Westeros is in a terrible position. The Seven Kingdoms is dealing with a full-on White Walker invasion now that The Wall has fallen, and if they survive that, they still have to contend with Cersei and Daenerys battling it out over the Iron Throne. Now it seems that Game of Thrones Season 8 will be missing a character who symbolizes the civility of Westeros — which can't be good news for the citizens of King's Landing, or anywhere else for that matter.
In a new interview with ShortList, Mark Gatiss revealed he won't be returning for Season 8. Gatiss appeared in Seasons 4, 5, and 7 as Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank. During his most recent appearance on the show, he came to collect the debt owed by the Lannisters, and Cersei repaid him in full after the sacking of High Garden. She then took out another loan in order to hire The Golden Company to fight alongside her army. It now seems that the matter of that second loan will remain unsettled — at least by Tycho.
Gatiss told ShortList of Season 8,
"I'm not in it, so I guess I survive. Although they might just mention offhand that I've had my head bitten off by a dragon off-screen or something."
Since Tycho is a relatively minor character, it's not too shocking that's there no room for him in the final season. But a previous interview suggested that there were plans for Gatiss to appear in Season 8 at one point. As reported by Winter Is Coming, in 2017, the actor told a crowd at the BFI & Radio Times Festival, "I've done four episodes now and there's two more they think. It's a huge saga and I don't know and I rather like that. But I've had a lovely time."
At the time, Winter Is Coming and other outlets speculated that the last two episodes would be in Season 8, since his two episodes in Season 7 brought him to a total of four episodes over all. Somewhere along the way, plans must have changed — and that could mean dark things for the ending of the series.
Institutions like the Iron Bank are markers of a society that's still functioning even in the midst of a long war. Even Cersei herself discusses using her second loan and the Golden Company to end the war and restore a sense of order to the Seven Kingdoms under her rule. If the Iron Bank has no role to play in Season 8, it seems to suggest that chaos will indeed reign supreme.
The White Walkers are a threat which can't be reasoned with or staved off with money. They symbolize the cold, desolateness of a long winter and the massive causalities of war. Even if they're defeated, there's still the matter of Cersei and Daenerys fighting over whatever's left of the Seven Kingdoms. With just six episodes in the final season, there's no room for a stabilizing force like the Iron Bank to factor into the story, and that could say so much about the end game.
Game of Thrones has officially moved past the point where royal machinations and political agendas drive the plot. From this point forward there's White Walkers, dragons, and the harsh realities of winter. While it would have been nice to see Gatiss one more time, there's no place for the Iron Bank or its representatives in the final, bloody battle for Westeros' survival.