For those who caught last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, we were treated to the above splendour of Daario Naharis’s behind, played by Dutch actor, Michiel Huisman (he plays the character, not the behind). This post isn’t so much about Michiel Huisman’s unclothing, as it is the circumstances under which it came. Of course, I’m not complaining about the showing of a beautiful man’s equally beautiful body – I’m just not sure where I stand on this scene. Game of Thrones usually does no wrong in my eyes, but this one… I don’t know. I guess my issue really is that this scene seemed to have come out of left field for me. I readily admit that it could have been written in the books and I just forgot it, but… let’s be serious. First off, let me just say that it was a great scene between Daenerys and Daario. It was sexy, sensual, funny, and played beautifully by Emilia Clarke and Michiel Huisman. The calibre of the scene is not the issue… its existence is. For those who follow the novels, you’ll know that Daario Naharis is incredibly taken with Daenerys, and is by no means shy in his pursuit of her. While Daenerys does return the attraction, she is always careful not to show it, instead choosing to scorn him and remind him at every opportunity that she is his queen, not his equal. In this regard, yes, the show has followed the story arc of the novels. This last sex scene, however, to the best of my memory (and once again I admit that maybe I’ve just forgotten it), flies off a tangent. All throughout the scene, I sincerely believed that Dany was just toying with Daario, until she shamed him and threw him out. However, although no sex was shown, Daario’s smug statement to Jorah that Dany was “in a good mood” as he left her chambers the following morning pretty much nailed what went down – no pun intended. Now I love Dany! She is my favourite character of the novels, followed closely by Arya and Tyrion (though not always in that order). I remember quite well the times of passion that has been written about Dany. Although the series did change the earlier instances of Dany and Khal Drogo’s intimate relations into what pretty much amounted to marital rape – which wasn’t the case in the books – I suppose it did show how uncomfortable she was with constantly being taken from behind. This, of course, was the Dothraki custom since the horse-lords so admired horses that they even mimicked their mating, and Dothraki males took women “the way a stallion mounts a mare”.
Later, when Daenerys shows Drogo what love-making to her really should have been like, it was a pivotal moment, because I think that that’s when the true Khal Drogo/Khaleesi love story began.
I know all this seems like moronic rambling, but I promise I have a point. Daenerys was so in love with Drogo that when he died, she found it practically impossible to envision herself intimate with another man, despite the undeniable attraction that she felt for Daario Naharis. Now, the show doesn’t really portray this as much, but in the novels, Dany constantly thinks about Drogo… so strong was her love for him, even in death. Which now brings me to my point. There are a million other ways that Michiel Huisman could have been written in to be nude. I’ve pointed out in a previous post how HBO has often upped the sex appeal in the show, and brought several latent scenes of the books out to the forefront in the show. I suppose that this is one of those instances – again, operating under the belief that this was not originally written in the book. However, I can’t celebrate this scene like the others because, to me, it sort of downplays the conflicting emotions that Dany had over somehow betraying Drogo by going with another man. So when everything is said and done, I believe that there are two possibilities: a) HBO totally crossed the line with this scene and ruined the premise of a beautiful love story b) I’m an oversensitive geek who needs to chill the fuck out and enjoy the gratuitous male nudity so graciously thrown at me. Ok, yes, I already realize which one it is. I’ll now go have several seats and hang my head in shame.
Edit: A couple of readers have pointed out to me that the books do, in fact, imply a sexual encounter between the two. However, it takes part in A Dance With Dragons, much further than season four is based on… and the circumstances involved in the book and those written in this episode couldn’t be more different.