It’s fair to say there aren’t many happy, healthy, family relationships in Game of Thrones.
Even the noble Starks aren’t exactly The Brady Bunch, with enough issues and resentment between them to keep Jeremy Kyle ranting and raving for a good few hours.
Indeed, much of the logic of Westeros appears to be how those you love will inevitably be beheaded, burnt alive or strangled with your own vengeful hands.
So you may as well become a tough, terrifying seven foot badass who buries their fears and feelings under a thick layer of literal armour.
Enter Gregor and Sandor Clegane. The most dysfunctional siblings in a show where we’ve become accustomed to two evil twins going at it hammer and tongs at any given opportunity.
The brothers share a deep rooted resentment, stretching back to an excruciatingly painful incident in their shared childhood.
Gregor had caught younger brother Sandor playing with one of his toys. According to Sandor, he hadn’t intended to steal the toy, he only wanted to play with it and didn’t realise he needed permission.
However, Gregor’s punishment was unbelievably cruel and indicative of the full-blown monster he would one day become.
Grabbing his little brother, Gregor pressed his face against some burning coals. Showing no remorse or mercy, the young Mountain (The Hill?) was only stopped after half a dozen servants pulled him away.
This beyond horrific attack left a mark on Sandor in numerous ways, giving him a mortal fear of fire and a grim, first-hand understanding of his brother’s capacity for sadism.
Sandor was also left scarred in a physical sense; with half his face forever disfigured by the flames. Flesh warped in a constant reminder of his own brother’s burgeoning brutality.
As the brothers grew into men, their blood ties grew ever more bitter. After becoming a knight, Ser Gregor committed a number of sickening wartime atrocities which left Sandor entirely disillusioned with the concept of knighthood.
And so, since we first met the Cleganes, way back in season one, fans have been rooting for ‘Cleganebowl,’ a fight between the two massive brothers, where the years of hate would finally reach a ferocious, cathartic climax.
Now, technically, Ser Gregor isn’t the man he once was. Resurrected as ‘Ser Robert Strong,’ he’s looking a little grizzly under the helmet and probably shouldn’t be classed as one hundred per cent human.
But this doesn’t stop us wanting to see him suffer a similarly gruesome fate to the one he dealt Oberyn Martell, in the scene which made me want to cover my eyes with protective goggles for the rest of my life.
In the season seven finale, we were given a reunion between The Hound and The Mountain, which appeared to lend credence to some serious dragon dung about to go down.
Speaking with a mixture of contempt and pity, Sandor gave the following warning to his eerily silent brother:
Remember me? Yeah, you do. You’re even f*cking uglier than I am now. What did they do to you?
That’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.
Now, due to his creepy undead state, The Mountain didn’t reply to Sandor’s threat.
Thankfully, the actor who plays him – Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson – is a little chattier and has apparently dropped a huge spoiler concerning the likelihood of Cleganebowl.
According to Digital Spy, when asked about his favourite GoT scene to film, he gave the following mysterious reply:
It happens in season eight … so I can’t speak about it.
Now surely this cheeky hint can only mean one thing! Will season eight finally bring us the Cleganebowl we all deserve?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.