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The Actor Replacement In Game Of Thrones Season 4 That Bothered Some Fans

Nearly three years after the "much discussed" season finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones," the lingering controversy it left in its wake still makes it easy to forget that, from the very start, debate and criticism surrounded the adaptation. Fans of George R.R. Martin's novels, in particular, often had quite a bit to say about how certain characters were cast or depicted, and even those who hadn't read the books questioned some of the choices made in the series.

Fans on social media and the series' subreddit were consistently swapping gripes and nods of approval alike, sharing their observations about the smallest detail or their theories about why something was changed, left out, or added in. It was a simpler time, a more innocent time, a time when audiences still had no idea of what May 19, 2019 had in store for them. One such discussion centered around a major Season 4 cast change. It was one that left some viewers scratching their heads, others fuming, a good portion pleased, and a few simply confused about who this "new" character was. 

Fans had some feelings about the role of Daario Naharis being recast

In 2013, actor Ed Skrein joined "Game of Thrones" as swashbuckling sellsword Daario Naharis. For three episodes, the future "Deadpool" star brought the former Second Sons lieutenant to life, wooing audiences, as well as his later queen, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). By Season 4, however, Skrein had been replaced with Michiel Huisman from "Nashville" and "Orphan Black." While Huisman garnered plenty of fans by the end of his time of the show, not everyone was on board. 

While some were simply peeved by the sudden swap, many just didn't understand the reasoning. Skrein's portrayal, they felt, was so much more in-keeping with the character from the books. "Ed Skrein looked the part better," argued Redditor u/apparatus12345 on a thread about the two Daarios. They added that the actor had the "dangerous 'feel' of the book version."  Plenty of others agreed, including u/Jacksane, who commented, "I actually feel like the first Daario's appearance and attitude [are] closer to the book version, while the second Daario was the showrunners trying to make him ... seem less sleazy." 

And that was another issue some fans had with the recast: they felt the character had lost his dangerous appeal. "The new Daario is like the Mumford & Sons version," wrote u/batsofburden, while u/CrazyFanGeek said Huisman gave them "the 'chick flick' vibe." 

Unfortunately for fans of Daario #1, neither the series nor the actors have opted to come forth with a clear explanation for the change. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Skrein said of his time on the series,  "It was a wonderful experience, but politics led to us parting ways." 

We may never know the real reason behind the major casting overhaul but it's clear that for a number of fans, Skrein will always be the real Daario Naharis.