Warning: This post contains potential spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.
The new Game of Thrones trailer that dropped Tuesday is stirring up major fan speculation over what’s to come in the show’s final six episodes, with theories about one man in particular flying.
After confirming, at long last, that Jon Snow is the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones also revealed that Jon’s real name is Aegon Targaryen.
There has been a long history of Aegons on the Targaryen family tree, with the name’s origin stretching back 300 years to Aegon I Targaryen. Also known as Aegon the Conqueror, Aegon I was the first king to sit on the Iron Throne after conquering Westeros and unifying the Seven Kingdoms under his rule. But based on a scene in the new Game of Thrones season 8 trailer, some fans are speculating that we’re about to meet yet another Aegon.
As we know, Aegon Targaryen was also the name of Rhaegar’s only son with his first wife, Elia Martell. Shortly before Jon’s birth, that Aegon was murdered alongside his mother and sister by Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane during the Sack of King’s Landing. This happened near the end of Robert’s Rebellion after Rhaeger himself had been killed at the Battle of the Trident.
But in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series — the books the show is based on — there is a character named Young Griff who claims to be the surviving son of Rhaegar and Elia. Varys even tells Tyrion that he swapped that Aegon with a peasant baby before the capital was sacked.
In the books, Young Griff was raised by a man named Jon Connington and plans to marry Daenerys so that they can rule the Seven Kingdoms together. He has also managed to recruit the mercenary company known as the Golden Company to his cause, which is the detail that has led some fans to believe that he’s finally going to make an appearance in the show.
At the end of season 7, Euron Greyjoy was en route to Essos to retrieve the Golden Company for Cersei. And in the season 8 trailer, we see a large fleet of Greyjoy ships carrying a group of soldiers that appears to be the Golden Company. However, the detail that caught some viewers’ eye was the blond man with his back facing the camera standing at the head of the army.
It has been theorized that a German actor named Marc Rissmann — who just so happens to be blond — was cast to play the book character Harry Strickland, a commander in the Golden Company, in season 8. However, considering how much the Game of Thrones showrunners love a bait-and-switch, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he may really be playing Young Griff. Whether Griff is actually Aegon Targaryen is still up for debate.
Watch the full Game of Thrones season 8 trailer above.
Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season on April 14.