Daniel was a prisoner of war and a slave in the king’s court; though he lived as a model civil servant, he was also actually quite subversive. He challenged cultural and high-court dietary rules. In a culture filled with idol worship, he undermined the presumed lordship of the Babylonian king by praying to a God no one could see.
Daniel and his friends were pragmatic and had a long view of history even under oppression. Theirs was a view of history under God. The opening verses of Daniel 1 begin with King Nebuchadnezzar as the King of Babylon. The chapter ends by telling us that Daniel continued in Babylon until the first year of King Cyrus.
Daniel is a story of a mega-history. It tells the history of a God who sees kings come and kings go. Empires become strong and empires crumble, but God remains God. Daniel tells the history of a God who stays with his people even in exile and a God who is in control of not only the present empire, but every empire to come.
Almost like a footnote, chapter one mentions one king at the beginning and one in its last verse. The kings in all their glory, pomp, circumstance, and oppressive practices are actually so small they warrant only a little verse at the end. This isn't their story; this is God's story.