As you can tell from the menacing "Hard in the Paint" beat that scores the video above, the excitement fans have about the Cleganebowl is fervent. It's like a higher calling -- a religion founded on hype. The type of cause that, were it happening in Westeros, might lead to forehead carvings.
But there's also something reductive about the whole thing. Whether you love it or merely tolerate it, you have to admit that at this point Game of Thrones is a thorny and ambitious storytelling achievement, one that often wallows in dark themes about human nature, the dangers of religious fanaticism, and the struggle to retain order in a chaotic world where everyone is seeking power. Reducing the show to a macho wrestling match under-cuts that ambition.
It wouldn't surprise me if Benioff and Weiss feel the same way. This is still Game of Thrones. As Sunday's Bran flashback showed, there's nothing the creators like to do more than set up a classic fantasy trope and then provide some sort of twist that subverts the expectations of the audience. While the show often rewards the bloodlust of its viewers, it usually does so in a way that confounds your expectations or upends convention. To again borrow a term from professional wrestling, there might be a swerve coming up.