Spoilers ahead for the season-six finale of Game of Thrones.
Daario Naharis has been at Daenerys’s side — and bedside — for several seasons now. But if Dany wants to be the queen of the Seven Kingdoms, she can’t take her lover as a plus-one. At least that’s the advice Tyrion gave her, causing her to break up with her favorite sellsword before she set sail for Westeros. Michiel Huisman, who plays Daario, chatted with Vulture about his character’s heartbreak and bringing out Dany’s ruthless side.
I am so sorry that Dany left Daario behind in Meereen. Are you heartbroken?
Yeah. [Laughs] Well, you know, Daario and I both knew this day would come at some point. Nobody has ever stolen his heart the way she has, and I absolutely knew she was going to break it, but you knew it was going to be worth the ride anyway.
Yeah, but he had hoped he would be by her side when she conquered Westeros. And maybe he even wanted to ride a dragon with her someday.
Of course he did. There were moments where he thought, “Oh, she’s going to marry Hizdahr,” back in season five, and he worried he was going to be pushed out of the way. Or when Jorah exerted himself more, and it seemed Daario would be pushed out. I don’t think he sees it coming at this point. He’s really excited about Dany finally being ready to take her people, her army, across the Narrow Sea, and he thought he would be part of that. And a leader in that, actually.
Dany’s had a few moments this season where she’s showed more of a terrifying side, and even Daario looked a little worried. What would happen if more of her Mad Queen side came out? Could she become a villain?
Yeah. In that particular moment when we’re riding back to Meereen with the Dothraki, and she gets on the dragon, and gives that amazing speech, I agree, it was almost terrifying, and for Daario as well. What I saw, and what Daario saw in that moment, was that something changed in her. Up until that, she was really focused on doing the right thing, freeing the slaves. She had to let some of that go, in order to become the ruler of all. Daario understands that very well. It reminds me of last season, where I tell her, “You’ve got to be more ruthless. You’re either a butcher, or you’re meat. There’s no in-between.”
In [Sunday] night’s episode, when she said, “You’re not coming to Westeros,” for a second, he thinks she has another plan for him. He was hoping she wanted him to take the Second Sons and attack from another direction, like some sort of special forces. A secret unit to fight their way from behind enemy lines, which would be totally up his alley. There are an insane amount of bad guys that Daario would love to take out, but unfortunately, it’s not going to happen anytime soon, I’m afraid! [Laughs.] The worst thing he can imagine is just keeping the peace. He’d much rather do something a bit more dangerous. Use him for his special powers!
And his counsel. Remember the flowers? Which were really a matter of strategy, in terms of knowing the flora and fauna, knowing the land itself, to know its people.
That brings up the problem — I don’t think Daario has ever been to Westeros, so he’s really of no use to her over there. In other words, he doesn’t know the flora and fauna of Westeros, but Tyrion does — like no other! So it makes sense for her to take him to Westeros instead of me. And Daario totally supports her going there. He thinks she should be the ruler, the one on the Iron Throne, but he doesn’t think it’s going to make her happy. Especially because I won’t be there! [Laughs.]