We answer your Game of Thrones questions about The Hound, the Brotherhood without Banners and much more….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The return of “The Hound” Sandor Clegane to Game of Thrones this week was a welcome sight, especially considering most believed he was dead after his encounter with Brienne of Tarth back in season three.
Laying on a pile of rocks after tumbling over the side of a mountain, The Hound laid broken and bloodied, unable to move and already succumbing to his wounds. He told Arya just before she abandoned him there that without a maester, he’d be dead in a matter of minutes. As it turns out, The Hound wasn’t so easily dispatched because hours, maybe even days later, a man named Brother Ray happened upon the fallen soldier and found out that he was still alive.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and The Hound was nursed back to health by his benevolent friend, who was a former warrior turned septon that gave up the sword in favor of the Faith. So for the last year at least, The Hound has been serving as a member of Brother Ray’s order — at least until this past week when he ran into a band of outlaws that ended up slaughtering everybody he came to care about since he was injured and near death.
So as last week’s episode ended, The Hound gave up his life of peace and solitude in favor of an axe and a desire for bloody revenge. But The Hound reappearing on our TV screens also gave hope to a long rumored rumble that has been theorized by book readers for several years. It’s a fight that would see The Hound face off with his monstrous brother The Mountain — Gregor Clegane.
The idea behind the fan theory is that Sandor Clegane, now a much more pious man who found his faith after nearly dying, will end up as the champion for The Faith in King’s Landing when it’s time for Queen Cersei’s trial by combat. She’s already stated numerous times that the zombified Mountain would be her champion when it finally came time for her to stand trial and her hubris about his certain victory lends many to believe that his ultimate downfall will come at the hands of his brother.
Don’t forget in the history of sibling rivalries, The Hound and the Mountain sit somewhere around Cain and Abel when it comes to brotherly love. The Mountain was the person who burned The Hound’s face as a child when he dared to play with one of his toys. Ever since that time, The Mountain has been a loyal soldier of Tywin Lannister, while his brother ended up serving in the Kingsguard under Robert Baratheon and Joffrey Baratheon until he abandoned his post during the Battle of Blackwater Bay.
It’s well known that The Hound hates his brother — he even noted when Arya was rattling off her death list a couple of seasons ago that The Mountain would be one person he would gladly love to scratch off as well. So now that The Hound has found faith in something bigger than himself, maybe he’s ready to stand tall as the champion for The Faith when it comes time for Cersei to go on trial.
There’s one more piece to this theory that comes from the books, which didn’t play out as much on the show. If you remember in a rare flashback on the show, Cersei wandered into the woods one day looking for Maggy the Frog — a gypsy woman who could tell the future. Cersei threatened her after warning the woman that she was standing on land belonging to Tywin Lannister and she would tell her fortune or else.
Now there are subtle differences in the prophecies Maggy told Cersei on the show versus the books but one piece that was left out on Game of Thrones was that she would out live all of her children (which was hinted on the show) and that she would die at the hands of “the valonqar”, which is High Valyrian for “little brother”. Now some fans have theorized that “little brother” actually means The Hound because he is The Mountain’s little brother and that would stand to reason if he’s the champion of The Faith in the trial by combat.
If The Hound defeated The Mountain, that would mean Cersei would be sentenced to death. Then again, if she’s supposed to out live her children, that would mean Tommen would have to die before Cersei in this particular sequence. The other more obvious answer would be “the valonqar” is actually Tyrion Lannister, who already killed their father Tywin Lannister and who we assume will eventually come back to Westeros as part of Daenerys Targaryen’s conquering army.
It will be interested to see how it all plays out and if Clegane-bowl actually take place. With that said, let’s get to your Game of Thrones questions for this week.
Does most of Westeros think The Hound is dead? Is "The Hound" dead or has he been hibernating this whole time.
— Guillermo Ponce (@GuillermoPonce) June 6, 2016
Very few people know about the fate of The Hound after he left King’s Landing during the Battle of Blackwater Bay. The only thing we know for sure is that he was spotted during his travel first to the Twins to trade off Arya Stark to her family before the Red Wedding took place and then on his travel to The Vale of Arryn where he hoped to sell Arya back to her aunt Lysa. Cersei notes at one point that The Hound has been spotted and she puts a bounty out on his head for anybody who can bring him back dead or alive.
During season four, The Hound is attacked by someone trying to collect that bounty and that’s when he gets bit — one of his many war wounds sustained while traveling with Arya across Westeros.
Since that time, The Hound’s name hasn’t been mentioned and seeing as Cersei and all the rest of her family have had far more pressing issues to tend to since then, it’s assumed that she’s lost interest in pursuing him dead or alive.
