We’ve known for some time now that former
for Season 6. McShane, ever the elusive professional, gave little away about his role, so we began to speculate wildly as to who he would be playing. Would he be the third Greyjoy brother, Victarion? Or could he be Randyl Tarly? How about Septon Meribald?
, where he gave just a little too much away. We now have a very good idea of who he’s portraying in
My character is an ex-warrior who’s become a peacenik. So I have this group of peaceful…it’s like a cult, peaceful tribe… who have brought back…I bring back this beloved character that everyone thinks is dead. So, I’ll leave it at that.
What character from the books matches the description of an ex-warrior who became a peacenik, and who helped bring a thought-dead character back to life (metaphorically speaking)? The Elder Brother from the Quiet Isle.
Earlier in his life, the Elder Brother was a knight in a family full of them. He followed and fought for House Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident against Robert Baratheon’s army, where he was knocked unconscious and his comrades assumed him dead. They stripped him of his armor and dumped his body in the river. He washed ashore at the Quiet Isle, a place where people sworn to the Faith of the Seven could take refuge. The Elder Brother then in charge took him in and healed him, and he started a new life of religious asceticism.
And which beloved character will the Elder Brother be bringing back from the dead? Popular fan theory has it that it’ll be Sandor Clegane, the Hound. In
, Brienne comes to the Quiet Isle in search of Sansa Stark. She happens across the Elder Brother, who tells her how Clegane died and even shows her his grave. The reason he tells her this is because Pod notices the Hound’s infamous warhorse, Stranger — which the brothers thought was blasphemous and later changed to Driftwood — is kept in the stalls on the isle.
I know a little of this man Sandor Clegane. He was Prince Joffrey’s sworn shield for many a year, and even here we would hear tell of his deeds, both good and ill.
If even half of what we heard was true, this was a bitter, tormented soul, a sinner who mocked both gods and men. He served, but found no pride in service. He fought, but took no joy in victory. He drank, to drown his pain in a sea of wine. He did not love, nor was he loved himself. It was hate that drove him. Though he committed many sins, he never sought forgiveness.
Where other men dream of love, or wealth, or glory, this man Sandor Clegane dreamed of slaying his own brother
, a sin so terrible it makes me shudder just to speak of it. Yet that was the bread that nourished him, the fuel that kept his fires burning. Ignoble as it was the hope of seeing his brother’s blood upon his blade was all this sad and angry creature lived for … and even that was taken away when Prince Oberyn of Dorne stabbed Ser Gregor with a poisoned spear.
The group also passes an unusually tall novice with a limp. He’s digging graves, and when Septon Meribald’s dog runs to him, the novice bends down to pet him. Many
suspect that this is Sandor Clegane, having turned over a new leaf and living the peaceful life on the Quiet Isle.
Now, if McShane’s character will bring back Sandor Clegane, the question is, will Sandor accompany Brienne back to King’s Landing, and why? Well, let’s consider what’s going on in the capital at the moment: Cersei is about to undergo a trial for regicide and adultery and a bunch of other stuff. In
, she chooses a trial by combat, and her champion will be none other than Robert Strong, the man who used to be Gregor Clegane before Qyburn messed around with him. The High Sparrow, currently the leader of the Faith of the Seven, must choose his own champion. The brothers of the Quiet Isle serve the the Faith of the Seven, and who better to face Cersei’s monster than Sandor Clegane, who’s wanted to kill him nearly all his life? This theory, that the brothers Clegane will square off during Cersei’s trial, is known as “Cleganebowl.”
Over the years, Cleganebowl has become an internet sensation and the source of many memes, but I think we really are on the cusp of seeing it come to fruition, and I believe it can be plausible if done the correct way. Here’s just one possible way it could play out on
The Elder Brother gets a raven from the High Sparrow: it’s time to send the Gravedigger to King’s Landing. He must serve the Seven. Sandor makes his way to the Sept of Baelor where the High Septon garbs him in the armor and weapons of the Faith. Cersei’s trial begins, and she smiles that cocky, knowing smile, sure that her gargantuan champion will crush whoever the Faith picks…but what’s this? The Faith has found a champion almost as big as Ser Robert Strong? All of the sudden, Cersei is beginning to feel what her twisted imp of a brother must have felt when Oberyn Martell took up his cause. Her stomach is queazy, and her mouth is dry, and all of the sudden, the Queen Regent is no longer as confident.
