For fans of both 1883 and Game of Thrones, the actor playing Josef may look familiar. Mark Rissman had a short-lived but important role in Westeros before he played Josef on the Yellowstone prequel. In Game of Thrones Season 8, he played the leader of the Golden Company, Ser Harry Strickland.
Rissman showed up a few times in Game of Thrones' final season, typically wearing a smug smirk and a suit of golden armor. His character was the commander of The Golden Company — an independent army that Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) hired to defend King's Landing when she had run out of true allies. Rissman had some major scenes with Headey and at least one big moment on the battlefield, though fans will always decry his shortened screentime compared to his significance in the books.
Rissman was featured heavily in trailers and promo images leading up to Game of Thrones Season 8, and fans even theorized about how his character would factor into the endgame. He did not do much speaking, but he did cut an intimidating silhouette in his golden armor. Ultimately, he died an unceremonious death when Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) led her forces in a deadly attack on the capital.
This was one of the many deaths that left fans disappointed in the final season. In the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Strickland is a much more fleshed-out character, while the Golden Company plays a much bigger role in the conflicts of Westeros. In the most recent book, A Dance with Dragons, the Golden Company sails to Westeros and captures the castle Storm's End, but not for Cersei – for an entirely different claimant to the Iron Throne who was left out of the show altogether.
While the character nicknamed "Homeless Harry" Strickland in the books didn't get the screentime fans wanted for him, none seemed to hold Rissman responsible. The actor did not get enough lines for fans to really form an opinion of his performance, but that has not been the case on 1883. With the premiere season more than halfway over, Josef has become a character of great interest in the series.
1883 is a prequel about how the Dutton family came to own the Yellowstone Ranch. It starts with their move from Fort Worth, Texas out to Montana and their work to establish a home there. Six episodes of the series have aired so far, with four more expected this season. So far, Paramount has not announced whether the show will be renewed for another season. New episodes of 1883 premiere every Sunday on Paramount+.