With production on Game of Thrones Season 8 already under way, many fans are wondering how many new characters will be brought on for the final episodes, and today the first new cast member may have been revealed. A new report claims that Into the Badlands star Marc Rissmann has been cast in Game of Thrones Season 8, playing a character from the George R.R. Martin books, a mercenary named Harry Strickland. If the Season 7 finale is any indication, Matt Rissman could have quite the pivotal role in the final six episodes.
In the George R.R. Martin books, Harry Strickland is the leader of a mercenary group known as the Golden Company, and there had been recent casting calls for "mercenary" roles, which many had suspected is the Harry Strickland character. Watchers on the Wall noticed a casting report from Marc Rissmann's talent agency, and a credit listed on his Spotlight CV, which reveal that the actor has been cast as Harry Strickland. While both the talent agency release and the Game of Thrones CV entry have since been removed, that only lends itself to how authentic this report is. As fans may recall, the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale mentioned the Golden Company, leading to many wondering if Harry Strickland will finally appear.
In the Season 7 finale Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) set sail from King's Landing to bring the Golden Company to her, to bolster the Lannister army in this war ahead. If we do in fact see Harry Strickland it will be the first time these characters have been seen on the hit series, but the Golden Company has been mentioned before. In Season 3, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) suggests that Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) enlist the services of the Golden Company. Stannis did not agree, though, claiming that these mercenaries, a.k.a. "sellswords," were not fit for his army, which Davos thought was hypocritical since Stannis was so willing to use the magic of Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) and not pay soldiers to join his army.
The original casting notice for the mercenary role mentioned this character would be used in two of the six Game of Thrones final season episodes, and while it still hasn't been exactly confirmed that this mercenary character is in fact Matt Rissman's Harry Strickland character, it certainly seems likely. It's worth noting that the Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) character was previously a member of the Golden Company, before pledging his sword to Daenerys' brother, Viserys. Daario Naharis wasn't seen at all in Season 6 of Game of Thrones, with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) cutting her romantic ties with him, tasking Daario to help keep the peace in Meereen with his group the Second Sons.
This is the first Game of Thrones Season 8 cast member we've heard of thus far, with production just getting under way, but there is no indication of how many more new characters will be brought on for the final season. While this upcoming season is the shortest, with just six episodes, it will also be the most expensive Game of Thrones season, with rumors swirling that each of the six episodes could be feature-length episodes. Each episode is believed to cost a whopping $15 million to produce, up sharply from the $6 million per episode it cost in the first season. This report from Watchers On the Wall has not been confirmed, but hopefully we'll find out more as production continues. Marc Rissmann has played Nos in Into the Badlands and Tekil in The Last Kingdom, and he just wrapped on the Bad Robot movie Overlord, which, coincidentally, also stars Pilou Asbaek.