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  1. @Lost Melnibonean Filled with Lemony goodness!
  2. Theon Durden and Dissociative Identity Disorder

    Oh, I think Roose is aware. Here's Theon, from Reek III ... "As you wish." Bolton's pale eyes looked empty in the moonlight, as if there were no one behind them at all. "I mean you no harm, you know. I owe you much and more." "You do?" Some part of him was screaming, This is a trap, he is playing with you, the son is just the shadow of the father. Lord Ramsay played with his hopes all the time. ... and of course, a real person is more substantial than his shadow. Unless we're in Peter Pan territory, when has a person's shadow done anything the person didn't expect ? It's just the result of light cast on the person's actions. I think the way Roose raised Ramsay guaranteed Ramsay would become the person he is. Roose must know the full story of how Ramsay took WF from Theon, so he would suspect Ramsay of the killings before yellow Dick.. YD was probably tasked with trying to get Rams. to cool it.. Barbrey tells Theon, in regard to "Arya" crying.. "Roose is not pleased. Tell your bastard that." Theon is far too afraid of Rams. to attempt such a thing, but YD as Roose's man, and Ramsay's favourite, would pass on a message from Roose .. he doesn't have Theon's reasons to be afraid. I think Theon is psychic,to a degree ... certainly by the end of ADWD, or rather, psychically receptive. That's why he senses the ghosts, hears Bran, sees Bran's face. I agree that the torture has broken down what natural resistance he had... But I still reject Theon Durden. Where I think this will become more evident is if when he's taken before the tree in TWOW. In our world, when people become psychic channels, it's often as a result of a near death experience, or something else psychologically traumatic. Theon may have shown the first signs of receptiveness in ACOK, Theon V, when he had his true dream of the dead. The Ironborn may not be blocked, they just don't try to speak to their god any other way.
  3. Theon Durden and Dissociative Identity Disorder

    Yes, and Theon always knows that he's someone other than Reek, even when we meet Reek in his worst condition in his first chapter. When the Walders ask who he is ,he's terrified of giving the wrong answer. "You have to remember your name" shows he knows "Reek" is a pretense that must be kept up for fear of horrific consequences. Was he molested by Euron? I don't know .. maybe just tormented (bad enough) like Egg was by Aerion.. ".. And Aerion . . . I remember, when I was little, he used to come into my bedchamber at night and put his knife between my legs. He had too many brothers, he'd say, maybe one night he'd make me his sister, then he could marry me. He threw my cat in the well too. He says he didn't, but he always lies." ... Egg to Dunk in The Hedge Knight As to the Walders.. Big yes,to this.. But that doesn't rule Big Walder out.. he was just kept indoors until it was time to make the grand entrance. He was either complicit with Roose or complicit with Ramsay.. (If Roose, removing the only one of "the Bastard's Boys" who wasn't Roose's man.. If Ramsay because maybe Roose had got to Little Walder, too) That prospect did not appear to please Lord Ramsay. "I laid waste to Winterfell, or had you forgotten?" "No, but it appears you have … the ironmen laid waste to Winterfell, and butchered all its people. Theon Turncloak."...Reek III Ramsay is ferocious, I will grant you, but he swings that sword like a butcher hacking meat." ...Reek III "My brother Merrett's son." Hosteen Frey lowered the body to the floor before the dais. "Butchered like a hog and shoved beneath a snowbank. A boy." ... Theon I We're often in agreement, but not in this. I think Theon was right when he thought, about the murders ... It all seemed so familiar, like a mummer show that he had seen before. Only the mummers had changed. Roose Bolton was playing the part that Theon had played the last time round, and the dead men were playing the parts of Aggar, Gynir Rednose, and Gelmarr the Grim. Reek was there too, he remembered, but he was a different Reek, a Reek with bloody hands and lies dripping from his lips, sweet as honey. Reek, Reek, it rhymes with sneak. ... A Ghost in Winterfell In other words, Ramsay is the killer. Yellow Dick's end was particularly vicious because Ramsay has cottoned to the fact that his men are Roose's.(See the arguement on the dais.) The spearwives are willing to let Theon suspect them, if it helps to get them what they want, but being suspected of killing a child is a step too far. I hope this wasn't too big a derailment.
  4. ... I guess that would be Efficiency Expert Daario... or Political Strategist Daario?
  5. I don't think we can agree on this point ... Daario is quick, by his own claim and Barristan's thoughts (Yes, that was by comparison to himself, but then, he was pretty quick in the basilisk episode.)..Daario will later recommend a surprise attack to Dany.. Why would he take on the two of them together, if he didn't have to? Unless they were inseparable in the interim, they could have been dealt with singly. We don't even know how they were killed, for that matter. We only know their heads were taken to Dany to prove they were dead. ..He could have snuck up behind them and snapped their necks, commando-style .. or any number of other ways. (Hell, maybe botanist Daario could have poisoned them..) Dany actually says nothing about being dirty ... something can be clean and still have sweat stains. I don't think he changed his clothes..I think that's something she would have remarked. Either way, why should he have salt stained boots? I think (in light of the other Oberyn clues) that they refer to the salty Dornish and ancestral ties to Nymeria. (Just a personal experience note: I had a friend who dealt in vintage fabrics and clothing. Some items could look pristine from 10,or even 5 ft. away, but up close, you could see the wear and tear along the seams and finished edges, and some sweat stains would not come out, no matter how often they'd been cleaned.)
  6. Right, second meeting, but she's only just met him was my meaning... and it's only 2 hours later. At their first meeting she had the three captains to pay attention to and Daario wasn't doing the talking. I take away that she now has a chance to get a closer look, and the shabbiness becomes evident. For me, " hard wear" is something that happens over time, not just in a recent scuffle.(No rips or tears, or blood)...and his clothes "had seen hard wear" says it was in the past so I don't know if a 2 hr. difference does it. The chipped enamel could definitely have happened in a scuffle, and maybe the sweat stained lace, although the lace was the colour of butter, so it could take repeatedly getting sweaty for noticeable stains to develop. As I said upthread, I'm doubtful that there was much of a scuffle, or Daario would have expected the Yunkai'i sentries to be more troublesome on his return. I think he probably simply surprised them and not necessarily together. But anyway, symbolism doesn't have to reflect what's going on in the present. Hey, we could both be right. That's part of why I like it..
  7. A while ago, I said.. (Edit:adding tag for @Lady Blizzardborn) With this in mind, on the Martell side, Daario's bloodline would trace all the way back to Nymeria, and a union with Dany would also bring together bloodlines of both sides of the Rhoynish / Valerian conflict. I hadn't tried to make much of the shabbiness of Daario's clothes when Dany first meets him , simply because nothing came to mind - beyond the fact that Daario was as unafraid of getting dirty, as of getting bloody. But the description can also be symbolic after all... His garb, rich as it was, had seen hard wear; salt stains patterned his boots, the enamel of his nails was chipped, his lace was soiled by sweat, and she could see where the end of his cloak was fraying. ... ASoS Dany IV Rich garb stands for nobility .. but it had seen hard wear. (think of the hardships of Nymeria's voyage) Lace soiled by sweat- the sojourns in hot climates... salt stained boots- the sea voyage again.. There is another reading (leading to the same conclusion) to be made up to this point... When Tyrion meets Oberyn he thinks .. Only a few streaks of silver marred the lustrous black hair that receded from his brow in a widow's peak as sharply pointed as his nose. A salty Dornishman for certain .. ASoS, Tyrion V And from the WoIaF... the salty Dornishmen of the coasts, dark-haired and lithe and oliveskinned, have the queerest customs and the most Rhoynish blood. (When Princess Nymeria came ashore in Dorne, most of her Rhoynar preferred to remain close to the sea that had been their home for so long, even after Nymeria burned their ships.) Thus the salt stained boots.. lace - hot climate - Dorne (as well as present surroundings)..hard wear- life as a sellsword ain't easy ... That leaves us with the chipped nail enamel and the frayed edge of his cloak.. which in all cases could say that his disguise is getting harder to maintain,or could predict that it will be chipped away at, begin to unravel. On a side note , this brings up the harmonies with Garin again, Garin of the orphans of the Greenblood, named for Garin the Great, he's loose-limbed ... Salty Dornishmen are lithe ... Daario is lithe. ..And there's another almost similarity shared by Oberyn, Daario and Garin. Though described differently, they all have distinctive noses.. Oberyn - sharply pointed, Daario - great curving nose, Garin - long-nosed .
  8. ..Of course, since I've been looking at Daario from the paternal angle (Oberyn), I think Naharis is his Blackfyre mother's surname.. I'm totally sold on his Blackfyre maternal line. But about the worn clothes.. I agree with the bold, above, and secondarily, had toyed with the idea that he's been cut off from his source of wealth, but discarded that, because, well, he can always plunder.. Because of talking about bloodlines on my thread ... I suddenly see another secondary interpretation for that description, which I'll post over there,and share here only if you don't think it would be a distraction.
