The Night King is dead. Cersei has made her move against the Mother of Dragons. Most of the long-awaited showdowns on Game of Thrones are finally playing out, but there’s one battle we have yet to see and it just might happen in the show’s final two episodes.
That’s right, Cleganebowl lives! Or, at the very least, hope for Cleganebowl does.
To recap, Sandor Clegane (The Hound) and his older brother, Ser Gregor Clegane (The Mountain) have been on a collision course of sorts since the show’s premiere season. The Mountain has been described as a cruel man, with an uncontrollable lust for violence. During Ned Stark’s Hand of the King tourney in season one, he lost a joust to another night and decapitated his own horse in retribution before nearly killing his opponent. So yeah, he’s a bad guy.
The Hound isn’t that great either, though he’s enjoyed a redemption arc of sorts over the show’s last few seasons, choosing to serve the Starks and fight for the living instead of continuing to be at the Lannister’s beck and call like his big brother.
But the two men aren’t adversaries just because they happen to fall on different sides of the war.
There’s a long and ugly history in the Clegane house, one that begins with a rage-fueled Gregor shoving his brother’s face into a fire when the boys were young. The incident left The Hound permanently disfigured with a debilitating fear of fire that’s nearly gotten him killed on several occasions. And though Sandor Clegane is no hero, he’s also never been accused of some of the more heinous crimes his older brother has which is why, when the two met in season seven in the dragon pits, The Hound’s warning to his sibling felt deserved. He’s a zombified bodyguard who enjoys raping women and killing children and crushing the skulls of his enemies, he kind of deserves death at the hands of a family member at this point.
And since The Hound miraculously survived the Battle of Winterfell, it seems like The Mountain just might get it.
The last time we saw The Hound, he was on the king’s road heading for King’s Landing to take care of some “unfinished business.” He was joined by Arya, who has her own designs for Queen Cersei. The pair’s road trip harks back to their journey together earlier in the show and while Cleganebowl feels surprisingly possible now that the Night King is dead and the Lannisters remain the realm’s only threat, some fans think Arya might be the catalyst for the highly-anticipated deathmatch.
Melisandre predicted that Arya would close brown eyes, green eyes, and blue before she closed her own. She’s killed men and white walkers, but her final victim is undoubtedly Cersei – who just so happens to have green eyes. Redditor u/nomadvisions believes Arya will succeed in crossing the Lion Queen off her list, but in the process, she’ll be killed by The Mountain, giving The Hound even more incentive to destroy his older sibling.
Do we want Cleganebowl to happen? Hell yes.
Do we want Arya to die so that Cleganebowl happens? Of course not.
But eight seasons in, we should know to take our victories when we can. In other words, all our faves are going to die soon anyway, might as well have a good ol’ fashioned sibling rivalry settled by bloodshed in the meantime.