Player of Thrones: Sandor and Gregor Clegane (The Hound and The Mountain)
By Thoros on in Editorial.

It’s that time again for our look into strategic players in the Game of Thrones. After some wonderful feedback, a few changes will be made to these posts:

- No more “fanfic.” WiC has never been the place to include this medium of writing.
- Less exposition, more disposition!
- A deeper look into how these players impact the State of the Realm and what their role is at this point.
- Focus on the plot from Game of Thrones with a foreword about where they came from before the show started.

Any other suggestions would be welcome! Thank you for continuing to make this site a pleasure to visit and scribe for.

Now that all of the expectations have been set let’s get into our next installment. This will be the second DOUBLE Feature for Player of Thrones. Focusing on the two towering brothers of House Clegane, I present to you the Terror of Gregor Clegane and his younger brother Sandor Clegane.

The Hound and The Mountain

The Hound and The Mountain

There is not a lot known about the early years of Gregor and Sandor. The first knight of House Clegane was the kennel master at Casterly Rock, seat to house Lannister. He protected Lord Tytos Lannister, father to Tywin, from an attacking lioness with the hounds he kept in his kennel’s. In the battle amongst the hounds the Clegane Knight lost his leg and three of his hounds. Because of his brave act Lord Tytos granted the Clegane Knight the lands and a single tower just southeast of Casterly Rock. In honor of the three hounds that were killed, House Clegane would be given the sigil of three black dogs on a field of yellow.

House Clegane Sigil

House Clegane Sigil

That Knight was Gregor and Sandor’s Grandfather.

When the boys were young a terrible and cruel moment happened amongst them. If you remember from Season One when Petyr Baelish was describing the two knights to Sansa at the Tourney of the Hand he told a story about how Sandor received his scars.

The hound was just a pup, six years old maybe, Gregor few years older, already a big lad, already getting a bit of a reputation. Some lucky boys just born with the talent of violence. One evening, Gregor found his little brother playing with a toy by the fire, Gregor’s toy. A wooden knight. Gregor never said a word, he just grabbed his brother by the scruff of his neck and shoved his face into the burning coals. Held him there while the boy screamed. While his face melted.

This story describes that at such a young age the two Clegane brothers were already violent. Specifically one over the other, Gregor. He, without warning or remorse, took his younger brother’s face and melted it on the coals of the burning fire. This scarred Sandor not only physically but mentally as well forcing him to leave the Clegane lands and taking up service amongst the Lannisters of Casterly Rock.

Gregor_Clegane_in_armorGregor is a ruthless killer. He has an uncontrollable temper and rage. As he grew older he grew bigger in size as well. Because of his size he was given the nickname “The Mountain that Rides” He was an asset to the Kingdom and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen knighted him. Gregor kept his loyalty with Lord Tywin Lannister and was one of the first knights to enter King’s Landing to sack the city. This is where he gained the cruelest point of his reputation. It is said that during the sack of the Capital City he found the late Rhaegar’s son Aegon and wife Princess Elia of Dorne. He supposedly killed the baby Aegon and raped and killed Elia. Although many accusations, particularly from the Dornish, that Gregor committed these awful crimes, he is never convicted.

Sandor, when joining the services of House Lannister, never took the title of knight. He thought the title was hypocritical. He was terrified of fire and came to hate his brother as well. Sandor became a loyal sword to House Lannister during Robert’s Rebellion. He became a savage man with little to no redeeming qualities. He’s a drunk but also became skilled and dangerous with a sword. When Prince Joffrey Baratheon was born Sandor then became the prince’s bodyguard. Because of his house sigil and his obedience to House Lannister he was thus given the nickname of The Hound.

We first see the Hound in Season One Episode One, “Winter is Coming,” entering the walls of Winterfell with the Royal Party. He is pointed out easily because his helm is made in the shape of a Hound’s head.

Hound Helm

Hound Helm

The next significant moment we see both Clegane brothers, and to this point in the show, the only time we see the two together is at the Tourney of the Hand back in King’s Landing. The Mountain is unhorsed by Loras Tyrell and in a fit of rage with one swing of his broadsword decapitates his horse. He then attacks Loras. Luckily for Loras, who surely would have been destroyed by Gregor, was saved by The Hound. As the two brother’s fight it out Robert Baratheon commands the two to stop. Gregor storms off.

We are all familiar with the story line of Sandor. Between killing the butchers boy and protecting Sansa from Joffrey, and Joffrey from cow dung, he finally loses his wits and abandons the once prince, now King Joffrey, during the Battle of Blackwater. He is captured by the Brotherhood w/o Banners and slays Beric Dondarrion to free him of his crimes. He then captures Arya Stark as he flees King’s Landing. He intends to sell Arya back to Robb Stark at the Twins only to be halted by the infamous Red Wedding. The Hound is now escorting his young wolf to what seems to be her only living relative Lysa Arryn, to once again try to sell her off.

