Now that Game of Thrones‘ epic Battle of Winterfell came and went, it’s time to begin wondering and theorizing how these various storylines of the surviving heroes are going to come to a conclusion.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SEASON 8, EPISODE 3 OF ‘GAME OF THRONES’ — “THE LONG NIGHT” — WILL FOLLOW AFTER THE GIFs.
Update: In the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, the Hound leaves Winterfell with Arya Stark, saying he has unfinished business in King’s Landing and that he does not plan on coming back.
After the Hound (somehow) found himself still alive at the end of The Battle of Winterfell during “The Long Night”, fans’ attention immediately turned to one thing: Cleganebowl.
For the uninitiated, Cleganebowl is a long-running fan theory (pipe dream) that the Hound and the Mountain will face off in the ultimate battle to the death.
And while both the Hound and the Mountain have been on the verge of death various times throughout the course of Games of Thrones‘ eight seasons (the latter of which seems to be currently toeing the line between life & death), both of them find themselves very much present heading into the final three episodes.
Which, hopefully, only means one thing: Cleganebowl is happening. Now, would it make narrative sense?
When looking at Cleganebowl through the prism of the Hound being one of the only people in Westeros with the physical ability — and the motivation — to take on the Mountain, a case could be made that the moment will be more than mere fan service.
Additionally, the writers of Game of Thrones all but full-blown teased the Cleganebowl during the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
“What did they do to you? Doesn’t matter, it’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known,” the Hound ominously growls at his zombified brother as the two met in the King’s Landing dragon pit.
And given their track record for teasing something in season seven and using it in season eight (Arya’s knife trick, wink wink), it’s reasonable to assume that this scene was no empty promise either.
One promising path they could take would be pairing off the Hound and Arya once again, this time with the mission of taking out the Mountain and Cersei (although I think Jaime’s survival in “The Long Night” makes this scenario less likely, as him being the one to kill Cersei is now very much in-play).
However Game of Thrones chooses to give us Cleganebowl, you won’t find any complaints from us, as we’ll just be glad we were blessed with one of the most discussed potential fights in the history of the series.
The eighth and final season of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning series ‘Game of Thrones’ — which first premiered on April 17, 2011 — will conclude on Sunday, May 19.