Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.
Although Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane haven’t shared a scene since Game of Thrones‘ first season, one of the most popular theories in the show’s fandom revolves around the brothers reuniting.
Commonly referred to as “Cleganebowl,” the long-running theory suggests that the two will eventually fight to the death. And based on everything we know about the season seven finale, it seems as though this epic showdown may finally be in the cards.
The bad blood between the brothers stems from a childhood incident in which the Mountain held the Hound’s face over open flames, horrifically burning him and causing him to develop a debilitating fear of fire. “He pressed me to the fire like I was a nice juicy mutton chop,” the Hound once told Arya. “Thought I stole one of his toys. I didn’t steal it, I was just playing with it. The pain was bad, the smell was worse. But the worst thing was that it was my brother who did it. And my father who protected him, told everyone my bedding caught fire.”
When the events of Thrones began, both brothers were in the employ of the Lannisters, with the Mountain serving as a knight and the Hound as Joffrey’s bodyguard. But it wasn’t until the tournament celebrating Ned Stark’s appointment as Hand of the King that viewers saw them interact with one another — and it wasn’t pretty.
After the Mountain was unhorsed in a joust with Loras Tyrell, he flew into a rage and began attacking Loras. However, the Hound stepped in and began dueling his brother to prevent him from killing Loras. The fight raged on until Robert Baratheon ordered them to stop in the name of their king.
Since that battle, both brothers have undergone dramatic transformations. Following the trial by combat in which he was stabbed with a poison-tipped spear by Oberyn Martell, the Mountain was reanimated as a zombified version of his former self devoted entirely to serving Cersei Lannister.
The Hound also endured a near-death experience — getting thrown off a cliff by Brienne of Tarth — but came out on the other side looking for redemption. He has since traveled north with the Brotherhood Without Banners and helped capture one of the Night King’s undead soldiers during the battle beyond the Wall.
The final minutes of the penultimate episode of Thrones‘ seventh season saw the Hound preparing to head to King’s Landing for Cersei’s summit with the captive wight in tow. The Mountain will presumably also be at this pow-wow, meaning the estranged brothers will be in the same place for the first time in years. And it doesn’t look like they’ll be making amends. A scene from the season seven trailers seems to show the Hound drawing his sword in the Dragonpit — the coliseum-like structure where the meeting is to be held.
If there’s any justice in the world of Thrones, Cleganebowl will finally go down.
“The Dragon and the Wolf,” the finale of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season, airs Aug. 27 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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