The two giants meet in the center of the ring and the contest begins, with Ser Robert raining blow after blow upon the Faith’s champion. One of those blows glances off his helmet, and it flies off, clanging against the ground, and the crowd gasps: Sandor Clegane is revealed. Cersei is stunned, and for the briefest of moments, Ser Robert Strong is taken aback by the familiar face. Sandor, taking advantage of the momentary lapse in Ser Robert’s judgement, and knowing that he would not be able to withstand another barrage of blows, swings with both arms, and separates Ser Robert Strong’s head from his body.
A fount of black blood begins to gush as Strong’s body falls to its knees. With the exception of Cersei retching, the crowd is hushed. The Faith’s Champion walks out of the circle to the waiting Warrior’s Sons, where they clap him on the back, but he doesn’t seem to notice. His job is done. It’s time to return to the Quiet Isle; he has some more graves to dig.
Kit Harington, the actor who’s played Jon Snow for five years on Game of Thrones, told Time...
Game of Thrones Season 6 is debuting in less than two months, but HBO is playing its hand close to...
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Small but interesting detail: The twist is, the only way Sandor can beat his “undead” brother is with fire, so he will have to overcome his own fear of fire to burn Ser Robert Strong.
I don’t think Sandor wins, but its Gregor who wins. Remember, Cersei has to be killed by Jamie according to the Valonqar prophecy. If Sandor wins, it means Cersei has lost and she has to die
Valonqar means “little brother” in High Valyrian. If the valonqar kills Cersei it indeed could be the Hound – the Mountain’s little brother – who actually does it – indirectly of course.
Yea it’s too simplistic for it to refer to Jaime. Also I think some posit that valyrian can be gender neutral so it could be a girl rather.
1. GRRM has certainly set up the possibility for vengeful resolution between the brothers. This is pointless if Sandor doesn’t win.
2. I just can’t see Cersei going out quite yet nor in that way. I think she has more to go through and the plot still needs her (imagine the KL plot without its main protagonist, her never having to confront Jon/Dany/the others/ see Tyrion’s triumph over her etc).
So my money is on Sandor winning but Cersai somehow escaping The Faith’s justice, for a little while longer yet at least.
The valonqar prophecy might be a metaphore, so maybe it’s not that way..
That would suck. Why bring back Sandor to watch him die … I would hate it. But I don’t think we are that close to Cersei’s end … She must win her trial. So, I hope there is no Cleganebowl this season, not yet.
Jaime refused Cersei’s request to be her champion. If the Hound defeats the Mountain and Cersei is executed, metaphorically, Jaime killed her himself.
Cersei has to be killed by Jamie according to the Valonqar prophecy.
1. The prophecy says explicitly “THE valonqar” not “HER valonqar”. That’s no coincidence.
2. GRRM has already done the “Gregor the villain wins the duel against the hero” twist.
Doing this a second time would clearly be too repetitive.
I’d like to see him fight Frankengregor with a flaming sword, a la Beric Dondarrion.
Scroll down and find the pic of him with a baseball hat on with huge letters P & L… Yes I said P and L…
But think about it … Is he trolling a potential spoiler … Draw a line on the P it’s an R … R+ L … I would think nothing but… it’s actually Kit wearing it !
You’ll find this hat pic of Kit.. On kitharingtonshat.tumbler.com… It should be the very first pic of kit you see on it .. The hat he’s wearing with P& L mentioned above .. Any thoughts? Lol
This is all I want Sandor to return. 125% down with the clegane bowl theory.
He never shows brienne his grave he simply tells her that he buried the hound himself a small detail.
Could McShane be portraying some version of Jon Connington.. Bringing Aegon “back from the dead”
I hope you’re right and its jon bringing us young griff. Sounds like D&D are going to skip the story line.
Why is fire the only way to defeat Se Rob/Mountain?……….. He’s not one of the Others. It was blood magic, I cannot say that we truly know the capabilities of Ser Robert Strong as there is no other like him.
