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Why Cersei’s Golden Company is important

In the first episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 8, Cersei gets a shiny new army.

Spoilers below for the Season 8 premiere.

At the end of Season 7, almost everyone met to see if the humans could unite in the common cause of fighting the zombie-like White Walkers. To nobody’s surprise, that didn’t go well. Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) double-crossed Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). She promised she’d send her forces to help them fight the White Walkers, but instead she sent her new suitor, the power-hungry Jack Sparrow wannabe Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), to fetch the Golden Company. Because who needs flowers and diamonds when you can have an army?

That plan comes to fruition as they arrive in the Season 8 premiere. The Golden Company is led by Harry Strickland (Marc Rissmann), a new character introduced in this episode. He’s tall and blonde, so you’d be excused if you confused him for some long-lost Lannister relative, but this is his first appearance on the show. It’s a mercenary army, comprised of sellswords — which is what Bronn (Jerome Flynn) is, and it’s based across the Narrow Sea, which is why they had to sail to Westeros and leave behind their elephants, much to Cersei’s displeasure.

Now, main characters who have been across the Narrow Sea are Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Daenerys. So it’s possible this plotline could connect to them — maybe Arya’s old assassin school tutor Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) is disguised among the Golden Company’s ranks for some mysterious purpose. Or maybe Dany’s old flame Daario (Michiel Huisman) ended up there.

Either way, assuming everyone in the North can vanquish the White Walkers and unite (which seems like a tall order, after their discord in this episode), Cersei’s waiting for them in the South. And she’s got a mercenary army at her disposal, fighting not for honor or any particular family, but purely for gold.

Surely this will end well for her!

“Game of Thrones” final season airs Sunday nights on HBO at 9 pm.

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