Oof. The new ‘Game of Thrones‘ trailer was nothing short of a spine-tingling feast. The levels of hype around it are off-the-charts, and basically no more so than that particularly epic shot of Beric Dondarrion lighting his flaming sword like a goddamn lightsaber.
But in amongst the overwhelming details to take in, one has ‘Game of Thrones’ fans questioning if Season 7 will finally give us the long-held fan theory ‘Cleganebowl‘.
First off, what is Cleganebowl? It’s an old theory that reckons brothers Sandor Clegane (a.k.a. the Hound) and Gregor Clegane (a.k.a. the Mountain) would finally face off to the death. It used to be tied to Cersei Lannister‘s imminent trial when she imprisoned by the Faith, whereby she would choose the reincarnated Mountain for her champion in a trial by combat, and the High Sparrow would in turn miraculously produce the Hound.
But as we all know, that ship has well and truly sailed. The High Sparrow is dead. The Faith is (mostly, probably) dead. Cersei is back in in the Red Keep, and on the Iron Throne no less.
That being said, this fan desire to finally see the Hound and the Mountain face off – or rather, see the Hound slaughter his brother in the ultimate act of vengeance – didn’t die with every poor soul at the end of Season 6.
To give you a taste of what a Clegane brother showdown would look like, here’s the last time those two faced off, all the way back in Season 1.
So. Cleganebowl. The new trailer. How the hell does it fit in?
Well, we already know from Season 6 that the Hound is miraculously still alive and chilling in the Riverlands no less. And the Mountain is well and truly reincarnated, and doing Cersei’s bidding (read: torture) in King’s Landing.
And around the 1:22 mark of the new trailer, there’s a split-second clip of a character who certainly looks like the Hound engaged in some kind of fight – and it’s this split-second clip that has the fandom practically panting.
Obviously the angle of the sun makes a bang-on identification impossible, but the build certainly looks Hound-ish. And those dangly bits on his jacket? They look similar as hell to the dangly bits of the Hound’s clothes in this promo shot, published by Harper’s Bazaar.
Could be something, could be nothing. The other options being thrown around our mystery fighter is that it’s either be Bronn or Daario, but the frontrunner is 100% the Hound. Might be wishful thinking, but it’s 100% the Hound.
Redditors are therefore getting pretty damned hyped that this could be the fabled Cleganebowl.
A few Redditors, all of whom have far better eyesight than this writer, even reckon there’s a Lannister soldier in the background of the shot, which would place the mystery-fighter-who-is-probably-the-hound right in Mountain territory.
Yet here’s the thing to put a damper on all these theories: earlier clips of the Hound in the trailer show him very clearly in the north, a.k.a. in the complete opposite direction to King’s Landing and the Mountain.
So does he murder his brother, then hotfoot it northwards? Does he head north, then miraculously find himself south again? Is it not him at all, and Cleganebowl is nothing more than wishful thinking by a portion of the fanbase hooked on violent revenge?
Gotta wait till July 16, folks. And then probably a few weeks till the episode in question airs and we finally get some answers. Ughhh.