"Game of Thrones" fans are quite used to seeing a lot of scheming and maneuvering onscreen in the HBO series, but it seems some behind-the-scenes politics might be responsible for actor Ed Skrein leaving the show after Season 3. "The Transporter Refueled" star has revealed that the reason he parted ways with "Game of Thrones," leaving the show to recast the role of Second Sons leader Daario Naharis, was politics.
Loyal viewers will remember that the character of Daario Naharis, played by Skrein, 32, came onto the scene in Season 3 when the Second Sons met Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her army of Unsullied. After initially forging an alliance, the three leaders of the Second Sons, including Naharis, voted to assassinate Daenerys, choosing Naharis to do the deed. Instead killed his Second Sons colleagues and brought their heads to the Queen of Dragons, earning her trust and becoming one of her chief advisors. In Season 4, the show brought in Dutch actor Michiel Huisman to replace Skrein in the role after he left the show for what many believed was simply a scheduling conflict with his starring gig in the recently released "Transporter Refueled." However, Skrein told Entertainment Weekly that was not the case.
“That’s what been reported in the press but it was a lot more political than that. My plan was to stay with ‘Game of Thrones’ for the long haul. That was always my plan. I would have loved to,” said Skrein. “It was a wonderful experience, but politics led to us parting ways.”
Skrein told the same story to TooFab, contradicting rumors about his "Game of Thrones" departure.
“This is a complicated industry and there’s always politics involved,” said Skrein. “I never really look back. My journey has been unorthodox in many ways. All I do is count my blessings and try to be as present as I can and I’m thankful for every step of this journey.”
Skrein has not elaborated any further, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what brand of industry politics is responsible for the bad blood. Perhaps there was not scheduling conflict, but for some reason "Game of Thrones" was not content to have one of its supporting actors spending time away filming another project.
What is the exact reason? Fans might never know, but they can currently catch Skrein in theaters in "The Transporter Refueled." Meanwhile, Michiel Huisman will continue to hold down the role of Daario Naharis when "Game of Thrones" Season 6 premieres on HBO in 2016.