Features and Columns · TV

Game of Thrones: What’s Coming for The Mountain?

The Hound has a message for his big brother. Should we already know what he means?
Got The Mountain
By  · Published on August 28th, 2017

The Hound has a message for his big brother. Should we already know what he means?

As finales go, the final frame of Game of Thrones season 7 was a particularly dense 81-minutes of storytelling. In a season that prioritized spectacle and pulled a few curious “yada-yada-yada” moments, it was a welcomed change of pace for those detail-oriented fans who fell in love with George R.R. Martin’s books and the richly adapted world building of the first few seasons. In short, a lot happened. It’s easy for an important moment or two to get lost among the big reveals about Jon Snow or the tense political moments in which Cersei Lannister is deciding whether or not to kill one of her brothers.

Perhaps my favorite little moment involved Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, a fearsome killer who has been reborn as an instrument of good in the past 4 seasons, coming face to face with the zombified version of his brother, Ser Gregor. For many fans, it’s been a long time coming for The Hound and The Mountain to meet. For years, a popular fan theory has predicted that they’ll eventually square off in what’s been lovingly dubbed The Cleganebowl. As recently as season 6, we were proselytizing about the potential for a Clegane vs. Clegane trial by combat.

While we didn’t get The Cleganebowl in “The Dragon and the Wolf,” we may have been given the next best thing: a promise, from one Clegane to another, that there’s more to come. It’s hard to tell whether or not this is yet another sly fan-servicey move by the Thrones creative cabal, devoid of eventual payoff, or if it’s foreshadowing of a great conflict to come. What we do know is that it’s a fun moment. An opportunity that the show couldn’t afford to ignore.

It raises the larger question: what is coming for The Mountain? 

Let’s start with a few fun theories and finish with the obvious (and most likely) answer.

1. Arya

This doesn’t fit into a list of things that The Mountain has “always known,” but it’s long been a desire of fans to see Arya get to cross a few big names off of her list. Now that she’s dispatched Littlefinger, it’s logical to assume that she might eventually use Lord Baelish’s face to get into King’s Landing and close to Cersei. And if she gets close to Cersei, The Mountain will be there, as well.

2. Fire

The origin story of the rivalry between the Clegane brothers is an incident when they were both children. Sandor (The Hound) was innocently playing with a toy that belonged to his brother Gregor (The Mountain). When Gregor found out, he pushed his brother’s face into the fire, giving Sandor his trademark facial scars and his healthy fear of anything on fire. It’s fire that made The Hound at the hand of his brother, so poetry demands that fire will be involved in The Mountain’s demise. Could this mean dragonfire? Wildfire? Being burned at the stake as an offering to R’Hllor? Good luck getting rope strong enough to hold him to a stake.

3. The Hound

I came up with the previous two options because I’d like to give the show some room for considering other options, but it’s hard not to see the writing on this particular wall. The Hound wants to remind his brother that he has always been coming for him since the day of that childhood incident. At some point, they will come to blows in The Hound’s quest for retribution. He would also be avenging the alleged deaths of their sister and father, both of whom were rumored to be killed by Gregor.

The most satisfying version of this Cleganebowl premise would be on in which The Hound picks up a flaming sword, using an instrument of the fire god R’Hllor to defeat the zombified remains of his brother. Perhaps this will come after the defeat of The Night King when it’s time to deal with Cersei and her most recent betrayal.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)