At long last, one of the Game of Thrones reunions we had all been waiting for happened: the Hound and Arya have reunited, and it all went down just as we had hoped it would — with zero bloodshed and a dash of begrudging respect.
In the season eight premiere of the show, Arya spots The Hound as hes riding into Winterfell with the rest of Jon Snow and Daeneryss army. At first, she seems slightly shocked and maybe not entirely happy that hes alive. After all, the former Lannister soldier is on her list for killing her friend Mycah, the butchers boy, way back in season one. However, since then, the duo has been through a lot.
As The Hound explains to Brienne in the season seven finale, he wanted to keep Arya safe in the wake of the Red Wedding, even though his initial interest in taking care of her was for monetary gain. Deep down Arya knows that he doesnt wish her harm, and that surely means more to her than shes willing to let on. Related:
For her part, Aryas never going to entirely trust The Hound, but she doesnt appear to want to kill him anymore either. In season four, she leaves him for dead after his hard-fought battle with Brienne to keep the youngest Stark girl safe, but she refuses to kill him, even when he begs. Its unclear whether shes conflicted about taking his life because of the time theyve spent together, or whether she wants him to die a slow death. Either way, she leaves his life up to fate, and if not for a Septon named Brother Ray, The Hound never would have lived to fight alongside Jon, Gendry and the rest of the men who make the trek beyond The Wall to capture a White Walker.
Now, Arya and The Hound are in the same place once more, and she seems to accept the fact that the God of Death isnt ready for him just yet. Although she warns him away from Gendry, she sees that he appears to be genuinely happy to see her, even if he expresses it by telling her shes always been “a cold b*tch.” Its not exactly a warm embrace, but its just enough of a mutual understanding to make the idea of these two former enemies being somewhat reluctant allies seem plausible. At the very least, The Hounds place on Aryas list appears to be erased, at least for the time being. Source:
A refresher course on Sandor Clegane
In the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, Sandor Clegane was a constant presence and developed close — though complicated — bonds with both Stark sisters.
The younger son of a minor Westerlands family, Sandor was first introduced to us as a menacing warrior who served the Lannisters generally, and Cersei Lannisters son Prince Joffrey specifically. His face was hideously burned during childhood by his abusive older brother Gregor (“the Mountain”), leading to a lifelong fear of fire.
When Joffrey assumed the throne after his father King Roberts murder (or “hunting accident”), Sandor was sworn into the Kingsguard as one of Joffreys most important protectors — even though he ostentatiously refused to ever become a “knight,” hating the pretensions and hypocrisies of chivalry. And he was ruthless in his task, murdering Mycah, a young “butchers boy” Arya had befriended who had run afoul of Joffreys childish hatred.
Yet Sandor won viewer sympathies when he unexpectedly developed a close bond with Lannister prisoner Sansa Stark. He counseled her about how best to survive in her dangerous circumstances and risked his life to rescue her from a mob in Kings Landing, before himself losing his faith in the king and fleeing the city during season twos climactic Battle of the Blackwater.
In the following season, Sandor turned up again in Arya Starks storyline, when they both were prisoners of the insurgent “Brotherhood Without Banners” group. Sandor was put on trial for his crimes and forced to fight for his life, but emerged triumphant and won his freedom. Shortly afterward, he managed to abduct Arya and take her into his own custody — but he didnt have any ill intentions for the girl, simply aiming to return her to her family for the ransom money.
Unfortunately for both of them, he showed up right as the Red Wedding massacre was taking place. With no more family members around and breathing to return Arya to, the pair roamed the Riverlands for the rest of season four. And though Sandor had started out on Aryas “kill list,” she gradually developed a grudging respect for him and removed his name.
In the season four finale, though, Brienne of Tarth, who had been searching for the Stark sisters in an effort to fulfill a promise to their late mother, encountered Sandor and Arya. Rather than talk things out, they had a bloody brawl during which, among other things, Brienne bit off one of Sandors ears before pushing him off a cliff. Arya turned up to say goodbye, and Sandor pleaded with her to kill him, but she refused, and simply left him to bleed out from his injuries.
And in the episode, in case you hadnt seen it, really went for it: The two fought like it was the fight of their lives (it totally was). The Mountain took off his helmet and showed off some seriously festering flesh—wed seen him in season 7 looking a bit more lifelike, but hes been rotting away since then. Now hes all white skin and black eyes (trying not to puke). The Hound stuck a sword in The Mountain; The Mountain shrugged and pulled it out. The Mountain attempted to to the same Im-going-to-crush-your-eyes-and-then-also-your-face move hed pulled on Oberyn Martell, then The Hound stuck a knife in his brain. The Mountain looked like he was debating it quietly for a second, then reached up to pull it out. And The Hound ran towards him and pushed them both off the tower to their fiery deaths.
First, some context. The Mountain, before he was a giant undead murderer, basically shoved The Hounds face into a fire and burned him terribly over basically nothing (The Hound was playing with one of The Mountains toys when they were both boys). Ever since, The Hound has hated his brother juuuust a little more than he hates/is petrified by fire. This has been a recurring theme throughout the show, both with The Hound channeling some major PTSD every time he has to get near a blaze and his repeated insistence that he would get vengeance on his brother.
In one of the more vomit-inducing scenes on Game of Thrones to date, viewers got what many fans have been dying to see: The head-to-head fight between the Clegane brothers, also known as Cleganebowl. The Mountain, a.k.a. Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. now a literally rotting zombie, faced off against his little brother, The Hound, a.k.a. Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. the guy with the burned off face. And it was a knock-down, drag-out fight that saw BOTH brothers perish as the Red Keep collapsed around them. So why was this so important? Why did both brothers die? Why was it the grossest ever? (That last one might just be me.)
In the “Behind the Episode,” creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff explained that they knew The Hound would die by fire—symbolically very ironic, since he hates it so much—and also reiterated that The Hounds hatred of his fire was ever so slightly outweighed by his hatred for his brother. So, in other words, The Hound realized that he would have to burn to death in order to kill his brother. So, he chose the slightly lesser of two evils. I would also argue that, since the brothers also fell from quite a height, that they might have only burned for a short while before hitting the bottom of the Red Keep.
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Its reunion season on Game of Thrones! Last week, Benjen Stark returned after having been missing since season one. And in Sundays episode, an even more prominent character reappeared after a long absence and even an apparent death.
Thats, of course, Sandor Clegane — the infamous Hound, whom we last saw back in season four, when he was Arya Starks traveling companion.
But Cleganes arent easy to kill. And Sandors reappearance in this episode — in a very rare cold open! — both confirms a long-held theory by fans of the books and reveals that the once-violent Hound, surprisingly enough, found some measure of religion. However, given the events at this episodes conclusion, its apparently not going to last long.
Who kills The Hound?
Will The Hound reunite with Arya?