Will the Cleganebowl happen in Season 8?
With the show ending this year, it's now or never for the Cleganebowl. After The Hound was tossed off the side of a cliff and left for dead by Brienne of Tarth in Season 4, it felt like the Cleganebowl might be off the schedule. Even in the heightened world of Game of Thrones, it's hard to battle your brother from the afterlife. Between Season 4 and Season 6, there was little to report about the Hound's whereabouts. Luckily, he resurfaced in "The Broken Man," the seventh episode of Season 6, and that quickly reignited speculation about the theory.
English actor Ian McShane, who guest starred in the episode as the wise and talkative Septon Ray, spilled the beans a bit about The Hound's return in an interview before the episode aired. "I bring back a much-loved character everybody thinks is dead," the artist formerly known as Al Swearengen told the BBC at the time. Initially, there was speculation that the Deadwood star had blown the coming Jon Snow reveal. But when Jon made his triumphant return early in the season, it was all the more likely that the much-loved character in question would be the Hound -- and, of course, it was!
While The Hound didn't get too many opportunities to shine in Season 6, he came back in full force for Season 7, which found him traveling with the Brotherhood, getting captured, and, eventually, traveling beyond the Wall with Jon Snow and his rag-tag group of heroes. On a plot level, he was pinging across the map with ease; on a theme level, the character is clearly seeking redemption for his past sins. (One of the more striking scenes early in Season 7 showed The Hound providing a proper burial for a farmer and daughter he stole from way back in Season 4.) Though he's still gruff, The Hound is no longer the same cruel, merciless man we met earlier in the series.
More importantly for the purposes of this article, he also ended Season 7 in King's Landing, where he got a chance to briefly confront his brother in the Dragonpit and tease the possibility of the Cleganebowl. "Remember me?" Sandor taunted his sibling. "Yeah, you do. You’re even fucking uglier than I am now."
In the promotional lead-up to Season 8, there's been quite a bit Cleganebowl hype. "There will be a chance of squaring up to his brother and facing those demons," said Rory McCann, the actor who plays The Hound, to Entertainment Weekly. The magazine went even further with one of their covers, which you can see below.