Characters: Game Of Thrones House Clegane
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: "House Clegane was built upon dead children. I saw them lay Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys before the Iron Throne."
Tywin Lannister: "House Clegane - because every lord needs a beast from time to time."
A young knightly house of the Westerlands with humble origins, one of the vassals to the Lannisters
. It was raised to knighthood by Lord Tywin's father, the late Tytos Lannister.
- Animal Motifs: Their sigil is three dogs, and their members are often compared to them. Sandor — who is referred to more as The Hound or Dog than by his name — is gruff, but loyal and honorable in his own way; Gregor is Tywin's Right-Hand Attack Dog for all purposes.
- The Brute: They're simply the Lannister's muscle. They have almost no influence on the political side of Westeros.
- Cain and Abel: Gregor and Sandor despise each other intensely, and would rather fight each other than team up.
- Faceless Goons: Fully armoured, both◊ Cleganes◊ wear imposing helmets that almost completely obscure their faces.
- Just Following Orders: Be it Tywin's or Joffrey's, they often use this reasoning to their advantage when committing heinous actions. Even Sandor, the more decent half of the Clegane brothers admits to this when confronted over his murder of the butcher's boy Mycah and was very proactive when cutting down Ned Stark's guards.
- Nouveau Riche: Not Lords, but just a knightly house raised to nobility by Lord Tytos Lannister.
- Rags to Riches: The Clegane's grandfather was the kennelmaster serving Lord Tytos, who knighted him for saving his life from a lioness.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: This is basically their M.O. and sole function under Gregor.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: To House Lannister.
- The Spartan Way: See Tykebomb.
- Tykebomb: Of the attack/guard dog variant. Both Clegane brothers were trained from a young age to serve as the Lannisters' most loyal, skilled and brutal fighters.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Averted. Sandor is considered at least as skilled as Bronn and much stronger, whilst Jaime Lannister (in his prime at least) considers the Hound to have as much killing power and prowess as he does. As for Gregor, the Mountain is the World's Strongest Man, a One-Man Army, wields a BFS and has nigh-impenetrable armour, not to mention gigantic steeds.
- War Is Hell: The House that epitomizes this trope. Gregor's savagery is reflected by the men under his command, who commit atrocities on the Riverlands smallfolk with casual nonchalance. While Sandor, despite professing a distaste for random brutality or harming girls, never fails to remind everyone (even those he protects) of his love for killing and the realities of war.
Ser Gregor Clegane
Click to see Gregor as played by Conan Stevens.
Click to see Gregor as played by Ian Whyte.
Conan Stevens (Season 1), Ian Whyte (Season 2), Hafþór "Thor" Björnsson (Season 4)
"Elia Martell: I killed her children, then I raped her, then I smashed her head...IN LIKE THIS!!"
Head of House Clegane. Called "The Mountain", he is a massive and obscenely brutal knight in the service of House Lannister and is the older brother of The Hound. Does most of Tywin Lannister's dirtiest work, and enjoys every second of it
"The world is built by killers... so you better get used to looking at them."
"A dog doesn't need courage to chase off rats."
Called "The Hound," personal bodyguard to Prince Joffrey Baratheon. His brother shoved his face into a fire when he was a child, burning and scarring him horrifically. He's briefly a member of Joffrey's Kingsguard (despite not being a knight) before abandoning Joffrey, the Kingsguard, and the city
during the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Since then, he's wandered the Riverlands and taken Arya Stark as his captive, hoping to ransom her first to Robb and Catelyn, and, after their deaths, to Lysa Arryn.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: His facial burns are much less extensive than they are described in the book series (but still fairly gruesome all the same). Apparently the actor couldn't see out of a truer-to-the-book prosthetic, which would naturally be rather important when filming swordfights.
- Age Lift: From 27 in the books to... late 30s?
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After being gravely injured fighting Brienne, he asks Arya to Mercy Kill him, and when she refuses he's soon tearfully begging her to do it, then screaming after her when she walks away after robbing him.
- Ambiguous Situation: At the end of Season 4, Sandor is badly wounded and believes that he's finished, but the audience doesn't learn if he actually does die.
- Anti-Hero: Hovers between Unscrupulous Hero and a Nominal Hero at the end of Season 3 during the Red Wedding where he goes out of his way to save Arya from being slaughtered with her mother and brother (despite there obviously not being a ransom anymore) as well as trying to shield her from the nightmarish aftermath, and is even fully on board with helping her kill squad of Frey soldiers (so long as she tells him before she tries it again) thus putting him on the "good" side of things. Further, his utter butchery of Polliver's squad in Season 4 seems to be at least partially triggered by how unrepentantly awful they are, on top of their being his brother's men.
