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|“||Look at me! Stannis is a killer. The Lannisters are killers. Your father was a killer. Your brother is a killer. Your sons will be killers someday. The world is built by killers... so you better get used to looking at them.||„|
|~ The Hound to Sansa Stark shortly before deserting the Battle of the Blackwater.|
Sandor Clegane aka "The Hound" is a main character in A Song of Ice and Fire book series as well as its T.V. adaption, Game of Thrones.
He is portrayed by Scottish actor Rory Mccann in the HBO series.
He is a member of House Clegane. He is the younger brother of the current head, Ser Gregor Clegane. He is nicknamed "The Hound" for his savage nature and unquestioning obedience to his masters and for the three dogs featured in his family's crest. He is considered one of the most dangerous fighters in Westeros, though he frequently drinks himself into stupors. As a child, Sandor received gruesome facial burns when Gregor shoved his face into a brazier. He came to loathe fire, his brother, and the hypocrisy of knighthood in general.
Sandor is very fond of his big black stallion Stranger, a very dangerous and wild animal, full of rage, who behaves quietly only in his master's presence. He is named after the death aspect of the Seven-Faced God.
|“||My brother gave me this. Pressed me to the fire like I was a nice juicy mutton chop. Thought I stole one of his toys. I didn't steal it. I was just playing with it. The pain was bad. The smell was worse. But the worst thing was that it was my brother who did it. My father, who protected him told everyone my bedding caught fire. You think you're on your own?||„|
|~ Sandor to Arya, on his scars|
At some point he aquired the nickname "The Hound", in part for his House's sigil (three dogs) and his helmet, shaped into the likeness of a snarling dog.
A Game of Thrones
Sandor made a name for himself as a great warrior, and acted as the bodyguard and servant of Prince Joffrey Baratheon. Joffrey's mother, Queen Cersei Lannister, would later suggest that Joffrey looked towards the Hound as a surrogate father. Sandor was part of King Robert I Baratheon's retinue in his journey to Winterfell to recruit Ned Stark as the new Hand of the King. He and Joffrey make fun of Robb Stark and Ser Rodrik Cassel for training with wooden swords, and Arya Stark and Jon Snow hear Sandor saying how he killed his first man at 12. After Bran Stark falls from a tower, Tyrion Lannister hear Sandor and Joffrey talking about slaughtering his direwolf. But Tyrion warns them that the Starks are able to notice the absence of one the beasts and forces Joffrey to go to Lady Stark to show some empathy.
When Lord Renly Baratheon, Ser Barristan Selmy, and Ser Ilyn Payne arrive at the Inn at the Crossroads, the young 11 years old Sansa Stark gets frightened by Ser Ilyn amd bumps to Sandor, causing his amusement at her frightened face when she looks at him. Before he can say more, he's interrupted by Joffrey, Renly, and Barristan. Sandor would earn the enmity of Stark's youngerst daughter, Arya Stark, by killing her friend Mycah at the Prince's order. It's also implied that the Queen might have ordered it as well. An amused Sandor shows to Lord Eddard what remains of Mycah.
Back in the capital of King's Landing, a tourney was held in honour of Ned Stark's appointment. Sandor jousts at the tourney, and defeats all his opponents, including Renly Baratheon. On the first night of the tourney, Joffrey dispatched him to escort his bethroed; Sansa Stark, to her quarters. In his drunkeness, Sandor became enamoured of the beautiful lady, but to his rage, she refused to look him in the eyes due to his disfigurement. He forced her to look at him and told her the story of his scars. A terrified Sansa agrees that Ser Gregor is not a true knight. Before leaving her to her chambers, Sandor warns her that if she ever tells the story to anybody, he will kill her. The next day Sandor manages to unhorse Ser Jaime Lannister and would go on to win the tourney, after saving Ser Loras Tyrell from his brother The Mountain, after which Ser Loras named Sandor the winner.
