As the lone wolf dies and the pack survives, Season 7 of HBO's Game of Thrones set its endgame with that tense finale and the perfect segue into its final year. While the likes of Lady Olenna, Thoros of Myr, and Petyr Baelish all bowed out in the penultimate season, Cersei Lannister kept her icy grip on the Iron Throne to survive by the skin of her teeth.
We have seen the smizing schemer decimate her enemies and still rock a pixie cut over the past seven seasons, but no one is pretending that #LenaHeadey will be sitting atop King's Landing for the show's swansong. From getting her baps out during that shame walk to losing all her children, it takes more than three dragons and the prophecy of a witch to stop our golden girl; however, did we all miss one major hint at Cersei's downfall that was hiding right in front of our eyes?
Money Can't Buy You Love
As the seventh season of the fantasy frolic came to an end, fans saw Jaime and Cersei finally part ways when the Queen of Mean double-crossed Team Daenerys with a master plan. Sending the bearded brute Euron Greyjoy off to Essos, Cersei pulled the wolf pelt from underneath us to reveal that she was using the support of the Iron Bank to buy herself a loyal band of sellswords known as the Gold Company. Waiting for Jon Snow to tackle the Night King with the northern armies, Cersei can then pull her very own Stannis Baratheon pincer movement and take them down from behind — signed, sealed, delivered, done!
Well, Alexis Need from Cosmopolitan reminds us that history may have a nasty sting in its tail for conniving Cersei. Sure, you can buy a man with money, but even Ser Bronn of the Blackwater has been teetering on the edge of swapping sides due to some sort of moral compass. So, with Cersei putting all her dragon eggs in one basket, will the Gold Company really be the knights in shining armor that she is hoping for?
The Gold Company may be known as the best army that money can buy, but as a band of exiled knights from the Blackfyre Rebellion, they are historically loyal to the Targaryen bloodline. To make matters worse for the Lannisters, #GeorgeRRMartin's A Song of Ice and Fire books also have a Gold Company storyline that largely involves the character Jon Connington — who just so happens to be the best friend of Rhaegar Targaryen. Connington is also escorting a young boy who he claims is Aegon Targaryen, a.k.a. the son of the deceased Rhaegar. The novels have the Gold Company form a secret pact to abandon their current payment to fight behind Aegon as a legitimate heir to the throne.
'Heirs' And Graces
While none of these characters exist on the show, it conveniently happens to be that Jon Snow's real name was revealed as Aegon during the close of Season 7. We aren't sure whether #GameofThrones will turn Jon into THIS Aegon, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Cersei's strategy will come tumbling down quicker than Samwell Tarly can shout "oh my" between the sheets. Just imagine the power switch when Cersei's own Sellswords turn on her in a beautiful recreation of Ned's betrayal in Season 1. We already know that Pilou Asbæk is counting down the days until Euron gets the chop, and this could be just the way to do it.
Cersei may be adamant in her statement that, "no one walks away from me," (well, Jaime did), but the Queen's cockiness could be her ultimate downfall. We are still waiting for the Valonqar to choke the life out of that slender neck, but the Gold Company's backstabbing could herald the first chink in her valuable plot armor. Also, with Cersei's brother-lover no longer by her side to provide a helping "hand," that pointy chair could be a very lonely place to sit when winter descends on King's Landing.
Check out Jaime and Cersei's showdown and don't forget our poll below:
Will the Gold Company betray Cersei?