WARNING: Spoilers Below. Don’t read if you haven’t watched Season 8, Episode 3 “The Long Night.”
The Night King is dead. His army of White Walkers and wights is roasting in Winterfell as we speak.
Things are looking promising for the Stark family and for Daenerys’ bid for the Iron Throne. Sure, they’ve lost thousands of men, their dragons are injured, the Dothraki are gone, and nearly everyone is suffering from some sort of PTSD, but how hard can it be to dispose of one arrogant queen and her mountainous bodyguard?
Pretty damn hard it turns out.
That’s because Cersei has a secret weapon she’s been biding her time concealing in the King’s Landing harbor.
We met The Golden Company briefly in the show’s season eight premiere. Euron Greyjoy, in a bid to get on Cersei’s good side (and in her pants) presented the army of sell-swords to the Lannister queen but they were gone as quickly as they appeared and the battle of Winterfell took precedence.
But now that everyone’s eyes have turned to King’s Landing, maybe it’s time we pay closer attention to the golden-armored men and the role they have yet to play in the last great war on Game of Thrones.
The Golden Company was first mentioned back in season four when Davos suggested Stannis use them to claim the Iron Throne. Stannis was against this plan for reasons that honestly made little sense, but Davos believed the number of men at the Company’s disposal, their reputation, and their oversized elephants could sway the war.
It’s a belief Cersei is now banking on.
After revealing to her brother Jaime that she had tasked Euron with hiring the Company to help fight against whoever won the battle for the living up North, Cersei then welcomed Commander Harry Strickland into her halls. Strickland, a son of one of the original Golden Company men, commands an army of 20,000 highly-trained soldiers. Most are exiled Westerosi knights, men who participated in failed rebellions and then fled across the Narrow Sea. Ser Jorah Mormont (may he rest in peace) once served with the Golden Company (on the show at least) and that’s not the only connection the army has to the Targaryen name.