- Anti-Villain: Type I. While a brutal warrior, Sandor both demonstrates compassion (primarily towards Sansa) and honour. In Season 3, this is further emphasised by his defection from the Lannisters and his willingness to bring Arya back to her family for a ransom reward despite their mutual hatred.
- Badass: He's a renowned badass throughout Westeros. So far he's:
- Fought to a draw with his enormous, Ax-Crazy brother Ser Gregor Clegane;
- Rips apart attempted rapists with only a knife and practically no effort during the King's Landing riot;
- Quite literally cleaves dozens of men in half at the Battle of Blackwater;
- Manages to fight the highly skilled knight Ser Beric, and dispatches a small squad of Frey soldiers in seconds without breaking a sweat. "Two Swords" sees him take on five of his brother's men in close quarters and win with minimal help from Arya.
- Even after he's deserted and Cersei is referring to him as a coward, Tywin still shows a great deal of respect for his killing abilities when he decides to put a bounty on him.
Tywin: What would it take to make the common soldier stupid enough to try his luck with The Hound?
Varys: Ten silver stags maybe.
Tywin: Make it a hundred.
- Badass Beard: He has a pretty thick, scratchy beard.
- Badass and Child Duo: With Arya, though the relationship is tenuous at best.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The Hound's massive, Ax-Crazy brother Ser Gregor attacks Ser Loras after losing a joust to him. Sandor jumps in and blocks the blow because he hates his brother, not because he cares about Ser Loras.
- Battle Cry: One that also happens to be a particularly vulgar threat directed at his own men.
Sandor: "Any man dies with a clean sword, I'll rape his fucking corpse!"
- Beneath the Mask: Arya suggests that for all his talk, he really doesn't like half the things he's been forced to do and acts like a brutal thug and hurls insults around, as a coping mechanism. For his part, the Hound actually is a little bit taken aback by this, suggesting that this might not be too far off the mark.
- Berserk Button: He's not a knight, so don't call him "ser". Really, don't.
- BFS: Carries one of these, though only uses it in specific circumstance, such as open battle, or against his brother, who uses an even bigger one. He has a short sword for quick draw.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Sansa single-handedly from an attempted gang rape in "The Old Gods and the New". Heroic music and all.
- Big Eater: In the latter part of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4 Sandor has formed a habit of immediately tucking in to the food of the poor schmucks who get in his way and end up very very dead or very very unconscious, which makes sense given he has spent much of his life guarding (and getting paid and fed by) the richest family in Westeros and now he is living rough.
- Black Knight: In both appearance and effect. His armor is uniformly ominous black, and like the black knights of historical Europe, he no longer serves a master. Granted, he was never officially a knight, but still.
- Particularly noticeable after Arya gets a White Stallion, while Sandor rides his dark courser.
- Blood Knight: Insists that "killing's the sweetest thing there is". And he further goes on to say that everyone who has ever done it loves it on some level. May be partially subverted, despite his above quote. Most of his fighting he's done has been a means to an end, and he certainly doesn't glorify the act of killing.
- The Brute: To Joffrey. However, his Screw This, I'm Outta Here! at the Battle of Blackwater has put an end to this.
- Cain and Abel: Abel to Gregor's Cain. Gregor burning his face seems to be only the tip of the iceberg between them, and he's more than willing to "defend" Ser Loras. DVD extras reveal that this relationship is actually the basis for why he worked for the Lannisters more directly; he was unwilling to live under the Clegane roof once Gregor became head of the house.
- Career-Ending Injury: His fight with Brienne which ended with him being thrown off the side of a cliff to a good ten feet drop is this. Even if he survives his wounds by some miracle, he's severely fractured enough of his bones to never regain his strength again. He confesses as much to Arya, telling her that he's finished.
- The Champion: Is supposed to serve as one to Joffrey. He actually is one towards Sansa. He offers to protect her from the brunt of Joffrey's malice, but admits he might not succeed. By the end of Season 3, he can be considered a champion for Arya Stark.
- Combat Pragmatist: Watch him when he fights Polliver's men. He spends almost as much time punching his enemies in the face as he does tearing them apart with his sword — to say nothing of the man whose crotch he rips out. It speaks volumes of how little he thinks of honorable knightly standards.
