'Game of Thrones' season 8 hints that Cersei might have begun her own rebellion with help of The Golden Company
The Golden Company belongs to no one which basically makes them available for everyone and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) seems to have taken a keen interest in the army which literally fights with decorated swords and sleeps in golden tents. After being mentioned several times over the course of the show, we finally meet the Golden Company from Essos, in Episode 1 of 'Game of Thrones' Season 8, as they enter Westeros guided by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), to help Cersei protect her throne from the ongoing rebellion of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Considering the mercenary company's long history of rebellion against the Targaryens, it will be interesting to watch them once again lift up swords against a usurper who is- as of now- much better a ruler than the Mad Queen Lannister.
Cersei hired the Golden Company for their uniquely built up army of exiled men, who are known for their battles against any ruler of Westeros. The company was initially founded by a Targaryen bastard, Aegor Rivers (known as Bittersteel) who fled into exile in the Free Cities, along with several other rebels where they formed their own sellsword company in order to survive, and remain a cohesive fighting force to launch future rebellions against any ruler. The rebels who fled with Bittersteel mostly comprised of his father King Aegon IV's (known as Aegon the Unworthy) bastards, all of whom had fought in the Blackfyre Rebellion, a century before the War of the Five Kings.
The sons and grandsons of these Westerosi exiles were later raised to take their place in this mercenary army, supplemented by other men over the generations who were on the losing side of one war or another and fled into exile - mostly from Westeros, but also men from all over the world. When we first hear about them in Season 4, where Ser Davos advises Stannis Baratheon to hire the company if he wanted to win the war, the Golden Company consisted of 10,000 men: 8,000 infantry, 1,000 archers and 1,000 cavalry. Later on, we also hear Daenerys mentioning that Ser Jorah too had fought alongside the Golden Company, as a disgraced knight in exile.
The Golden Company has reached Westeros!!! Wowowowowwow pic.twitter.com/Ki0Nsk1BGO— Siddique HeadKrasher (@headkrasher696) April 15, 2019
By the time the show reached Season 7, the Golden Company seemed to have already expanded in number as we hear Cersei telling Qyburn that they now had 20,000 men, but she was more interested in the war elephants which the company seems to have left behind claiming that elephants are not sea-faring animals. The reason seemed quite vague and Cersei had to live with the fact that the company's general, Harry Strickland (Marc Rissmann), has only been able to get 2000 horses. Cersei was immediately upset, and just as much as Daenerys wants her dragons, she secretly lets Euron know that she would want to have those elephants. Chances are the Lannister Queen who clearly has something for golden-haired men, will manage to persuade the company to fetch their elephants, and who knows, they might just do so.
We will see more about the Golden Company when the show arrives with Episode 2 on April 21.