When Ned Stark sends the Iron Throne host, led by Lord Beric Dondarrion to execute Gregor Clegane and his band of psychotic soldiers for their crimes against the smallfolk, Sandor is out in the kingswood with King Robert's hunting party. Ser Robar Royce arrives from the capital to bring Ned's message, informing Robert about the imminent war between the Lannisters and the Tullys, and Lord Tywin Lannister being summoned to answer for Gregor's crimes. Robert doesn't tell anything to Sandor and sends most of the party back to King's Landing, while he, Renly, Barristan, and Lancel Lannister go in search for a big wild boar.
Robert dies after being gutted by the boar and Renly flees south. Eddard Stark has Lord Petyr Baelish bribe Janos Slynt to have the City Watch's loyalty. After Eddard attempted to take Cersei and her illegitimate children into custody for treason, not knowing that the City Watch and Baelish he believed under his command had betrayed him. Sandor participated in the slaughter of Ned Stark's household guards and loyalists.
When Ser Barristan Selmy, head of the Kingsguard, was dismissed, the newly crowned King Joffrey appointed Sandor in his stead, despite the fact that Sandor refused to be knighted. Sandor and Janos bring Ned Stark to the Great Sept of Baelor, to confess his crime in front of the High Septon, the King, and the people. Joffrey has Ned beheaded with his own sword by Ser Ilyn. In his new capacity as Kingsguard, Sandor was often made to guard Sansa Stark. He subtly and repeatedly defended her from the king's wrath, and was never commanded to beat her. A part from Sandor, the only Kingsguard who would protest against beating Sansa was Ser Arys Oakheart. Sandor treated Sansa with relative passive kidness, while acting aggressive, rude, and intimidating at the same time.
A Clash of Kings
Sandor is present at the tourney held in honour of King Joffrey's 13th name day. He is dismissive of the competitors and declines to take part himself, believing it to be a waste of his time. A bored Sandor watches Joffrey and Tommen arguing about the tourney. When Sansa attempts to save the drunken Ser Dontos Hollard from the king's wrath by telling him that killing a man on his name day would be bad luck, Sandor backs her claim, which Joffrey initially dismissed.
Sandor catches Sansa returning from the godswood after meeting with Ser Dontos for the first time. He drunkenly confronts her and questions her on where she had been, and dismisses her excuses as lies; but when another Kingsguard; Ser Boros Blount, asks the same questions, Sandor backs Sansa's claims. Sandor tried to get Sansa sing for him, but in his drunkness he let it go. Despite her fear of him, Sandor escorts Sansa back to her quarters unharmed. When she asks him why he takes offense at being called "knight", yet doesn't mind being called "dog", he tells her the story of his House's founding, and his brother's cruelty.
After the loss of the Iron Throne and the death of Ser Stafford Lannister, suffered at the Battle of Oxcross at the hands of Sansa's brother; King Robb Stark, King Joffrey orders Sansa to be beaten by Ser Boros and Ser Meryn. Sandor refuses however, and is spared by the intervention of the Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, who stops the beating.
After the death of King Renly Baratheon, Princess Myrcella Baratheon leaves the capital with Kingsguard Ser Arys Oakheart, sailing to Dorne. Shortly after, a riot rages in the city, the starving commoners blaming the nobility to have made the gods angry. During the riot the High Septon is murdered and Lollys Stokeworth is gang raped. Sansa Stark and Tyrek Lannister dissapear in the mob. But Sandor doesn't follow the royal family and remains with Sansa, protecting her from an angry mob and saving her from rape and possible murder.
