In this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, the show uncharacteristically opens with a mouth gaping moment instead of closing with one. To make matters more confusing, there’s also a semi life-affirming* ending. So if you’ve yet to watch “The Broken Man” this is your first and only warning to click the back button, because SPOILERS.
Okay, now that we know the Hound is alive we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Surely this must mean GoT doesn’t have as cold and cruel a story as it’d have us believe? I mean, Jon Snow isn’t dead. Uncle Benjen isn’t dead. May even Hodor isn’t dead (Yes, I know I’m clutching at straws here but that episode almost killed ME).
Anyway, despite all the bad stuff the Hound’s done it’s hard to dislike him. In fact, it’s pretty easy to sympathise with the tall, disfigured hulk of a man; he hates his bully of a brother with a passion, he’s got a soft spot for vulnerable young red heads and he was left for dead by a kid he risked his neck for. Now that we’ve learned he survived his wounds from battling Brienne of Tarth, we see him playing house with the gentle village folk who nursed him back to health.
Grouchy and still a man of few words, the Hound finds himself on the sideline of a group therapy session led by Brother Ray. Ray’s story is that he too was once a bad person – he’s murdered people so that’s pretty bad – but now he’s a changed man. For a moment, we think the Hound might be headed the same way. After all, maybe his near death experience means he’ll turn over a new leaf.
WRONG. The poor Hound’s hunch about some menacing dudes from the Brotherhood Without Banners turns out to be correct, which means he’s too late to save the peaceful country dwellers he’s been shacked up with. Traipsing through a trail of bloody corpses in the grass, he finds Brother Ray hanging from a noose. Picking up an axe and striding off into the distance, we know exactly what the Hound is going to do next.
*This brings me back to earlier when I said I found the episode’s ending semi life-affirming. Does the Hound deserve peace? Sure, why not. Is he fated to get it? Probably not. But at least he can right some wrongs by taking out some of those guys from the Brotherhood. There’ll be a few big battles in this season of GoT and if Cleganebowl (The Hound Vs The Mountain) is really gonna happen, I’m 100% on Team Hound.
Other characters I wanna see victorious this season…
Margaery Tyrell: Margaery is a master manipulator but she’s one that I like. She may be an opportunist but she’s also loyal to her family. Sneaking a note to her beloved grandmother to show she hasn’t really lost her nut and converted to the Sparrows, Margaery may have a trick or two left up her sleeve to extricate herself and her brother from the clutches of Jonathan Pryce in a potato sack.
Arya Stark: Even though Arya got stabbed by the Waif in a similar fashion to that of Robb Stark’s pregnant wife at the Red Wedding, I knew she wasn’t gonna die. But now that she’s injured and no-one cares to help, what will happen to her?