- Composite Character: He, rather than Vargo Hoat (or his show counterpart Locke), gets his ear bitten off by Brienne. Though this is after he escaped losing an ear in the fight with Polliver's men as in the books, so it evens out.
- Dangerous Deserter: How the Lannisters regard him, especially after news of his slaughter of Polliver and his goons reaches the Small Council, after which Lord Tywin puts a sufficiently large bounty on him to tempt any idiot to take a shot at the Hound.
- Declaration of Protection:
- With Sansa. He genuinely despises the abuse she goes through, saves her from an Attempted Rape and clearly states he's going to protect her from Joffrey when they'll eventually marry.
Sandor: You'll be glad of the hateful things I do, one day, when you are Queen and I will be all that stands between you and your beloved King.
- He makes another, more subtle declaration about Arya during a confrontation with Brienne.
Sandor: There’s no safety, you dumb bitch. If you don’t know that by now, you’re the wrong one to watch over her.
Brienne: And that's what you're doing? Watching over her?
Sandor: Aye, that's what I'm doing.
- Defector from Decadence: He has enough of the Lannisters and leaves them in "Blackwater".
- Diagonal Cut: Cuts two people in half during the battle of Blackwater, one like this, one clean across the belly.
- Don't Call Me "Ser": People often mistake him for a knight and call him "Ser". He doesn't like this, since he hates knights, particularly because his brother is a vicious murderer but gets away with it because he's "an annointed knight".
- The Dreaded: Not quite as much as his brother, but he's more than capable of making an entire room full of happy go lucky Lannister soldiers go silent as the grave when he enters.
- Ear Ache: Has his ear bitten off by Brienne, when they fight over Arya in "The Children".
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Despite his taste for violence and death, he defends Ser Loras from his brother Gregor when the latter goes batshit and immediately goes on one knee after being told to by the King while dodging his brother's sword in the process, and goes against Joffrey's orders to protect Sansa. At one point he actually abandons Joffrey's side to find and rescue Sansa in the middle of a massive riot.
- Even though he's not going to get a ransom payment for Arya — what with her mother and brother being killed — Sandor doesn't leave her behind in the chaos of the Red Wedding. When he sees what the Freys have done to Robb's corpse, he is horrified, and quickly leaves so Arya doesn't have to witness any more of it, and when she later kills a Frey soldier in front of the rest of his unit, he gladly slaughters them, only slightly irritated that Arya didn't tell him first.
- In the first episode of Season 4, Arya asks why Sandor didn't steal anything of Joffrey's when he fled King's Landing. His response? 'A man's got to have a code.' He backpedals on this two episodes later, stealing a farmer's money after he and his daughter had given them food and shelter and offered work. It says something about how deeply buried his decency is that the most heroic thing he does during the scene is to leave them alive after he robs them. Arya points out that he said he's not a thief, and the Hound simply tells her "I wasn't."
- He also has a subtle but very clear dislike towards seeing the women he cares even slightly about abused or hurt, with him going out of his way to protect Sansa in King's Landing from rioters (and promising to do the same from Joffrey) and in Season 4, his butchering of a squad of his brother's men was partially triggered by Polliver offering to trade food in return for being able to rape Arya.
- Face Your Fears: Despite being terrified of fire, he still manages to win when Beric Dondarrion fights him with a Flaming Sword.
- Freudian Excuse: Littlefinger tells Sansa that the Hound's scars come from his brother pushing his face into a fire when he was eight years old because he played with one of Gregor's toys, implying it's a reason for his roughness. Sandor openly suggests that the incident marked him psychologically even more than physically when he relates the story to Arya.
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?
- His attitude towards Sansa (and to a lesser extent, Arya) could be partially because they remind him of his younger sister whom was murdered by Gregor years ago.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His horribly disfigured face can be... off-putting to say the least.
Sandor: (to Sansa) 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 some day. The world is built by killers, so you better get used to looking at them.
- Heel-Face Turn: Deserts Joffrey and the Lannisters in "Blackwater".
- Hyper Awareness: Often demonstrates shades of this, presumably honed by having been around Lannisters for so long. He notices the riot in King's Landing before it even breaks out and in "The Rains of Castamere", as soon as the guard began to act suspicious, immediately figured out exactly what's about to go down at the wedding. He's also able to spot a Valryian steel sword and quickly piece together that Brienne of Tarth has been equipped by a Lannister, having spent so much time around their men.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: His reaction to seeing a man burn to death in front of him during the Battle of the Blackwater.
