Back in March, Ian McShane, known to fans of good motherf*cking HBO shows as Al Swearengen from Deadwood, described his then-mysterious role on Game of Thrones as “an ex-warrior who has become a peacenik. So, I have this group of peaceful… sort of a cult, a peaceful tribe. I bring back a much loved character who everyone thinks is dead.” That character, as we learned in tonight’s episode, “The Broken Man,” is a septon who preaches tolerance.
Even to Sandor Clegane.
The last time we saw the Hound was in season four, when, after a brutal fight with Brienne, he’s left for dead by Arya. The Hound died — Sandor Clegane didn’t. He’s a new (scarred) man, a better (scarred) man who doesn’t feel he deserves redemption. At least until he meets the septon (not named on the show, but he’s Meribald in the books), who makes a grave mistake: He refuses to recognize the Brotherhood Without Banners as a threat, and pays for his blunder with his life. And the lives of everyone in his peaceful hippie cult. Except Sandor, who’s out to get some fiery revenge on his attackers.
The return of the Hound is one reason Game of Thrones fans are hyped — the possibility of Clegane Bowl (which we covered in detail here) is another.