• Mattie Stu

The Rise of The Hound - Game of Thrones Lore

Sandor Clegane, nicknamed the Hound, served as the personal bodyguard of Joffrey Baratheon for many years. However, he left his post during the Battle of Blackwater. Upon leaving King’s Landing, Sandor captured Arya Stark with the intention of ransoming her. At the time he never realised his quest for riches would have him begging Arya to kill him after being critically wounded. A wish he never received…

Sandor Clegane was a skilled warrior who served House Lannister. He was primarily known for his facial scarring, which combined with his fierce demeanour, lack of chivalry and helmet design to nickname him “the Hound”. Sandor was the younger brother of Gregor Clegane, who was often called “the Mountain” due to his freakishly tall and bulky nature. It was he who caused the scarring on the right side Sandor’s face after nearly burning off half of it. The event happened in the brothers’ childhood when Gregor found Sandor playing with a toy that he had discarded. Sandor assumed he wouldn’t need his brother’s permission to use the small wooden knight toy, but without word, Gregor grabbed Sandor and held his head into a burning brazier. He was only forced to stop after half a dozen servants intervened. Ever since, the Hound feared fire and wore his long hair over the scars to conceal his horrific past.

Although he was not as tall as his older brother, Sandor was very large and an extremely formidable fighter. Because of this, he was regarded as one of the most skilled and dangerous fighters in Westeros. At the young age of twelve, he made his first kill, gutting an enemy during Robert’s Rebellion. Though he wasn’t a crazed killer, Sandor found killing to be the best thing in the world. This led him to pursuing occupations ranging from a soldier to a bodyguard, all allowing him to kill legally. Following his brother’s knighthood by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, even though he was an infamously dishonourable man, Sandor grew resentful of the position and developed a hatred of romances and songs which portrayed knights as honourable men. As a result, Clegane refused to be knighted or take holy vows. He wore a dark set of heavy armour into battle with a custom helmet, which was shaped after his family’s sigil. Sandor rode a personal horse called Stranger, named after the final god in the Faith of the Seven who represented death and the unknown.

As the bodyguard of Joffrey Baratheon, Sandor had to put up with his sadistic and evil ways, which only worsened when he gained the Iron Throne following king Robert’s death. However, he loyally stood beside Joffrey as Ned Stark opposed his rule, joining in on the slaughtering of Stark’s men. He then led a party of Lannister guardsmen to the Red Keep where they slaughtered more of Ned’s men and captured his daughter, Sansa. Following Barristan Selmy’s dismissal from the Kingsguard, Sandor was made a member of the sworn brotherhood, though he refused to take the vows of knighthood. He felt sympathy for Sansa when Joffrey forced her to look at the decapitated head of her father. Furthermore, when she was stripped and beaten following Robb Stark’s victory at the Battle of Oxcross, Clegane covered her with a white cloak. During the Battle of Blackwater, he guarded Joffrey. However, when Tyrion Lannister used wildfire to decimate Stannis Baratheon’s fleet, Sandor’s fear of fire made him freeze on the spot, which nearly had him killed. Against orders, he fled the battle to the safety of Sansa’s chambers. When confronted by the Stark, he tried to convince her to leave the city with him. Unfortunately, she refused, forcing Sandor to leave the city alone.

Not long after, he was captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners. He noticed Arya Stark was part of the group, though the other members never realised her true identity. Regardless, Arya accused him of killing her friend Mycah, resulting in a trial by combat. Against Beric Dondarrion, who used magic to ignite his blade with fire, Clegane managed to overcome the disadvantage by using his strength. After winning the duel, he was released. When Arya left the brotherhood, Sandor took her hostage and planned to ransom her back to her family. However, following the murder of Robb Stark, he had to change plans. Hoping to ransom Arya to her aunt, Lysa Arryn, instead, the two rode towards the Vale. After a bumpy ride, Sandor’s goal of travelling to the Free Cities to fight as a sellsword or with the Second Sons using the ransom money was getting incredibly close. Unfortunately, upon arrival at the Vale, the two realised Lysa had been killed. The Hound appeared to have terrible luck.

Later, the two encountered Brienne of Tarth and her squire, Podrick Payne. The former was on a quest to find and retrieve the Stark sisters after swearing an oath to their mother. With conflicting interests over the destination of Arya, Brienne and Sandor duelled one another. The fight grew more intense when both fighters had to rely on their bare fists. Already weakened from a previous bout, a part of the Hound’s ear was bitten off before he was knocked down a hill. Although he managed to evade Brienne and Podrick, he was found by Arya. Beaten, with a broken leg, damaged ear and an infected neck, he demanded the girl kill him, knowing she hated him. Growing more impatient as the minutes passed, just wanting to be put out of his misery, Sandor laughed about killing Arya’s friend, Mycah. In addition, he said he should have forced himself upon her sister when he had the chance. However, Arya managed to withstand the torment and never gave in. Taking the Hound’s coins, Arya left him for dead…

Now it’s time for this week’s question: Going by if it never happened on-screen then it never happened at all, do you think the Hound somehow lived on? Let me know in the comments below.

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