Movies & TV

Game of Thrones Is Teasing a Huge Problem for Jon and Dany

The Golden Company army could mean another Targaryen is sailing toward Westeros.
IMAGE HBO
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The new trailer for Game of Thrones Season Eight has one brief scene showing a fleet of Greyjoy ships filled with golden soldiers sailing toward Westeros. It's an ominous scene, because in Season Seven Cersei Lannister sent Euron Greyjoy to Essos to recruit the Golden Company—a badass mercenary army known for never breaking a contract.

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." 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 (and possibly with the threat of the undead from below Winterfell).

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But the problems might not even end there. As fans have pointed out, the man leading the Golden Company doesn't look much like Euron Greyjoy. In fact, it doesn't look like any of the Game of Thrones characters we know so far.

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).

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So, who is that in the trailer sailing toward Westeros? Could it be Young Griff? Well, there's also a theory that this is the TV version of Golden Company commander Harry Strickland, as rumors swirled last year that German actor Marc Rissmann had been cast to play the character.

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 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 incentive to betray Cersei and take the throne).

Regardless, the Golden Company will pose a big problem to Dany and Jon—it's just a matter of how big of a problem it will be. If another Targaryen has claim to the throne, it would put at risk the recent incestuous union of Jon and Dany. If this is just another army for Jon and Dany to fight, it's still of great concern for them.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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