"Fuck the water. Bring me wine."
- Insistent Terminology.
"I am no Ser."
- Jerkass: Unrepentantly so, at least at the start of the series. Later appearances reveal that he is more of a Tragic Villain who is not without standards.
- Jerkass Has a Point: His Kick the Dog moments with Arya, while unpleasant, serve to teach her how to survive in a Crapsack World like Westeros, especially given how her family was decimated by those not willing to play by the rules.
- Kick the Dog:
- Knight in Sour Armor: More than hinted that despite his Blood Knight exterior he's this underneath.
- Lady and Knight: The closest thing you get in the Game of Thrones setting, with Sansa as the Lady.
- Lightning Bruiser: Sandor is a big guy, but he moves quickly. This is how he's become such a feared swordsman, and how he stands toe-to-toe with Gregor at the Tourney of the Hand.
- Lima Syndrome: Ends up identifying with Sansa (a hostage in Kings Landing) and Arya who is kidnapped by the Hound for ransom. It looks like Arya is starting to bond with him in return, but that turns out not to be the case - though she does start to sympathise with him, her hatred for him due to Mycah's death and her contempt for his more petty actions (such as robbing the poor farmer) mean that she is not quite able to truly make peace with him. Ultimately, she grants him Cruel Mercy because he wants to be given a Mercy Kill, and Arya doesn't want him going out on his own terms given all the things he'd done up until then.
- Named Weapons: Not a fan. (Possibly exacerbated by Joffrey giving his swords delightful names like 'Heart Eater' and then never actually using them.)
Sandor: Needle? Of course you named your sword.
Arya: Lots of people name their swords.
- Neck Lift: In "The Old Gods And The New", he does this to one of the men trying to rape Sansa. Then he disembowels the man with his dagger.
- Noble Demon:
- The Hound does not lie. When the Brotherhood tries to blame Gregor's crimes on him he rebukes the accusation, but when they bring his actual crimes he admits to them without hesitation.
- When Arya snaps and kills a Frey soldier out of revenge (and food and fire). Sandor pulls her aside afterwards and tells her if she ever does that again... at least warn him first.
- Only Sane Man: Tries and fails to deal with Arya's psychotic bouts. This really says more about her than him.
- Opt Out: In "Second Sons", when Arya thinks he's taking her back to King's Landing, he makes it clear he's no longer allied with the Lannisters:
Sandor: Fuck Joffrey! Fuck the Queen!
- Pet the Dog: It becomes exceedingly clear that he cares a lot about Sansa; despite being gruff to her, he treats her kindly, and even asks her to flee the city with him in "Blackwater". And then he offers to take Arya to the Freys to meet up with her mother and brother despite the fact that he knows Arya would rather kill him. Then he saves her at the Red Wedding, despite having no reason to do so.
- Properly Paranoid: Being around Lannisters all the time, tends to have this effect.
- Punch Clock Villain: Looks like one. While he blatantly admits that he loves killing, he's also completely obedient to whoever he's serving and has a soft spot for Sansa, showing her small kindnesses wherever he can. He also stood up to his brother's attempt to kill Loras. He's also rather decent to Arya, who tried to kill him in at least two occasions.
- Rage Helm: His helmet looks like a snarling dog.
- The Rival: He and Bronn have a lot in common, as he points out. He'd also rather like to rip Bronn's head off for no other reason than Bronn working for Tyrion and being a bit grating on the nerves.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: They call him "The Hound" for a reason. He's an expert at locating and tracking people. He's even able to find and rescue Sansa in the middle of a riot in King's landing.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- At the Battle of Blackwater.
- DVD extras for Season 2 show that this was actually the reason he served the Lannisters more directly in the first place; the day his father died and Gregor took over their family keep, he got the hell out of there and rode to Casterly Rock.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Even if he wasn't this before, the Battle of the Blackwater (specifically the Blackwater being on fire) really screwed him up.
- Sir Swearsalot: Few characters on the show swear more than he does. "Fuck the King" or some variation thereof is practically his Catch Phrase.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: To Tyrion. But considering the nastiness of the Lannister faction as a whole, it also resembles an Odd Friendship, especially in regards to protecting Sansa and being annoyed at Joffrey. And as of Series 3, he's shaping up to be this to Arya.
- The Stoic: The most emotion you get out of Sandor comes from brief flickers of expression on his face.