  9. @St Daga I gave you a wink and a grin because I've done the same myself ,now and then... GRRRRR! When I first wondered about the Stormcrows, I came away feeling there wasn't enough there to make a really firm connection .. a possibility, but nothing solid. So, I went back to obsessing about the Starks and the north. Some time later on a re-read (thinking I really should pay more attention to Dany's storyline), I became more convinced. I realised that Daario's fury wasn't making sense to me..Why should he be more upset over Quentyn than over Hizdahr, and why should he still want to go after the other prisoners, after the marriage? (More or less the same questions @Lady Blizzardborn raised upthread). When I read ... "Martell was dancing in a viper's nest and he did not even see the snakes." and realised that GRRM made an equation in Barristan's conversation with Quentyn & co, that is: Quentyn = Oberyn and Quentyn = Daario (therefore, Daario = Oberyn) ..and that the equation, or a similar one, was repeated in his confrontation with Hizdahr : Quentyn = Daario and Quentyn = all Dornish (= poisoners), therefore Daario = Dornish (Barristan erases poisoner from the equation) ... and (cherry on top) Hizzy claims, the Dornish worship snakes - Wrong.. but the Dornish worship the Red Viper (a snake who was a poisoner) ... I just laughed out loud. That made me curious as to symbolism might be present, and whether Oberyn was ever referred to as "the snake" .. and I found the steady drip, drip, drip of .. "a snake", "the snake", .. mostly coming from Tyrion (who is no doubt about to meet Daario).. and "all Dornish are snakes" coming from Cersei, which resonates with Hizzy's.. "..They're all poisoners, these Dornish. Reznak says they worship snakes." Going back to Daario's unabated fury, I'm even now realising that when Arch and Gerris tell Barristan about the Tattered Prince's agreement with Quentyn in The Queen's Hand, and Barristan can easily guess the price ... "Pentos," said Ser Barristan. "He promised him Pentos. Say it. No words of yours can help or harm Prince Quentyn now." "Aye," said Ser Archibald unhappily. "It was Pentos. They made marks on a paper, the two of them." ... there's a very good chance that Daario could have figured it out, too. Why would Tatters invest so many of his own men in Quentyn's cause? .. Tatters' story is widely known. Of course he wants Pentos. .. For Daario, paying this price would be yet another delay, another distraction from his purpose and Dany's ultimate goal. More frustration for Daario.. If he truly wants to kill the prisoners, it could be to prevent Tatters' offer from reaching Dany. I think he figures he can pry Dany away from Hizzy, eventually..and Quentyn ? If I'm right, they're cousins, and their fathers were very close .. if Doran's purpose is to wed Dany to Dorne, Daario, as Oberyn's son, could still stand in for Quentyn. After all, as Barristan points out in The Discarded Knight.. Like all good queens she put her people first—else she would never have wed Hizdahr zo Loraq—but the girl in her still yearned for poetry, passion, and laughter. She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud. .. Well, but if the fire is equal to the mud (still binding her to House Martell), why not let her have the fire? Doran has already shown that he's willing to make substitute arrangements. Why should Daario alienate Doran by killing Quentyn? I don't think we know about marriages that I can recall, and my World book is still not unpacked after my move, but because we see a Qorgyle with Oberyn, it's more likely Arianne is correct (generally speaking).. Anyway, here's my Mance/Qorgyle thoughts, if you like..
  10. I won't say that this is impossible ... Of course, the main point of the saddles, it seems to me, is to prevent falling off.. though protection from heat would be a nice side benefit. I guess one is always influenced by where one starts from and for me that was considering the motivations of the GG and Hizdahr. Dany thinks she needs the marriage for peace and tells Hizzy.. "To be my king and consort, you need only bring me peace. .." and assumes that is their main concern as well. She doesn't believe she can have children but doesn't mention it. Hizzy and the GG bring children into it from the get go.. Dany: ... I need a man with ships and swords. You offer me ancestors." "We are an old people. Ancestors are important to us. Wed Hizdahr zo Loraq and make a son with him, a son whose father is the harpy, whose mother is the dragon. In him the prophecies shall be fulfilled, and your enemies will melt away like snow." ..<snip>.. Dany knew how it went with prophecies. They were made of words, and words were wind. There would be no son for Loraq, no heir to unite dragon and harpy. When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, when the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. Only then would her womb quicken once again … ... Dany IV I have gold and friends and influence, and the blood of Old Ghis flows in my veins. Though I have never wed, I have two natural children, a boy and a girl, so I can give you heirs. I can reconcile the city to your rule and put an end to this nightly slaughter in the streets."...Dany IV "The pearls symbolize fertility. The more pearls Your Worship wears, the more healthy children she will bear." "Why would I want a hundred children?" Dany turned to the Green Grace. "If we should wed by Westerosi rites …" "The gods of Ghis would deem it no true union." Galazza Galare's face was hidden behind a veil of green silk. Only her eyes showed, green and wise and sad. "In the eyes of the city you would be the noble Hizdahr's concubine, not his lawful wedded wife. Your children would be bastards. ... Dany VI They have a use for Dany until they have an heir or two or three, then they'd be perfectly happy (if not eager) to dispense with her.. I think the subject of Hizzy's tapestries shed a little light.. On the walls were priceless tapestries, ancient and much faded, depicting the glory of the Old Empire of Ghis. The largest of them showed the last survivors of a defeated Valyrian army passing beneath the yoke and being chained. ...The Kingbreaker Since I think they were responsible for the poison, then it can't have been intended to kill (Btw..I utterly reject Skahaz).. if she died now Hizdahr's elevation to King might not last, as other Great Master families consider themselves equally worthy. Tenuous, but very interesting ... Mance was supposed to have been found with a group of raiders, so he wasn't a babe in arms when the NW took him in ...
  11. I know Stannis is outside WF.. but he intended to return to the Wall, and I think he will ... I'm not sure if he'll ever leave it ... Re: Mance.. sure .. if you'll allow me the same chance..
  12. @St Daga Thanks, .. But you know... ..Book Daario never says this, as far as I know....I believe it's only uttered by a certain shabby impostor in some impoverished alternate version of the tale.. Re: the Stormcrows (and @Lord Wraith, I'm tagging you because of your post in LB's thread).. Crows fly ahead of a storm (and so in our superstition, are said to bring the storm). With a Blackfyre Mama in mind, in The Mystery Knight, the expected battle is referred to as a storm... He said there was a storm coming the likes of which Westeros had not seen for a generation, ... Glendon Ball "A few drops of rain, and all the bold lords go squealing for shelter. What will they do when the real storm breaks, I wonder?" ... Alyn Cockshaw That boy is fiddling up a storm, and all of us would do well to be gone from here before it breaks." ... Maynard Plumm .. and in an upcoming Barristan chapter (I believe the one that has only been read)... Even if this gets changed by the time of publication, the company that was formed to support Blackfyres is the Golden Company.. but then, Oberyn's company is out there, and though I tried to see if the NW ship, the Storm Crow fit together somehow, way back when ... I didn't think of the Qorgyll - Martell connection Lord Wraith mentioned in the other thread (at least not in this regard) On a macro level, I have a growing sense that in the coming conflict with the Others, the old and/or magical bloodlines need to come together to face it, and old rifts will need to be healed or resolved(e.g. Targaryen/Blackfyre) ... I came to see how some of this might be happening (if I'm right) in the process of wrestling with a number of apparently unrelated questions...E.g. I think Mance is Qorgyle's bastard. The Qorgyles are closely associated with the Martells and if there have been marriage ties between them over the years, Mance's bloodline could trace right back to Nymeria (I'm reminded of Jon thinking Mance was no more royal than himself). Tracing back to Nymeria would also be true for Daario if he's Oberyn's son .... I think Satin is a Hightower bastard (I can link to these, if anyone's interested).... One Baratheon (Stormlord) is currently at the wall (and I think may end there) ... It seems Jeor's neices are gravitating to Jon while Jorah has gravitated to Dany.. and so on and so forth..
  13. I guess I'm not being clear.. I don't mean fertility means not pregnant .. I mean the point of the examination normally would be to see if the bride's hymen was intact (like Margaery's examination by the septas) ...if not, the cake (abortifacient) would be a must (or to make the ritual universal, there could be cake 1 and cake 2 - hymen intact bride gets a normal cake, hymen not intact gets a cake with a strong purgative) .. "magically" eliminating any unwanted embryo.. (This is supposing it was an established ritual, and not one made up specifically for Dany..) I think Reznak was about to say too much. Even if he found a polite way of putting it, it would be insulting to Dany. The GG quickly came up with a word with a more acceptable meaning. About riding Drogon ... I'm not so sure.. Dany likes her bath scalding hot (Dunk notices something similar about Egg in The Sworn Sword) .. and if Daario's Mama is a Blackfyre,to boot.. I think the little tad would be quite heat resistant. Meereen Yunkai ... Oops! I was so tired when I got to that point.. my bad... But what I was getting at is that there can't have been Prendahl and Sallor loyalists among the Stormcrows. Their deaths would have caused fighting in their camp, which would have alerted the Yunkai'i and made it difficult for Daario to get out or back in safely Even from first read I thought there must be more to him than met the eye. But I've always been so obsessed with the Northern storyline, I didn't pay a lot of attention until probably my third read,or so. I couldn't bring myself to get too involved with Daario threads because of the pages and pages of "I hate him, he's a douche !" and "George is losing it as a writer to create such a cardboard character". It was hard to stay on any real discussion. I guess I had the bare bones of the hypothesis back in 2013 because I had an old thread with some wrong turns, back then. After that, every time I opened ASOS or ADWD something else would leap out at me.
  14. The first was re: white silk and gold rings.. and yeah, I think George includes hints that really only have a modern context. ... I think the Lannister crimson doesn't need to be present for the gold to apply, what with Tywin shitting gold and "all the gold in Casterly Rock", etc. Re: Daario spitting out a seed - I meant suggestive of a coming pregnancy. (I don't find it particularly sexy, either ) I disagree,here... Dany's food preferences have been easily observable. And e.g., for the GG and Hizzy, there are all those little cup bearers who could have been asked seemingly innocent questions. She shies away from the exotic, and strange spices.. and her preferred nibblies, figs and dates, have also been provided. She would not be expected to pig out, especially while on show in public, and it would have been so easy for Hizzy to knock over the bowl, or pretend to try one himself and declare them not up to standard (have them taken away) when she had eaten enough. He would have easily had control of the situation, if not for Belwas. I think this is a second attempt at feeding her an abortifacient - the first being the "magical cake" "But," said Reznak mo Reznak, blinking, "but you must, Your Worship. Before a marriage it is traditional for the women of the man's house to examine the bride's womb and, ah … her female parts. To ascertain that they are well formed and, ah …" "… fertile," finished Galazza Galare. "An ancient ritual, Your Radiance. Three Graces shall be present to witness the examination and say the proper prayers." "Yes," said Reznak, "and afterward there is a special cake. A women's cake, baked only for betrothals. Men are not allowed to taste it. I am told it is delicious. Magical." ... Dany VI After pausing to come up with "female parts" in substitute for more common vernacular (e.g., cunt), I think Reznak is searching for a diplomatic way to say "not pregnant" when the GG saves him by supplying "fertile". Fertile should not be a difficult word to remember, and no-one could take offense at its use. When she refuses, Dany says.. "Let his mother and his sisters examine one another and share the special cake. I shall not be eating it. Nor shall I wash the noble Hizdahr's noble feet." .. GG and Reznak actually said nothing about all the women present sharing the cake... I have a feeling that it's only for the prospective brides, and maybe only those without intact hymens, since the cake is preceded by the examination. ".. Oft have I heard that yours is the blood of Aegon the Conqueror, Jaehaerys the Wise, and Daeron the Dragon. The noble Hizdahr is of the blood of Mazdhan the Magnificent, Hazrak the Handsome, and Zharaq the Liberator." ... Dany IV, the GG Putting Hizdahr's forbears (no doubt kings, like Dany's) together with his ancient tapestries of victories of Old Ghis, I think they do want Dany around long enough to provide heirs, but want no question that anyone else could be the Papa. Anyway, oops! .. I'm hijacking my own thread, here.. Errands to run. I'll be back.
