Between all the tearful reunions, dragon rides and pointed side eye, the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere found time to checked in with Westeros’ favorite mercenary, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. We’ve all wondered what became of Bronn since his erstwhile employer, Ser Jaime Lannister, hightailed it north in the season 7 finale. Would Bronn follow Jaime north in the hopes of getting that castle Jaime promised him?
As it ends up, no. He remained in King’s Landing, hanging out in brothels. After Qyburn interrupts Bronn in the middle of his favorite pastime (Lannister messengers are always stopping Bronn from enjoying himself), he presented him with an offer from Queen Cersei: kill Tyrion and Jaime with a crossbow, and he will be paid handsomely, with a wagon full of gold just outside as a down payment.
Cersei wanting to murder Tyrion comes as no surprise, although actively wanting to kill Jaime raises an eyebrow. As Bronn puts it, “That f**king family.” Still, Bronn takes the crossbow, and Qyburn walks out of the room. Has Bronn accepted the offer? Would he murder his two former employers?
On Jaime’s one hand, Bronn has always maintained that he’s in this game for the money and the women and the real estate. If Bronn truly valued loyalty and love over personal gain, he would have attempted to fight the Mountain for Tyrion back in season 4. Sure, Bronn will risk his life fighting a noble fool like Vardis Egan in the Vale, but only if he thinks he can win; he draws the line at the Mountain. Likewise, when Bronn pulled Jaime after the Kingslayer tried to kill Daenerys in season 7, he made it clear that while he wants monetary reward, he’s not willing to fight dragons to get it. That’s another fight he’s bound to lose, and what’s the point of being rich if you’re dead? This Bronn might just take Cersei up on her offer.
On the other hand, we’ve seen Bronn go back on these self-imposed limits. Despite proclaiming that dragons were where his alliance with Jaime ended, Bronn was still manning the walls of King’s Landing when Daenerys’ forces gathered outside in “The Dragon and the Wolf.” Bronn might not have had his castle at that point, but he did have a very large sack of gold. I think it’s fair to say that Bronn has some level of loyalty to the Lannister boys; the question is how much.
But back on the first hand, actor Jerome Flynn has said that Bronn is “very determined to get what he wants” in season 8. Even more ominously, he believes fans “might not love him as much as they do right now” by the time the season is over. Is Flynn hinting at a heel turn for his character, or should we file these sound bites alongside everything the cast members said about Jon Snow really truly being dead after season 5?
Ultimately, I think Bronn will stay loyal the Lannister brothers, but this is Game of Thrones, and they do love to surprise us.
What about everyone else? Will Bronn serve Cersei and murder Jaime, Tyrion, or both? Or will he stand by his man…men? There are only five episodes left to find out!