The fifth episode of the last season of Game of Thrones finally gave us the showdown we'd been waiting for. Cleganebowl, as it is now famously known, saw the demise of Sandor and Gregor Clegane. But not before we were blessed with an epic battle that will probably go down in the history of both Westeros and television itself.
The animosity between these two has been palpable from the very beginning. Sandor's deep hatred for his older brother was the driving force of all his actions and for good reason. In the midst of all the craziness that is the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, there's not much we know about the Clegane brothers. We got to follow their journey's, but much knowledge about them tends to be scarce, especially for those who didn't follow the books. With that being said, let's shed some light on the matter, with 10 things you didn't know about the Clegane brothers!
10 Their House Is Very Young
The most prominent houses in Westeros have been around for centuries. They've also been feuding for centuries, which is very understandable. There's not much else you can do besides organize tournaments and start petty wars in the middle ages, right? Besides, Game of Thrones wouldn't be what it is if not for the large disagreements between Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens, and Tyrells.
However, there are also many other small houses that didn't exist up until very recently. House Clegane is a great example of this, considering it was only founded two generations before the main conflict of the show and books begins. Tytos Lannister, Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion's grandfather, was the one who rewarded the man who saved his life with a title and lands, thus giving birth to the noble house of Clegane.
9 Sandor's Father Lied About His Injuries
Gregor Clegane, or The Mountain, as he is better known, is a brutal man. Probably one of the worst characters in the entire history of Westeros, with absolutely no appreciation for human life or mercy for anyone. This became pretty clear when, at 12 years old, he found his younger brother Sandor playing with one of his toys and held his face to a hot brazier as punishment.
This event led to Sandor's trauma and scars, both of which we are very familiar with. Their father, however, didn't punish Gregor or let anyone know what had happened. In fact, he lied about his younger son's injury, telling the world they were due to his beddings catching fire accidentally.
8 Gregor Is Rumored To Have Killed His Father
The Mountain is guilty of committing atrocities worthy of nightmares. When Tywin Lannister released him into the wild during Robert's rebellion, he raped and killed an innocent Elia Martell, and her two young children, in extremely brutal ways. This, of course, explains Oberyn's hatred for Gregor, and his thirst for revenge.
During his life, Gregor's proclivity for violence was clear. In fact, besides all of the killings he has admitted to and that are known by everyone in Westeros, he is also rumored to have killed his father, who died under suspicious circumstances so he could get his inheritance. Additionally, he also probably murdered his young sister, along with two wives he had before the show started.
7 Sandor Isn't A Sworn Knight
The Hound is an eximious fighter, one of the best in all of Westeros. He was Cersei Lannister's sworn shield, who later gave him to her son Joffrey, in order to be his personal bodyguard. Once Joffrey rose to the throne and took on the role of King of the Seven Kingdoms, Sandor became a member of the Kingsguard.
Despite his prominent position and his nearly unmatchable combat skills, Sandor isn't actually a sworn knight. His hatred for his brother, who was a knight, led him to regard knighthood as hypocritical. This aversion resulted in Sandor fulfilling his role and fighting in tournaments without ever taken the vows that would grant him the title of knight.
6 Gregor Was Knighted By Rhaegar Targaryen
Betrayal is a very recurring theme in Game of Thrones. It keeps things interesting and paves the way for the unexpected events that managed to put the show and the books on the map. The Red Wedding and Jon Snow's murder are only s couple that comes to mind. Well, staying true to this, Gregor was guilty of committing one of the worst acts of treason imaginable.
As it has already been mentioned, The Mountain raped and killed Elia Martell and slaughtered her two children. The thing is, Elia was Rhaegar's wife, and the children he massacred were also Rhaegar's children. The whole thing becomes even worse once we find out that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was the one who knighted Gregor in the first place. Some bad judgment was definitely happening here.
5 They Are Likely Descendants Of Dunk
The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is a complex and ever-expanding one. In addition to the books that serve as the original source for GoT, George RR Martin has also published a series of novellas depicting the tales of Sir Duncan The Tall (Dunk) and his squire who would later become King Aegon V Targaryen.
The main character of these tales, Dunk, is bound to have quite a few descendants in present-day Westeros, as we are led to believe by the stories. Taking into consideration the physical characteristics of the Clegane brothers, and their proclivity for fighting like absolute pros, it's very likely that they are descendants of Sir Duncan.
4 Sandor Killed For The First Time When He Was 12
In the world of Westeros, it's not unheard of for highborn men to start training for battle at a very young age. Again, in the middle ages, which is a time period that clearly inspired the setting for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, that's exactly what was expected from the Lords, while the Ladies danced and did their hair pretty.
However, it's still quite a feat to participate in your first battle when you're not even a teenager yet, let alone actually kill someone. Well, that's exactly what happened to The Hound, who claims to have killed for the first time when he was only twelve years old. This is most likely to have happened during Robert's Rebellion, fighting at the orders of the Lannisters.
3 Gregor's Size Caused Him Health Problems
The actor who plays The Mountain in Game of Thrones is pretty impressive in terms of size. According to Martin's description of the character, Gregor Clegane is supposed to weigh 420 lbs (190 kg) and tower everyone at an impressive eight feet (2,4 meters) tall. The actor comes alarmingly close, which is quite a feat.
In the story, however, his size is due to some sort of genetic condition, which brings more harm than good. He is an unmatchable fighter, but his size causes terrible migraines almost constantly and is also a probable cause for his violent tendencies. In order to try and feel better, Sir Gregor takes large amounts of milk of the poppy, that help soothe the pain.
2 Sandor's Horse Is A Piece Of Work
Sandor doesn't have a lot of friends. He's a pretty closed off man, due to all the trauma he suffered at hands of his brother when he was young, and all the bullying he had to endure due to his physical appearance. The only constant we seem to get in his life is his horse, Stranger, who accompanies him at all times.
Staying true to the antisocial tendencies of his owner, Stranger is not a very easy animal to deal with. He's known for being extremely mean, and the only person who can handle him is Sandor himself. The beautiful black stallion will easily kill anyone who tries to tame him, but he's notably gentle towards his master.
1 Sandor Is A Sensitive Man
It's easy to miss when not paying enough attention, especially because he dutifully served one of the most hated characters on Game of Thrones, and because of his foul mood in general, but Sandor is actually a very sensitive man. In the show, we get small clues, like he's protective instincts towards Arya and Sansa, and his reaction when the sept who saved him was murdered.
In the books, we get an even closer look at The Hound's true nature. He cries several times, like when he faces his worst fear (fire), when Sansa shows him kindness, and when he's confessing to Arya he wasn't good to her sister. Deep down, Sandor is only a man who's plagued with trauma and can't seem to find acceptance anywhere he goes. Thankfully, we got to see flashes of his true nature come to life on the show.