For years, the franchise has won awards, rewritten the rules of the fantasy drama, and captivated audiences by their willingness to not have any character safe. The show has benefited from a great cast, exceptional writing, and great special effects used to create remarkable cinematic moments. The adventures, ambition, development, and greed of the characters have kept fans of the show clamoring for more after seven amazing seasons.
There is no doubt that Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows to ever hit the airwaves. George R. R. Martin created the A Song of Ice and Fire series which spawned the mega-hit television show. The television adaptation is full of betrayal, drama, intrigue, and contains more than its fair share of tragedy. However, some of the more tragic figures in the Game of Throne's HBO universe often go overlooked.
Sandor (The Hound) and Gregor (The Mountain) from House Clegane have a deep background story filled full of heartbreak and catastrophe. Could that be true? These two massive Andal's have a story made for a Shakespearean play... Okay, maybe neither is deserving of much sympathy, but there are definitely some eyebrow-raising facts about the Clegane's that you probably weren't aware of.
If you know all 15 of these facts, you will be free from the wrath of Cersei Lannister. We combed through the archives of the Maesters' to find the most tragic details about The Hound and The Mountain.
15 The Cleganes Are Indebted To The Lannisters
Could there be anything worse than giving your allegiance to House Lannister? From the events which inspired the Rains of Castamere, the Red Wedding, numerous betrayals, and power moves - House Lannister is the most dastardly noble house in all of Westeros.
The grandfather of The Hound and The Mountain is responsible for the founding of House Clegane and the closeness between his family and the Lannister's. House Clegane came to be after Tytos Lannister; grandfather of Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion Lannister - was saved by his kennelmaster Clegane after being attacked by a lion on a hunting trip. For his actions and sacrifice (Clegane lost a leg) Tytos granted him a knighthood.
In retrospect, this was the beginning of the tragic lives of the Clegane brothers, serving at the pleasure of the Lannister's is bound to make any house in Westeros suffer from numerous trials and tribulations.
14 Does The Mountain Suffer From Mental Deficiency?
The Mountain may be the largest man in Westeros, yet there are several reasons to believe he may also be one of the least intelligent. Robb Stark once said Gregor was a "mad dog without a strategic thought in his head," while Jaime Lannister commented that Gregor has problems understanding complete sentences.
Even during battle, Gregor seems to be incapable of applying strategy or any sort of technique. Perhaps The Mountain's uncontrollable rage and inability to use anything besides violence comes from a mental deficiency.
There is no excusing Gregor for his actions, yet it makes sense that he acts violently due to his fear of embarrassing himself. Eh, he's probably just a terrible person who deserves whatever comes to him, no matter how tragic his personal story.
13 The Hound Seems To Be A Good Guy Deep Down
During Season 2, The Hound showed that he has far more humanity than his brother. King Joffrey Baratheon had Sansa Stark publicly stripped and beaten by Ser Meryn Trant, while Sandor was shown as having a look of contempt on his face. After the end of the beating, The Hound gave her a white cloak in a gesture to provide her some dignity during that moment.
Later during the season, he would again save Sansa - this time from an angry King's Landing mob. The Hound would also offer to take Sansa to Winterfell before leaving the Battle of Blackwater. While Sandor kept an extremely cold demeanor, along with his grim outlook on life - these moments differentiated him from the soulless nature of his brother Gregor.
Little did we know that these moments would begin a deeper story arc for The Hound, slowly unearthing his humanity, yet highlighting his still dire outlook on the world.
12 The Mountain Is Allegedly Behind The Mysterious Deaths Of His Father And Younger Sister
Gregor Clegane is known for his temper and his brutal disposition. He has never been a pleasant individual to be around when he is angry, sadly it has led to a number of tragedies for those in his house.
Rumors say The Mountain is responsible for the death of his and The Hound's youngest sister. If that wasn't suspicious enough, Gregor was with his father when he died under mysterious circumstances - later claimed to be a hunting accident.
Officially, nobody knows whether or not The Mountain is responsible for their deaths, however, the number of servants that have gone missing – rumored to have been ended by an angry Gregor – adds legitimacy to suspicions.
It's best to stay clear of Gregor Clegane at all costs.
11 Sandor Saw His First Battle As A Young Boy
The Hound has made his love of battle and defeating his opponents clear; in fact, Sandor has glorified the process of removing his formal foes from the plane of existence. At the young age of twelve, he bested his first foe on the battlefield during Robert's Rebellion.
Could that event lead to Sandor's love for taking a life? With his brother's anger, and propensity to lash out in an aggressive manner - there possibly could be a genetic issue within House Clegane.
The Hound is a difficult man to completely understand, yet it seems his tough upbringing filled full of traumatic moments may have led to his bleak outlook on life. It could be worse for Sandor, he could be as vile as his brother...
10 Sandor's Family Sided With Gregor
Remember The Hound's scar? How could you forget. Despite the physical damage, Sandor has to deal with emotional wounds from that event. As he told Arya, "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."
The event itself is bad enough, but the fact that Gregor was protected by their father... Perhaps The Mountain wouldn't have turned into the monster he became if his parents had done more to stop his aggression at a young age.
Sandor opening up about this event showed a trust in Arya Stark and a deep pain within that he hasn't ever been able to shake.
9 Gregor Traumatized His Brother For Life
The beginning of the conflict between the Clegane brothers probably began when the two were extremely young. The Hound was brutally burned by his older brother, permanently scarring his face. The Mountain wrongfully accused his brother of stealing a toy that he had tossed to the side. Unfortunately, this wasn't true and if not for servants forcing The Mountain off of Sandor, the incident may have been even worse.