When Arya left The Hound, she believed he was going to die. It’s safe to assume that Brienne and Podrick both assumed the same after the fight ended with the Hound tumbling over the side of a mountain, presumably to his death.
So the easy answer to your question, most people who knew for a fact that the Hound was alive now think he’s dead. Those who thought he was alive (Cersei, etc) seemingly lost interest in hunting him down.
How do you see the Arya storyline playing out?
— Rev Stevening (@revstevening) June 6, 2016
Tough question to answer because Arya’s story on the show is different than what we see in the books.
In the original source material, Arya goes through the same sort of training with the Faceless Men but where her story ends with the chapters that have been released from “The Winds of Winter”, she ends up killing a vicious guard she first encountered from Harrenhal named Raff the Sweetling, who killed her friend Lommy. In the book, Arya seduces him and then cuts his femoral artery before stabbing him in the throat. She dumps the body before returning to a play she was attending, similar to the story on the show.
Now obviously this story mirrors (in some ways) the incident that Arya had last season with Meryn Trant, who she killed before Jaqen H’ghar took her sight as punishment.
So it’s hard to tell what Arya’s next move might be. Many people noticed that when Arya was attacked on the port last week that she wasn’t carrying her sword Needle, which led to theories that maybe this was Jaqen H’ghar in disguise or perhaps this was Arya setting a trap for the Waif so she could fake her own death that way the Faceless Men would no longer hunt for her. Perhaps, Lady Crane paid back Arya’s kindness by helping her fake her death so that she could escape?
Arya will be in the eighth episode this week so we’ll find out a lot more about her fate then.
When the three bandits show up to the camp headed up by Brother Ray where The Hound is also staying, they ask for money and food but before leaving they say these words — “the night is dark and full of terrors”. As soon as they leave, The Hound notes that these three men are members of The Brotherhood without Banners.
Now we haven’t seen the Brotherhood in several seasons, ever since they sold off Gendry to Melisandre and Arya ran away before she was captured by The Hound.
The Brotherhood without Banners are a group of former warriors, bandits and outlaws that make their presence around the Riverlands by attacking and sacking primarily Lannister forces in open revolt to the Iron Throne. The Brotherhood started after Lord Eddard Stark sent a band of men out in pursuit of Ser Gregor Clegane but The Mountain got the drop on them and killed their leader Beric Dondarrion. Beric was brought back to life by his friend Thoros of Myr, which is the first time we saw the power of the Lord of Light to resurrect someone who has been dead (hello, Jon Snow!).
Since that time, The Brotherhood has grown in numbers while still ultimately pursuing the same goal to strike back at the Lannisters through raiding parties, ambushes and thievery. So typically speaking, the Brotherhood are good guys who don’t strike out against the common man.
So chances are the three men who attacked the group lead by Brother Ray were probably just outlaws posed as members of The Brotherhood to help their exploits across the Riverlands where they were attacking anybody with anything to give. This could also be a Game of Thrones version of an event in the books knows as Massacre at the Saltpans where a group of outlaws ravaged, robbed and plundered villages and homes around the Riverlands by a man who wears the helmet that once belonged to The Hound.
Chances are these three men were just outlaws and not actually associated with the Brotherhood without Banners but the fact that the Hound believes they were may not be good for the real brotherhood if he finds them.
are the Faceless Men the same ones who tried to assassinate Daenarys with a scorpion?
— Handsomely Masked (@Vorpality) June 8, 2016
The people who tried to kill Daenerys with the scorpion at the start of season three were actually sent after her by the Warlocks of Qarth. If you remember at the end of season 2 when Daenerys was captured and held prisoner by the blue-lipped Warlocks inside the House of the Undying, she got her revenge after her dragons burned up the wizards who tried to chain her up. It was inside the House of the Undying where Daenerys also got a glimpse of her future including a look at the Iron Throne room covered in snow, which could be a prophecy about the future still to come when the dead finally invade Westeros.
That’s jumping ahead but the point is, the Warlocks were the ones who sent an assassin after Daenerys when she burned up many of them inside the House of the Undying.
There was talk about hiring a Faceless Man to go after Daenerys back when Robert Baratheon decided that she was a threat that needed to be eliminated, but the assassins were far too expensive for such a job. So Robert decided on other plans instead. That should also give you an idea how much the Faceless Men charge for an assassination on a queen!
There’s a chance we will see the Warlocks again because part of Euron Greyjoy’s back story in the books is that he got mixed up with the group while he was traveling around the world and he became enamored with their drink of choice, shade of the evening, which is the stuff that turns their lips purple. In the books, Euron captured several Warlocks from Qarth, who then taught him the art of black magic, which he still practices to this day.
The Warlocks were quite obsessed with Daenerys and her dragons and that could be how Euron found out about her in the first place and why he wants to join with her to conquer Westeros. That remains to be seen!