Which Characters Will Return In 'Game Of Thrones' Season 8?

The countdown is on to the premiere of the season eight of Game of Thrones, and while most fans can guess the names of the main characters which will return for the series finale, there are still a few surprises in store, many sussed out by some sources who did a deep dive to uncover a few surprising names on the credits for the first episode of the eighth season.

Mental Floss says that earlier this year, when the run times for the six episodes from the upcoming season were leaked, it was done by a fan who found several live HBO URLs on the company's website. It was by searching these live, but unpromoted HBO links that the cast list for the first episode was unveiled, leading to a full list of returning characters (at least returning to episode one).

The list of actors for the initial episode has several expected names, like Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, but there were two more names who came as a surprise.

The last two actors on the cast list are Tobias Menzies and Lino Facioli. Menzies plays Catelyn Stark's younger brother, Edmure Tully, and Facioli portrays Stark cousin, Robin Arryn.

While it's not shocking that either one of these characters would return (they are two of the few besides the main characters who aren't already dead), fans are wondering why these two would be in the premiere, and what that might mean.

At the end of season seven, fans hadn't seen Edmure Tully or Robin Arryn in a while, and had even perhaps written them off. The last we heard from Edmure, he was being kept in Walder Frey's dungeon, and Robin hadn't been heard from since season six when he was mentioned by Littlefinger. The return of these two have sparked some new fan theories trying to piece together they the two would return now.

Another character who has been part of the cast since the beginning is Samwell Tarly, and he will be back for season eight, says Vox. When we last saw Jon Snow's old friend, he was studying at the Citadel, and with the help of Bran Stark, he pieced together the puzzle which explained that Jon Snow was really the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark. Samwell will at least be around for a bit longer, because he will soon learn the fate of his father and brother.

Two more characters who are back and in line for a possible love connection are Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane. Both characters have remained loyal to the cause, and will at least be seen early in season eight.