This was the casting notice Watchers on the Wall reported about back in September, which Rissmann fits to a tee.
GoT is looking for a Mercenary, aged 35 – 50. He’s described as an authoritative, fit, cool and charismatic military type. He’ll be appearing in 2 episodes of season 8. The role requires he be able to ride a horse- no surprise for a mercenary on Thrones! The actor will be rehearsing in October, filming the week commencing December 11th, and then once again in May and June of 2018.
It wasn’t clear at the time this was for Harry Strickland, because the physical description is nothing like the squat, balding, somewhat-cowardly Strickland of the novels. But HBO has never been shy about casting better looking versions of book characters for the show, so that’s not a problem. What’s really important about this being for Harry Strickland though isn’t how he looks, or even that the Golden Company is really coming to Westeros, but when Rissmann will be required on set.
HBO is so worried about the series’ ending being spoiled they are shooting multiple false finales. So, it’s not hard to imagine they’ll be shooting the show’s ending as late as possible, some time next summer. If Harry Strickland will be filming as early as December, we would bet Euron will return to Westeros with him and the Golden Company in one of the first couple (of six) episodes. And if Rissmann needs to come back five or six months later for his next appearance, that would indicate Harry Strickland not only stuck around near King’s Landing for a long time, but that the Golden Company will be there for whatever enemy Cersei ends up facing, likely on the battlefield. That massive battle could be part of the War for Westeros Cersei specifically wanted the Golden Company for, or to fight the White Walkers who have made their way south. Either way, those 20,000 fighting men will be needed to earn their money. Although Cersei might not be able to depend on them, because who knows if they’ll be willing to stick around or fight when they realize their enemy is either a) a lady with two dragons or b) the army of the dead with a dragon. The Golden Company has a great track record of honoring their contracts, but when it comes to mercenary forces, people are rightfully wary of how reliable they will be when it matters. In the novels Illyrio Mopatis says, “Sellswords will not stand against Dothraki screamers,” so who knows how they’ll do against dragons or zombies. Even Cersei herself says, “Loyal sellswords are rare as virgin whores.” There’s not a whole lot of faith in soldiers who are only loyal to their bank account, and we’re pretty sure the Night King doesn’t pay his wights. Either the Golden Company will be there at the end to fight Cersei’s war, or they’ll doom her by running when the enemy shows up. There’s something else this casting news might tell us though, and it has to do with a sellsword we already know really well, Daario Naharis, and how he might also arrive for a big fight. There were some who thought he was a candidate to show up as the leader of the Golden Company since he was the leader of the mercenary force the Second Sons. It made a lot of sense, since we doubt his desire for constant adventure would keep him in
What do you make of this casting news? What does it mean for the final season? Share your best ideas with us in the comments below.