The Battle of the Cleganes: The History and Breakdown of the Clegane Bowl

HISTORY

The Clegane Bowl. Its been talked about and desired ever since the two brothers faced off in the Game of Thrones Season 1 episode, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things. That battle was so long ago that it seems like it was a totally different Mountain. Of course it was, as the Mountain was played that season by Conan Stevens, who was a giant in his own right at 7’1″ tall. In that confrontation, younger brother Sandor held his own against the brute strength of Ser Gregor. However, the Hound was possibly saved from decapitation when King Robert ordered an end to the fight, and Sandor kneeled just in time to avoid a sword where his head had just been. This was the only time the brothers faced off until Season 8’s episode The Bells.

While the battle itself had not transpired to that point, Sandor Clegane always knew that it would inevitably come down to it. Their history made it nearly ordained. Sandor explained what had happened between him and his brother in Season 4, Episode 7, Mockingbird. He never got over it.

By the time Season 7 arrived, the Hound had pretty much knew what was coming. A lot had happened since then. Ser Gregor had for all extents and purposes been killed in his fight against Oberyn Martell from his poison spear. He was still able before collapsing to gouge out the man’s eyes and crush his skull. This is when Qyburn, the Maester who wasn’t came in and experimented on Ser Gregor. He was no longer the Mountain, he was Ser Robert Strong, Zombie protector to Queen Cersei. When Sandor, Jon, and Daenerys came in to prove to Cersei the threat they faced from the dead, Sandor walked straight to his brother. He wanted him to know what was coming for him. He had always known.

 

THE MOMENT HAS ARRIVED

So finally the moment everyone had been waiting for had arrived. Sandor Clegane vs. Ser Gregor. Nothing was going to stop it now. Not Cersei ordering Ser Gregor to remain by her side and certainly not Qyburn trying to tell him what to do. Qyburn’s head, Meet Wall. Nope, the bell has chimed (no not THOSE bells) and the fight is on. Three quick things before the action commences. One, is it me or does the Mountain look like a stove in his armor? Also, without his helmet, he looks like Darth Vader (I know I’m not the only one who said so). In addition, the scene with Drogon flying by as they approach each other is cool as shit and extremely well done.

THE BATTLE OF THE CLEGANES

Before the main event, Sandor dispatches with four Lannister soldiers who had gotten tired of breathing. He approaches Ser Gregor and the first blows landed are by Sandor, blade cutting into armor and flesh with little to no effect. He presses his advantage only to have Gregor catch Sandor’s blade in his hand. Sandor ripped it loose, with again blood splattering but no discernable notice by the huge man. A series of blows knocked Ser Gregor’s helmet loose and Sandor saw what had become of his brother for the first time.

Yeah, I see you. That’s what you’ve always been.”

It was only then, that Ser Gregor pulled his own sword. Swinging it with bad intentions, taking huge chunks of masonry out with each missed swing. All the while ruble and stone work crashed around them. With each heavy attempt his larger brother made, Sandor had a counter. But no matter where he struck, Ser Gregor shook it off like it was nothing. Eventually the Hound drove his blade deep into the large man’s chest, pushing it further in as Ser Gregor again clutched the blade. One huge backhand knocked his younger brother back as he pulled the sword free. His chest armor also fell away, showing the results of all of Sandor’s work to no avail.

THE MOUNTAIN TAKES ADVANTAGE

As Ser Gregor stomps closer, Sandor, still laying face down in the dirt, begins to laugh until his brother grabs him and throws him further down the stairs. The battle has ceased to be an armed conflict but more of a physical contest. This was advantage Ser Gregor in such an encounter. Again and again Sandor found himself being thrown into walls with nothing to protect himself but his arms. These were proving to be a poor protective shield against his brothers brute power. Massive blows of unmerciful aggression rained down on the weakened younger Clegane.

Soon the man, formerly called the Mountain, picked up his younger Brother, slamming his head against a stone pillar. All the while, slowly squeezing ever tighter around his neck. Sandor tried to loosen the large man’s grip while at the same time, struggling to reach his dagger. He managed to pull it out, stabbing Ser Gregor not once, not twice, but multiple times in his bloated trapezius muscles and into his side. Screaming at the seemingly unstoppable force that was once his brother to “fucking die!”

THE FINAL ROUND

Beginning to realize the hopelessness of his situation, Sandor begins once again to laugh. At least until his brother slowly starts to press his thumbs into his eyes. In a move not unlike what he did to Oberyn, the Mountain starts to dig his thumbs harder and deeper into his younger brother’s eyes. As Sandor writhed in pain, pinned up high on the wall, in desperation  he plunged his dagger into Ser Gregory’s right eye. Such is the force of his blow that he pushes the blade until it’s tip is extending out the back of the monster’s skull. While it was enough to get him to let Sandor go, it was not enough to stop him. He slowly grasped the handle of the dagger, pulling it gradually out of his immense head. Sandor did not give him that chance, he got to his feet, driving the big man and himself through the crumbling wall and falling down into the waiting embrace of the Dragon fire below. The battle of the Clegane’s was over. It started with fire and it ended in fire.

Was the Clegane Bowl worth the wait? Do you like how that battle ended and the fate of Sandor Clegane and his Brother, the Mountain? Share you fight analysis with us at GVNation.