The “Game of Thrones” season 4 premiere, “Two Swords,” featured some new characters as well as a new actor playing a familiar role. Fans may have been shocked to see a dramatically different Daario Naharis as Michiel Huisman (“Nashville”) has been cast as the leader of the Second Sons and a possible love interest for Daenerys Targaryen.

New Daario Naharis
Daario Naharis will be played by Michiel Huisman in "Game of Thrones" season 4. HBO

In “Two Swords,” Dany is informed that Daario and Grey Worm are holding up the march to Meeren as the two are gambling for the right to stand by her side. We see Daario and Grey Worm sitting down with the arms extended, the first to drop their arms, and the weapon balanced on them, loses. Instead of the familiar face and long hair of Ed Skrein, fans see the more rugged Huisman.

So, what happened to the original Daario? When the news first emerged of Huisman being cast to replace Skrein in “Game of Thrones” in 2013 there were no details as to why the latter left the show.

Old Daario Naharis
Ed Skrein played Daario Naharis in "Game of Thrones" season 3. HBO

Well, a report from Variety may have revealed the reason for Skrein’s departure. In February, Variety reported Skrein will star in a new “Transporter” movie, taking over the role of Frank Martin from Jason Statham in the franchise. As Daario would become more of a focal point in “Game of Thrones” season 4, and in future seasons, it could lead to conflicts with the shooting schedule for “Transporter.” Shooting for “Transporter” is expected to begin in June, reports Variety.

While the switch to a new Daario may be jarring, Huisman has plenty of acting credits under his belt, starring in “Nashville” as well as “Treme,” and should do well as the Dany’s loyal mercenary.

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