Gendry's Role In 'Game Of Thrones' Season 8 May Be Bigger Than Fans Expected

Helen Sloan/HBO

After HBO executives revealed that Game of Thrones will basically kill off every character in its final season, fans are getting a bit of good news about one of Season 7's standouts. In an interview with DigitalSpy, actor Joe Dempsie revealed his character Gendry will have a bigger role in GoT Season 8. He said that he's been filming a "fair bit" for the final six episodes, but that fans shouldn't read too much into it. Of course, it's hard not to read a little into it and wonder how this news might help inspire new Gendry related Game of Thrones theories.

While Dempsie told DigitalSpy that he's "done well out of it this year," with his shooting schedule, it can be misleading. "As with all these things, we never shoot in chronological order," he explained. "So you might have people coming in at the beginning and at the end, but it doesn't necessarily mean they make it all the way through!"

For Dempsie, this whole thing has been surreal considering that his character spent four seasons off rowing. The show's creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, always said Gendry would be back, but he always understood that story arcs could change. "It was one of the reasons why I never took for granted returning to the show at all," he said, adding, "For me personally, the only real hope I had for the character was just that he would be there when the reckoning came."

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Dempsie said that there was a sense that "this was a show that was building towards some incredible climax, so you just wanted to be there when it all happened." Possibly, to make sure it didn't appear as if he confirmed he'd be there in the end, Dempsie added:

"Not even necessarily just from a character point-of-view, [but] from a personal point of view – to be stood there on the set when they're making that ending... that end game. So yeah, I'm very happy to be involved and be on set for season 8."

The last time fans saw Gendry he had made his way to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to Jon's request for aid in his battle against the White Walkers. But, being that Gendry was trained by Tobho Mott, who was one of very few people who could forge Valyrian steel, which kills White Walkers, there's a good chance he could be an important asset in the final season.

Reddit has already guessed that Gendry will be the third dragon rider alongside Daenerys and Jon Snow. This theory stems from a vision Dany had in the House Of The Undying in which Rhaegar Targaryen says, "There must be one more... the dragon has three heads." The belief is that the three riders will be Targaryen and as this Reddit user @abandoningeden noted, Gendry's father, Robert Baratheon, is part Targaryen.

There's also some fans that believe Gendry is Azor Ahai. The question of "Who is Azor Ahai?" has been asked over and over again, but Reddit user @the_potato_hunter argues that Gendry's ability to forge dragonglass could prove the Azor Ahai prophecy true.

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It states that "our champion will be reborn to wake dragons from stone and reforge the great sword Lightbringer that defeated the darkness those thousands of years ago." Gendry can literally forge the sword, making him a believable choice to fulfill the prophecy.

Of course, there are those who believe Gendry will die in Season 8, which wouldn't be too farfetched based on the intel HBO has given fans. Last month, at a panel called “The Best of HBO” at the Innovative TV or INTV Conference in Israel, Francesca Orsi, HBO's SVP of drama, said that the cast did a read-through of the final six episodes. “None of the cast had received the scripts prior," Orsi explained, "and one by one they started falling down to their deaths." She also revealed, "By the very end, everyone looked down and looked up and tears were in their eyes.”

While it's great for Dempsie to have more screen time in the final season, it's still unclear whether that's a good sign for Gendry. What is becoming increasing obvious, though, is that when Game of Thrones returns next year, fans are going to want to stock up on the Kleenex no matter how Gendry ends up.