The new trailer for Game of Thrones is edited together faster than Syrio Forel in a sword fight, and contains a dizzying amount of blink-and-you'll-miss-it footage for Season 7. Contained within two minutes of chaotic footage — amidst the chilling soundtrack, eerie narration, White Walkers, warging, dragons, dragons and dragons — there's a brief clip that appears to confirm one of the most highly anticipated moments in the show's history.
Before we continue, beware that from this moment on, we're entering serious Game of Thrones spoiler territory. But that's why you're here, correct? Correct. As the hype levels approach maximum, I'll get straight to the point: Cleganebowl, the colloquial term referencing the ultimate showdown between The Hound and The Mountain, is happening. At least that's what can be deduced from a fleeting moment in the latest trailer, when chain-linked to previous spoilers.
The moment occurs 1 minute and 22 seconds into the trailer, and lasts for less than a second. As the blistering sun beats down, a familiar, imposing figure towers above the camera, before drawing his sword in preparation for battle. Make no mistake, despite the lens glare (and manly-kilt) partially hiding his identity, that imposing figure is The Hound. And, in less than a second, #HBO has kindly hinted at the illustrious meeting between the feuding brothers, Sandor and Gregor Clegane. Here's how.
The Hound's Slow Journey To Redemption
The Hound (Rory McCann) made a welcome return in #GameofThrones Season 6, after his absence the previous season. The chicken-munching brute with a soft side returned with a more zen-like demeanor after being nursed back to health by Septon Ray (Ian McShane). Sadly, his newfound tranquility was brutally destroyed when the members of his new community — including Ray — were massacred by members of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
A borderline antihero with a bizarre but agreeable sense of morals, The Hound finally got the push that started his blood-thirsty course toward redemption. He tracked down three of perpetrators, and violently killed two of them, before finding the rest of the rogue, murderous gang, on the brink of being hanged to death by a familiar member of the Brotherhood, Beric Dondarrion. Out of respect for the murder of Ray, Beric gave permission to the The Hound to hang two of the men himself.
This isn't the first time the pair have met; they fought a trial by combat in Season 3. Despite Beric's attempt to intimidate #TheHound by using magic to ignite his blade with fire, The Hound was the ultimate victor, appearing to kill Beric, who was resurrected by the Lord of the Light (that's a story to explore in another article). During their reunion, it became evident there were no bridges burned between the pair, and Beric manages to convince The Hound to join the Brotherhood Without Banners' mission — to attempt to stop "cold winds" from the North.
That brings us back to the trailer for Game of Thrones Season 7. Beric, along with his recognizable sword of fire, is seen fighting alongside Jon Snow, north of the Wall. As an ally of Beric's, The Hound will inevitably join forces with Jon Snow, too, in the overarching battle against the influx of White Walkers. In turn, that'll lead to the much hyped showdown, Cleganebowl. Here's how (x2).
The Ultimate A-Team Make Their Way To King's Landing
Jon Snow will arrive at King's Landing this season. We know this from a number of spoilery scoops from the production: The first a photograph of Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke filming scenes together on the Basque Islet of Gaztelugatxe, the second, leaked concept art appearing to show Tyrion, Bron and Jon Snow at the Dragon Pit in King's Landing. This links with a source who revealed that Daenerys will also appear in scenes at the formidable dome, which hasn't yet appeared on the show but is referenced heavily in George R. R. Martin's book series.
So The Hound, meeting Jon Snow beyond the Wall, will then travel to King's Landing with him, and become embroiled in the battle between newfound allies, Jon Snow and Daenerys, and the ruling Queen Cersei. Within that epic battle, the scene from the new Game of Thrones trailer has to be The Hound bracing himself for a one-on-one fight against his zombified brother, who guards Cersei. The backdrop certainly looks like the decrepit ruins of the Dragon's Pit, and sometimes 2+2 really does equal 4.
For an online Reddit community that has been praying for this moment for what feels like an eternity, now really is the time to not only to get excited, but to GET HYPED! Because, if Jon Snow, Dany, Tormund, The Hound and Beric are joining forces against White Walkers and Cersei's evil empire isn't exciting enough, this news may have also confirmed another theory from last year.
That Game of Thrones theory highlighted a potential foreshadowing of Cleganebowl, including one tantalizing addition — Arya Stark. Show creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are known for foreshadowing events long before they happen, and if the show sticks with tradition, Arya may return to help The Hound kill his brother, who also happens to be on her kill list. This links to a quote where The Hound tells Arya, "We come across my brother, maybe we can both cross a name off our list."
Yikes. Get hyped, folks. GET SERIOUSLY HYPED!
You've seen the clip, you know the spoilers, you've read the theory: Is Cleganebowl finally going to happen?