SPOILER ALERT! The Game of Thrones Season Eight Premiere Just Introduced This Terrifying Threat
With the return of Game of Thrones also comes the return of the horny Iron Islands pirate Euron Greyjoy. And with him, he brought Cersei the Golden Company army and their captain Harry Strickland to fight for the Lannisters.
This is bad news for Daenerys and Jon!
Said to have one of the largest and most skilled armies in the Free Cities, the Golden Company consists of "10,000 infantry, cavalry, and war elephants" (though, as we learn in this episode, Euron didn't bring the elephants). Even with two dragons, this would be a tough match for the army led by Daenerys and Jon—especially since they're also fighting the undead horde from the north with its own ice dragon.
So that means Daenerys and Jon are soon to be surrounded to the South by the Golden Company and to the North by the Night King.
In the books, there's a character named Young Griff, who claims to be Aegon Targaryen, the only living son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. According to Griff, Varys smuggled him to safety during the sacking of King's Landing by swapping him with a peasant child who was killed during the attack. That left the people of Westeros to believe Aegon was dead. In the books, as Daenerys takes the Slaver's Bay city of Meereen, Griff convinces the Golden Company leader, Harry Strickland, to sail toward Westeros to attack King's Landing while it is weak under King Tommen's rule.
It's never 100 percent confirmed if Young Griff is indeed Aegon Targaryen, but he does make a good enough case to bring an army to Westeros to begin his war for the crown. In the books, he also says he plans to marry Daenerys to join their two armies together to rule Westeros (even though he allegedly has a stronger claim to the throne).
Now, it's unlikely Young Griff will actually appear in the show, but in the first episode of Game of Thrones Season Eight, we are introduced to Strickland, who is leading the Golden Company army for Cersei.
It's possible that Young Griff might never appear on the show, as it would take a lot of explaining to add his story to this already complex narrative, which isn't exactly something Game of Thrones has time for in its final six episodes. Considering how the show has combined or invented or deleted characters from the book, it's also possible that Game of Thrones merges Young Griff and Strickland into one character, making the Golden Company commander a possible Targaryen (which would also give him the incentive to betray Cersei and take the throne).
For now, we just know he's here and he brings a pretty terrifying threat for Dany and Jon (but no elephants). It's a small development that completely changes the game. If by some change of heart by Cersei, the best case scenario is that the Golden Company actually helps the humans fight the army of the dead.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.