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No Gods, No Masters

In Defense of the Euron = Daario Theory

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                  I want to address a few criticisms of the Euron = Daario theory which I have seen pop up in every thread about it, because I have yet to see any that convince me that it’s impossible (or even unlikely, given the significant hints and foreshadowing). I am not going to go recount the evidence for E = D in depth in this post, so if you aren't aware of it, I will link to a couple of posts that do at the bottom.  Also, this is my first post, and I'm happy to be here! I'm a big fan of ASOIAF and the fan theories and deep literary analysis surrounding it (I've been lurking here for a while). Anyway, let's get down to business.

Here are a few of the most prominent rebuttals:

- The Iron Islands are too far from Slaver’s Bay for Euron to travel between them in time to play both roles, based on the chronology of Daenarys  and Aeron Damphair chapters.

- Euron has no motive to pretend to be Daario.

- Euron and Daario don’t look alike.

                First, let’s address the motive. Euron’s plan (or at least, the part that he has professed) is to conquer Westeros using dragons. He also says “When the kraken weds the dragon, brother, let the world beware.” Considering that breeding various genetic combinations (usually with Targaryans) in order to generate the saviors foretold in various prophecies is a reoccurring theme (the Green Grace encouraging a half-harpy, half-dragon union; Rhaegar’s attempts with Elia and Lyanna; Drogo’s attempt to create the Stallion That Mounts the World with Daenarys;  and so on), it stands to reason that the actual wedding is only important for legitimacy of Euron’s rule— it’s more than likely that he wants to wed her in order to produce a child.

                So, how is Daario useful to Euron? Daario has made Dany trust and fall in love with him. He has also pressured her towards her violent, blood-and-fire conqueror tendencies. He has had sex with her many times, which could have produced a half-kraken, half-dragon child, even if he was unable to wed her. In her POV chapers, we see that she wishes she could marry Daario. Clearly, if Daario is Euron, the identity of Daario is advancing all of Euron’s goals. It’s hard to say how, exactly, he would pull off a marriage, since she knows she can’t marry Daario, and since she will feel betrayed if he tells her who he is—but that may be where the dragon horn comes in. If Daario can suddenly control one of Dany’s dragons, that might be a real game-changer as far as whether she feels she could marry him. But we don’t have to have all the answers for this theory to be probable (we usually don’t before GRRM’s reveals). All that matters is that he believes he has a plan, and that his actions thus far serve his interests.

                Ultimately, Euron is a manipulator—cunning, deceptive, ruthless—when people say that this theory adds nothing to the plot, or that there’s no reason for Euron to pretend to be Daario, I disagree entirely. This is exactly the kind of plan that I would expect Euron to use to get close to Dany, in order to win her hand or steal her dragons. It fits his personality, which he haven’t seen demonstrated in any really major way as of yet (besides his manipulation at the Kingsmoot, but obviously that was just a means to a greater end), and, if he is Daario, he is succeeding (Dany loves him more than anyone else, he’s in her inner circle, and he has influence over her decision-making). Daario and Euron are also very similar people—Daario too is manipulative, swaggering, a good talker, a good fighter, violent, ruthless… And between Victarion, on his way to Meereen with Dragonbinder (whose  master is Euron), and Daario so close to Dany, all the pieces may be falling in place for the Crow’s Eye’s master plan.

            Now, for the logistical points. How could Euron sail so fast?  How could the timeline fit? How can two people who look different from each other be the same person? Let’s explore these possibilities. Right off the bat, let’s consider an extremely significant aspect of Euron’s character: not unlike Marwin, he is fascinated by the dart arts. Not only do we know of his interest, but in AFFC we hear that he captured four warlocks outside of Qarth (probably Pyat Pree and his three associates, as they left Qarth right around this time). Like the warlocks, Euron drinks shade of the evening, which is said to enhance magical abilities. Like Bran, Euron has strange dreams about flying from a tall tower (his fascination with “flying” also mirrors Sweetrobin, who may also be a greenseer, but that’s another theory). We don’t know whether these dreams were sent by Bloodraven or someone else, or whether they are of some other significant origin, but the point is, Euron is closely associated with some magical elements of our story.

            There is speculation among the crews of the Iron Fleet that Euron is using blood magic to control the wind through sacrifices; given that he is traveling with three warlocks (having killed the fourth) and that we know the deck of his ship, the Silence, is red, it seems very probable that he is doing so. It’s possible that the deck is simply red because of all the blood, but this may be a reference to the (as far as I am aware) myth that pirates would paint their decks red so that blood wasn’t visible during a battle—it would be a fitting reference for GRRM to make Euron’s deck red in order to hide blood from sacrifices. Regardless, if there had never been any other mention of the possibility of using blood magic to control wind, then we might dismiss the rumors (or whether the magic worked), but there have been several other mentions of this specific form of magic:
 

Quote

 

“Melisandre had given Alester Florent to her god on Dragonstone, to conjure up the wind that bore them north. Lord Florent had been strong and silent as the queen’s men bound him to the post, as dignified as any half-naked man could hope to be, but as the flames licked up his legs he had begun to scream, and his screams had blown them all the way to East-Watch-by-the-Sea, if the red woman could be believed. Davos had misliked that wind. It had seemed to him to smell of burning flesh, and the sound of it was anguished as it played amongst the lines.” (DoD Davos I)

“Wisps of dark smoke rose from his fingers as [Victarion] pointed at the maester. “That one. Cut his throat and throw him in the sea, and the winds will favor us all the way to Meereen.” Moqorro had seen that in his fires.” (DwD Victarion I)

“Near the end, before the smoking ketch was swallowed by the sea, the cries of the seven sweetlings changed to joyous song, it seemed to Victarion Greyjoy. A great wind came up then, a wind that filled their sails and swept them north and east and north again, toward Meereen and its pyramids of many-colored bricks. ‘On winds of song I fly to you, Daenerys,’ the iron captain thought.” (DwD Victarion II)

 



            It adds some credibility, too, that it has been mentioned in relation to both warlocks of the Undying and red priests, two quite unrelated magical institutions. Some amount of continued skepticism is fair, but we have seen several kinds of blood magic used effectively, beyond a reasonable doubt. It seems likely that along with the return of magic, this kind of magic has increased in power. So the less-than-subtle suggestion that Euron is using this magic to sail quickly should not be ignored. If GRRM were going to have a character lead a double life on two different continents, this is exactly the kind of foreshadowing we should expect.

