While Daenerys basked in the smell of burnt Lannister flesh, you might’ve missed a sly hint about a new army poised to enter the Game of Thrones arena. And they could throw everything into chaos.
Before the battle in “The Spoils of War,” during a seemingly innocuous conversation with Iron Banker Tycho Nestoris, Cersei offhandedly mentioned her desire to beef up her armies and navies, including making “overtures” to the Golden Company.
And looking at the damage her army took in the Field of Fire 2.0 (we REFUSE to call that epic scene the “Loot Train Attack,” because the Game of Thrones showrunners should clearly leave names to George R. R. Martin), she’s definitely going to need to re-up her man power.
So it’s no surprise that Cersei has her eye on the most fearsome sellsword organization in all of Essos. Book readers know them as the organization that Dany actually tried to enlist while in Meereen before they up and left her for a “false dragon” instead. (Luckily, no one has time for that in the show, so we won’t get into it here.)
Are you taking notes, Cersei? Well let me help you out.
Yes, the Golden Company could add up to 20,000 highly trained men to the Lannister army. (They could even add some war elephants into the mix if Cersei can figure out a way to squeeze them onto Euron’s ships.)
But there’s some history behind the Golden Company that makes us question just how loyal they’d be to the current Queen of Westeros.
As Tyrion said in Episode 3, an army that fights out of fear (or for gold) is worth much less than an army that fights for a cause. And although our Dragon Queen seems less Breaker of Chains and more Queen of the Ashes this season, she hasn’t lost the love of her people just yet.
In fact, in the books, Cersei herself references the fickle nature of a Sellsword Army when she says, “Loyal sellswords are as rare as virgin whores.”
Not to mention the fact that the Golden Company was actually founded by a Targaryen over a century ago.
Sure, it was a Targaryen bastard who left Westeros after the failed Blackfyre Rebellion that led to a Targaryen civil war, so, historically speaking, the Golden Company was birthed from a conflict with Dany’s ancestors… But those are old wounds. And a Targaryen Queen is still better than a Usurper Queen.
Even then, the Golden Company’s motto that “our word is as good as gold” should be taken literally. They are not the type to stick around once the gold runs out, and we’re not sure the Lannisters will be able to pay all the debts they keep racking up.
Plus, the Golden Company is comprised of exiles like Ser Jorah (who fled to Essos to escape execution or taking the black), and failed Westerosi rebels. So, they’re not the most respectable crowd. How is Cersei’s argument against Dany’s immoral and savage armies going to fare when she welcomes back some of Westeros’ most wanted men?
Some fans are even speculating that the Golden Company’s arrival could see the return of another beloved exile from Season 3. That’s right: Gendry, Robert’s bastard son, who we last saw on a row boat to nowhere after Davos saved him from Melisandre’s bloodlust.
It’s already beenconfirmed that our favorite blacksmith’s apprentice will be returning in Season 7. And we couldn’t imagine a more fitting homecoming especially if his arms are swole AF after all that cross-continental rowing.
This fan even speculates that Gendry might be the leader of the whole damn Company. And, LBH, it would only be fitting for the forsaken bastard of a king to lead the sellsword army, considering the organization’s founder.
But if that’s the case, I imagine Gendry might have some choice words for Cersei, who killed every Baratheon bastard in cold blood except for him.
Others are wondering whether the Golden Company will mark the return of Daario Naharis, Dany’s sellsword advisor-turned-lover who she ditched in Essos, ostensibly leaving him to keep the peace. Daario used to be aligned with the Second Sons, but it’s not unprecedented for sellswords to switch allegiances or combine forces maybe he’ll get wind of Cersei’s plot and make moves to derail her deal with the Golden Company.
All in all, the odds don’t seem to be in Cersei’s favor if she brings the Golden Company to the shores of Westeros.
In fact, if the sellswords turn against her to join Dany’s army, it might be the last push Khaleesi needs to win the war.
Read more: http://mashable.com/