I liked the Hound the way he was before. I’m not sure a fundamentally changed Sandor would be as interesting to me personally. As far as the mountain/ Robert Strong goes it was implied in the books he doesn’t even have a head. I’ll have to take a wait and see approach to how exciting a Clegane bowl would be. I’m not overly excited at the moment.
Did the show not have Qyburn requesting an executed dwarf’s head too?
Not that I can see how they’d manage that in the show anyway….
Maybe Sandor will cut off Ser Robert’s head, but Ser Robert will continue fighting anyway and kill Sandor, thus Cersei will be spared yet Sandor will get to “kill” his brother before he dies.
The Hound’s the Mountain’s little brother. So, if the first defeats the latter (who’s probably going to be Cersei’s champion) then he’ll be responsible for Cersei’s damnation (as well). And the Maggie’s prophesy will be fulfilled – the little brother (‘valonqar’) will (that way or another) kill Cersei.
When you think of the valonquar prophesy you need to think how the Macbeth prophesy operated. That’s what GRRM has in mind – lateral meaning. So whilst I don’t think it will be as simple or occur as early as suggested here I do think the thinking behind it is along the right lines.
I like the way you’re thinking, but the prophecy said Cersei would die with the Valonqar’s hands around her neck.
What if Sandro chokes out Gregor for the final blow?
How about Cersei loses her trial by combat (Cleganebowl) then Kevan and Pycell are “taken care of” by a certain bald eunuch. Tommen (the little brother out of Cersei’s three children) is persuaded to name the High Sparrow as his new Hand of the King, the High Sparrows first act is to hang Cersei for all of her crimes thus bringing the prophecy full circle “the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you”
I’m personally not a fan of this theory, because I believe that it doesn’t make much sense thematically. However, given some of the decisions made in season 5, I don’t think it’s out of the question for the show.
Part of me wishes that Sandor would left on the Quiet Isle so he can find his peace and redemption. I don’t think that will happen, but I’m not sure how it will occur since kin slaying is a sin. Could the faith demand a trial of seven with both brothers taking part on different sides ?
The faith doesn’t actually know that Robert strong is the mountain. And besides, he’s not even technically alive anymore, so it wouldn’t really be kinslaying per se, just putting down an undead monster.
Wasn’t the Hounds horse called Stranger, not biter?
Yeah, it is Stranger. However, Biter is also connected to the Hound. He was one of Jaqen’s cell companions when he was travelling with Yoren to the Wall. Biter – remaining true to his name – bitten the Hound at his neck in Season 4.
Great article. Very informative but not too lengthy. Thanks, Razor!
Yes, but Season 7 more likely, and his fight with Robert Strong will be to protect/save Sansa Stark.
Season 7 because it gives time for: Cersei to develop into full on crazy and use Strong to kill off some of her enemies (Kevan Lannister, Pycelle, the Shame lady, Ellaria Sand, whoever kills Tommen); Sandor to heal his leg wound; Sansa to get stuck in whatever situation they’re going to toss her into after fleeing Winterfell with Theon. Those things should take up all of Season 6. Sansa getting captured/brought back to Kings Landing–or Strong leaving Kings Landing to hunt her down–could take two-thirds of Season 7 and push Cleganebowl to end of Season 7, maybe even into Season 8.
Sandor could have killed his brother during the Hand’s Tourney (Season 1), but he doesn’t. While he claims it’s his driving force, there’s still enough humanity in him not to kill his brother. Kinslaying would bring him down to the same level as Gregor. Much in the way he rejects knighthood because of his brother, he couldn’t bring himself to do Gregor in when he had the opportunity. As we see often, when Sandor makes the decision himself (as opposed to being ordered by his liege lords), he’s more bark than bite.
Sandor spends the bulk of the Starks’ time in Kings Landing protecting Sansa, even lying for her, and the regret he voices as Arya leaves him to die is that he didn’t save Sansa…because he loves her. The positive of love, rather the negative of hate and rage, bring him out of retirement to kill Gregor.
