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Mountain's Men

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You’re traitors and rebels, so thank your gods that Lord Tywin’s giving you this chance. It’s more than you’d get from the outlaws. Obey, serve, and live.
~ Gregor Clegane to his prisoners.

The Mountain's men are a villainous group from A Song of Ice and Fire and it's TV adaptation, Game of Thrones, though their role in the TV series is small. They are men-at-arms of the westerlands in service to Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides.

They are a dangerous, sadistic, unsavory bunch. They are all hard-eyed, hard mouthed men. The only good thing that can be said about these men is that they are not quite as vile as the Brave Companions. Sandor Clegane is familiar with his brother's men and refers to them to as Gregor's "pet rats". Gregor never brings them to court.

History

A Game of Thrones

Gregor Clegane arrives at King's Landing with some of his men for the Hand's Tourney. After losing the tourney, he leaves the capital. During their travel back to home, an overflowing river detours the group to a nearby alehouse, where Gregor, Eggon, Chiswyck, Rafford, Tobbot, and Joss Stilwood savagely gang rape the brewer’s thirteen year old daughter, Layna. Eggon starts the rape by attacking the girl first, while Raff the Sweetling kills Layna's brother. After the rape, Gregor pays the brewer with a silver coin.

Lord Tywin Lannister sends Gregor Clegane and his men to the riverlands, to strike the first blows in what grows into the War of the Five Kings. They are sent across the Red Fork, disguised as brigands ravage the holdfasts of Sherrer, Wendish Town, and Mummer's Ford in the hopes of drawing Tully forces away from Riverrun and the Golden Tooth. Tywin had hoped to draw Lord Eddard Stark out of King's Landing with these raids, so that Gregor could capture him and bring him to Tywin. Ned could have been exchanged with Tyrion, but Tywin's son, Jaime, interfered, and a fight between Ned and Jaime caused Ned to remain in the capital with a leg injury.

Thanks to the Mountain's men, most of the river lords are unable to leave their castles and cities to ride with their armies to Riverrun. With Lord Hoster Tully dying of his illness, the command of the Tully forces passes to Ser Edmure Tully, who sends Ser Raymun Darry, Ser Karyl Vance, and Ser Marq Piper to King's Landing with survivors from the village of Sherrer. An army led by Lord Vance and Lord Clement Piper is sent to guard the pass under the Golden Tooth, preparing for the Lannister army.

The Hand of the King, Ned Stark dispatches the Iron Throne force led by Lord Beric Dondarrion to execute Ser Gregor Clegane and his men for their crimes, while summoning Tywin Lannister to court as well. He does not allow Ser Loras Tyrell and Ser Ilyn Payne to go with Beric. During the march to the Mountain's men, Karyl Vance and Marq Piper leave Beric's party to attack the Lannister parties in the riverlands.

After the death of King Robert I Baratheon, Beric and his men are ambushed by Tywin Lannister at the Mummer's Ford. When Dondarrion and his men attempt to retreat across the Red Ford it is Ser Gregor's men who take them in the rear. The Mountain's Men kill most of the Iron Throne host, including Beric Dondarrion, Ser Raymun Darry, Ser Lothar Mallery, and Ser Gladden Wylde. Survivors of the Iron Throne's host include the 12-year-old Lord Edric Dayne, Harwin of Winterfell, Alyn of Winterfell, Thoros of Myr, and Anguy. Beric is later resurrected by Thoros.

Thereafter, the Mountain's men join Lord Tywin's host as it marches through the riverlands and take castles and towns, including Harrenhal from House Whent. The Mountain's men burn Pinkmaiden Castle, the seat of House Piper; then they take and burn Stone Hedge, taking its food supplies and burning the harvest of Lord Jonos Bracken. They eventually fight in the Lannister vanguard on the left flank of the battle on the Green Fork. After the battle, Lord Tywin withdraws to Harrenhal but leaves the Mountain's men and others to raid in the riverlands, along with the parties of Ser Amory Lorch and Vargo Hoat.

A Clash of Kings

After Robb Stark declares himself King in the North, with all the power of Winterfell and Riverrun, the river lords are allowed to return to their lands to defend them and their people from the army of the westerlands. Lord Tytos Blackwood retakes Raventree Hall, Lord Jonos Bracken retakes Stone Hedge, and the 8-year-old Lord Lyman Darry retakes Castle Darry. However, shortly after, the Mountain's men led by Gregor, sack Darry and kill Lyman Darry, bringing House Darry to extinction, since only female married Darrys are alive.