Meanwhile what happened to The Mountain? Here is a quick timeline for our viewers wondering where the “Horsecutioner” went.

SEASON ONE

- The Mountain faces Ser Hugh and kills him in the Tourney of the Hand. He then faces Loras Tyrell. Loras unhorses The Mountain and in a fit of rage The Mountain decapitates his horse and almost kills Ser Loras only to be stopped by The Hound.
- After The Mountain’s loss to Loras he retreats back to his tower.
- Because Catelyn Stark kidnaps Tyrion Lannister under conviction of the attempt on Bran’s life, Tywin Lannister sends the Mountain and a group of raiders to raid the Riverlands. This is unbeknownst to Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon.
- In Season One Episode Six: A Golden Crown Lord Eddard, acting regent, is approached by a man from the Riverlands in the Kings Court who tells of the treachery that Ser Gregor had unleashed amongst the Riverlands. Lord Eddard strips Gregor of all lands and titles and orders Lord Tywin to answer for his sworn knights crimes. He orders Ser Beric Dondarrion to bring the King’s Justice to the raiding Clegane.

SEASON TWO

- In Season Two we get a glimpse of Clegane sitting on Lord Tywin’s small council at Harrenhal. He is ordered to march upon Riverrun. The Mountain may have not been noticeable because of his change in casting. Note below the faces of Gregor Clegane.

SEASON THREE

- In Season Three we hear Robb Stark discussing his uncle Edmure Tully’s recent victory against Gregor. Robb reprimands Edmure because he drove off The Mountain when Robb feels that he could have captured and executed the treacherous knight.
- Beric Dondarrion describes how one of his deaths came from facing The Mountain in battle.

SEASON FOUR

- The Mountain is called out by Prince Oberyn Martell to Tyrion Lannister. He convicts The Mountain of raping Prince Oberyn’s sister Elia and murdering her and her son.
- Lord Tywin Lannister agrees to a meeting between Prince Oberyn and Gregor if Oberyn sits on the Small Council as well as be a judge in Tyrion’s trial for killing Joffrey.

 

Now that we know where the largest guy in Westeros has been since Season Two we can now talk about what he and The Hound play in The Game of Thrones.

 

got-s3-sandor-wallpaper-1600

Sandor Clegane (The Hound)
Title: None
Current Role to the Throne: Outlaw; Currently being pursued by the Crown.
Lands: None
Wealth: None
Army: Arya Stark
Likelihood to become the next King of Westeros at this moment: Impossible. Now that his business has been blurted out by Varys to the Small Council about “Fuck the King” I highly doubt the Lannisters would let him take the Throne at this point.
Desire for the Throne: At this point none. He has no desire to be a knight, what makes you think he would want to be king?
What would it take for him to become King: He would have to murder Tommen and Hope Stannis dies. Then he would have to marry Myrcella Baratheon or Shireen Baratheon.
King Name: The King of All the Chickens

 

Gregor Clegane "The Mountain"

Gregor Clegane “The Mountain”

Gregor Clegane “The Mountain”
Titles: None anymore. Stripped by acting regent Eddard Stark
Current Role to the Throne: Outlaw; Ally to the Lannisters;
Army: Little to No Lannisters
Likelihood to become the next King of Westeros at this moment: Slightly better than his brother’s. He is allies with the Lannisters.
Desire for the Throne: I believe he has very little desire to be king. He likes raping and murdering too much…
What would it take for him to become King: He would have to literally kill a lot of people to get there. Not a problem for this guy. This list would include Tommen, Myrcella, Stannis, Shireen, All the Lannisters, All the Tyrells, All the Baratheons, and Danyerys Targaryen.
King Name: King of The Mountain

The Faces of The Mountain:

SEASON ONE Portrayed by Conan Stevens

SEASON ONE Portrayed by Conan Stevens

SEASON TWO Portrayed by Ian Whyte

SEASON TWO Portrayed by Ian Whyte

SEASON FOUR Portrayed by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

SEASON FOUR Portrayed by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

 

Both men know how to rule by force. They take what they want and live outside the laws of the God’s and Men. Neither men are fit to sit on the Throne. Gregor is fit to serve the crown but Sandor is an outlaw.

