**Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight, episode four “The Last of the Starks” below**
Game of Thrones fans have long been praying for a final showdown between the Clegane brothers, Sandor (The Hound) and Gregor (The Mountain).
The fight – dubbed Cleganebowl – has been speculated about since season one, when the pair first sparred during a tournament meant to celebrate Ned Stark’s appointment as Hand of the King. That fight was broken up by King Robert Baratheon.
Following season eight’s the Battle of Winterfell, The Hound heads south to King’s Landing with Arya Stark, while The Mountain stands by Cersei’s side behind the city’s walls. The two brothers are seemingly destined to meet once more, either next episode or during the finale.
While nobody knows for sure whether the brothers will finally resolve their unfinished business, the history of the Cleganes rivalry is both horrific and fascinating.
Why do the Clegane brothers hate each other?
One of Sandor’s most notable physical features is the scars on his face. Those facial scars were caused by Gregor, who shoved Sandor into a fire when they were just children – all because Gregor was annoyed by Sandor playing with his toys. Later on, Gregor set Sandor’s bed on fire – something that helped bring on Sandor’s fear of fire.
There’s also evidence to suggest that Gregor murdered their father and sister.
A brief history of Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane
The Mountain has long been one of the most feared men in Westeros. Despite having an atrocious temper, The Mountain was made one of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s anointed knights – thanks to his growing friendship with Tywin Lannister.
When Robert’s Rebellion began, The Mountain turned on Rhaegar, killing the prince’s two known children and proceeding to rape and murder his wife, Elia Martell. Ned Stark wanted Tywin and The Mountain punished as a result, but Robert let them go free.
Soon after, The Mountain took part in the tournament arranged to celebrate Ned becoming Hand of the King. The Mountain later helped sack the Riverlands before returning to King’s Landing to fight for against Oberyn Martell, who fought for Tyrion in a trial by combat.
Oberyn Martell had a personal vendetta against The Mountain, as his sister was Elia Martell. The Mountain won the battle but was poisoned. On the verge of death, Cersei’s maester Qyburn brought him back to life, with The Mountain now serving as Cersei’s personal bodyguard.
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A brief history of Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane
After seeing The Mountain being named a knight by Rhaegar, The Hound vowed to never become a knight himself. He instead fought for King Robert Baratheon and served as Joffrey’s personal bodyguard following Robert’s Rebellion.
The Hound and Sansa Stark developed an odd relationship during this time. Following Ned Stark’s death in King’s Landing, The Hound offered to help Sansa escape Joffrey’s grip – something she refused. After fleeing the capital, The Hound was captured by The Brotherhood Without Banners.
While imprisoned, The Hound recognised Arya Stark. After winning a trial by combat against Beric Dondarrion (who was resurrected after his defeat), The Hound captured Arya. The pair then ventured to Walder Frey’s house, The Twins, where the Stark family were supposed to be.
As The Hound and Arya arrived, Walder Frey turned on the Starks, killing Robb and Catelyn. The Hound fled once more with Arya, the duo heading to The Eyrie, where Arya’s aunt, Lysa, was.
Lysa was pronounced dead upon their arrival – news that left The Hound dumbstruck. The pair then bumped into another delightful duo, Brienne and Podrick, who had sworn to protect the Stark girls. The Hound and Brienne then had a fight, with The Hound losing and being left for dead.
However, a few seasons later, The Hound returned, having been nursed back to health by Septon Ray (played by Ian McShane). After Ray’s followers were all brutally murdered by three rogue members of the Brotherhood Without Banners, The Hound once again joins Beric Dondarrion and the other members of the Brotherhood.
They are soon apprehended by Wildlings and meet Jon Snow, who takes The Hound and Beric north of The Wall to capture a Wight. After they miraculously capture an undead, The Hound traveled with Jon to King’s Landing to present the Wight. During the presentation, The Hound once again faced his brother, The Mountain, and teased a future where they fight once more.
The Hound then returned to Winterfell and helps with their fight against the undead. After the Night King is defeated, he heads back to King’s Landing with Arya. Chances are, the brothers could be about to settle their scores once and for all.
Hasn’t Cleganebowl been promised before?
There have been multiple occasions when fans thought Cleganebowl could happen. When Tyrion was looking for a champion to fight for his life, many fans thought The Hound would step up. During season six, when Cersei was being tried by the High Sparrow, there were rumblings that The Hound could return to fight in a trial by combat against the Queen’s champion, The Mountain. Then, when The Hound and Mountain met at the Dragonpit last season, fans thought a fight could erupt.
Fingers crossed that season eight finally brings about Cleganebowl.
The latest Game of Thrones episode, “The Last of the Starks”, was described as “an oddly structured and not hugely satisfying episode” by The Independent‘s critic. The fourth episode of the show’s final season also saw Daenerys (Clarke) suffer some devastating losses after arriving in King’s Landing to face Cersei Lannister (Headey).
You can watch the intense new trailer for the penultimate episode of the show here. Click through the below gallery to see our extensive ranking of every character in the series – from worst to best – is below.
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