Why Cersei’s Reference to “The Golden Company” is Important

You can read my full review of “The Spoils of War,” but the purpose of this post is to have a little fun with some theorizing.

Obviously, potential spoilers follow for people that haven’t read the books. But, there’s some interesting context here, so you should probably definitely read on.

In the scene with Cersei and Tychos, the rep from the Iron Bank of Braavos, Cersei made mention that Qyburn has been making inroads with The Golden Company. That reference could be important for multiple reasons.

First is the most obvious. Hiring the famed sellsword company would be Cersei’s final gasp at winning her war, and she could certainly afford them with the help of the Iron Bank. But there are deeper reasons to pay attention, and they come from the books.

Now, the Game of Thrones show diverged from The Song of Ice and Fire series a while ago, but they clearly still take the books as inspiration. Well, in the books, The Golden Company was originally founded by Aegor Rivers, a bastard Targaryen. This was long before the series started, so that point isn’t as important. What’s more important is that a current member of The Golden Company is someone by the name of Aegon Targaryen. *pauses for effect*

In case you don’t remember (and I wouldn’t blame you), Aegon Targaryen was the child born of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell, Oberyn’s sister (you raped her, you murdered her, etc). The story goes that The Mountain bashed the baby’s head against the wall during Robert’s Rebellion and the taking of King’s Landing from the Targaryens.

But what actually happened (in the books, anyway), was that young Aegon survived the attack and ended up in the care of a man named Jon Connington, who was Hand of the King to King Aerys before the Mad King exiled him for losing a battle to Robert Baratheon. Jon had been hanging with — you guessed it — The Golden Company. Everyone in Westeros thinks Connington and Aegon are dead, so, with the help of Varys, they both set out to try and meet Dany and join her side in the war. This is all taking place while she’s sitting on a throne in Meereen.

In the process, they’re the ones that capture Tyrion, and it’s Jon Connington, not Ser Jorah, that develops greyscale. Things progress as they did in the show and Jon and Aegon — operating under the names of Griff and Young Griff — land in Westeros with the goal of taking down the Lannisters.

Here’s where things get tricky with the show. I actually brought this theory up a few seasons ago, when it would have made sense to introduce Aegon and Connington. That didn’t happen, and the writers pushed some of their stories onto other characters, like Jorah capturing Tyrion and getting greyscale. We’re now halfway through the penultimate season of the show, and I can’t imagine the showrunners will introduce such game-changing characters this late in the game (as cool as that may be).

Instead, I think they’ll continue to divert these stories onto other characters. Rather than Aegon alerting Dany that there’s another Targaryen still alive, we now have confirmation that Jon is also a Targaryen (something that hasn’t yet been fully revealed in the books). And, since Jorah is taking the place of Jon Connington in most areas, I think he’ll have something to do with The Golden Company. Perhaps he’ll find his way to them and convince them to fight for Dany rather than Cersei. The books well establish that these guys are much more honorable than most sellswords.

The show is obviously past the books in terms of storytelling, so it’s hard to draw distinct conclusions from one to the next, but I think this is a likely scenario. Bringing on The Golden Company makes sense from a lot of perspectives. Cersei would definitely be pursuing them for some additional help now that she has the funds, it would be a nice bit of fan service to people like me that were disappointed at never seeing Aegon, and it would give Jorah something else to do.

Also of note: In the books, Daario is a former member of The Golden Company. I don’t think that character is gone for good from the show, and this would be a perfect way to bring him back. We’ll see how it plays out.

So, what do you think? Is there still room for Aegon and Jon Connington on the show? Will The Golden Company end up fighting for Cersei or Dany? Will Ser Jorah ever be useful?

Let me know in the comments below!

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