So far, Game of Thrones Season 8 has only focused on a couple of key locations (mostly Winterfell and King’s Landing), but one line in Episode 1 could hint at a return to the Iron Islands very soon. With Yara Greyjoy headed back home, Pyke castle could play a major role as soon as Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 spoilers below.
First, a quick recap. The season premiere did an impressive job of quickly wrapping up Theon’s heroic efforts to rescue his sister, Yara, who was taken captive by their uncle, Euron, in Season 7. After making their escape (a little too easily?), Theon heads back to Winterfell to fight for the Starks, while Yara returns home to reclaim control of the Iron Islands.
But before they part, Yara hints at a grander plan. She suggests that, assuming the battle with the White Walkers goes poorly, any surviving humans can retreat to the Iron Islands. After all, the undead can’t swim.
This actually sounds like a pretty good backup plan, but like most good ideas in Game of Thrones, it’s almost definitely going to backfire. Here’s one scenario:
- Euron finds out what Yara is doing and heads back to the Iron Islands with the Golden Company (20,000 skilled mercenary soldiers) to stop her.
- Cersei backs Euron’s plan because she realizes it’s a good idea to have an island to hide out on if the Night King wins.
- Yara gets her butt kicked, and the good guys can’t retreat to Pyke. Instead, they head to Dragonstone (also an island) after losing to the Night King.
This theory also gets a boost from early promotional photos for Game of Thrones Season 8 showing Dany and Jon in what was pretty clearly Dragonstone castle. This seems to suggest they’ll retreat to the Targaryen stronghold after losing to the Night King. (Or maybe they win and just head to the castle to talk about that whole incest thing.)
Either way, Game of Thrones seems to be hinting that the Iron Islands could play a major role in Season 8, and considering everyone’s current position, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Cersei and Euron end up claiming that castle as a potential back up plan.
The only catch? Now that the Night King has a freaking ice dragon, we’re not so sure a little water is enough to stop him. After all, what’s to stop Viserion from flying over to the Iron Islands and just blasting the entire castle to smithereens like he did to the Wall?
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.