HBO’s Game of Thrones is a dense series with a huge weight of history behind its story. So in practically every episode, something happens that could use a little explanation. Every week, The Verge will dive into a scene or event from the latest episode of the series and explain how we got here. Whether…

HBO’s Sport of Thrones is a dense sequence with a gargantuan weight of historical past leisurely its yarn. So in virtually every episode, one thing occurs that would possibly maybe exercise a tiny clarification. Every week, The Verge will dive into a scene or occasion from essentially the most stylish episode of the sequence and define how we acquired right here. Whether or not you’re most regularly a Sport of Thrones maester otherwise you’d like a tiny reminder about outdated events, we’ll strive to wait on you to expend your historical past straight.

This episode of Sport of Thrones modified into… lots. Execrable choices were made. Folks died. Seasons of buildup and personality arcs got right here to their fruits. However rather then wanting at that, let’s dive into what would possibly maybe be the least impactful (from a bigger yarn standpoint), nonetheless most anticipated (by sure followers) occasion: Cleganebowl.

Spoilers ahead for Sport of Thrones on the total, nonetheless especially season eight, episode 5, “The Bells.”


“Cleganebowl” modified into presumably the very best Sport of Thrones belief, someplace at the intersection of plausible books/display constructing, web meme, and unattainable catchphrase: GET HYPE! (Which appears to procure on this 2013 YouTube video, at the least per Know Your Meme.)

The prolonged-speculated-over fan belief postulated that two brothers, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and his older brother Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, would sooner or later face off in a climactic duel. Fans dubbed this occasion Cleganebowl, a portmanteau of their shared surname and “bowl,” from the term extinct for a range of sizable football playoffs.

In tonight’s episode, “The Bells,” followers at final acquired the showdown they’ve been anticipating, with the Hound and the Mountain confronting every other for the final time. This showdown has been a prolonged time coming. Right here’s how we acquired right here.

The brothers Clegane

To own why the Hound/Mountain face-off is crucial to followers, if to not the greater yarn, now we possess to scoot reduction to the muse. Sandor and Gregor grew up collectively, and even in childhood, Gregor modified into merciless and inhuman. Gregor is infamously guilty for the horrific scars on his brother’s face — he shoved Sandor into a hearth when they were each and each young, on account of Sandor conducted with regarded as one of Gregor’s toys.

Sandor’s pain of hearth stemming from that 2nd never went away, and neither did his hatred. He despises his brother, sharp he’s a monster even as he’s made a knight of the realm. Gregor is a assassin, rapist, and general thug. And whereas the motives for his feelings about Sandor aren’t as effective, he clearly hates his brother correct as powerful.

Books vs. display

George R.R. Martin’s A Music of Ice and Fireplace novels not very best haven’t reached the level of overlaying whether or not Cleganebowl occurs, they haven’t utterly made it effective whether or not either brother is aloof alive. Within the books, Cersei faces off against the humiliations of the ascendant Excessive Sparrow, concluding with the now-infamous Paddle of Shame by King’s Landing. She’s met on the steps by the ousted ex-Maester Qyburn and a towering, silent monumental — Ser Robert Robust, whom she names her champion for her upcoming trial by combat against the Excessive Sparrow and the Religion of the Seven.

Fans theorized (and the display confirmed, at the least for its be pleased model of the yarn) that “Ser Robert” modified into the zombie-corpse of The Mountain, preserved and reanimated by Qyburn following Gregor’s poisoning by Oberyn Martell.

The opposite facet of Cleganebowl, then all over again, modified into where things acquired not easy. As book-readers and display-watchers alike know, Arya Stark left The Hound to die after a battle. (The circumstances differ between Martin’s original A Storm of Swords and the season 4 episode on the display.) On the display, Sandor turns up all over again in season 6, revealed to were saved by a septon conducted by Ian McShane. Later, he’s murdered, and The Hound avenges him.

The yarn in the book is much less effective, provided that it’s incomplete. However in A Feast For Crows, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne, whereas purchasing for The Hound (who they narrate has Sansa Stark in his custody), come across a commune led by the Elder Brother, a priest who’s amazingly conscious of The Hound’s exploits and mindset. He claims he encountered the dying Sandor, and cared for him except he died. The Hound’s horse can be at the commune. However readers latched onto sure nuances in the Elder Brother’s choices of phrases (he refers to “The Hound” as dull, nonetheless says Sandor Clegane is “at rest”), to boot to an unnamed gravedigger at the commune, with injuries much like The Hound’s. It’s on the total presumed that the gravedigger is Sandor, who’s set his violent past and joined The Religion.

Trial by combat

At thid level, events between the book and display procure muddier. The authentic Cleganebowl belief modified into that the reformed Hound, representing the faith of the Seven, would face off against his sorta-undead brother for Cersei’s trial by combat, ensuing in her downfall. (That also gels with one other book belief, revolving round a prophecy that Cersei would possibly maybe be killed by “the Valonqar,” meaning “the tiny brother” — which would possibly maybe consult with Sandor, who’s Gregor’s younger brother.) And who knows? That also would possibly maybe happen in the books, if they’re ever accomplished.

The display sees things play out in a different way. Cersei is unable to shield herself by trial by combat at all, after her son King Tommen outlaws the prepare, as a result of Excessive Sparrow’s machinations. The resurrected Mountain never fights for her in single combat — in its place, she solves the problem of the Religion Militant by nuking all of the Excessive Sept with wildfire.

However there were two Clegane brothers accessible, and even without someone else’s life riding on their face-off, followers were keeping out to hunt the two siblings settling things once and for all.

a hundred% confirmed

Which brings us to “The Bells,” episode 5 of the display’s closing season. After eight years of hating every other lots, the Clegane brothers reached the discontinuance of their roads, going by off against every other. Every facet saw callbacks to earlier duels: Sandor attempting to fabricate the job Oberyn Martell began by impaling the Mountain, and the Mountain attempting to crush Sandor’s head as he overwhelmed Oberyn’s. However sooner or later, the battle would possibly maybe very best possess ever resulted in a single manner: in fire, correct care for it began when they were young.

The query stays, though: why did followers care about this battle so powerful? The respond is twofold. Portion of it is some distance how Cleganebowl theories got right here collectively: followers picked up on the clues Martin scattered all the contrivance by the books, filtered it by the display’s added lore, then blew it up into endless memes. It’s Sport of Thrones fandom writ in microcosm, with all of the ridiculous prophecies, backstories, revenge plots, and theories rolled into a single, easy-to-cry catchphrase.

Cleganebowl also highlights the diverging paths that the experiences possess taken over the years: The Hound in the books has apparently accomplished some measure of peace, for instance, whereas the display’s iteration continues down his course of vengeance except it actually kills him. At the least he manages to utter to Arya that the path she’s following doesn’t lead anyplace ideal.

The opposite motive? Attributable to it modified into fun to hunt two of the display’s most lethal characters strive to assassinate every other, after spending so powerful time looking out at their separate paths: regarded as one of homicide, bloodshed, and dismay, and regarded as one of a create of semi-redemption on the vogue to getting the ending he apparently mandatory. No longer every battle has to possess the fate of the area resting on it. Usually, you correct settle on to explore a edifying frail-long-established prolonged-destined smackdown.