Ever since The Hound has been afraid of fire, which first came to our attention in Season 2 during the Battle of Blackwater. His phobia was confirmed by Arya Stark in Season 3 several episodes after he once again shows fear at the sight of fire.
It's tragic to realize Sandor Clegane's greatest fear exists due to the unhinged cruelty of his only brother.
8 The Duel With Oberyn Transforms The Mountain
Oberyn Martell nearly avenged the loss of his sister when he battled The Mountain as Tyrion Lannister's champion during a trial by combat. However, Oberyn allowed his hatred to get the best of him and was killed by the monstrous Gregor.
The Mountain was poisoned by Oberyn during their duel and led to Gregor having a near-death experience. After Qyburn's experiments, Gregor's life was saved, yet he took a vow of silence and remains a soulless servant willing to do Cersei's bidding at all times.
Even after nearly losing his life The Mountain hasn't changed at his core. There is clearly nothing that will cause him to reflect on the horrors that have happened at his hands.
7 Sandor Killed One Of Arya’s Close Friends
Back in Season 1... you know when the Game of Thrones world was far less grim... Arya was friends with a son of a butcher named Mycah. One day the two were harmlessly using two sticks as swords, playing with one another. Joffrey Baratheon did not like the display and accused Mycah of pretending to be a Knight.
Arya saved Mycah at that moment; unfortunately, Joffrey would send The Hound to kill the boy who was coincidently twelve years of age. With the development of Sandor after this event, it's reasonable to assume that this was one of his last heinous acts.
This event would become extremely important between Sandor and Arya in upcoming seasons when taken into consideration this generally small event in the show becomes a personal tragedy for The Hound... and of course, Mycah.
6 The Mountain Is Not Above Killing Children
This is one of the most vicious tales in all of Westeros. During Robert's Rebellion, The Mountain played a vital role during the Sack of King's Landing, leading an end to three hundred years of Targaryen rule.
Gregor Clegane's actions that day further cemented his reputation as being the most feared man in all of Westeros. Without getting too graphic, The Mountain was responsible for the demise of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's children Rhaenys and Aegon.
His savagery did not end there as he would also end the life of the children's mother Elia Martell. This tragedy is one of the most defining actions of Gregor and perfectly depicts how little he values the lives of others.
5 The Hound Develops A Love/Hate Relationship With Arya
Sandor and Arya would cross paths again in Season 3 after The Hound was captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, this would eventually lead to both leaving the group and Sandor taking Arya as a hostage, with plans on selling her back to House Stark for a reward.
The two would go to challenge one another, get on each other's nerves, and eventually develop an odd mutual respect. Their interactions would result in a defining moment at the end of Season 4 - The Hound would beg Arya to end his life after losing a duel against Brienne of Tarth, going as far to bring up Mycah.
This moment is when we see the tragedy throughout Sandor's life come full circle as The Hound had completely given up on life.
4 The Hound Will Probably Never Find Peace
After being left by Arya, The Hound is found by Septon Ray and nursed back to health by the former soldier and a group of peaceful villagers. Septon Ray and Sandor embark on numerous philosophical conversations, eventually leading to The Hound deciding to live a tranquil life with the peaceful community.
Unfortunately, the villagers were led to meet their Gods at the hands of three rogue members of the Brotherhood Without Banners led by Lem Lemoncloak – putting an end to the new life Sandor was hoping to have away from the wars of nobles.
While The Hound was probably never going to completely heal nor change his disposition on life, this tragedy shows him that maybe he is destined to live a life of loss and pain.
3 The Clegane Brothers Reunite As Enemies
During the Season 7 finale "The Dragon and The Wolf" the two brothers come face to face for the first time in years. Not only are they serving different Lords, the brothers are likely to become key figures in upcoming battles which could see Targaryen and Stark forces meet a Lannister and Iron Island contingent.
The Hound had some choice words for his brother Gregor before the meeting got underway, "Remember me? Yeah, ya do. You're even f*cking uglier than I am now. What'd they do to you? Doesn't matter. It's now how it ends for you, brother. You know who's coming for you. You've always known."
Did you expect anything less from Sandor? Yet, when you consider the history behind this meeting, the melancholy undertones cannot be forgotten.
2 One Brother Will Likely Die At The Hands Of The Other
Cleganebowl is the theory that the brothers are destined to fight each other to the death. Some people point to Sandor seeing a vision within the fire, and his cryptic comments to Gregor at King's Landing as evidence towards Cleganebowl.
The brothers had a brief scuffle during Season 1 at the Tourney of the Hand when Gregor stopped his brother from butchering (Sorry Mycah) Loras Tyrell. If this fight were to go down again one of the brothers will definitely lose their life.
In the Game of Thrones universe, it's possible they both could perish as a result of a Cleganebowl. A duel would be the most poetic ending to the tragic history of the Clegane brothers.
1 There Has Never Been Love Between The Brothers
What is a bigger Clegane tragedy than the relationship between Sandor and Gregor? The show has made it clear that at no point have the brothers had a positive relationship. Seemingly they've never even had a period of time when they were friendly towards one another.
While Gregor is mostly (if not fully) to blame for their tumultuous relationship, Sandor is the one who has suffered because of it. The Mountain has committed countless atrocities and hasn't ever shown remorse nor been punished for his actions.
On the other hand, everything has weighed on Sandor throughout his life, giving him a moral code - yet, causing him internal grief.
The Clegane brothers do not have a lot in common, have been at odds since they were boys, and are on a path to an epic duel. While that is tragic for them, their story has entertained Game of Thrones fans!