Much as I would love to see Sandor-n-Sansa live happily ever after, I have been paying attention enough to know this isn’t going to have a happy ending. I fully expect Sandor Clegane to die saving Sansa Stark. My hope is that she realizes he’s the only person (outside family, and that’s debatable) to see her worth and love her solely as a person–not an heiress/brood mare/replica of Catelyn–and send him off with some sort of recognition of that love.
I too am a fan of the theory that Sandor is in love with the “little bird”. However it must be pointed out that the regret he expresses to Arya before she leaves him is not that he had not saved her, but that he had not raped her. Off course he was trying to piss Arya off, and he did get totally drunk when he found out Sansa had been married off to the imp. I think there is a good case for Sandor being in love with her, and i do believe that he will be the one to save her in the end.
‘Cleganebowl’ has grown arms and legs (no pun intended) and developed into the Field of Dreams of ASOIAF/GoT fandom, “if you build it, they will come”. It is wish fulfilment and a it to obvious for GRRM and D&D. If someone fights UnGregor in defence of the faith then it will be Lancel (auto correct calls him Lancelot) or Brienne. I cannot see GRRM going for something as obvious or Hollywood as Gregor vs Sandor.
I agree that Cersei’s trial-by-combat will be between Frankengregor and Lancel (or possibly Loras, if he feigns sudden fervor for the Faith to get out of prison). That will buy Cersei some time. But I also think that there will be an eventual showdown between the Clegane brothers.
That would be great and even too good to be true.Yeah,I know,this show made me into pesimist.
I find your conspiracy theory mildly…. amusing
I think mcshane is playing nimble dick crabb.whos with me
If there is a Trial by Combat in this season, it’s going to be Lancel Vs. Frankgregor … Lancel would be split in two. But I’m not sure there will be one this season. I believe Sandor will appear briefly and maybe he will return for Season 7 to eventually kill Frankgregor.
It should be this season. I doubt there will be a long ass time before Cersei’s trial actually occurs.
I think the return of Sandor Clegane definitely suggests that he will serve a purpose. I just don’t think that purpose would be to kill his already dead brother who happens to have a different head on his body. On the show, Qyburn keeps the head of one of the dwarfs that was mistaken for Tyrion. The implication was that Qyburn then uses that head for the Mountain/Robert Strong. Why? Who knows… maybe just to prove to himself that he can build such a creature. But regardless, if Sandor/the Hound has been completely reborn, I just don’t know if killing his already dead brother (who was cruel to him as a child) in some kind of trial by combat for Cersei is really something to get excited about.
My guess is that GRRM used the Gravedigger to show how people can change and that “death” can manifest itself in different ways…and it’s not always a bad thing. The last person that you’d expect to be a part of some kind of religious order is the Hound. But now the Hound is dead. It will be interesting to see what the Gravedigger becomes…and hopefully more interesting than “Cleganebowl”.
It sounds cool, Though I’m hoping Cersei lives for a while. I’d like her to meet/fight Daenerys. I’m hoping Jaime is the Valonquer, its perfect
The problem with the Clegane bowl is that if Gregor wins, Cersei dies. And that would seriously unbalance the show. While not the crazed villain that Ramsey Bolton is, she plays a central role in all the plotting. Her death this early (after all there will be 20 episodes after Season six) would leave a gigantic vacuum.
We already know that Dany is coming to Westeros. If Cersei is gone, who would be around to oppose her? My guess is that Dany and crew will show up before the real fight and confuse the issue. Or at least get there before Cersei is dead.
Another point: The Lannisters are collapsing as a family. Lancel is not a good candidate for fatherhood. His father is rather too old for that. Jamie’s sexuality is a muddled mess. He’s only been with Cersei and she’s imprinted on him. Tommen without Cersei is a dead king.
Note that there were photos of Danyraes, Margaery, and Cersei together. That would mean that Cersei is alive when the invasion gets there.
Does Cleganebowl sound like anything GRRM would have? Sandor wants to forget all about his past, so why send him back to it? He’d be reluctant. The guy has grown tired of fighting other people’s battles for them.
There is another way of viewing Valonqar. Remember, Valyrian words can be either male or female even though the spoken word is male in origin. We’ve had this mentioned before, by Aemon. What did he say about ‘The Prince….’? Therefore, Cersei’s valonqar can be anyone who qualifies as ‘little brother’ or ‘little sister’. Take your pick!