Gregor's band keeps foraging, raiding, raping, and burning villages, towns, and animals. They capture and question various smallfolk, as they have troubles and fightings with the brotherhood without banners and parties led by Lord Karyl Vance and Ser Marq Piper.

Ser Amory Lorch's party of Lannister men-at-arms finds the Night's Watch group of prisoners, led by Yoren, in the burned Gods Eye Town, near the Gods Eye. Yoren and his group were burrowed in the abandoned keep of the town, and when Yoren refused to yield, he was killed among many other prisoners. Arya Stark, Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy Greenhands, and a 2-year-old girl nicknamed Weasel manage to flee.

However, while searching for food and medicine for Lommy, the clumsy Gendry is found by the Mountain's men in an abandoned village near the Gods Eye. The band beats Gendry and take him as prisoner. Arya and Hot Pie try to save Gendry from the Mountain's men, despite Lommy's desperate pleads to flee. Arya and Hot Pie are found by Gregor's band. Dunsen takes Gendry's bull helm, while Polliver takes Arya's sword, Needle. Gregor orders Hot Pie to lead his men to Lommy and Weasel. Weasel panics when she sees the Mountain's men and manages to flee before they arrive. Lommy is unable to walk so he's killed by Raff the Sweetling with a spear in his neck. Arya is angry because all she could do was just standing there while Lommy was killed, just like she had to do with her father, Syrio Forel, and Yoren.

The Mountain's men keep their prisoners in the storehouse near the Gods Eye, while Tywin occupies Harrenhal with his army. Arya learned the meaning of "fear" during her days of captivity. Every day they kill someone. After breakfast, the Mountain comes into the storehouse to pick one of the prisoners for questioning. The villagers don't dare to look at him, hoping that he won't notice them if they don't notice him, but he sees them anyway and picks whom he likes. One girl shared a soldier’s bed three nights running; the Mountain picked her on the fourth day, and the soldier didn't say nothing. A babbling old man keeps saying keeps insisting that he and his son are loyal to King Joffrey, apparently in the assumption this will keep him safe. He shares that his son is off to King’s Landing where he serves in the City Watch, stressing that he and his son are good king's men and do all for Joffrey. He says this so often that the other prisoners start calling him All-for-Joffrey when the guards aren't listening. But All-for-Joffrey is eventually killed on the fifth day by the Mountain's men and hanged outside the storehouse, as food for the wolves. A young mother offers to freely tell the Mountain's men all she knows if they promise not to hurt her daughter. The Mountain hears her out; the next morning he picks her daughter, to be certain she holds nothing back.

The man who asks the questions to the prisoners is called "the Tickler". The Tickler was sometimes helped by Chiswyck and some other men during the torture of the prisoners. The Tickler's questions are the same every day: "Was there gold hidden in the village? Silver, gems? Was there more food? Where was Lord Beric Dondarrion? Which of the village folk had aided him? When he rode off, where did he go? How many men were with them? How many knights, how many bowmen, how many men-at-arms? How were they armed? How many were horsed? How many were wounded? What other enemy had they seen? How many? When? What banners did they fly? Where did they go? Was there gold hidden in the village? Silver, gems? Where was Lord Beric Dondarrion? How many men were with him?". Gregor himself stands motionless, watching and listening, until the victim dies. But no one ever survives the Tickler's questioning; no man, no woman, no child.

Eight days later, Gregor and his men start their march to Harrenhal with the surviving prisoners. The prisoners are not allowed to speak. When Arya opens her mouth, she has lip broken by a hit. A 3-year-old boy would not stop calling for his father, so Gregor's men smashed his face in with a spiked mace. Then the boy’s mother started screaming and Raff the Sweetling killed her as well. During the travel on the road she has to pee. Arya is still pretending to be a boy, Arry, but she fails to hold it any longer and is forced to pee in front of the prisoners and the Mountain's men, revealing her true gender. Hot Pie is shocked, but Gregor, his men, and the prisoners don't care. The murders of prisoners keep going, and the suffering smallfolk of the riverlands curse the Lannisters, the Tullys, and the Starks for causing the war.

The Mountain's men take the their surviving prisoners to serve Lord Tywin Lannister at Harrenhal, where Arya becomes a servant of an ugly former Whent man-at-arms named Weese, Gendry helps the smith Ben, and Hot Pie works in the kitchens. Tywin sends Gregor and his men to destroy Lord Roose Bolton's northern host. During this time, they skirmish several times with the brotherhood without banners, and lose four men to Beric Dondarrion’s night raids before returning to Harrenhal, taking up residence in the Wailing Tower.