I find that The Hound has been treated cruelly his whole life. It’s the only way he knows how to treat other people. He is off put by people being nice to him, and often finds it hard to repay them for their nice deeds. He is playing the game of survival and his golden ticket to freedom is selling Arya Stark to Lysa Arryn. Once that happens he will have the money to flee Westeros and leave the cruelty of those who have never given him a chance behind.

I doubt that the Mountain is redeemable. He is a naturally angry and cruel person. There are no limits to his treachery and he will stretch the limits of wrong. He has been and will remain loyal to House Lannister. They give him the most bloody and violent jobs which he lives for. It is a symbiotic relationship for both parties. Plus he has Oberyn Martell hunting for a meeting with him. If that’s not dangerous I don’t know what is…Oh yeah, The Mountain is!

What are your opinions on The Mountain and The Hound? Do you believe either one will make the Throne? If so will it be in service to the King or will they themselves become the King of Westeros?

What do you all think of the new format of the post? Please let me know as well!

REMEMBER TO BURN ALL SPOILERS WITH THE SPOILER VEIL!

Other Featured Players:

Oberyn Martell, The Red Viper
Melisandre, The Red Priestess
Jojen and Meera Reed, The Crannogmen
Petyr Baelish, Littlefinger
Ser Davos Seaworth, The Onion Knight

Done in the light of the Lord…


27 Comments

  1. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Polliver

  2. Sandor Claws
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Hate the new format. Love The Hound.

  3. Nathaniel
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else notice that Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson’s arms are off balance…his right arm/shoulder is much bigger than his left.

  4. Delta1212
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel,

    It’s mostly the difference in angle and lighting.

    Also, I really wish Conan Stevens hadn’t burned all his bridges after season 1. He’d have made a good Mountain and the character probably would have had a bit more of a consistent presence in the show if he hadn’t had to be continually recast.

  5. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I like how you mention that the Hound’s army is Arya. :)

    The Hound shall have his day …someday!

    The 3rd Mountain better say “the words” with amazing malice. I also wouldn’t mind if the Mountain actually dies painfully from poisoning after the grotesque end to the RV-Mountain duel.

  6. serum
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Love the new format. Love the hound. Hate the mountain!

  7. Clob
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    That hound helmet has been worn far too little in the series. Does he even have it with him at this point?

  8. David R Witanowski
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I miss the Hound’s helmet . . . speaking of helmets, I wonder why they didn’t just keep the Mountain in that distinctive armor and bucket helm of his (some of my fellow viewers call it the “stove”) for most of season two, as more of a presence in Harrenhal than as a character with lines. I never would have pictured him as sitting in on one of Tywin’s councils.

  9. haxxifexx
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Just a little correction here: The Mountain is neither an outlaw, nor stripped of his titles. Ned has been branded a traitor, and whatever he decreed is null and void. And oc, the Lannister didnt care for his decree even when he was still Hand, so it was all de Jure, not de Facto.

  10. Declizzy
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I miss Conan Stevens as the Mountain, he was awesome.

  11. GeekFurious
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Bring on my Icelandic brother! A true viking warrior!

  12. Sandor Claws
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The Mountain That Rides is the most awesome nickname ever. The first Mountain was perfect. He had the face and size for it. The new Mountain is adequately huge but his face is too young, not hairy enough, and his mean glare isn’t psycho enough. GRRM acts surprised when fans express romantic feelings towards The Hound. GRRM knew exactly what he was doing when he created a bad boy with a heart of gold.

  13. Rob
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel,

    There are these things called “angles” that change the perception of an image by forcing you to see it from different points of view. It’s like…totally super complicated so I don’t blame you for not understanding.

  14. Sandor Claws
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Nathaniel:
    Anyone else notice that Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson’s arms are off balance…

    True for most people….

  15. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    You missed out a couple of pretty obvious things from Season 2 about the Mountain’s disposition. We saw him amusing himself in torturing the prisoners at Harrenhal, which is quite telling for his character, but more importantly, when Tywin leaves to fight at the Blackwater, he puts the Mountain in charge of Harrenhal and tells Arya to make sure he doesn’t drink too much. The next time we see Harrenhal in Season 3, when Robb’s army arrives, the place is deserted and all the prisoners and castle servants have been slaughtered. I don’t believe that’s ever been properly explained in the show, which is annoying, but I think the implication is that the Mountain couldn’t be bothered staying put like Tywin told him to, so he just killed everyone and left with his men (including Polliver, Rorge and Biter, I assume) probably to raid some more villages and hunt down the Brotherhood without Banners (also sadly absent this season). It’s a lot different in the books and explained properly, but I won’t go into that.