It could even be…. Sandor Clegane, taking it out on her should things go wrong with Gregor. He’s more likely to face someone High Sparrow has closer than Quiet Isle. From the Faith Militant.
Cersei thinks she’s on a winner with Trial by Combat. Would it be that? High Sparrow is showing Cersei who’s in charge, and it sure ain’t her. A Trial by Seven will be what he makes it.
Do you think they could have filmed a trial by seven and we wouldn’t have any spoiler at this point?????
McShane pretty much confirmed it’s Sandor on Radio 5 yesterday.
Dear dear Mr McShane, learn to play the game.
Oh well, the elder bro has some great lines, hope as many as possible make it into the show.
This being Game of Thrones, it’s more likely that Sandor’s head would be separated from his body, and Cersei will survive. But I actually think it’s more likely he will refuse to fight. The natural conclusion to his character arc is not killing his already-dead brother, but turning his back on his previous rage and anger. I prefer the idea that he stays on the Quiet Isle to live out his days peacefully. (Either that, or he only comes out of retirement to fight the White Walkers, joining the Battle for the Dawn with Arya).
Sandor is not cut out for a religious life, that’s completely at odds with the rest of his story. The Elder Brother said he’s at rest, not at peace. Look at all the hints with Stranger, kicking and fighting. You can’t go by what Sandor says, but what he does, and he did express regret about Sansa. He wishes he took her with him, because he wants to protect her. He loves her. When he was dying, he wasn’t thinking about Gregor, he was thinking about Sansa. Books and show.
Guys, as far as we know the Valonqar doesn’t exist in the show.
I really don’t think it’s going to be as black and white as people are predicting…
I believe that Cersei will have to outlive all of her children and slip into total madness for some kind of completion to her story, It doesn’t make any sense to have have the Hound win a trial by combat and the faith kill her off so simply. In the event Tommen dies before a trial I think much more interesting things could happen especially with the numerous possibilities of who over see’s the trial, how’d he die? who’s in power? Could Robert strong go out of control? could the battle kill them both? Could Tommen die as a spectator at the trial and she see’s her whole world crumble in that moment? If Robert Strong were to Kill Tommen (under Quiburns control, I think this guy has reason to hate Lanisters), what will Cersei do? Wan’t herself to survive or wan’t revenge? Her own life or mad vengeance?!?!?!?! AHHH SO GOOD
This could go in so many great paths that don’t include any “official Clegane bowl”
Whenever I think of Cersei’s trial-by-combat, my mind always leaps to the climactic scene of Hamlet, with audience members being killed in the general mayhem. I do think it’s a good call that Gregor will be even more of a loose cannon dead than he was alive. Him killing Tommen seems quite plausible to me.
Maybe, if Cersie’s champion loses, and her punishment is to have her head crushed between Sandor’s ball-sack (or similar,) Jamie mercy-kills her?
IMO (in the show only) there will be a cleganebowl. Not for Cersei’s trial but for Loras trial which will be before the one for cersei. The last time we see the two brothers fighting each other is during the tourney of the hand and it happens when sandor wants to protect loras… Kinda foreshadowing… Then sandor kills frankenmountain and cersei will be without champion… She sends a letter to jaime but he burns itl during the season 6 finale. Cersei’s trial will be earlier season 7. Of course, it only works for the show. In the books i expect cleganebowl for cersei s trial
It wouldn’t make much sense for the huge delay of the trial.
I’m so hard for season 6, endless number of great story segments that will happen, starting with the Hound, then the return of the Riverlands storyline along with the Freys, the Bran flashbacks (Tower of Joy!), Jon’s rezz, the Greyjoys (fooken Euron!), Battle of the Bastards, the return of the Dothraki, learning more about the White Walkers (perhaps even getting dialogue scenes from/between them…I mean, fuck, that is alot of exciting things to happen.
Sucks that the premiere episode will be a shorty, only 50 minutes long, hopefully it will not contain bullshit filler scenes like Arya sweeping or sexy time with Sam and Gilly.
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