Let’s talk about The Hound

Recreation of Thrones has a status as one of many bloodiest, most brutal dramas on tv, and it is nicely deserved. (Simply ask Ned Stark’s severed head.) However this present’s nonetheless obtained a beating coronary heart underneath all that battle-worn armor, and final night time’s episode was an ideal reminder of that.

For seasons now, the continuing rehabilitation of Sandor Clegane has low key been among the best subplots on Recreation of Thrones – and “Dragonstone” introduced us considered one of its best moments but.

The episode spends simply two scenes with Sandor. We first encounter him with the Brotherhood With out Banners, as they determine to hunt refuge from the chilly night time in an deserted dwelling. However one thing concerning the dwelling troubles Sandor, and he is extraordinarily reluctant to go inside.

Longtime followers will know precisely why Sandor appears so spooked by this innocuous-looking home: it is the identical spot that he and Arya stopped in throughout their travels in Season four. On the time, the farmer and his daughter who lived there welcomed Arya and Sandor into their dwelling – just for Sandor to repay their hospitality by beating the farmer and taking his silver. When Arya objected, Sandor brushed it off by shrugging, “They’re going to each be useless come winter.”

“Dragonstone” proves Sandor proper. Each the farmer and his daughter are useless; Beric theorizes that the farmer killed his woman after which himself slightly than starve to loss of life. However Sandor does not react in his standard gruff method. The following scene finds Sandor exterior within the snow, shoveling graves for the useless.  He even makes an attempt to recite a prayer earlier than giving up (he does not keep in mind the phrases) and utilizing his personal inelegant however devastatingly honest phrases: 

I am sorry you are useless. You deserved higher. Each of you.

With these ten phrases, Sandor demonstrates how far he is come because the final time he encountered that dwelling – to not point out how a lot he is modified from Season 1, when he slaughtered Arya’s pal with out a second thought.

However to paraphrase all these smug crimson monks, it appears just like the Lord of Mild has higher plans for him but. The different large factor that occurs with the Hound within the Recreation of Thrones Season 7 premiere is that he appears into the flames and has a imaginative and prescient of the undead marching on the Wall. (Additionally notice: When the Hound approaches the fireplace, he is actually dealing with his largest worry. Character improvement!)

As you will recall, studying the flames is type of a factor with these R’hllor followers, however deciphering them is an inexact science. (If it had been straightforward, Melisandre and Stannis may’ve saved themselves a complete lot of hassle.) So Sandor’s shock imaginative and prescient has followers speculating about what all of it means. Extra particularly: is that this a clue that Sandor Clegane is the Prince That Was Promised?

Sandor's looked into the flames and is unsure about this fan theory.

Sandor’s appeared into the flames and is not sure about this fan concept.

Yeah, we’re unsure, both. However one factor’s for certain: Sandor Clegane is the prince of my coronary heart, no less than for this episode. Experience on, you grouchy outdated bear.

MVP for “Dragonstone”: Sandor Clegane

Most interesting Second: The Hound’s ten-word eulogy rattling close to introduced me to tears. There’s extra honest emotion in these few seconds than there are in total seasons of King’s Touchdown storylines. In second place: hats off to Rory McCann for making “staring into a fireplace” one of the crucial riveting occasions of this whole episode.

Greatest Line: “It is my fucking luck that I find yourself with a band of fireplace worshippers.” 

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