While in the guise of a common servant, Arya overhears Chiswyck speak of Gregor's actions after the Hand's tourney but before the outbreak of war. Gregor was furious about the trick that the "Knight o' Pansies" played on him by riding an in-season mare that distracted his stallion. While returning from the tourney with seven of his men, Gregor brooded on his loss. An overflowing river detoured the group to a nearby alehouse, where he and his men gang raped the brewer’s daughter, Layna. Arya orders the Faceless Man Jaqen H'ghar to kill Chiswyck.

During Lord Tywin's attempt to break through back to the westerlands at the Battle of the Fords, the Mountain's men join up with Tywin's host and attack the crossing at the Stone Mill, which is defended by Ser Edmure Tully's forces. Along with the rest of the Lannister force, the Mountain's men are pushed back and forced to retreat. Harrenhal is taken by Lord Bolton in their absence.

A Storm of Swords

After being chased away by Edmure and the Battle of the Blackwater, the Mountain's men keep following Gregor in the riverlands, fighting the men of the North and the riverlands and the brotherhood without banners. Gregor and Randyll Tarly defeat the northmen at Duskendale, destroying a good portion of the northern army. The survivors of the battle at Duskendale are harried in their retreat by Ser Gregor's men During this time, Tywin maanages to strike a deal with Roose Bolton and Walder Frey. While Roose is marching with his host to the Twins for the wedding of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey, Gregor and his men attack Roose's force at the ruby ford of the Trident. 2,000 men are dead, taken prisoners, or fled. Ser Wylis Manderly is taken captive again. Roose manage to flee, however Roose had already betrayed the Starks for the Lannisters, so the ruby ford may therefore have been a calculated move by Lord Bolton to bleed Stark supporters to prevent them from retaliating once he turned cloak.

After the Red Wedding, Gregor and his band retake Harrenhal, killing the traitor Vargo Hoat and salughtering the inhabitants and defenders at Harrenhal, with the exeption of the cook who opens the gate for the Mountain's men, the smith Ben Blackthumb, and a girl named Pia, whom the Mountain and his men rape repeatedly. For speaking when he wanted silence, Gregor smashed Pia's face with a mailed fist, breaking her nose and knocking out half of her teeth.

After kidnapping Arya Stark, Gregor's brother Sandor explains to her that it could be someone worse than him that kidnapped her and that she does not know his brother. Arya protests that she does know Gregor and then names some of Gregor’s men. This surprises Sandor, who is amazed that a highborn girl like Arya should know them.

When Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat for the murder of King Joffrey I Baratheon, the Queen Regent Cersei Lannister chooses Ser Gregor as her champion. The Mountain leaves Polliver as castellan of Harrenhal and rides to King's Landing with his squire, Joss Stilwood, and some other men.

After Tyrion's trial by combat, Gregor is unable to return to Harrenhal, being deadly wounded by Oberyn Martell. Tywin Lannister wants to execute him to please Prince Doran Martell, after Gregor confessed in front of everyone his murder of Princess Elia Martell and her child, Prince Aegon Targaryen. Joss Stilwood remains at King's Landing. The Mountain's men keep control Harrenhal and the lands around the castle.

Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark confronts some Mountain's men at the inn at the crossroads. The men have gone to drink, whore, and bother the innkeep. A squire of House Sarsfield tries to bait the Hound with insults about fleeing King's Landing and the room is very tense. The Hound demands wine, which the innkeeper brings and Sandor gulps down. Sandor warns the innkeeper that Polliver and the Tickler will kill him instead of paying for their drinks, and the innkeeper and the other people in the room leave. The Tickler tells Sandor what has happened in the realm, including Tyrion's marriage, Joffrey's death and Tyrion's imprisonment. He claims that Sansa's sister has been found and is to marry Ramsay Bolton, Harrenhal has been taken by Gregor Clegane, Riverrun is under siege by the Lannisters and Randyll Tarly has taken Maidenpool. He says only the Blackwoods are still holding out, and the Brackens are fighting them around Raventree Hall. The Tickler and Polliver want to take the traitor Sandor to Harrenhal, but Sandor refuses. The Ticklers throws a knife at him and a fight breaks in the inn. The Sarsfield squire tries to join but Arya throws a cup at him and knocks him down. Sandor is not fighting his best and Arya realizes he drank his wine too fast and is drunk. During the fight Arya stabs the squire in the belly and then sneaks up behind the Tickler and stabs him over and over again in a rage until Sandor stops her. The squire is still alive but was mortally wounded and asks for mercy. Sandor tells Arya to give him mercy, and asks if she remembers where the heart is. She does. She recovers Needle, which was carried by Polliver, and kills the squire. Sandor Clegane is seriously wounded and disappears from circulation after that.