- Submissive Badass: Subverted. Joffrey would certainly like him to be this and he plays the part for a decent amount of time. Up until his cluster, precision, awessauce hybrid desertion at the Blackwater.
- Think Nothing of It: He refuses to be thanked or complimented for saving Sansa.
- Tranquil Fury: A particularly brutal example. Sandor rarely shows any emotion while slaughtering people. When he rescues Sansa from would-be rapists he does so with a grim, emotionless expression while ruthlessly gutting the rioters.
- Two-Faced: One half of his face was horribly burned by Gregor.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Even at his least villainous, Sandor has no qualms with ruthless actions that benefit himself.
- Why Did It Have To Be Fire? Due to how he got his own burns, he is uncharacteristically unnerved by the sight of wildfire during "Blackwater". Visibly shaken he then threatens the man leading the fire arrow volleys that he'll strangle him with his own entrails should any land near him. The final straw however is when he sees a man burning alive charging toward him. It causes him to freeze up, quit from the battlefield and demand a strong drink. Probably also the reason why, when its demanded to return to the defense, he tells the Kingsguard and Joffrey to go fuck themselves.
- Worf Had the Flu: He gets bitten near the end of season 4 and the wound festers because he won't let Arya cauterize it. Arya points out that Sandor got a lot slower because of it and he's clearly not at his best when he fights Brienne.
- Would Hit a Girl: In "Blackwater", Sandor notes that he has put several women in the ground, and that Bronn has, too. In "The Children" he fights Brienne and doesn't pull any punches at all, even going far enough to kick her in the lady parts.
- Would Hurt a Child: Killed Mycah the Butcher's Boy when Joffrey commanded it. When he learns Arya did the deed that Mycah was accused of, he says he should have killed her.
- He also punches Arya in the face at once point while she's Water Dancing, knocking her to the floor and giving her a split lip.
- Would You Like to Hear How They Died?/Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: After his rather impressive battle with Brienne of Tarth in the Season 4 finale; he tries to pull this on Arya, so that she would give him a quick death, by commenting on what he did to her friend Mycah the butcher's boy and talking of how he should have raped Sansa. It doesn't work at all, and he is left screaming for Arya to come and kill him.
Clegane retainers and household
"Is there gold and silver in the village?... Are there any gems?... Where is the Brotherhood?... Who's helping them?"
Played By: Anthony Morris
A torturer and interrogator serving under "The Mountain".
- Asshole Victim: The Tickler is a ruthless sadist who tortures people to death in a particularly horrible way. His death doesn't exactly incur sympathy.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: He's blond, and also a sadistic freak.
- Catch Phrase: "Where's the Brotherhood? Is there gold hidden in the village? jewels?"
- Character Death: On Arya's orders, Jaqen snaps his neck.
- Death by Adaptation: Type 2. He takes the place of Chiswyck, a man-at-arms sworn to the Mountain.
- For the Evulz: After he gets a prisoner to confess, he has the torture continue just to kill the man. The Tickler's set of four questions never changes, nor does his non-chalant way of asking them. It looks more like he is playing a creepy killing ritual than trying to obtain information at all.
- Icy Blue Eyes: He has them.
- In Universe Nickname: His real name isn't known, just 'Tickler'.
- Neck Snap: His death.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: It's enough for Jaqen H'ghar, however.
- The Nondescript/They Look Just Like Everyone Else: He has a totally average, unremarkable appearance and carries out his horrible actions with casual nonchalance.
- The Snack Is More Interesting: He calmly eats a pear while supervising people being tortured to death. Appropriately, after Jaqen kills him, Jaqen is seen standing casually with a pear in hand.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He never raises his voice while conducting his interrogations.
- Torture Technician: His job under Gregor. With the help of Weasel, he asks a series of standard questions while torturing someone to death...with rats.
Played By: Paul Kealyn
The Tickler's torture assistant.
- Beard of Evil: He's bearded, and considering he's a sadistic Torture Technician, he's evil.
- Composite Character: Includes some traits of some of the Mountain's men.
- Demoted to Extra: In the books 'Weese' is the steward of Harrenhal with a more prominent role while 'Weasel' is actually a little girl whom Yoren finds in a burnt out holdfast. After she runs off when the party are captured, Arya adopts the moniker as a cover.
- Smug Smiler: Weasel constantly wears a sadistic smirk.
- Torture Technician: Or rather, assistant to the Torture Technician but he's the one who implements the Tickler's instructions.