  15. DAARIO NAHARIS , SON OF THE RED VIPER (RESTORED AND COMPLETED) I began this thread in 2015, but had only posted the first two parts before the board changes were complete. I've pulled those sections out of the archives (with minor language changes) and finally sorted through the rest of my copious notes and quotes to complete my case. I would never, never have believed there was so much information to be gleaned about Daario when I first set myself to think about him. I'm tagging @Lady Blizzardborn as promised and a few others who might be interested. @Curled [email protected] Fattest Leech , Part I : Introduction and Symbolism. Introduction I've always thought there was more to Daario than meets the eye, and have never understood why many people write him off as a cardboard character or why he elicits downright hatred in some. Once you start really looking at him, the character is rich in symbolism and (I think) quite the opposite of the shallow, fickle or untrustworthy figure many readers and even other book characters (including Dany ) often believe him to be. I started a thread back in 2013... "Who are Daario and the Stormcrows ".. but my thoughts have become more fully developed since then, so I'm revisiting the topic. And as always, every time you open the books, you're almost guaranteed to find something new. I'm sure there's still more to be discovered. My hypothesis (perhaps not shared by many) is that the Stormcrows are the sellsword company founded by Oberyn.. and that they were founded specifically to support Doran's marriage pact, forming a core army for Viserys, when the time for his return came. I also think there's a very strong possibility that Daario is Oberyn's son, installed in the Stormcrows at a relatively young age, to take eventual sole control of the company, when the time was ripe, and when he was ready to lead. I'll come back to this a bit later on. We don't know if Oberyn formed the company during his early exile, or afterwards. It seems most reasonable to me that his time with the Second Sons probably coincides with his exile, but not necessarily the formation of his own company. There are considerable stretches of time where his movements are unknown, so we can only guess. We are informed that after Jon Arryn negotiated peace with Dorne following Robrt's Rebellion , Oberyn was "seldom" seen outside of Dorne , but we know he did travel after that - to Braavos, at least - to arrange the marriage pact. "Seldom", doesn't mean never, and we've known of many characters travelling incognito. Besides, there are certain things, such as Doran's fostering exchange agreement with the Archon, that would likely not have been conducted by letter or trusted to an unrelated third party, since, like the pact, that agreement would also require the utmost secrecy. Symbolism.. Symbolically, Daario might be linked to many famous houses or causes from ASOIAF - he could be of the blood of old Valyria.. some Velaryon/Targaryen/Blackfyre/ Brightflame of some kind, or the descendant of some lost Lannister - but I also discern a possible Martell affiliation. I like this last the best. Those Martell clues may be the most subtle, but I think they're the most numerous.. and clues that are so well hidden don't make useful red herrings, so I don't think they're meant to mislead. They're in the text, but they're the ones we're directed away from, time and again. Quite frankly, I don't see why more than one of those bloodlines can't come together in Daario, since we haven't been told the identity of either of his parents. First, I want to look at the man himself. - GRRM has built a very intricate puzzle around Daario with clues to be found in his appearance, and also in his behaviour. Descriptions of him are scattered about , beginning in ASoS. I've kept them more or less in order, except for repeats - and I'll comment as we go.. - Daario Naharis was flamboyant even for a Tyroshi. His beard was cut into three prongs and dyed blue, the same color as his eyes and the curly hair that fell to his collar. His pointed mustachios were painted gold. His clothes were all shades of yellow; a foam of Myrish lace the color of butter spilled from his collar and cuffs, his doublet was sewn with brass medallions in the shape of dandelions, and ornamental goldwork crawled up his high leather boots to his thighs. Gloves of soft yellow suede were tucked into a belt of gilded rings, and his fingernails were enameled blue. His beard, cut into three prongs might very subtly suggest a three headed dragon, having the same conformation - three branches extending from the whole - or it may suggest that three "factions" comprise the whole that is Daario. Blue - blue symbolises (to name but a few) sincerity, loyalty, steadfastness - in short, it suggests he's what we would call "true blue" - entirely trustworthy, in spite of the contrary reputation of sellswords. Also, he very well may be "blue blooded" in spite of Dany's (too) often repeated sentiment that he's "not the stuff of kings." Gold - naturally, we immediately associate gold with Lannisters... He has dandelion-shaped medallions on his doublet. "Dandelion" is derived from the French for lion's tooth, 'dent de leon' .. but because of the shape and colour of the flower, dandelions are also strongly connected to sun symbolism and therefore (in-story) to the Martells... Some of Daario's gold is not gold at all. His dandelions (lion's teeth) are brass, his belt is only gilded, and his moustache, of course, is only painted. Some of his gold is genuine,which I'll comment on as the examples come up .. and I want to call to mind our sayings, "Show me the gold", or "That's golden", referring to what has value.. what is real. (In an odd aside.. Joffrey had named his first sword Lion's Tooth ..Arya misremembers it as Lion's Paw in ASoS [ a paw is far less threatening that a tooth] and says she threw it into the river. They were at the Trident at the time [forever associated with Rhaegar]...and we see Daario more or less throw himself into association with Dany.) "Ornamental goldwork crawled up his high leather boots to his thighs." - crawled like a snake (viper). I think "ornamental goldwork" might evoke a hint of the exoticism we associate with Dorne.. but "crawling" up to his thighs definitely does. Let's just say it.. the description is sexy.. something entirely compatible with Oberyn. And this gold is real, not brass or merely gilded. It's valuable. So the sexual attraction to Dany on Daario's part is genuine, not put on (and so,I feel, is the subtle evocation of Oberyn). Also, because the genuine goldwork is on his legs, where he says he stands is actually where he stands. Gold can also denote nobility, and we shouldn't forget that gold is enduring, implying constancy... Oberyn and Daario are both portrayed as having strong sexual appetites. Both are dangerous and deadly men. Both are charismatic. But we know that Oberyn is capable of great constancy - seen in his relationship with Ellaria and his devotion and support of Doran and his causes. He's Doran's emissary (or Hand) in Braavos and probably Tyrosh.. and in King's landing, he becomes Doran's weapon. As a warrior, entirely clothed in yellow, Daario can be seen as the human embodiment of the Martell golden spear. ***** - His hands were large and strong, and there was something in his hard blue eyes and great curving nose that suggested the fierceness of some splendid bird of prey. Birds of prey are frequently the symbols of royalty . His eyes are hard and blue... tough (ruthless?) yet sincere. - ... His garb, rich as it was, had seen hard wear; salt stains patterned his boots, the enamel of his nails was chipped, his lace was soiled by sweat, and she could see where the end of his cloak was fraying. We know Daario is no more afraid of getting his hands dirty than getting them bloody.. the state of his clothes show he's been through some rough times and though he has a taste for finery, he hasn't had access to it lately. - A golden tooth gleamed in his mouth when he smiled. - gold tooth / lion's tooth - another possible Lannister hint and a Martell hint in a roundabout way, which I'll explain later....But (show me the gold).. his smiles for Dany are genuine and valuable, as is his advice. After many re-reads, I believe the following, his first declaration to Dany, is true... - “Khaleesi,” he cried, “I bring gifts and glad tidings. The Stormcrows are yours.” A golden tooth gleamed in his mouth when he smiled. “And so is Daario Naharis!” His boasts are another thing entirely and I think he purposely makes them too outrageous to be believed ... A thousand women? Daario, please! ***** - He stood with his hands crossed at the wrists, his palms resting on the pommels of his blades; a curving Dothraki arakh on his left hip, a Myrish stiletto on his right. Their hilts were a matched pair of golden women, naked and wanton. Hands crossed at the wrists - is the posture of someone whose hands are literally or figuratively tied. In this case, no bonds are apparent, but I believe Daario is subject to unseen restrictions. The hilts are in the palms of his hands, but his palms are inverted. Turn his palms up and they would be in a gesture of giving. Palms down, and with the idea of invisible bonds, he is not (yet) in a position to show or offer what those hilts represent. They are "wrought of gold", though... ... And there are many more references to those hilts... - His strong hands caressed the hilts of his matched blades, those wanton golden women. - The hilts of Daario’s arakh and stiletto were wrought in the shape of golden women, naked and wanton. He brushed his thumbs across them in away that was remarkably obscene and smiled a wicked smile. - Daario brushed his thumbs across his sword hilts and smiled dangerously. - She found herself thinking of Daario Naharis once again, Daario with his gold tooth and trident beard, his strong hands resting on the hilts of his matched arakh and stiletto, hilts wrought of gold in the shape of naked women.The day he took his leave of her, as she was bidding him farewell, he had brushed the balls of his thumbs lightly across them, back and forth. I am jealous of a sword hilt, she had realized, of women made of gold. Sending him to the Lamb Men had been wise. She was a queen, and Daario Naharis was not the stuff of kings. Far too much is made of those sword hilts for them to be merely colour , or merely GRRM's way of alluding to the sexual tension between Daario and Dany. They are part of the mystery around Daario, and perhaps a key to it. Some of this I'll revisit later, when Daario gives "his girls" into Dany's care , but for now, just thinking in terms of in-story symbolism - First off, here , as elsewhere, Daario's hands are described as strong. So- he's capable, then... The golden women, valuable in themselves, are also valuable for what they represent and what they (perhaps) conceal. Because Dany is sexually attracted to Daario, she picks up on the suggestiveness of his caressing them. She thinks, he makes her want to be his wanton. .. I won't say that he doesn't intend at least something of that, but his caressing and brushing of the hilts also makes me think of the