Sansa gets worried about the imminent invasion by King Stannis Baratheon, after Ser Dontos informs her that he burned the godswood of Storm's End for the Red Woman. Stannis's vanguard arrives and fights between them and Joffrey's men and the Vale Mountain clans started. Sansa wants to leave the city before Stannis and his fleet arrive, and Sandor finds her in the night, during a skirmish outside the city. In foul mood as ever, Sandor rejects Sansa's attempt to thank him for saving her before. Sansa hates how he's always rude to her, harsh, angry, and hateful. He shows again his disgust for knights and ladies and lays the edge of his sword against Sansa's neck. He claims he fears no man, but Sansa thinks that he does fear his brother. Once again, he assures her that there are no true knights. Sandor tells her that he enjoys killing, and that only cowards fight with fire. Sansa objects that Stannis is no coward, and Sandor replies that he’s not the man his brother was either, as Robert never let a little thing like a river stop him. Sansa asks Sandor if he's afraid of dying, since the gods might send him to a terrible hell for all the evil he did. Sandor laughs and mocks Sansa, and asks her what kind of gods make monsters like Tyrion, or Lollys Stokeworth, Lady Tanda's halfwit daughter. He claims that if there are gods, they made sheep so wolves could eat mutton, and they made the weak for the strong to play with. Sansa replies that true knights protect the weak, but he tells her that there are no gods or true knights, and that those who can't protect themselves must die and get out of the way of those who can, as killers are those who rule the world. Sansa calls him awful, and he replies that he's simply honest and that it's the world that's awful. Then, he sends her away, telling he's sick of her peeping at him. Wordless, she flees. She's afraid of Sandor and yet, some part of her wishes that Ser Dontos had a little of the Hound's ferocity.
When King's Landing faced invasion by King Stannis Baratheon in the Battle of the Blackwater, Sandor fought heroically, but eventually lost his courage when the green Blackwater is entirely on fire. He retreated back to the city gates and finally deserted after refusing Tyrion Lannister's command to return to the now burning battlefield, due to his crippling fear of fire. He watches in disgust as Tyrion manages to rally the remaining troops to fight against the Baratheons of Dragonstone and Storm's End. Before fleeing, he confronts Sansa in her chambers, drunkenly asking her to come with him. After she refuses, he settles for a song elicited at knifepoint, and steals a kiss from her before leaving, riding his horse Stranger. He leaves his Kingsguard cloak in Sansa's room and hopes that Tyrion will die in the battle.
A Storm of Swords
Sandor is captured as a drunken vagabond by the Mad Huntsman, at Stoney Sept in the Riverlands. He's claimed by the Huntsman's companions of the Brotherhood without Banners, who also had Arya stark in their custody. Days later they arrive at the hollow hill, there Sandor is put on trial for the various attrocities commited by the Mountain's Men of House Clegane, but no specific crime could be attributed to him, until Arya told the Brotherhood about his murder of her friend Mycah. Since the court lacked evidence, the Brotherhood's leader; Lord Beric Dondarrion, decreed that the matter would be settled in trial by combat. Beric fought with a magically enchanted flaming sword, and despite a severe hangover and his crippling fear of fire, Sandor won the duel and his life. The Brotherhood stripped him of his money and possessions, save for his weapons and raging horse, and sent him on his way, but Sandor soon returned with the intention of reclaiming his possessions by force. He reveals himself to the Brotherhood in a destroyed village, after the outlaws defeated a band of Brave Companions, and threatens to kill them but he fails to scare them. He refuses to leave and keeps following the Brotherhood, until he came accross Arya, escaping the outlaws because they are taking too long to bring her to her family, and captures her, hoping to ransom her to her brother, Robb, at the Twins, during the wedding of Lord Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey.
During their travel to the Twins, Sandor and Arya have an aggressive relationship. Sandor scares Arya and commands her to keep her mouth shut. The first days she makes fierce resistance which always results with the Hound hitting her. Since she tries to kill him with a heavy rock, Sandor rolls Arya in his horse blanket and ties her every night. After Arya mentions Mycah's death once again, the annoyed Sandor grabs her and warns her to never mention the boy again or he will beat her bloody. The journey to the Trident is unpleasant as it keeps raining for days that even Robb's host marches slowly to the Twins. Initially, Arya writes her name on the trees for the Brotherhood, until she's caught and punished by the Hound, so she can only hope that Thoros will find her in his flames. Arya catches a fever and keeps coughing and sneezing in the rain, but she doesn't dare to speak to Sandor anymore or else he will beat her. At some point she's so weak and soaked that she tells Sandor that she's feeling bad, but he only tells her to to shut her mouth. When Sandor and Arya reach Lord Arroway's Town they find it flooded and deserted. Sandor promises to pay some ferrymen to take them across the Trident. Arya gives up the idea of jumping off the boat after one of the men falls into the raging river. When they reach their destination, Sandor gives the men only the parchment Lord Beric had given him promising reimbursement after the war.
