liath
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 8:58
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    Was this intended to be a response to one of the other answers? Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 16:49

There is more than one form of castration: there are testicular and penile. The Unsullied are not castrated totally. This even comes up in the show when Daenerys asks her handmaiden if it’s the root and the trunk, or just the root. She replies, “I do not know.”

But in the books, there’s a mention of it as some point which makes it clear that it’s just the testicles. This was thought to have a focusing effect on the discipline of the soldiers. And while it does affect sexuality, it doesn't do so totally. In other words, a person who was had their testicles removed could very well be more or less sexually normal. They can still achieve erections and will ejaculate (just without any sperm).

There are some famous US cases of rape offenders being castrated in this way, then being released and surprising everyone by committing rapes again.

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    no they castrated fully both stones and pillar. İt has mentioned in the book. Daenerys rejected to hire them after hear their training style
    – user20443
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 17:23
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    @Caliph is correct; in the book, they are fully castrated. It's only in the show that Grey Worm mentions that he still has his penis, though it hasn't come up again since. No pun intended.
    – Liesmith
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 1:02

Answers to this question have been suggested have been given a few centuries before A Song of Ice and Fire was written:


Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure

In aught an eunuch has: 'tis well for thee,

That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts

May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?


Yes, gracious madam.




Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing

But what indeed is honest to be done:

Yet have I fierce affections, and think

What Venus did with Mars.

So, while they cannot service their affections in deed, they may service them indeed. (And indeed, in deed, since George R. R. Martin allows his characters a sex-life less focused solely on penis-vagina penetration than Shakespeare did Mardian).

(That's assuming that Mardian was even lacking in a penis as well as just testicles. In the days when castrati still sung, they had an advantage in illicit affairs in that not having testicles is a very reliable form of contraception).

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