way a person handles worry beads, or a talisman of some kind. There may also be a bit of a parallel to the way Jon is always habitually flexing his sword hand. The hilts may be related to something that is always on Daario's mind, some thought or purpose that is hugely important to him. One weapon is a Myrish stiletto..and this is a second mention of Myr, the first being his Myrish lace. So I speculate he has some connection to Myr (maybe politically, but it may have to do with the location, if not birthplace, of his mother. I'm waiting for more information... e.g., I don't know if any Blackfyre / Brightflame, Lannister, etc. wound up in Myr).. The other weapon is a Dothraki arakh.. Well , the woman we associate with an arakh is Dany herself... Here, I think we need to pay attention to GRRM's careful use of language. These hilts are not identical, not cast from the same mould. We're told repeatedly that they are a "matched" set. This can mean that one was commissioned later to match the original. It's quite possible that the first was the Myrish stiletto and is a nod to Daario's mother, or maternal heritage ..his past, if you will... but the hilt for the arakh was matched to it later, and it represents Dany and his future path ... It could have been commissioned at any time since Dany was married off to Drogo. (Her progress has hardly been a secret) I do find it somewhat amusing to think that Dany wants to be Daario's wanton... when in a way, she may already be. ***** Now I want to turn from "Golden Daario" to "Purple Daario". From ASoS : - Daario had plundered himself a whole new wardrobe in Meereen, and to match it he had redyed his trident beard and curly hair a deep rich purple. It made his eyes look almost purple too, as if he were some lost Valyrian. ... And repeated later... - If I want Daario I need only say so. She lay with Irri’s legs entangled in her own. His eyes looked almost purple today... Purple is generally the colour of royalty (at least high nobility) and his eyes, looking almost purple, clearly make us think of all the Valyrian-based bloodlines he might represent.. but ambiguities also exist in the description. His purple clothes are plundered, so while he may well have noble blood, he may equally simply be ambitious - deciding to take or claim royalty for himself. It may be a bit of both - knowing he's noble and desiring to have it recognised (and there's another mention of plunder later on).... As for his "almost purple" eyes, looking (or seeming) is not necessarily being... but many Targaryen (etc.) characters have not-quite purple eyes.. So GRRM has still planted a very noteworthy seed. When Dany's story picks up again in ADWD, as she's longing for Daario's return from his mission to Lhazar , we're reminded immediately of his eyes. Barristan is speaking.... - “There is no woman more lovely than Your Grace. Only a blind man could believe otherwise, and Daario Naharis was not blind.” No, she thought. His eyes are a deep blue, almost purple, and his gold tooth gleams when he smiles for me. Almost purple, but at the same time, they're deep blue and we're simultaneously reminded of his gold tooth .. so for me, "almost purple" doesn't outweigh all the previous suggestions. ***** When Daario arrives at last, it's with another new appearance... - The captain wore striped pantaloons tucked into high boots of purple leather, a white silk shirt, a vest of golden rings. His trident beard was purple, his flamboyant mustachios gold, his long curls equal parts of both. Striped pantaloons - oh, boy.. where to start? We don't know if these are horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, diagonal stripes... or if diagonal, would they be seen to represent the heraldic bar dexter or bar sinister? If bar sinister - high on the wearer's left, low on his right (methinks) ... they'd denote bastardy.. but no device would be associated with a common bastard. We don't know the colours or how many are included, or if they're equal in width or not..Is one colour or another obviously the background or the foreground ? During our own medieval period, stripes of any kind were often associated with prostitutes, brigands, jesters, servants, all manner of low life, and even the Devil himself.. Of course this would also include I'm sticking with that interpretation. Purple leather boots - He stands and moves with some royal/ noble purpose in mind .. Dany's purpose , for sure, but perhaps not only hers. White silk and golden rings - screams "wedding" - and this is in the chapter where he begins to suggest she marry him. White is also the colour of purity, wholeness, completion, understanding, faith, etc. ..and represents new beginnings (a clean slate) . Silk is a fabric associated with wealth and/or nobility... and in ASOIAF and related works , often associated with Dorne. Daario's hair (purple and gold in equal parts) says "royalty" better than any other colour combination. We're told so little about Daario directly , but he's simply immersed in symbolism and veiled hints. There will be more symbolic references as we go ahead; some are reminders, some related to what's going on in the story at that moment. I'll leave them for now, until they come up in later sections. Just going by appearance, I think we have ample reason to suspect that Daario is far more noble than Dany or anyone around her would believe and that probably more than one important bloodline can be identified. I think as we move ahead, the Martell line will prove to be his paternal line. UPDATE : At the time I wrote the first two parts, I felt that Blackfyre was most likely to be the Valeryan bloodline represented and I had found a few references, and I've found more since. But in the meantime, Lady Blizzardborn has been working on Daario's identity from the Blackfyre perspective, and and is making a convincing and more detailed Blackfyre case in her own thread.. Daario Naharis, International man of Mystery.. I'll link to it at the end. (As soon as I get this epic up, I'm off to read her thread in detail.) So, as we move on, I feel Oberyn is Daario's father, a Blackfyre woman his mother, and Lannister most probably comes in somewhere along the way. There's a chance the Lannister references connect to Doran and Oberyn's anti-Lannister agenda, but I somehow feel it may be more than that. Daario Naharis, Son of the Red Viper - Part II Comparing Daario to Oberyn I'm not sure when I ceased to be swayed by "viper's eyes" and the famous widow's peak, but at some point during my compulsive re-reads, they began to seem like a distraction to me. In AFfC, The Captain of the Guard, when Hotah and Doran are met by Tyene, Hotah tells us.. Her hair was gold as well, and her eyes were deep blue pools . . . and yet somehow they reminded the captain of her father's eyes, though Oberyn's had been as black as night. All of Prince Oberyn's daughters have his viper eyes, Hotah realized suddenly. The color does not matter. Alright, what does he mean by viper's eyes ? I'm quite sure he doesn't mean this.. ... that is, lidless eyes with a vertically slit pupil. He means there is a similarity to Oberyn about his daughters' eyes .. maybe spacing and shape, perhaps an intense gaze or something in their expression... Oberyn is not called the Red Viper because of his eyes, but originally because of his reputed use of poison against Lord Yronwood. He IS the viper in "his viper's eyes". I have to ask, how is it that Areo just comes to his realisation at that point, all of a sudden ? He's known all of the sand snakes for a long time - for Ellaria's young ones, perhaps practically from birth. The physical similarity in shape can't be that striking, or he would have noticed before. It would have been given to us as something he had often remarked, not a sudden realisation. However, to look at an outside source, according to Martin S.Banks, a vision scientist at UC Berkley (regarding different pupil shapes in animals) .. "If you have a vertical slit, you're very likely to be an ambush predator." ... He may not have slit pupils, but "ambush predator" seems to suit Oberyn well.. I'm perfectly willing to accept that there may be something predatory about the eyes of Oberyn and his daughters. Dany has noticed something predatory about Daario as well ... there was something in his hard blue eyes and great curving nose that suggested the fierceness of some splendid bird of prey. ...ASoS , Daenerys IV Though only a subtle connection, this still puts Oberyn and Daario in the same general ballpark for me. Vipers and raptors are both deadly predators. As for Oberyn's widow's peak.. These can be shaved or plucked. I don't believe that someone who dyes his hair and dyes and shapes his beard, wouldn't resort to plucking, if he had a reason (or even if it just suited his fashion sense).. Besides, it's Dany who dwells on his physical appearance for us, and a widow's peak might not be something she finds particulary remarkable.We have no way of knowing. I'm very curious to see what Daario might look like in TWoW, through another POV (e.g.,Tyrion), after he's spent some time as a hostage (maybe without access to his usual grooming aids). Yes, there are people around Dany who know, or have met, or have at least seen Oberyn - Quentyn and his friends, Barristan, even Jorah ... but there are plenty of attention-grabbing details in Daario's appearance to distract them. They have no reason to connect him to Oberyn or Dorne in any way, and besides, they "know" that Oberyn has only fathered daughters. In all other physical aspects, Oberyn's daughters seem to favour their mothers. They are very distinct from each other. They're not peas in a pod, feminine replicas of their father. Why would a son be any different? ... And we have no way of knowing whether, if Daario was seen next to a sand snake, there might be a resemblance about the eyes. For me, it's the similarities in character implied in the use of similar descriptors for Daario and Oberyn (and by association the sand snakes) that stand out. I'm quoting these from various points across the novels.. Daario.. Fickle, faithless, brutal... dangerous, even cruel... fierce Oberyn... Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable.... carnal... fierce Sand Snakes (variously)... deadly, prickly, hot-tempered, dangerous ... unruly) Then, there's the sexual "bad boy" charisma that both Oberyn and Daario exude. We witness it's effects on Arianne ... I sat beside the well and pretended that some robber knight had brought me here to have his way with me, she thought, a tall hard man with black eyes and a widow's peak. The memory made her uneasy. "I dreamed," she said, "and when the sun went down I sat cross-legged at my uncle's feet and begged him for a story." .... AFfC, The Queenmaker (Robber knight = plunderer?) ...and it's effects on Dany ... Dany looked down at the sellsword again. He gave her such a smile that she flushed and turned away .... ASoS Dany IV Before we meet Oberyn, Tyrion informs us... He knew the man only by reputation, to be sure ... but the reputation was fearsome. ... ASoS, Tyrion V We don't hear anything negative of Daario, specifically, when he's introduced, but we do have a general mistrust of sellswords. His reputation is built for us through his actions, and his treatment of Prendhal and Sallor makes for quite a "fearsome" start. Building his own image Daario himself, contributes to the disapprobation that many characters hold him in (and that many readers share), with his over the top braggadocio and theatrical overstatement. For just a few examples, among others.. I count no day as lived unless I have loved a woman, slain a foeman, and eaten a fine meal... and the days that I have lived are as numberless as the stars in the sky. I make of slaughter a thing of beauty, and many a tumbler and fire dancer has wept to the gods that they might be half so quick, a quarter so graceful. I would tell you the names of all the men I have slain, but before I could finish your dragons would grow large as castles, the walls of Yunkai would crumble into yellow dust, and winter would come and go and come again.” (He spins a good story - like Oberyn) ***** Dany laughed. She liked the swagger she saw in this Daario Naharis. “Draw your sword and swear it to my service.” In a blink, Daario’s arakh was free of its sheath. His submission was as outrageous as the rest of him, a great swoop that brought his face down to her toes. “My sword is yours. My life is yours. My love is yours. My blood, my body, my songs, you own them all. I live and die at your command, fair queen.” **** " .. You boasted that you’d had a hundred women.” “A hundred?” Daario chuckled through his purple beard. “I lied, sweet queen. It was a thousand. But never once a dragon.” I think his boastfulness is misleading. The question in my mind is, does he intend it to mislead, and if so, why? GRRM and the Great Snake Set-up Before I go on to the various opinions about Daario in Meereen, I want to point out what I think has been a careful build-up by GRRM. - Oberyn displays the sun and spear of Dorne, but unlike others, he is never spoken of as his sigil personified. He's known as the Red Viper, and is referred to by that name, or simply as the viper - as in Doran's, "Oberyn was ever the viper". But in ASoS, George goes out of his way to make sure that when we read "the snake" or "a snake" it will evoke Oberyn. Lady Olenna starts it off, while speaking of Willas' injury.. "That snake of a Dornishman was to blame, that Oberyn Martell, .." ...ASoS, Sansa I ... Then, throughout Tyrion's chapters (IV through X), there's a steady drumbeat... 1.. It might serve, Tyrion had to concede, but the snake will not be happy. 2.. Does the snake think I have Sansa squirreled away somewhere, like a nut I’m hoarding for winter? 3.. Tyrion had to skip and run to keep up with Prince Oberyn’s long strides. The snake is eager, he thought. 4.. for an instant Prince Oberyn had wings. The snake has vaulted over the Mountain 5.. the Red Viper was . . . well, a snake 6.. I hope to seven hells that you know what you are doing, snake. More often than not, when Tyrion thinks of Oberyn, it's as "snake" rather than viper.. why is that ? Why not "viper" for the Red Viper? The pattern is kept alive in AFfC by Cersei.. ".. that smiling Dornish snake" .. Cersei I "These Dornishmen cannot be trusted. That red snake championed Tyrion, have you forgotten that?" ... Cersei, in Jaime III (Throughout AFfC and beyond, no character in or from Dorne refers to Oberyn as "snake".) In ADWD, both Cersei and Tyrion offer up reminders... "Is this Dornish wine?" Tyrion asked him once, as he pulled a stopper from a skin. "It reminds me of a certain snake I knew. A droll fellow, till a mountain fell on him." ...Tyrion I All Dornishmen were snakes, and the Martells were the worst of them. The Red Viper had even tried to defend the Imp, ... Cersei I Taking into acount that so many of these come from Tyrion, and knowing Tyrion's present location, I'll be watching to see if more hints come when he meets Daario. What are they saying about Daario ? There's potentially a lot to be gleaned in other characters' opinions of Daario. However, we need to be mindful that those characters may not always be right. Like us, they can be misled. Sometimes ideals or personal rivalries colour their perceptions. Daario's flamboyant appearance and his sometimes rash behaviour certainly sway them, as does the well known reputation of sellswords... So, there's a general consensus among the characters that Daario is simply too low-born for Dany... including in Dany's own too-oft repeated opinion, that cries out to be de-bunked. At this point, thanks to the snake set-up, we've been primed to receive a number of hints that follow in ADWD, that put Daario and snakes/ vipers/ the Red Viper side by side in conversations and thoughts, without the characters ever connecting them directly. First from Daenerys V... The Shavepate's scowl turned his ugly face even uglier. "A mistake. The Great Master Hizdahr plays Your Worship for a fool. Do you want a serpent in your bed?" I want Daario in my bed, but I sent him away for the sake of you and yours. They're speaking about Hizdahr, but Dany's thoughts take us in a heartbeat (hers) from serpent straight to Daario. In The Queensguard, Barristan merely keeps Daario in our minds by pondering the events at Daznak's pit ... Would Daario have moved more quickly if he had been beside the queen that day? Selmy thought he knew the answer to that, though it was not one he liked. But in The Discarded Knight, his thoughts of Daario begin to increase. Here, he unwittingly gives his most direct hint to my hypothesis, as he watches Quentyn & co. and realises the danger they are in... Martell was dancing in a vipers’ nest, and he did not even see the snakes. By "dancing in a vipers’ nest" Barristan means Meereen is very dangerous place for Quentyn, just as Doran similarly warns Nymeria that King's landing is "a pit of snakes" ... It's simple, on the surface, but if we mentally change snakes to the singular, instead of plural, Martell was dancing in a viper's nest, and he did not even see the snake. A "nest" is generally associated with mating and procreating. Daario and Dany have been retreating to their 'love nest' every night. If I'm right about Daario, it is a viper's nest, but the snake is hidden. .. I think GRRM uses "vipers' nest" in an intentionally suggestive way, when he could as easily have used Doran's "pit of snakes" , or "nest of adders", as Maynard Plumm/Bloodraven does in The Mystery Knight, to convey the same superficial meaning. Aside: Back in Daenerys II, Dany informed us.. The old knight neither liked nor trusted Daario, she knew. ...In spite of this, Barristan tries to be fair to Daario, giving credit where credit is due (as he sees it) and even defends him on occasion, for Dany's sake. Still in The Discarded Knight, Barristan calls up the Red Viper twice, in thought ... Nor was Prince Lewyn his only uncle. He is kin to the Red Viper. ... and in conversation ... Quentyn Martell went pale. “Me? I would never … you cannot think I had any part in any …” That was the truth, or he is a master mummer. “Others might,” said Ser Barristan. “The Red Viper was your uncle. And you have good reason to want King Hizdahr dead.” “So do others,” suggested Gerris Drinkwater. “Naharis, for one. The queen’s …” “… paramour,” Ser Barristan finished, before the Dornish knight could say anything that might besmirch the queen’s honor. ... <snip> ... “Daario would kill Hizdahr in a heartbeat if he dared,” Ser Barristan went on. “But not with poison. Never. And Daario was not there in any case.... ... No, my prince. If His Grace needs a poisoner, he will look to you.”, Oberyn's relation to Quentyn has twice been brought to our minds, but then GRRM has Gerris butt in and place Daario right next to them, making him equal to Quentyn in motivation. Barristan undoes this only somewhat, by flatly disassociating Daario from poison. Ahead in The Kingbreaker, in Barristan's confrontation with Hizdahr, not only does Barristan's prediction of where Hizdahr will place the blame come true, but the main beats of his exchange with Quentyn & co. are repeated, with Hizdahr performing the function of Gerris... “Was the poison your work, Magnificence?” King Hizdahr backed away a step. “The locusts? That … that was the Dornishman. Quentyn, the so-called prince. Ask Reznak if you doubt me.”...<snip>... " ... They’re all poisoners, these Dornish. Reznak says they worship snakes.” ...<big snip>... “Lust? You dare speak to me of lust?” The king’s mouth twisted in anger. “I lusted for the crown, aye … but not half so much as she lusted for her sellsword. Perhaps it was her precious captain who tried to poison her, for putting him aside. And if I had eaten of his locusts too, well, so much the better.” “Daario is a killer but not a poisoner.” Hizdhar makes Quentyn and Daario equally suspect, so mentally we could include Daario in "these Dornish" .. But is there any reference to Oberyn? - ".. They’re all poisoners, these Dornish. Reznak says they worship snakes.”... We know that Dorne has no snake worshipping religion. However, Oberyn "the snake" is nothing short of worshipped in Dorne - by pretty well every character we meet, and the populace in general. Again, while acknowledging Daario is deadly, Barristan uncouples him from poison. But curiously, before confronting Hizdahr (while with Skahaz), his thoughts offer up a slight contradiction to his assertion ... Her love for Daario is poison. A slower poison than the locusts, but in the end as deadly. Her love for Daario is the poison, but we know that she was seduced by Daario. If you like, he made her love him.This poison traces back to him. (Among these many connections to Oberyn , I also found one or two that hint at a Lannister or possible Blackfyre/Brightflame connection. I'm not ignoring them. I'll refer to them in a later section.) No Fit Consort Dany thinks so very often of Daario's unsuitability as a husband, I'm sure that this will ultimately be disproved (even if it happens after it's too late to do anything about it). She's like a kid who's continually sticking her tongue out. Sooner or later, someone's going to give it a pinch. Dany constantly feels the attraction between them (though overpowering) is inappropriate, and many other characters must echo the sentiment. Of course, since she's the Queen, it's a risky thing to express. Even so, though we have only her POV and Barristan's, occasionally we se some of those feelings surface. Early in ADWD, she's worried that he's too long away, and may have betrayed her.. or that he's found someone more beautiful. Barristan is telling her stories of her family to soothe and distract her - this time of her mother and the love between her and Bonnifer Hasty. "... His passion was impossible, of course. A landed knight is no fit consort for a princess of royal blood.” And Daario Naharis is only a sellsword, not fit to buckle on the golden spurs of even a landed knight. ... Barristan's words, Dany's thoughts - Daenerys II From here on , she repeatedly reminds herself.. (taken at random).. She was a queen, and Daario Naharis was not the stuff of kings. He was only a sellsword, no fit consort for a queen. He will never be more than he is. He will never be the stuff of kings.Why couldn't he be better born? (to Daario).. “We cannot wed, my love. You know why.” In The Kingbreaker, we learn Skahaz' opinion when he's ready to let the hostage Daario die.. ".. Let theStormcrows choose another captain, one who knows his place. ...