Sandor finally sees that Arya's fever is getting worse, so he gives her more food and lets her to talk, telling her that he once saved Sansa from rape and murder and that she sang a song for him during the Battle of the Blackwater. He reminds the girl that he's not as bad as his brother, who would have spared Arya only if she told him her identity, then thrown her to Cersei's feet. When Arya tells him that she was Gregor's captive and that she wishes to kill him and some of the Mountain's men, Sandor is impressed that she knows the names of Dunsen, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling, and the Tickler, himself being familiar with Gregor's band. Arya wonders why Sandor hates his brother so much that he wants to kill him. Sandor finally reveals that he's not working for the Lannisters anymore and he's not taking her back to Joffrey and the queen, but to the Twins, hoping to get a lordship from Robb and maybe enter in the Starks's service if Robb doesn't mind having a Clegane.
Later, Sandor takes a wagon of food for the wedding feast from a man, he scares some farmers and takes food from them as well as a pair of boots, telling them to be thankful that he's not taking anything else. Like Yoren, he cuts Arya's hair again, doing the job so badly that her hair became a complete mess and her dirty appearance make her impossible to be recognized by her own family, though she's glad about that due to her fear of Roose Bolton meeting her before she can find her brother or her mother.
Fortunately for their lives, Sandor arrived at the Twins just as Robb Stark was being betrayed and slaughtered by the Freys. He is sent to the camps by Ser Donnel Haigh and then sent away by Bolton men-at-arms. When the massacre occurs, the tents outside are set afire and the Freys destroy Robb's army with catapults and soldiers. Sandor and his brutal horse Stranger fight against 3 Freys, resulting with the deaths of Ser Tytos Frey and Ser Garse Goodbrook. Realizing that her family is likely dead in the castle, Arya flees because she doesn't want to stay with Sandor. But he manages to catch her back by throwing an axe on her head, and kills a few soldiers on his way out of the battlefield.
The two head towards the Vale of Arryn, and they stop in a village in the Mountains of the Moon, for a short time. They work there, until they are forced to leave since the inhabitants are feeling uncomfortable with their presence. Sandor decided to change course and find another of her relatives to ransom her to, first choosing to bring her to her aunt, Lysa Arryn, at the Eyrie. Meanwhile Joffrey Baratheon dies at his wedding feast at King's Landing.
The Hound and Arya keep travelling to the Eyrie until they learn of the Vale mountain clansmen being now heavily armed, thanks to Lord Tywin Lannister's rewards. Since Lysa is deliberately avoiding to stop them since Jon Arryn's death, it's almost impossible to travel to the Mountains of the Moon without being attacked. Sandor heads back to the Riverlands with the intention to bring Arya to Ser Brynden Tully. However Riverrun is under siege by the Frey army led by Ser Ryman Frey, with the support of the Lannister army led by Ser Daven Lannister. Sandor is unable to get rid of Arya, while the two have often quarrels, but also started to get along after the Red Wedding. The two share a common nihilistic view of the world and agree on many things. Arya decides to remove the Hound's name from her list, since he saved her from turning into a Frey captive or being killed by their soldiers.