A Feast for Crows

The remaining Mountain's men, including Raff the Sweetling, Dunsen, and Shitmouth, remain stationed at Harrenhal. Ser Jaime Lannister arrives with his highborn party from King's Landing, on his way to the Siege of Riverrun. Jaime searches for the castellan Polliver, but Shitmouth informs him that Polliver has been killed by Sandor Clegane and that there's no one in charge at Harrenhal. Jaime sees Vargo Hoat's rotting head and learns about his death and body mutilation by Gregor. He doesn't savor the revenge for his hand as he hoped. Jaime develops empathy for the victim in the riverlands, a country who has been destroyed by the War of the Five Kings, now in a state of chaos and fightings between the Lannisters, the river lords, the Freys, and the outlaws of Beric Dondarrion.

At Harrenhal, one of the Mountain's men tries to rape Pia again, and Jaime command Ser Ilyn Payne to behead him. As they force him to his knees the perplexed man says they had her hundreds of times. When Ilyn presents Pia with his head she smiles through her ruined teeth. When Jaime informs Gregor’s men that they can either ride with him to the siege of Riverrun or join Ser Bonifer Hasty's men. The men state Gregor promised rich rewards for those that rode with him. Jaime tells them to take any grievances up with Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. Ser Bonifer, now the castellan of Harrenhal, refuses to have the Mountain's men or Pia with him. Jaime takes them with him, and later gives Pia to his squire, Josmyn Peckledon.

After the fall of Riverrun and the escape of Brynden the Blackfish, Jaime allows the captain of the guards of Riverrun Ser Robin Ryger and Ser Desmond Grell the master-at-arms of Riverrun to take the black and journey to the Wall. A dozen Mountain's men led by Rafford are ordered to escort Robin and Desmond to Maidenpool.

A Dance with Dragons

Jaime sends Red Ronnet Connington to Maidenpool with 20 men, most of them the Mountain's former men. Lord Randyll Tarly mentions how Gregor's men arrived in Maidenpool while he was in charge of the town. They were not there a day when one was accused of murder and another of rape; Randyll executed the murderer and gelded the raper.

When they arrive at King's Landing with Red Ronnet, Randyll suggests they be sent to the Wall where such scum belong. Lord Mace Tyrell agrees and states he would not suffer such men in the City Watch. Lord Regent Kevan Lannister decides not to exile them, however, as they are fighters and the Iron Throne needs swords against the new threat of the Golden Company - and they are loyal to House Lannister. He later tells Grand Maester Pycelle and Ser Harys Swyft to hire the Mountain's men if they feel they need guards against House Tyrell.

The Winds of Winter

Raff the Sweetling is among Ser Harys Swyft's guard at Braavos. The master of coin is there to placate the Iron Bank, who recently switched its support to King Stannis Baratheon. During Izembaro's performance of The Bloody Hand at the gate, Raff is seduced by a 11-year-old-girl named Mercy (Arya Stark). Mercy wounds Raff with the sword Needle and kills him in the same way he killed her friend Lommy Greenhands.

Known members

Joss Stilwood

Ser Gregor's squire. He took part on the gang rape of Layna. After Gregor is mortally wounded by Prince Oberyn, Qyburn questions him, and Joss tells him that Gregor constantly suffers from extreme headaches and consumes vast quantities of milk of the poppy to try and dull the pain. He's currently living in King's Landing.

In the TV show he's played by an unidentified extra and appears in season 1 and season 4.

Rafford

Main article: Rafford

Also known as Raff the Sweetling. Added in Arya's death prayer list for killing Lommy Greenhands and many other cruel deed to the people of the riverlands. Arya struggles to remember is face. Raff is killed by Arya, disguised as Mercy, at Braavos. She seduces him and brings him to her room. Raff is killed in the same way he killed Lommy, with Needle in his throat.

Raff is cut from the TV series, and his role in Braavos is given to Ser Meryn Trant, who gets a more brutal death at the hands of Arya. In the books Meryn is still alive in King's Landing.