Daario not looking identical to Euron is  not really an issue either. Once again, he is associating with warlocks and drinking shade of the evening (which increases magic). In the House of Black and White we learn that there are numerous methods of altering your appearance:
 

Quote

"’Mummers change their faces with artifice,’ the kindly man was saying, ‘and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamours dissolve before sharp eyes, but the face you are about to don will be as true and solid as that face you were born with.’"



            One servant of the House of Black and White is noted as having only a different nose each time Arya sees him—presumably, artifice, the weakest of these techniques. Then there are glamors, like Melisandre uses to disguise Mance Rayder as the Lord of Bones. And finally, the solid face change that Jaqen H’Ghar utilizes (which seems to be an extremely rare ability). However, we also see non-magical disguises used in our story a number of times. For instance, Varys disguises himself as the gaoler in the Black Cells. But, more relevantly, Euron literally has the idea to disguise Ironborn as Tyroshis in order to sneak them into Oldtown. Jon Connington and the supposed Aegon also use blue Tyroshi beards to disguise themselves as Griff and Young Griff, respectively. Daario is so distinctive, with his blue beard and golden moustache, because he is (supposedly) Tyroshi. Once again, this is exactly the kind of foreshadowing that GRRM uses throughout ASOIAF.

            So consider this: Euron and Daario are already described as looking quite similar. To mention the similarities that Alt Shift X lists, with citations, in his Daario = Euron video (linked below), both are said to be attractive, pale, smooth-skinned, bearded, and blue-eyed. Given these starting similarities, there are many ways in which Euron could disguise himself as Daario. Really, if he dyed his facial hair and changed his clothes, all he would need magic for is to disguise his one black eye (and maybe to fake his gold tooth), which sounds exactly like the kind of small change that even the simplest appearance-altering magic, artifice, could cover up. Since he has warlocks in his service and some knowledge of magic, a “mummer’s” trick like artifice would probably be no trouble.

            Note: I only presume that he’s using a combination of artifice and traditional disguise, rather than simply glamoring himself, because Daenarys has seen him naked, and the glamors we have seen generally depend on some object kept on one’s person (such as the Lord of Bones’ bones, or some kind of ruby jewelry). It’s possible that Euron has gotten around this somehow (maybe the fake gold tooth is the glamor artifact?), but since artifice would probably suffice, I find it more probable.


            As for the final point, how this would fit into the chronology, GRRM has kind of given himself a bit of an insurance policy. At the beginning of A Storm of Swords, GRRM wrote “A Note on Chronology,” which says the following:

Quote

“A Song of Ice and Fire is told through the eyes of characters who are sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles apart from one another. Some chapters cover a day, some only an hour; others might span a fortnight, a month, half a year. With such a structure, the narrative cannot be strictly sequential; sometimes important things are happening simultaneously, a thousand leagues apart.”

            Similarly, in the front of A Dance With Dragons, he included a section titled “A Cavil On Chronology” which explains that the events of A Dance With Dragons, at least up until the point where the POV characters from A Feast For Crows reappear as POV characters, does not follow the end of AFFC chronologically, but rather, the events of the two books occur simultaneously in different locations. While some fans have done very good work at stitching together the events of the two books in the proper chronological order, I don’t think we can take that order to be absolute canon. That said, even within this estimated chronology, it seems as though Euron and Daario are never sighted at the same time. Alt Shift X runs through these sightings quickly in his video (which, again, I will link below) and user eternal_got does the same, based on the approximated AFFC-ADWD timeline. His post also lays out a great deal of the evidence for E = D, and will be linked below as well.

            If anyone has any other major complaints about E = D, I’d be glad to hear them, but based on the overwhelming amount of foreshadowing, the clear parallels drawn between the characters, their seemingly common motives, and all the rest, I have found this to be one of the strongest alternate persona/secret identity theories out there. If it isn’t true, then GRRM went to crazy lengths to create a very, very intricate red herring (which is entirely possible, but seems like more of a tinfoil explanation than this being a genuine subplot). I am working on another theory about Euron (which is so far unrelated to E = D) and hope to get it written out and posted soon.

Thanks for reading.

Sources:

Is Daario Really… by Nittany_Lion_Country: Very compelling post, this time on Reddit, which goes into fantastic detail about the evidence for E = D. Probably the best single source for evidence I’ve come across.

Eurio Greyharis: eternal_got’s post about E = D, lays out some of the primary evidence and provides a timeline of Daario and Euron sightings.

Daario=Euron by Alt Shift X: Excellent YouTube video about E = D—if you haven’t heard the basic argument for the theory, Alt Shift X lays it out in no uncertain terms and draws excellent parallels between the characters.

And, of course, AFFC and ADWD themselves, by George R.R. Martin.

As with any theory, it's largely a product of collaboration and these are not nearly all of the sources that have collected evidence of this theory, but I did refer to these during the writing of this essay, and they are good places to familiarize yourself with the argument for E = D if you aren't aware of it.

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