Credit: HBO

On Game of Thrones, the character of Benjen Stark, Ned's Night Watch brother, hasn’t been seen since early inSeason 1, when he disappeared beyond the Wall. Where is he? Is he dead? Is he hiding out somewhere? One interesting fan theory is that Benjen is alive, and he’s hiding in plain sight (to the viewer anyway) as Daenerys’ latest love interest, Daario Naharis.


The theory was first posited on Reddit, and has gained some traction, and plenty of ridicule, since then. There are a couple possible reasons why Benjen would want to seek out Dany. One is that he has seen first hand the threat that the White Walkers pose and needs her dragons to stop them. Or, he knows the truth about Jon Snow’s parenthood (another popular theory, still unproven, is that that Jon is the son of Dany’s brother Rhaegar and Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna) and wants to secure support for Jon from his aunt Dany.

Also, in the A Song of Ice and Fire books Daario has the dyed blue hair and flamboyant clothing of a Tyroshi in other words, he doesn’t look like a man of the Night’s Watch, meaning it could be a disguise. The books do feature other characters from Westeros traveling in Essos who disguise themselves as Tyroshi, so it seems possible.

On the show, you may say, Benjen and Daario are portrayed by two different people, so what do we say to that? When Daario was first introduced in Season 3, he was portrayed by Ed Skrein, who admittedly looks nothing like Joseph Mawle, who played Benjen. But in Season 4, Ed Skrein was replaced by Michiel Huisman, who does bear a strong resemblance to Benjen. Why the change? The show never revealed it officially, but is it possible that during the showrunners’ talk with series author George R. R. Martin between seasons, he revealed that Benjen is Daario? This would have prompted the recasting, without just casting Mawle in the role since that would immediately give away the truth.

Finally, George has said that there’s more to Daario than meets the eye. Could this be what

he’s talking about?

What do you think? Is Daario really Benjen Stark, or is this theory crazy? Let us know in the comments below!