‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Spoilers: An Unexpected New Character Could Win

With Game of Thrones Season 8 on the horizon, fans are speculating over which character will end up on the Iron Throne once the final six episodes have aired. But what if the winner is a brand new character, one we’ve only seen briefly in the Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer? It might sound unlikely, but if you consider the entire plot of GoT (and some omitted details from the books) it actually makes a lot of sense.

Here’s why Harry Strickland (aka, the leader of the Golden Company) could end up on the Iron Throne with some help from Illyrio Mopatis (aka, that guy who set up Daenerys’ marriage to Khal Drogo back in Season 1 and then vanished).

Possible spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 below.

Let’s start with the second of these two characters. Illyrio Mopatis is a rich dude living in Essos who’s been conspiring to get a Targaryen back on the throne since before Game of Thrones even began. You might not remember him, but you probably remember this image of Illyrio arranging the marriage between Daenerys and Drogo in exchange for an army to invade Westeros.

game of thrones season 8 spoilers
R.I.P. Viserys Targaryen

We saw Illyrio at least two more times in GoT Season 1. At Dany’s wedding, he gave her those dragon eggs as a gift. He also showed up in the tunnels under King’s Landing, where Arya overheard Illyrio plotting with Varys over their plan to put a Targaryen in charge.

But which Targaryen were they talking about? Originally, the plan was presumably to put Dany’s brother Viserys on the throne, but after he turned out to be an evil prick and got himself murdered, Illyrio and Varys presumably pivoted their focus to Dany, no longer just a pawn in their game but a potential queen.

Except, maybe that’s never been the plan at all. After all, there are other Targaryens out there. In Season 7 we learned that Jon Snow’s true name is Aegon Targaryen. If Illyrio and Varys knew that back in Season 1, then perhaps the whole scheme with Dany was just a distraction. However, there’s one more option…

game of thrones season 8 spoilers
Could the Golden Company leader Harry Strickland be a secret Targaryen?

At The Ringer notes in a recent article, the Golden Company was originally founded by a Targaryen bastard named Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers. While the books went into a lot of detail on this backstory, the show has mostly glossed over it. However, with the Golden Company set to make a big intro in Game of Thrones Season 8, it may be time to re-introduce this forgotten branch of the Targaryen family tree.

It’s possible that Harry Strickland (the Golden Company leader with his back to the camera in the image above) might actually be a descendant Aegor Rivers. This would be a deviation from the books, but not the hugest reach HBO’s show has taken with the source material. In that case, Strickland could be arriving in Westeros with a strong army behind him and a semi-legitimate claim to the throne.

After all, he might still be the descendant of a bastard, and not a real Targareyen, but if Dany and Jon Snow both die in the battle against the Night King, Strickland could be the next best thing. And maybe, just maybe, that’s what Illyrio Mopatis has been planning all along.

Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres April 14 on HBO.

Media via HBO