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Game Of Thrones: Bronn Reveals How Tyrion Can Beat Cersei

Bronn and Cersei in Game of Thrones Season 8

After the events of Game of Thrones most recent episode, "The Last of the Starks", Daenerys' odds of taking the Iron Throne are down quite a bit, but Bronn seems to have revealed the key to defeating Cersei in the Last War.

After the Battle of Winterfell, despite coming out victorious, Jon and Dany's armies were drastically reduced, and the warriors who remained were comprised of exhausted, wounded fighters. To make matters worse, the minute Dany arrived back at Dragonstone, she fell victim to a surprise attack by Euron Greyjoy's fleet, which succeeded in destroying her own, eliminating one of her dragons, and ultimately costing Missandei her life. Cersei's cadre of scorpions make Drogon extremely vulnerable and the Golden Company outnumbers Jon and Dany's forces. But there still may be hope, and that's courtesy of a point made by none other than cutthroat, sellsword and the smartest man in Westeros, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater.

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Related: Cersei's Pregnancy Proves Game Of Thrones' Timeline Is Broken

The Golden Company fights for a bottom line, not out of loyalty, just like Bronn; that means they can be bought. When Bronn arrives in Winterfell under orders to kill Tyrion and Jaime, he recalls an old deal he made with the Imp - if anyone ever offered Bronn money to kill him, Tyrion would double it. Tyrion offers him Highgarden and Bronn stays the crossbow because, despite Dany's current position, he still thinks she can win. And if Cersei dies, Bronn won't get paid. It follows that if Tyrion can come up with the resources to buy the Golden Company's loyalty, Harry Strickland won't be honor-bound to stay on Cersei's side. But it may not even take money, just the assurance that Dany can beat Cersei even if the Lannister queen has a superior force.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer The Golden Company

Histories and Lore video from season 4 titled Sellwords and Hedge Knights goes into great detail about the philosophies that govern sellswords and the stigma attached to them. Jerome Flynn narrates as Bronn, and he immediately points out that noble classes preferring forces that fight for them out of loyalty doesn't have anything to do with morality, but economics instead: "They say they can't trust a man who sells his allegiance to the highest bidder. I don't blame them; it's much cheaper for them to own an army from birth, either by people being on their lands or by their ancestors swearing a few oaths."

He also goes on to illustrate an even more salient point regarding the pragmatism of sellswords in general: "But here's the thing: no sellsword has ever fled from the winning side. If your hired companies are running away from you, it's because you're not on that side - and you didn't pay them enough to die with you." If the key to Dany's win lies in strengthening her forces and undermining Cersei's, wooing the Golden Company away from her could simply lie in paying them more or convincing them they're fighting a losing battle. And given how stricken Harry Strickland looks in nearly every scene he shares with Cersei, that might not be difficult. It would also be remarkably on brand for one of the most important confrontations in Game of Thrones to come down to money, politics and backroom dealing.

As much as criticism loves comparing the A Song of Ice and Fire series and its television adaptation to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, there's a major difference between the two when it comes to how the former treats honor, nobility, and fair play. Game of Thrones takes those concepts and realistically unpacks them, pointing out time and time again that even in epic battles involving dragons, zombies, and prophecies, more often than not it's money and politics that do the legwork. It would be a fitting element in this series' final act if everything came down to the Golden Company leaving Cersei for a better paycheck or because they were convinced she had no chance of keeping her throne.

Next: Game of Thrones Theory: Jon Will Have to Kill Dany for the Iron Throne

Game of Thrones season 8 continues on Sunday, May 12 on HBO.

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