With Riverrun and the Eyrie inaccessible, the prospect of ransom grows dimmer and dimmer, as the two travel the Riverlands. They come accross the Inn at the Crossroads and they are accosted by some of the Mountain's men, with whom Arya holds a grudge. The Tickler tells Sandor about the marriage between Tyrion and Sansa, about Joffrey's death, Tyrion's arrest, Sansa's disappearance, and Harrenhal being under control of House Clegane, while Gregor is in King's Landing for his trial by combat. When Polliver and the Tickler try to bring Sandor to Harrenhal, a fight breaks out, and despite severe hunger and drunkeness, Sandor and Arya manage to kill them. Sandor personally slains Polliver, while Arya repeatedly stabs the Tickler. Sandor agrees to give the mercy of a quick death to a squire of House Sarsfield and shows Arya where the heart is. The two escape from the lands, since Gregor is holding them, and ride back to the lands not far from the mountains of the Vale.
Sandor suffered a wound to his leg from his previous fight, and despite Arya's best efforts, it grew infected. The next day Sandor eventually collapses underneath a tree, and begs Arya for a swift death. He tries to get Arya killing him by reminding her about how he was Joffrey and Cersei's minion; he also shows both anger and pain at Tyrion being married to the now missing Sansa, and regrets not having killed him back at the Blackwater. He tries to get Arya finish him by telling how he should have fucked Sansa bloody and ripped her heart out instead of leaving her with the dwarf. Arya still refuses him however, and leaves him to die in pain as a revenge for murdering her friend and for any other innocent he killed.
Some days later, Arya arrives at the town of Saltpans only to find it burned and almost completely destroyed, except for the keep of House Cox. A group of criminals savagely raped, mutilated, and murdered most of the men, women, and children of the place, leaving only a few to rebuild the town and bury the corpses. Arya finds there a boat for Braavos.
A Feast for Crows
After his supposed death, Sandor's fate becomes uncertain. Septon Meribald whent to Saltpans to bring the wounded and the life-traumatized people to be healed at the monastery of the Quiet Isle, an island of people devoted to serve the Seven. The Elder Brother of the Quiet Isle told Brienne of Tarth that he came accross Sandor dying underneath the tree, and treated his wounds, giving the Hound some peace as he died, and that he left his snarling dog helm at his purported gravesite. The Hound was in terrible conditions when he found him, and he was shocked when he found out that the Hound's body was still moving. He refused to give him a quick death, as it goes against the will of his gods. The Elder Brother takes care to claim only that "The Hound" is dead, and not "Sandor Clegane." While on the Quiet Isle, Brienne comes across an unusually large gravedigger of Sandor's build, with a limp, petting a dog. Brienne also sees Sandor's horse, Stranger, at the Quiet Isle: the huge wild horse has been renamed Driftwood and remains impossible for anyone to control, even after the brothers gelded him. The horse is loyal only to Sandor, and thus only Sandor could have been able to bring him to the Quiet Isle.
The truth of the Raid on Saltpans is that Sandor's helmet was found by the remnants of the Brave Companions mercenary company, and was donned by Rorge, leading people to believe that Sandor was still alive and had turned into a vagabond. Rorge is believed to be the Hound, and, as a result, Sandor is blamed for the brutal Raid on Saltpans. Arya had arrived at Saltpans only to find that most of the village has been destroyed by Rorge's band, most of the man killed, and the women and children raped and mutilated by Biter. Ser Walder Rivers sees the aftermath of the massacre and reports the situation to the rest of the realm.
While ruling at Maidenpool, Lord Randyll Tarly spread a false rumor that the Raid on Saltpans was led by Beric Dondarrion as part of his plan to turn the smallfolk against the Brotherhood without Banners. Sandor is currently believed to be a member of Beric's outlaws and many now think he has Sansa Stark with him. Brienne of Tarth searched for the Hound with Podrick Payne and Ser Hyle Hunt, until the Elder Brother revealed that it was the younger sister that Sandor made off with, Arya Stark, and not Sansa. Brienne finds out the truth about the Raid on Saltapans and the Hound and the Brotherhood's innocence. Later she kills Rorge and Biter with the help of a member of the Brotherhood without Banners, Gendry, an unacknowledged bastard of Robert Baratheon. The outlaw Lem Lemoncloak takes the Hound's helmet from Rorge's body and claims it for himself, much to Thoros's disapproval, stating that the helm should be left, as Sandor Clegane was a man in torment while Rorge a beast in human skin.