<snip> .... she will never forget him, no … but better for all of us if he is dead, yes? Better for Daenerys too.” Inwardly, Barristan agrees... Better for Daenerys, and for Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen loved her captain, but that was the girl in her, not the queen. You know, sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar, but a prank cigar that explodes when you least expect it... Already there have been two intriguing instances that begin to give the lie to the consensus. In Daenerys VI when Barristan Interrupts Dany's dinner with Hizdahr to tell her the Stormcrows had returned... A flicker of annoyance crossed the noble face of Hizdahr zo Loraq. “The queen is at her supper. These sellswords can wait.” Ser Barristan ignored him. “I asked Lord Daario to make his report to me, as Your Grace had commanded. He laughed and said that he would write it out in his own blood if Your Grace would send your little scribe to show him how to make the letters.” ... Hizdahr is usually announced as "the noble Hizdahr". Barristan takes no orders from him and no doubt resents he should presume to answer for Dany, and that one of Dany's companies should be waved off as "these sellswords", so he elevates Daario's status to "Lord Daario". Yes, it's a jab at Hizzy, but it just might hint at Daario's actual status. Barristan may not like Daario much, but he likes Hizdahr less... he already respects Daario to a degree - might his opinion improve further, if he discovered Daario is more than he seems to be? Then, poor doomed Quentyn, who seems resigned to accepting Barristan's characterization of Daario as "paramour", reacts to Hizdahr like this... Anger flashed in the prince's dark eyes. "This Ghiscari lordling is no fit consort for the queen of the Seven Kingdoms." .. I think he's right, but the like opinions of Daario are wrong. Daario Naharis, Son of the Red Viper - Part III Lust, Love, Marriage and More Dany and Daario's relationship begins with lust - it's obvious in the behaviour of both from the outset, and she will later confirm ... I wanted you from the first time that I saw you, but you were a sellsword, fickle, treacherous. ... Daenerys VI, ADWD Through ASoS, we see Dany's feeings evolve from liking Daario's swagger, to blushing and turning away from his suggestive glances and smiles, to imagining his kisses, to wondering if she could love him, and through ADWD, we see that she does come to love him. She thinks that her desire and love are against her better judgement , but I question whether it's a case of lust leading her astray, or some deeper instinct impelling her onto the right path. I should never have taken him into my bed. He was only a sellsword, no fit consort for a queen, and yet … I knew that all along, but I did it anyway. ... Dany VIII I've frequently noticed with other characters (notably Jon, but not only Jon) that their instinctive response to a problem often leads to a better, or truer course, than adhering to conventional wisdom. I sense the same is true here, because generally, Dany is not particularly self-indulgent. I say the right path because whatever his initial motivations, I believe Daario does genuinely love Dany. Although he began with an agenda, I believe his agenda is not opposed to her interests. I think he's been caught between a rock and a hard place and has not yet been in a position to reveal his identity or purpose. Their meeting when Daario returns from his mission in Dany IV is loaded with information. From her preparation through to sending him away, it's worth reading over and over. When she's dressing to receive him, what would she like to wear ? Starlight and seafoam, Dany thought, a wisp of silk that leaves my left breast bare for Daario’s delight. Oh, and flowers for my hair. When first they met, the captain brought her flowers every day, all the way from Yunkai to Meereen. But she opts against self indulgence ... “Bring the grey linen gown with the pearls on the bodice. Oh, and my white lion’s pelt.” She always felt safer wrapped in Drogo’s lionskin. Grey represents maturity, neutrality, experience - but can also hint at sadness, indecision and bleakness. Pearls are strongly associated with the moon, all things feminine and wisdom...Then there's the safety of Drogo's lionskin. She's arming herself against the attraction she feels for Daario... and here's an interesting tidbit - some ancient chinese cultures saw pearls as protection against dragons. ... She's attempting to save herself from herself. I dwelt on Daario's appearance in the first section - the royal colours, the white silk and gold rings of weddings. There's more to find in the setting and scattered throughout their conversation. Daenerys received the captain on her terrace, seated on a carved stone bench beneath a pear tree. A half-moon floated in the sky above the city, attended by a thousand stars. Daario Naharis entered swaggering. He swaggers even when he is standing still. The captain wore striped pantaloons tucked into high boots of purple leather, a white silk shirt, a vest of golden rings. His trident beard was purple, his flamboyant mustachios gold, his long curls equal parts of both. On one hip he wore a stiletto, on the other a Dothraki arakh. “Bright queen,” he said, “you have grown more beautiful in my absence. How is this thing possible?” The half moon is "attended by a thousand stars" - attended, like a queen. (Though this moon queen is only halfway to her full power).. and attendant like those stars, Daario, as the son of Oberyn, would represent the Dornish sun. ..Echoes of "My sun and stars"? ... He calls her "bright queen" who has "grown more beautiful" - as if he's calling her the moon - and farther on.. Moonlight glimmered in his eyes - eyes, the windows of the soul - combined with even his parting, "I live to obey" , hold echoes of "Moon of my life". (Side note: In ASOIAF, stone so often hides something or someone (in this case Daario) ..and this stone has been carved (shaped) to perform a useful function.It supports Dany.) Though their desire and growing love for each other is not consummated at this meeting, this is where Daario first proposes marriage. Does this foreshadow their marriage ? Maybe.. I think there definitely is important foreshadowing in another matter. Dany is seated beneath a pear tree - a symbol of enduring friendship and love because the tree lives so long. The pear is a feminine symbol - connected to sexuality and pregnancy because of it's shape. “I have not eaten in two days, but now that I am here, it is enough for me to feast upon your beauty.” “My beauty will not fill up your belly.” She plucked down a pear and tossed it at him. “Eat this.” “If my queen commands it.” He took a bite of the pear, his gold tooth gleaming. Juice ran down into his purple beard. ... (Oh, ladies! Break out your fans..) Later, Dany will call Daario beautiful. Her beauty cannot fill up his belly, but his beauty can fill up hers. As they continue to converse... “I trust all my men. Just as far as I can spit.” He spat out a seed and smiled at her suspicions. ... Could that be more suggestive? I think Dany is definitely miscarrying at the end of ADWD, and that the locusts were not intended to kill her, but to bring on an abortion in case she was pregnant by Daario. And indeed, in this conversation, Daario identifies What the GG and Hizdhar want from Dany, for their own dynastic ambitions ... (Of course, killing would follow later.) Daario shrugged. “Most queens have no purpose but to warm some king’s bed and pop out sons for him. If that’s the sort of queen you mean to be, best marry Hizdahr.” Her anger flashed. “Have you forgotten who I am?” “No. Have you?” ... If consummation of their desire is foreshadowed here (and it is) and pregnancy is also foreshadowed (I believe it is), why not an eventual marriage? Even though Dany ends the scene by sending Daario away in anger... When Dany stood, the lion pelt slipped from her shoulders and tumbled to the ground. ... Drogo has been supplanted in her affections.. I'll come back to Daario's advice later.. for now I want to stay on what we can discern about his feelings for Dany. Daario and Beloved The word beloved is used fairly often in the ASoIaF novels and related material (I've searched). Usually, it's used in broad terms, such as in public or group opinions, or as a polite compliment, or to denote favourite things. Some random examples ... "Aegon the Unlikely, beloved by the common folk," ... or... "That had not made him beloved of his guards" ... or... "I declare upon the honor of my House that my beloved brother Robert, our late king, (Pylos' draft of Stannis' letter, soon to be corrected.) ... or... "tokars, that peculiar garment beloved by the old blood of Slaver's Bay" ... "his beloved books" ... and so on. Frequently, it's used sarcastically, ironically or disingenuously, as in ... "If it is Sandor Clegane that we encounter, what would you have me do?" Pray hard, Jaime thought, and run. "Send him to join his beloved brother and be glad the gods made seven hells. One would never be enough to hold both of the Cleganes." .. AFfC, Jaime III ... or... "Some masters free their slaves when they die," said Penny. Sweets tittered. It was a ghastly sound. "Only favorites. They free them from the woes of the world, to accompany their beloved master to the grave and serve him in the afterlife." ...ADWD,Tyrion XI ... or... Pycelle's mouth opened and closed. "Your Grace must know, I did all that could be done for the poor man." "As you did for Joffrey? And his father, my own beloved husband? ...AFfC, Cersei IX... Of course, sometimes it's used sincerely, to describe a personal relationship, e.g. "Shiera Seastar who became the greatest beauty in the Seven Kingdoms, beloved of both her half brothers, Bittersteel and Bloodraven, whose rivalry would ripen to hatred"...or.. "his beloved wife", "their beloved daughter"..etc. ...This category is scattered throughout all ASoIaF works, but never repeated twice using "beloved" in connection to the same two people, that I can find - with one exception. In The Watcher in ADWD.. Areo Hotah acknowledges that Ellaria was Oberyn's "beloved paramour" twice ... Doran Martell sat in his rolling chair between his daughter Arianne and his dead brother's beloved paramour, Ellaria ... and later in the chapter... Ellaria Sand, Prince Oberyn's beloved paramour, who had been with him in King's Landing when he died. ..These are Hotah's inmost thoughts, so he's not being polite for anyone's benefit. That Ellaria had been Oberyn's paramour for some 15 yrs. and bore 4 of his daughters also makes it believable for us. There is one other unusual use of the word. I couldn't find , across all the ASoIaF works to date , 'beloved' used as a spoken term of endearment between one character and another - with one exception ... "I will leave my girls with you," her captain had said, handing her his sword belt and its gilded wantons. "Keep them safe for me, beloved. We