Dunsen

He took Gendry's beloved bull helm. For this Arya adds him on her death prayer list. Later she struggles to remember his face. After the fall of Riverrun, Jaime sends him with Ronnet Connington to escort Robin Ryger and Desmond Grell to Maidenpool.

The Tickler

A torturer with a face so ordinary that it's difficult to estabilish his age. Arya almost thought he was a commoner of the riverlands before seeing in action. When he does not question and tortures he mostly remains silent. Everyone is afraid of the Tickler as they are of Gregor. At Harrenhal a tower guard named Weese torments the prisoners as well, along with the Tickler, beating Arya everytime until he's killed by Jaqen H'ghar. After witnessing the Tickler's horrible deeds to the smallfolk of the riverlands, Arya adds him on her death prayer list. She struggles to remember his face. After taking Harrenhal, the Tickler and Polliver try to capture Sandor Clegane, but they are both killed in a fight, with the Tickler being slain by Arya with multiple stabs to his back when he was distracted by Sandor. As she stabs him repeatedly, Arya screams the questions he asked the smallfolk when interrogating them.

In the TV show adaptation the Tickler is played by Anthony Morris. He dies in season 2, in Harrenhal, replacing Chiswyck as the first person to be killed by Jaqen H'ghar.

Polliver

Main article: Polliver

A grim and methodical fighter. Arya Stark considers him one the least violent of the Mountain's men. He fights with Ser Gregor during the War of the Five Kings. He takes the sword Needle from Arya, and because of this, Arya adds him to her prayer kill list. After retaking Harrenhal and killing Vargo Hoat, Ser Gregor names Polliver Castellan of Harrenhal, while he's in King's Landing for Tyrion's trial by combat. Polliver is killed by Sandor Clegane during a fight at the inn at the crossroads. Arya takes back Needle from his body.

In the TV series Polliver is played by Andy Kellegher. In this version he's a Lannister soldier, serving under Ser Amory Lorch. He replaces Raff as the man who kills Lommy Greenhands. He dies during the first episode of season 4, before Joffrey's death, while in the books he dies in one the last chapters of A Storm of Swords. In the show version Sandor is wounded by Biter, and later by Brienne of Tarth during the same time of the fight at the inn in the book version. In the show the fight happens earlier, in an unnamed inn, and Sandor is not wounded at all.

Chiswyck

An old and stoop-shouldered man, with a sadistic temperament masked by a jolly personality. He sometimes aided the Tickler in torturing the smallfolk. For this, Arya adds him to her prayer kill list. Chiswyck tells a story about the gang rape of Layna, an innkeeper's daughter that Gregor and the men had instigated, laughing as he recalls the details. Arya overhears this, and whispers his name into the ear of Jaqen H'ghar as the first of her three promised deaths. H'ghar, obliging, pushes him off a wall three days later.

In the TV series, Chiswyck's death is taken by the Tickler, who dies in the same way.

Shitmouth

His real name is not known: everybody refers to him as Shitmouth due to his foul language. He's the most foul-mouthed man Arya has ever met. He's the least cruel of the Mountain's men, as he also gives bread to the prisoners when they ask him. Arya does not add him to her prayer kill list as he displays a lack of cruelty in comparison to his comrades. He reports the situation in Harrenhal to Jaime Lannister. When Jaime is informed by Rafford that Sandor Clegane, accompanied by a boy, some time ago killed Polliver, the Tickler and a squire at the Crossroads Inn, Jaime asks whether the men went after Ser Sandor. Shitmouth betrays that the thought never crossed their mind. Jaime advises them that a dog needs his throat cut when he goes wild, to which Shitmouth replies that he never liked Polliver anyway and suggests that they didn't want to kill the brother of the man who commands them. He joins with Jaime's host during the Siege of Riverrun, and later goes to Maidenpool.

Eggon

In Chiswyck's telling of his story of the gang rape of a girl named Layna by Ser Gregor and his men at an alehouse, it was Eggon who started it all by attacking the girl first.

Tobbot

Tobbot was one of the participants in Chiswyck's story about the gang rape of a girl named Layna.

Sarsfield squire

An unnamed squire of House Sarsfield. The boy was killed by Arya Stark during the fight at the inn at the crossroads. After being mortally wounded by Arya, the pimply boy cries and begs for the gift of mercy. Sandor says the squire will be a long time dying, tells Arya to give him mercy, and asks if she remembers where the heart is. She takes Needle, which she had recovered from Polliver's body, and kills the squire. later, after Arya receives a new face from the Faceless Men, she dreams of the people she has killed, including "the pimply squire from the crossroads inn".

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