After just barely surviving the Battle of Winterfell, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and the remaining Game Of Thrones gang is gearing up to head off to another war, this one with Cersei Lannister. But from the looks of the new photos from Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4, released by HBO on Wednesday, May 1, Queen Cersei has a little extra manpower on her side. Yes, the Golden Company has officially arrived in King's Landing and if this army is anything like they are in the books, they're bringing a whole lot of trouble with them.
In the A Song Of Ice and Fire novels, the Golden Company is a mercenary army from Essos is made up of 20,000 men, horses, and potentially elephants. (Yes, Cersei could get those elephants she so desires.) These sellswords, which are known for never breaking a contract, is an important element of George R.R. Martin's story. Now it could become an important part of the TV show, too, causing trouble for Daenerys and Jon in Season 8.
The Golden Company has come up in conversation before on GoT. In Season 4, Davos suggests Stannis hire the army. Last season, Euron went off and actually hired "the most powerful army in Essos" to help Cersei keep the Iron Throne and it appears, they've finally arrived to do just that.
This photo doesn't feature any new faces – there are no faces at all, actually – but in Episode 1, fans believe they got a sneak peek of Golden Company leader Harry Strickland, who will be played by actor Marc Rissmann. Since the blonde-haired blue-eyed Rissmann looks nothing like how the character's described in the book — "little like a warrior," short with thinning, gray hair — fans are already guessing this character will be different than the ones readers know.
That's the thing, though, everyone's guessing at what the arrival of the Golden Company could mean for Game Of Thrones' major players. The Ringer thinks the Golden Company will be a wildcard in Westeros since it's unclear where they stand in this fight. Especially, since it's Euron, a very untrustworthy guy, who made the deal to bring them there.
Another reason the Golden Company is a wildcard? The real possibility they're carrying some very precious cargo. In the books, the Golden Company includes a character that has a close connection to Daenerys an Jon, who we now know is actually Aegon Targaryen. Turns out, there's another Aegon, Prince Rhaegar's other son, who was reportedly hanging out with the Golden Company. Could he pop up before the final season is through to make the Targaryen family tree even more messy? Could the Golden Company's plan be to stab Cersei in the back and put Rhaegar's son on the Iron Throne?
Of course, your guess is as good as anyone's. For now, the Golden Company's role in this final season is a mystery. But, thanks to these new images, it won't be for much longer.