*Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 6*
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have maneuvered the juggernaut of Game of Thrones deftly through its turbulent and entertaining journey, steering viewers across 60 episodes from Season 1 to Season 6. One of the most compelling aspects of the hit TV show is the fact that, since they've been in the driving seat, the showrunners have had the end of the road firmly in sight.
This has given them the creative freedom to take their time, drop subtle hints or play the long game safe in the knowledge of where the journey will reach its final destination. The ability to plant a seed and watch it grow resulted in obvious callbacks like the Hodor reveal. But there are also more subtle plants peeking their tips above the soil.
Has Game Of Thrones Foreshadowed "Cleganebowl"?
Before we get too excited, what I'm about to say could, of course, be wishful thinking. Game of Thrones fans are really, truly hyped at the prospect of Cleganebowl, the title given to the possibility of The Hound battling his undead brother, The Mountain. But even wishful thoughts sometimes become a reality.
A post on Imgur suggests that a seed has been planted, and could sprout Cleganebowl; but not only will Sandor Clegane cast vengeance on his brother, he'll also be joined by Arya Stark. The apparent foreshadow in question came in the Season 4 episode, "The First of His Name." While Arya is under The Hound's watchful eye, he tells her to be quiet while she reads her kill list aloud. Check out the scene below:
The Hound then tells Arya hate can be a good incentive to keep going, before she lists his brother's name. Here comes the response:
Admittedly, this comment alone seems like a tenuous link between events. However, knowing the well planned and deliberate production values, the post also highlights another reference, two episodes later, in "Mockingbird."
After Cersei picks The Mountain as her champion, he asks who he'll be fighting. Before getting a response, the next scene cuts straight to The Hound and Arya, riding on horseback:
A Long List Of Foreshadowed Events
In Game of Thrones, coincidences like this rarely just happen, right? So shout exclamations of joy, tell your friends — Cleganebowl is happening in 2017! Well, maybe. But still, it's even more interesting when you factor in both character's story arcs by the conclusion of Season 6.
Arya has transitioned from a brave soul lacking in skill, to an accomplished assassin following her training with The Faceless Men. Her surprise appearance in the final episode — where she took on the guise of a servant, before mercilessly slitting Walder Frey's throat — depicted Arya Stark 2.0 as a dangerous killer.
The Hound, too, is now on the path of vengeance. After Brother Ray and the rest his followers were brutally killed during his comeback episode, he sets off on revenge. Before then, Brother Ray also foreshadowed that God has "big plans" for The Hound.
If this theory is correct, that means we could see the pair team up (probably with Arya using another identity) to kill the zombified Mountain. His (second) death would have huge consequences, considering he is the main protection for the new Queen, Cersei Lannister.
Throughout the show, there have been numerous events that have been foreshadowed long before they were played out on the screen. Among the many, many events that have been foreshadowed, some of the most interesting include:
1. Joffrey's Death
In Season 3, Joffrey's death was foreshadowed when Melisandre threw three leeches into a fire, asking to kill three kings. When a leech representing Joffrey is thrown to the fire, the next scene (transitioned in the same way as the Cleganebowl theory) shows him drinking wine at a feast. His eventual death: Poisoned after drinking wine.
2. Tywin's Death
There are two references predicting Tywin's death before it eventually happens. Firstly, Littlefinger tells Robin Arryn that "people die at their dinner tables, people die in their beds, they die squatting over their chamber pots."
Later, Tyrion discusses the different words for killing different members of family, noting that there isn't a word for someone who kills their nephew. He mentions patricide, the act of killing one's father, shortly before he kills Tywin — who is sat on a chamber pot — with a crossbow.
3. Arya's Journey With The Faceless Men
The Hound might have also foreshadowed Arya's journey with The Faceless Men, when he tells her: "There's no point in trying to hide behind that face. I know fear when I see it."
Following her training, Arya is now able to literally hide behind someone else's face when carrying out assassinations.
4. Hodor's Big Revelation
The Hodor reveal was alluded to many times over the seasons. Most poignantly, in Hodor's first ever scene, he is given the command by Theon to "help Bran down the hall."
His final selfless act was to save Bran from the White Walkers by helping him down the hall of a tree-cave, before that stomach-churning, heart breaking revelation of how Hodor ended up the way he was.
Do you think Game of Thrones foreshadowed Cleganebowl? Or is this wishful thinking?
All images credit to HBO