A ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 Spoiler About Rhaegar May Have Slipped On Instagram
The premiere date for the upcoming season isn't even on the calendar yet, but speculation about your favorite HBO drama is already out of control. A Game of Thrones actor posted a Season 8 spoiler that barely seemed to qualify as a leak, but could be more significant than you think. According to Mashable, it was simply a photo of Wilf Scolding in front of a hotel in Belfast that the actor apparently posted to his own Instagram recently. But the image was reportedly pulled down so quickly, it suggests the detail might be important. And since there are still months to wait for the show's 2019 premiere, there's no better time for some good, old-fashioned speculation.
Scolding is a fairly new face around Westerosi parts, having been added to the cast just last season to play Rhaegar Targaryen. But his pivotal role means fans still keep a close eye on him, and they couldn't fail to notice the photo he posted in front of the Europa Hotel in Belfast. The Northern Irish capital is just one of the many international locales in which GoT is reportedly shooting its final season, so Scolding's presence there is unlikely to be a coincidence. According to U.K. paper The Telegraph, much of the series' production takes place in Belfast's Titanic Studios, and exterior locations such as King's Landing, Winterfell, the Great Pyramid of Meereen, and Castle Black are all shot at the capital city.
So while it's not likely to be a coincidence, Scolding's current presence in Belfast is quite a surprise. The Welsh actor had his first and last appearance in the Season 7 finale, during one of the flashbacks that finally confirmed the longstanding fan theory R+L=J. (Hopefully you wouldn't have opened this post if you weren't caught up, but in any case: Spoilers ahead.) After years of theorizing, "The Dragon and the Wolf" finally established once and for all that the young prince is in fact Jon Snow's father. (Or Aegon Targaryen's father, to use his birth name.)
And from there, many assumed that everything was resolved. All the questions had been answered, the true identity of Ned Stark's so-called-bastard son had been revealed, and Scolding was unlikely to crop up again. So for him to be posting photos in Belfast and then swiftly pulling those photos down is beyond suspicious, and it actually does reveal a bit of info about Season 8. If fans are to take the bait of this spoiler and believe that Rhaegar will make a second appearance, it could only be via a flashback. After all, Rhaegar was killed by Robert Baratheon in single combat at the Battle of the Trident, which is well before the birth of his son in the Tower of Joy, let alone the timeframe that's focused on by the series.
So with that in mind, there are literally limitless options as to what Scolding could be doing on the series upon its return. (If he's doing anything and not just in Belfast to enjoy the scenery and cause mass panics by fiddling with his Instagram.) Every aspect of the young prince's life is up for grabs, from his love story with Lyanna Stark to his death under Robert's war hammer, and all the mundane moments in between. But since this show has a lot of ground to cover and just one final season to do it in, it's unlikely that it would be a small moment. As an example, the other moments audiences saw captured in flashbacks were his wedding and the simultaneous birth of his child and death of his wife.
Dark stuff, but with that in mind, what if Scolding is in Belfast to film a flashback to the Rebellion? It's a scene fans haven't seen before, but an important one in history, with momentous consequences for everyone involved. It would be just the kind of thing that viewers might not expect to get crammed into a season already bursting with drama, and worth having an actor pull down a photo to avoid word getting out.
So while everyone will have to wait for the full season to know for sure, this seems like as good a guess as any, and at least the speculation keeps you from missing the show too badly.