would not want them making bloody mischief amongst the Yunkai'i." ... ADWD Daenerys VIII ... and then she repeats the memory in her last chapter ... She wondered if her captain's blades still hung upon the wall beside her bed, waiting for Daario to return and claim them. "I will leave my girls with you," he had said. "Keep them safe for me, beloved." ... ADWD, Daenerys X No other examples of that usage, two repetitions from Hotah about Oberyn, and the same number of repetitions from Dany quoting Daario.. I can't think that's coincidental (not from GRRM, in all the thousands of words he's written), so I must think it's meant to form a parallel - to prompt a comparison of the two men. Daario and Sharing Daario brings Dany flowers every day on the road to Meereen. Not just as a compliment, but sharing his knowledge of them , "to help her learn the land". In ADWD, Dany X ... What would my noble husband think if he could see me now? Hizdahr would be horrified, no doubt. But Daario … Daario would laugh, carve off a hunk of horsemeat with his arakh, and squat down to eat beside her. Though this doubles as one of my Blackfyre mama clues (in behaviour, Daario = Dany, who is a dragon) it also evokes this, from ASOS, Tyrion V.. Tyrion to Oberyn.. "Did you tire of your paramour on the road?" "Never. We share too much." A Harmony in Dorne I've compared how Oberyn's sexual charisma affected Arianne with the way Daario's affects Dany .. but this next example took me completely by surprise and and hardened my opinion. First, I'll note that although others address Dany as sweet queen, e.g. Xaro and Hizdhar, both with dubious sincerity ... and although Daario calls her variously, my queen, bright Queen, cruel Queen etc. - he only ever addresses her as sweet queen twice, in Dany VI (when he returns having accepted Quentyn & co.) and twice again in Dany VII (when he will introduce Quentyn & co.) Keeping that in mind... Back in AFFC, The Queenmaker, following Arianne's "uneasy" memory of Oberyn, Myrcella and Arys arrive to join her company.. As Ser Arys helped her (Myrcella) from the saddle, Drey went to one knee before her. "Your Grace." "My lady liege." Spotted Sylva knelt beside him. "My queen, I am your man." Garin dropped to both knees. ...Arianne performs the introductions... Garin was next, a loose-limbed, swarthy, long-nosed fellow with a jade stud in one ear. “Here is gay Garin of the orphans, who makes me laugh,” said Arianne. “His mother was my wet nurse.” “I am sorry she is dead,” Myrcella said. “She’s not, sweet queen.” Garin flashed the golden tooth Arianne had bought him to replace the one she’d broken. Garin drops to both knees in a more exaggerated gesture than his counterparts, with a slight hint of Daario's declaration.. "Khaleesi," he cried, "I bring gifts and glad tidings. The Stormcrows are yours." A golden tooth gleamed in his mouth when he smiled. "And so is Daario Naharis!"... ASOS, Dany IV .. also from ASOS, Dany V ... And Daario Naharis made her laugh, ... No-one is as over the top as Daario, but Garin's behaviour is exaggerated. ... Garin will be banished to (wait for it) Tyrosh for two years for his part in Arianne's debacle... I can't help but wonder if another Martell broke and replaced Daario's tooth ... and if Daario's mother is alive. Part IV - Blackfyre and Lannister , Fury and Stormcrows Blackfyre and Lannister If, as I suppose, Oberyn had a son with a Blackfyre woman and that child is Daario, he would have been born during Aerys' reign, which would be a very good reason not to mention his existence, given Aerys' insane paranoia, and the vulnerability of Elia ... and later, Robert was unlikely to make a distinction between Targaryens and Blackfyres. Both would be seen as a threat to his crown. He would be after the child and probably wanting to make Dorne pay, as well. Here are the Blackfyre clues that turned up for me along the way ... From ADWD, the first standout for me, was Daario saying a crossbowman tried to put a quarrel in his eye (Dany VI) and Dany's image of Daario sharing in Drogo's kill with her. (Dany X) Then there's "monster" .... I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am I. ... Dany II ..thinking of her dragons. He is a monster. A gallant monster, but a monster still.. ... Dany IV...hammered home 3 times I have waited so long for him to come back, and I send him away. "He would make a monster of me," she whispered, "a butcher queen." But then she thought of Drogon far away, and the dragons in the pit. There is blood on my hands too, and on my heart. We are not so different, Daario and I. We are both monsters. .. Dany IV "Pets?" screeched Reznak. "Monsters, rather. ..." ... Dany V ... and this one that at first seems somewhat tacky ... "Once I am wed it will be high treason to desire me." Dany pulled the coverlet up over her breasts. "Then I must be a traitor." He slipped a blue silk tunic over his head and straightened the prongs of his beard with his fingers. He had dyed it afresh for her, taking it from purple back to blue, as it had been when first she met him. "I smell of you," he said, sniffing at his fingers and grinning. ... Dany VII .. I smell of you (same, same)...But in the very next sentence we're reminded of his gold tooth, bringing back the Dornish influence... Dany loved the way his gold tooth gleamed when he grinned. There's even more to be said, here. A few months ago, after a reading of The Mystery Knight, I realised that Daario's hair and three pronged beard , when blue and gold, are the colours used by Daemon, son of Daemon as John the Fiddler, and so, "Then I must be a traitor" made me think of, "This is a traitor's tourney, ser." Following along that track, there's another point of resonance in Daario's assessment of the Qartheen... "Qartheen have milk in their veins. Let them see your dragons, and they'll run."... Dany IV ... This called to mind Lord Butterwell. According to Maynard Plumm ... "These Butterwells have milk running in their veins," ... and to Tommard Heddle, speaking to Butterwell... "Not all of us have milk running in our veins, Your Lordship .." ... Of course, when Lord Butterwell saw dragons in the person of Egg with Maekar's ring, he ran. All of these clues are enough to convince me that Daario's mother was a Blackfyre, but I think Lady Blizzardborn has done a more exhaustive search, so I'm recommending her thread again. (Link below) But what about the Lannister influence? First there's the dandelions (dent de leon) on his doublet previously mentioned, then there's the fact that his hair is curly, a strong Lannister trait shared by Jamie, Cersei and their children.. His beard was cut into three prongs and dyed blue, the same color as his eyes and the curly hair that fell to his collar. ...ASOS, Dany IV he had redyed his trident beard and curly hair a deep rich purple ...ASOS, DanyVI His trident beard was purple, his flamboyant mustachios gold, his long curls equal parts of both. ... ADWD, Dany IV Back in ASOS, we read.. On the road from Yunkai, Daario had brought her a flower or a sprig of some plant every evening when he made his report . . . to help her learn the land, he said. Waspwillow, dusky roses, wild mint, lady's lace, daggerleaf, broom, prickly ben, harpy's gold ...ASOS, Dany V We're reminded of this in ADWD, Dany IV .. When first they met, the captain brought her flowers every day, all the way from Yunkai to Meereen. It comes up again in ADWD Dany VII ... "Once you brought me flowers." "Let Hizdahr bring you flowers. He is not one to stoop and pluck a dandelion, true, but he has servants who will be pleased to do it for him. Do I have your leave to go?" ... Dandelions (representing both Lannister and Martell) weren't mentioned in the other two instances.. but Daario uses it here, and it has double meaning. Hizdhar is not one to share with Dany the way Daario does and we all know plucked flowers soon wither and die... but Hizdhar is not man enough (in any sense) to "pluck" Daario. Daario rolled toward her, his eyes open. "Daenerys." He smiled a lazy smile. That was another of his talents; he woke all at once, like a cat. ...Dany VII, ... This speaks for itself.. and I love this next .. "They say all Lannisters are twisty snakes." "Snakes?" Tyrion laughed. "That sound you hear is my lord father, slithering in his grave. We are lions, or so we like to say. But it makes no matter, Kem. Step on a snake or a lion's tail, you'll end up just as dead."..Tyrion XII ADWD What ? NO, Kem, 'They' don't say that at all - only you have ever said such a thing. Tyrion is right about those tails.. and maybe, if you step on the tail of something that is both snake and lion, and dragon too, you end up dead three times as fast. I toyed with the idea of the Lannister hints referring to Doran and Oberyn's anti-Lannister agenda, but it doesn't feel right.. So I wonder if Daario's mother's forbears are connected to.. The sword Brightroar came into the possession of the Lannister kings in the century before the Doom, and it is said that the weight of gold they paid for it would have been enough to raise an army. But it was lost little more than a century later, when Tommen II carried it with him when he sailed with his great fleet to ruined Valyria, with the intention of plundering the wealth and sorcery he was sure still remained. ..TWOIAF, The Westerlands "Plundering" reminds me of Daario's new clothes and his advice... "Kill them all and take their treasures, I say. Whisper the command, and your Daario will make you a pile of their heads taller than this pyramid.".. Dany IV ... In other words, plunder (though this quote also evokes "conqueror") .. Not to mention that .. "Then winkle them out of their pyramids on some pretext. A wedding might serve. Why not? Promise your hand to Hizdahr and all the Great Masters will come to see you married. When they gather in the Temple of the Graces, turn us loose upon them." ... smacks of Tywin. It makes me wonder if there isn't a hidden history implicit in Daario's report... "... One of my serjeants said we should go over to the Yunkai'i, so I reached down his throat and pulled his heart out. I meant to bring it to you as a gift for my silver queen, but four of the Cats cut me off and came snarling and spitting after me. One almost caught me, so I threw the heart into his face." ... Familial differences brought about by greed and/or love ? ??? who can say.. I'm sure we'd all like to know more about Tommen II and the golden fleet. I feel (like Lann the Clever) a Lannister has snuck into Daario's bloodline. Fury and Stormcrows To reiterate from part I : Oberyn was banished when he was 16 (about 273) and returned in 283 . Although he was seldom seen outside of Dorne thereafter, we can't say that he never traveled incognito. He did negotiate the the marriage pact in Braavos, and someone later negotiated the agreement involving Arianne and the Archon's daughter. Since that agreement was made to facilitate the secret marriage pact, they would not be wanting to expand the number of people in the know. Daario may be no more that 7-8 years older than Dany. It's easy to think of him as older because of his boasts of the many women had, foes he's slain.. but these are patently