Is Daario Gone For Good?

by Allie Gemmill

Sunday night's Game of Thrones finale was not limited to big deaths and key theory confirmations. One of the casualties still fortunate (maybe?) to live through heartbreaking news was Daario Naharis. Daario's story on Season 6 was a short but tough one. He continued to fight valiantly for his dragon-taming, ass-kicking queen all while trying to prove to her he was the only one who could truly love her. Thus, it was tough seeing Daenerys metaphorically put her beloved out to pasture in Sunday night's finale, although it was understandable. She made the tough choice of power over love. In a finale of action-packed moments, watching Daenerys tell Daario he would not be following her to Westeros was so sad. I won't lie: I cried a little. The crestfallen expression permanently plastered onto that noble sellsword's face was more than I could handle. While I don't disagree with Daenerys's decision, I don't think this is the last we'll see of Daario.

Daario is, out and out, one of the most charismatic men on GoT. Time and again, he's been the rogue who would fight for you, kill for you, make you laugh and bed you (probably all in the same day if he had the chance). Daario one of the few men Daenerys kept close and not just for romantic reasons. No, Daario's certain brand of brash meant that he had an insight into the workings of men. He knew how to guide Daenerys without trying to rule her. He was a stubborn dude but dang, he was also sensitive and strong. This season, he bore witness to Daenerys' unshakeable power. In the aftermath of watching her walk out of the burning Dothraki chambers, there was no way he would do anything less than support and love her until his dying breath.

So obviously, watching his expression change as he was faced with a future of being left behind in Meereen was legitimately one of the more heart-wrenching moments in the finale. A quick recap of:

Daario: I'm here for you, not them.

Daenerys: You promised me. "My sword is yours. My life is yours." This is what I command.

And then, upon hearing the Daenerys was choosing to table an illicit romance with Daario in favor of making a political alliance through marriage to her claim to the throne, Daario questions her.

Daario: Are you a queen or fishbait?

Daenerys: I can't bring a lover to Westeros.

It's in this moment, upon hearing that the reality of losing Daenerys to another man for reasons other than romance is upon him, that Daario is a changed man. While he may have been bidden farewell by the woman he loves most in this finale, I have a sneaky suspicion this isn't the last we've seen of Daario. He's a man of action, not a man who would sit idly by and watch what he wants slip out of his fingers. Sure, he may stay planted in Meereen with the Second Sons for a few months but a permanent residence? Out of the question.

No, I envision Daario dutifully securing the protection of Meereen with someone else (perhaps Jorah Mormont, once he returns with a Greyscale cure?) and sailing out for Westeros just in time to ruin Daenerys's engagement to her next husband. It's clear the leaving Daario in Meereen was not an easy decision for Daenerys. Why should it be? He was the first man, after Khal Drogo, to love her for her, not for what she represented. Daario may have put up a wall in his final scene, but he won't stay put. Mark my words.

Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO; Giphy