A Dance with Dragons
In the riverlands, Brienne meets Ser Jaime's party, after the end of the sieges of Riverrun and Raventree Hall. She warns Jaime that Sandor has Sansa with him, and that Jaime must come with her alone otherwise Sandor will kill Sansa. In reality Sansa is in the Vale of Arryn, where she kept praying for people she knows, including Sandor whom asks the gods to give him peace. However lately Sansa is starting to play the game of thrones, and plans to retake Winterfell from the Boltons with the help of Petyr Baelish.
The Hound was one of the most renowned fighters in the Seven Kingdoms of his time. He was known for his large size, great strength and skill with the sword. According to Jaime Lannister, Sandor was deceptively fast, much more so than a man of his size should have been. The Hound was an extremely skilled warrior, and was the only man alive truly brave enough to stand up to his older brother, the Mountain. That said, Sandor was also one of the few people who could match the Mountain for strength and skill, shown during a significantly brutal duel between the two. However, in this duel, it is unclear who was better than who, as the Hound was not trying to kill his brother, despite the fact that he had every single reason to do so.
Personality and Appearance
The Hound was hard and brutal, filled with hatred, especially for his brother. He frequently drank himself into a stupour, and suffered from pyrophobia, a crippling fear of fire, brought about by his brother holding his head into a fireplace for playing with one of his toys. He sometimes displayed a tender side, shown almost exclusively with Sansa Stark. Despite his vicious personality and intense hatred of his brother, Sandor Clegane was a very honorable man, shown when he courageously went to the aid of Ser Loras when Gregor attacked him in a violent rage.
Throughout the fight, the Hound did not attempt to strike his brother dead at all. He admitted, though, that he still had a fiery hatred of Gregor. The Hound's embittering experiences with his older brother led for him to have extremely nihilistic and brutally negative views of the world: Gregor mutilated him for life, and he was protected by his father all the same. Not only that, Gregor was the one who was knighted for his murderous and sadistic actions, which led to Sandor viewing the prospect and idea of knighthood as hypocritical and callous.
In the TV series, after facing a near death experience at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, Sandor grows remorseful of his past crimes and attempts to start over and live a peaceful life, shown living with some villagers under the guidance of Brother Ray, a former warrior turned septon. However, after the Brotherhood without Banners massacre the entire village and hangs Brother Ray, the Hound decides to get revenge for this atrocity.
The Hound is described as a huge and heavily muscled man. The right side of his face is gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a heavy brow. His nose is large and hooked, his hair long, dark, thin and brushed so that it covers his burned left side, where no hair grows. The left side of his face is a ruin. His left ear is gone, leaving only a hole. His eyes are grey, and his left eye is covered by a twisted mass of scars and slick black flesh is pocked with craters and deep cracks that ooze red and wet mark the left side of his face. On his jaw, bone shows.
He wears plain armour, and is denoted by his distinctive helmet, sculpted into the shape of a snarling dog's head. He classically carried an enormous greatsword which suits his incredible strength, and brutal nature.
- In the TV series, Sandor did survived due to being saved by a septon known as Brother Ray, while in the books his fate left unknown though he is very likely survived as well. Apparently, he joined with the Brotherhood without Banners. In the novels it is always reminded how his horse Stranger is impossible for any human to control, yet Brienne sees the beast in the Quiet Isle and by his violent behavior in the place it seems impossible that the brothers would have been able to bring him there without Sandor. Sandor's presence in the show likely confirms that Clegane is indeed the limping gravedigger in the isle and that Brother Ray is the TV series' replacement of Septon Meribald and the Elder Brother.