Erica Flores

A short history of Cleganebowl, the best fan theory …

HBO game of Thrones It is a dense series with a great weight of history behind its history. So in pretty much every episode, something happens that might need a little explanation. Weekly, The edge We will dive into a scene or event from the last episode of the series and explain how we got here. If you are basically a game of Thrones If you need a reminder about past events, we will try to help you keep your history in order.

This episode of Game of Thrones was… a lot. Bad decisions were made. People died. Arc seasons of accumulation and character reached their culmination. But instead of looking at that, let’s dive into what might be the least shocking event (from the broader perspective of history), but the most anticipated (by some fans): Cleganebowl.

Spoilers ahead for game of Thrones In general, but especially season 8, episode 5, “The Bells”.


“Cleganebowl” was perhaps the best game of Thrones theory, somewhere at the intersection of plausible books / show development, internet memes, and awesome catchphrases – GET YOU! (Which appears to originate from this YouTube video from 2013, at least according to Know Your Meme.)

The long-speculated fan theory posited that two brothers, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and his older brother Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, would eventually meet in a climactic duel. Fans called this event Cleganebowl, a trunk of their shared last name and “bowl,” from the term used for many great soccer playoffs.

On tonight’s episode, “The Bells,” fans finally got the showdown they’ve been waiting for, with the Hound and Mountain facing off for the last time. This confrontation takes a long time. This is how we got here.

The clegane brothers

To understand why the Hound / Mountain showdown is important to the fans, if not the bigger story, we have to go back to the beginning. Sandor and Gregor grew up together, and even in childhood, Gregor was cruel and inhuman. Gregor is the infamous one responsible for the horrible scars on his brother’s face: he pushed Sandor into the fire when they were both young, because Sandor was playing with one of Gregor’s toys.

Sandor’s fear of fire stemming from that moment never went away, and neither did his hatred. He despises his brother, knowing that he is a monster, even when he is a knight of the kingdom. Gregor is a murderer, rapist and general bully. And while the reasons for his feelings about Sandor are not that clear, he clearly hates his brother just as much.

Books vs. Show

George RR Martin A song of ice and fire Not only have the novels not gotten to the point of covering whether Cleganebowl happens, they haven’t made it entirely clear whether any of the siblings are alive. In the books, Cersei faces the humiliations of the rising High Sparrow, concluding with the now infamous Walk of Shame through King’s Landing. He met on the steps of the deposed former Maester Qyburn and a towering, silent giant, Ser Robert Strong, whom he names his champion for his upcoming trial by combat against the Greater Sparrow and the Faith of the Seven.

Fans theorized (and the show confirmed, at least from its own version of the story) that “Ser Robert” was The Mountain’s zombie-corpse, preserved and reanimated by Qyburn after Gregor’s poisoning by Oberyn Martell.

The other side of Cleganebowl, however, was where things got tough. As all book readers and spectators of the show know, Arya Stark left The Hound to die after a battle. (Circumstances differ between Martin’s novel A storm of swords and the season 4 episode on the show.) On the show, Sandor appears again in season 6, revealing that he was saved by a septon played by Ian McShane. Later, he is killed, and The Hound avenges him.

The story in the book is less clear, since it is incomplete. But in A feast for the crowsBrienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne, while searching for The Hound (who they suspect of having Sansa Stark in his custody), they come across a commune led by the older brother, a priest who is very familiar with The Hound’s feats and mindset. Hound. He claims that he met the dying Sandor, and cared for him until he died. The dog’s horse is also in the commune. But readers stuck to certain nuances in the elder brother’s word choices (he refers to “The Hound” as dead, but says Sandor Clegane is “at rest”), as well as an unidentified gravedigger in the commune, with Injuries similar to The De Hound Generally, the gravedigger is presumed to be Sandor, who has put aside his violent past and joined The Faith.

Combat test

At this point, the events between the book and the show become more confusing. Cleganebowl’s original theory was that the reformed Hound, representing the faith of the Seven, would face his sorta-undead brother for Cersei’s trial by combat, causing his downfall. (That also matches another theory in the book, which revolves around a prophecy that Cersei would be killed by “the Valonqar,” meaning “little brother,” which could refer to Sandor, who is Gregor’s younger brother.) . And who knows? That could still happen in the books, if they ever end.

The show sees things unfold differently. Cersei is unable to defend herself through trial by combat, after her son King Tommen outlaws the practice, due to the High Sparrow’s machinations. The Risen Mountain never fights for her in a single combat; instead, she solves the problem of the Faith Militant by killing the entire High Sept with gunpowder.

But there were two Clegane brothers out there, and even without anyone else’s life in their confrontation, fans were hoping to see the two brothers fix things once and for all.