    The other thing is – I’m not sure there’s any point having stock questions like ‘Likelihood to become the next King’ and ‘What would it take for him to become King’. For the Mountain and the Hound neither of those are relevant questions at all. ‘Desire for the throne: none’ is enough, so leave it at that. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from being graded as ‘Players of Thrones’ though. Look at Littlefinger and Varys even. They’re both major ‘players’ in terms of being manipulative, but they’re also smart enough to know that being king is a good way to get yourself killed, and that you don’t need to be king to have power. Not to mention, neither of them have any claim to the throne at all, so the only way they would be able to become king is by usurping through force, which seems highly unlikely. A better measure of these characters as ‘Players’ would be rankings like the Hound is a ‘pawn’, and the Mountain is maybe a ‘knight’, Littlefinger is a ‘Bishop’, or something akin to that (not necessarily using chess pieces, though, ’cause that’s a bit limiting).
    The ‘Game of Thrones’ is about surviving and thriving, not about becoming king. Tommen is the king right now and he’s still Tywin’s ‘pawn’. Ned was Lord of Winterfell, but despite being powerful and authoritative he was still a ‘pawn’ too (mainly Littlefinger’s), because he didn’t know how to play. That’s how you should be grading characters.

  16. Deathdreams
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Troublesome Birdsong,

    I agree. I’ve always been annoyed when anyone asks (usually press asking the actors) “who’s going to end up on the Iron throne?” I feel that is not what the story is even about. I couldn’t care less who ends up on the Iron throne, as long as it’s not Joffrey or Cersei or someone like them.

    Though it would be cool if Bizarro Stormy from Sealab was king.

  17. PodricksThirdLeg
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Deathdreams:
    Troublesome Birdsong,

    I agree. I’ve always been annoyed when anyone asks (usually press asking the actors) “who’s going to end up on the Iron throne?” I feel that is not what the story is even about. I couldn’t care less who ends up on the Iron throne, as long as it’s not Joffrey or Cersei or someone like them.

    Though it would be cool if Bizarro Stormy from Sealab was king.

    It is still a legit question asking who will end up on the iron throne regardless of what the story is about because in the end someone eventually will be King or Queen. You don’t know what the story is about either so why get annoyed? Enlighten me if you do know what the story is about, I’ll be here.

  18. Thoros
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Troublesome Birdsong,

    Ah! Terrific Feedback! Thank you!

  19. Rimshot
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Aw look, there’s me and my old orange banner (top pic / left hand side). This seems so long ago now. I spent 2 days holding that thing. This was a fantastic but tiring shoot. Good times.

  20. Deathdreams
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    PodricksThirdLeg,

    Sure it’s a legitimate question. But it seems to me that is the only thing that matters to some people. I can’t help what annoys me. So why get annoyed at my comment? Also since you asked…The story is really about Baby Jesus and christmas

    Or maybe it’s about penises. I’m not quite sure yet

  21. Darkstar
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    He then captures Arya Stark as he flees King’s Landing.

    Whaaat? That’s not what happened. He captured her after she escaped the BWB after he had been freed by them.

  22. The North Remembers
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    You forgot about Rhaenys!

  23. Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    The 3rd Mountain better say “the words” with amazing malice. I also wouldn’t mind if the Mountain actually dies painfully from poisoning after the grotesque end to the RV-Mountain duel.

    Read in an interview that he worked really hard to improve his English for this role. And I agree about him dying, I never liked his character hanging around as Ser Robert Strong…never understood the necessity of that other than illustrating how unethical Qyburn is and how he might be stooping to dark magic and/or medicine. The ONLY other reason I could think that GRRM would leave him alive is so that some day, The Hound could kill him. BUT now that we suspect The Hound is on the Quiet Isle (or at least we think he is) and has found peace, would he want to confront The Mountain? I hope he just dies…but we’ll have to see.

  24. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The North Remembers,

    The Mountain didn’t kill Rhaenys. Ser Amory Lorch stabbed her to death.

  25. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I just want the Mountain to stay alive long enough for us to see Qyburn have a little chat with him about the fact that the last time he saw him was at Harrenhal when he slaughtered everyone and left. I imagine being the only one to actually survive that means Qyburn is the only closure we might get on that plot point. It also gives Qyburn an underlying sinister motive for his experiments on the Mountain.

    I always assumed that given Cersei names Robert Strong as her champion for the trial, and people sort of know/assume that he is the Mountain, that the Hound will volunteer as the Faith’s champion to go up against him.

  26. Ashara D
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Wow! The production values have improved a lot since that tourney pic. The horse’s head and the rake marks lol.

  27. dj
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Very disappointed that they would cast an actor 20 years younger than the Hound to play his older brother, The Mountain. At least they could have had the makeup department make him look older and like he’s been in a fight or two in his lifetime…. sigh.


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