Most of the hype around Game of Thrones Season 8 has been concentrated around the North of Westeros, with the White Walkers coming and all. But there’s whole another storyline waiting down in King’s Landing, and that has been kept tightly under wrap. The Golden Company is arriving in Westeros, and the man leading it has finally spoken.
Well, technically. He dodged more questions than he answered, as usual!
In an extensive interview with DW Euromaxx, Marc Rissmann, essaying the role of “Homeless” Harry Strickland spoke about his role and his experience of working in what is arguably the most popular TV show of all time. Rissmann’s casting was announced way back in 2017.
The next we see any hint of him is in the official Season 8 trailer – a shot of him (Well that’s what we are thinking) from the back as he stands on the deck of Euron Greyjoy’s ship carrying the Golden Company. In the time between, not a word has been spoken about him or his roles. Curious, isn’t it?
Rissmann is not forthcoming with the details but drops enough hints to keep a fan on the edge. For example, it might not be as straightforward as Euron just going to Essos and bringing the sellsword company abroad. Rissmann has some mysterious things to say:
“[If] you have seen season 7 — and especially the ending — [Euron] Greyjoy goes to a place to get the Golden Company. So maybe you can assume what we’re about to do… But maybe something different happens. You never know with this story!”
Another interesting thing is the physical transformation Rissmann had to go through for the role. In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Strickland is described as a portly, balding man with a cowardly streak. But Rissmann was required to get ripped up. He says,
“I bumped up the physical game, because it’s a physical world and it’s a physical character, so feeling that was good.”
The results are evident from his shot in the trailer, and this may point to the fact that his character will be amidst some intense battle sequences. Also, Rissmann describes a sense of being overwhelmed with his particular surroundings, that sounds suspiciously close to a battle sequence. Sample this:
“It feels like a surreal world, because there are so many extras, so many people involved. And the attention to detail is like [to the] microscopic [level]. Even the extras, [even though] there are 500 extras, you could shoot a close-up of everyone basically, even though they are just 200 meters somewhere in wide angle frame.”
500 extras is a lot and we can expect The Golden Company to be part of a huge battle towards the end of season 8. For the past few seasons, Game of Thrones has been concentrating more on tying up existing storylines than introducing new characters. Strickland offers a freshness in that regard. It would be interesting to see how he fits into the End Game.