extreme exaggerations, so they actually tell us nothing. One of the things that first got me thinking about Daario was the fact that his fury, supposedly over being lied to by Quentyn and the other deserters, seemed out of all proportion. And while it may display something of "waking the dragon", I now think it's really much more rational than it seems. He displays much less anger over Hizdhar, who Dany is going to marry, who will be sleeping with her, than over Quentyn who Dany turns down. Yes, he's been trying to do what he can to prevent the marriage, offering himself, repeatedly.. finally going so far as... On the day that he returned from his latest sortie, he had tossed the head of a Yunkish lord at her feet and kissed her in the hall for all the world to see, until Barristan Selmy pulled the two of them apart. Ser Grandfather had been so wroth that Dany feared blood might be shed. ... Dany VII, (before Daario brings Quentyn & co. to court) Barristan probably sees it mainly as an affront to Dany. Daario is hoping it will be an affront to Hizdhar and the GG; one great enough that they will cancel the wedding. But when it doesn't work, he still doesn't fly off the handle. Thinking of him as Oberyn's son, when he brings Quentyn & co to court... Dany addressing Greenguts/Archibald Yronwood : "... It is ser, is it not? Daario tells me that you are a knight.” “If it please Your Grace, we are all three knights.” Dany glanced at Daario and saw anger flash across his face. He did not know. <snip> ...So, this is anger at being lied to. It's visible to dany, but contained. Gerrold/Gerris addressing Dany.... Your Grace, I beg your pardon, but we have come before you under false names.” ..<snip>.. ...They ask for more privacy before revealing their names. And if Dany is thinking "Games within games", I'm sure Daario is, too ... but maybe a bit more colourfully. After clearing the court and learning Gerris and Arch's real names she comes to Frog... “And you, ser?” the queen asked the boy called Frog. “If it please Your Grace, may I first present my gift?” “If you wish,” Daenerys said, curious, but as Frog started forward Daario Naharis stepped in front of him and held out a gloved hand. “Give this gift to me.” Stone-faced, the stocky lad bent, unlaced his boot, and drew a yellowed parchment from a hidden flap within. “This is your gift? A scrap of writing?” Daario snatched the parchment out of the Dornishman’s hands and unrolled it, squinting at the seals and signatures. “Very pretty, all the gold and ribbons, but I do not read your Westerosi scratchings.” Do we believe that Daario can't read the document ? I'm pretty damned skeptical, but even if he can't, squinting at the seals and signatures might tell him a lot, if he's Oberyn's son and has knowledge that the pact existed. “Bring it to the queen,” Ser Barristan commanded. “Now.” <snip> “It is a secret pact,” Dany said, “made in Braavos when I was just a little girl...<snip>..Prince Oberyn Martell signed for Dorne, with the Sealord of Braavos as witness.” ..<snip>.. In return for Dorne’s help overthrowing the Usurper, my brother Viserys is to take Prince Doran’s daughter Arianne for his queen.” (She has given the document to Barristan to read.) The old knight read the pact slowly. “If Robert had known of this, he would have smashed Sunspear as he once smashed Pyke, and claimed the heads of Prince Doran and the Red Viper … and like as not, the head of this Dornish princess too.” <snip> “No doubt that was why Prince Doran chose to keep the pact a secret,” suggested Daenerys. “If my brother Viserys had known that he had a Dornish princess waiting for him, he would have crossed to Sunspear as soon as he was old enough to wed.” “And thereby brought Robert’s warhammer down upon himself, and Dorne as well,” said Frog. “My father was content to wait for the day that Prince Viserys found his army.” This language is important. It's not, until Prince Viserys raised an army, but until he found his army.. It can imply that the army (or the beginnings of one) already existed, waiting for him.. but with all that has gone wrong - Illyrio's scheme to marry Dany off, Viserys going with her and dying, Oberyn's death, etc. - the company had been left at loose ends, until Daario took a hand. It seems Doran must have known there was an army, but would he have known about Oberyn's son?... I'd say .. mmm.. probably (close as the brothers were), but not necessarily what name Daario would be using or where the company might be at a given time.... maybe not even the company's name. ...We continue.. “Your father?” “Prince Doran.” He sank back onto one knee. “Your Grace, I have the honor to be Quentyn Martell, a prince of Dorne and your most leal subject.” ..<snip>... Daario must really be fuming now, because he can see where this is going... right where he hoped to go himself. His frustration and anger are mounting. You mean to marry me. Is that the way of it? The gift you bring me is your own sweet self. Instead of Viserys and your sister, you and I must seal this pact if I want Dorne." “My father hoped that you might find me acceptable.” Daario Naharis gave a scornful laugh. “I say you are a pup. The queen needs a man beside her, not a mewling boy. You are no fit husband for a woman such as her. When you lick your lips, do you still taste your mother’s milk?” Ser Gerris Drinkwater darkened at his words. “Mind your tongue, sellsword. You are speaking to a prince of Dorne.” “And to his wet nurse, I am thinking.” Daario brushed his thumbs across his sword hilts and smiled dangerously. Gerris is probably speaking to a prince of Dorne, himself... and here we see Daario brush his thumbs across his sword hilts again, and smile dangerously. It's definitely not meant to be a seductive gesture in this case. I'm sure those hilts conceal the proof of his identity. When Barristan points out a few home truths to Quentyn in The Discarded Knight, he simultaneously reveals Daario's difficult position.. Prince Quentyn flushed. "The marriage pact—" "—was made by two dead men and contained not a word about the queen or you. It promised your sister's hand to the queen's brother, another dead man. It has no force. Until you turned up here, Her Grace was ignorant of its existence. Your father keeps his secrets well, Prince Quentyn. Too well, I fear. If the queen had known of this pact in Qarth, she might never have turned aside for Slaver's Bay, but you came too late. I have no wish to salt your wounds, but Her Grace has a new husband and an old paramour, and seems to prefer the both of them to you." So we can see the position Daario would be in.. He and Doran have never met or corresponded, there's even a slight chance Doran doesn't know about him. But Daario would have been told about the pact, since it relates to the purpose of the company. If his mother was a Blackfyre we know good reasons for keeping him hidden .. and if the Stormcrows were to form the core of Viserys' army, that doubles the need for secrecy. With Viserys and Oberyn dead, but Dany within reach, he could figure out for himself that he and Dany could still fill the roles of Viserys and Arianne. But he would have to get to Doran to prove who he was, and he didn't have a copy of the pact to show to Dany.. If he mentioned it , it would seem pure invention. I think this explains his continued rage after the wedding.. Daario had only grown wilder since her wedding. Her peace did not please him, her marriage pleased him less, and he had been furious at being deceived by the Dornishmen. When Prince Quentyn told them that the other Westerosi had come over to the Stormcrows at the command of the Tattered Prince, only the intercession of Grey Worm and his Unsullied prevented Daario from killing them all. The false deserters had been imprisoned safely in the bowels of the pyramid … but Daario's rage continued to fester.... Dany VIII He'd like to take it all out on someone ... but not Dany. He began with an agenda that was in tune with hers.. and I think he has fallen in love with her along the way. He rankles when she commands him to fuck her... He's resentful (he doesn't want a future of being merely a plaything) but he doesn't take his anger out on her. She had meant it playfully, but Daario's eyes hardened at her words. "Fucking queens is king's work. Your noble Hizdahr can attend to that, once you're wed. And if he proves to be too highborn for such sweaty work, he has servants who will be pleased to do that for him as well. Or perhaps you can call the Dornish boy into your bed, and his pretty friend as well, why not?" He strode from the bedchamber. ... and again she thinks ... Seven save me. Why couldn't he be better born? In Dany X, she remembers... She wondered if her captain’s blades still hung upon the wall beside her bed, waiting for Daarioto return and claim them. “I will leave my girls with you,” he had said. “Keep them safe for me, beloved.” And she wondered how much the Yunkai’i knew about what her captain meant to her. (He calls her beloved, after all that has happened). The Yunkai'i would know full well that he's her paramour (the GG would have told them, if they had no other source), they may even believe she loves him ... but they wouldn't know, and nor can Dany, how much he could mean to her politically. I think he left his girls to keep the Yunkai'i from finding out about him and to give her the opportunity of finding out, and at least knowing him for who he is, if he should die. I've always thought that the Stormcrows would be a good candidate for the company formed by Oberyn - that the triumverate of captains would be a good set-up for someone to leave in place, if he had to be absent but intended to return at some point. And it would also be a way to let your son learn leadership as he grew into manhood by sharing command. I somehow doubt that Prendahl and Sallor had been captains from the founding. It's been an active company and men get killed in battle. In ASOS, Dany V, outside Meereen Yunkai, Dany thinks... If I ignore this any longer, my own people will think me weak. Yet who could she send? She needed Daario as much as she did her bloodriders. Without the flamboyant Tyroshi, she had no hold on the Stormcrows, many of whom had been followers of Prendahl na Ghezn and Sallor the Bald. I think she's wrong. If Prendahl and Sallor had many (any?) loyal followers, there would have been a bloody fracas inside their camp.. yet it appears this was not the case... After Daario swears to her, Dany asks, " Can you get back safely?" (meaning inside Meereenese lines) "If they stop me, I will say I have been scouting, and saw nothing." The Tyroshi rose to his feet, bowed, and swept out. .. All quiet on the Meereenese Yunkai'i side, then. ... It appears the Stormcrows' loyalty is entirely to Daario. I may have left out a few odd things, and I could say even more about what I've written.... but that's pretty much it. I can hardly believe I finally managed to wade through all those notes.. Don't forget to check out Lady Blizzardborn's thread.. I intend to get over there and read it all properly, now.... I don't know why my tag didn't work for Curled Finger at the top.. I'll try it again @Curled Finger ..hmmm.