Carrying on from what I wrote yesterday, a couple other thoughts.
I have seen the Sandor Clegane meme where Robert Baratheon tells Ned Stark that a direwolf is no pet for a child, so “get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it,” and in the next panel you see Sandor and Sansa together. That is also a direct quote from the book, more or less. To me that’s another clue that Sansa warged Sandor, and Martin probably put it there on purpose. It wasn’t just Robert saying something random and then a related thing happening by accident later. Sometimes the curtains are just fucking blue, but there’s still a lot of symbolism going on in the ASOIAF universe. And I think this is an example of it. Sansa’s got her dog, all right. Well, he’s lost right now…
…But I think he’ll be back, and we’ll get more than a glimpse of him with a hood over his head digging a grave. It would be a waste of a character if Martin set up Sansa and Sandor to have this connection and then nothing more comes of it. At least with Arya and Nymeria (you were all saying, “No, Sansa’s not the only Stark without a wolf,” but Nymeria is still alive), Nymeria sort of told Arya that Arya’s mother was dead. So she’s served a plot function in these books. I suppose Sandor did too, in that he found Arya and protected her. But he didn’t find her on purpose. They just happened to both run into the same group of outlaws and got thrown together by that. So I could go either way on this, really: did he do the job he was supposed to do or will there be more to it? I think there’s room for more. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t any more.
But… I said Martin does use symbolism in this story. We’ve got the book’s version of Brother Ray saying that the Hound is dead, we’ve got Probable Sandor digging graves. Martin’s way of saying his story is done without actually killing him off? Hope not, but could be. The man deserves some peace. I was actually angry when David and Dan killed him off in the show, because he’d shown signs of decency all along and I thought, just for once, couldn’t the man ever catch a fucking break. If he gets to catch a break in the books, fan-fucking-tastic. I’ll be happy for him.
(My grandmother was a burn victim too, worse than Sandor in that the burns covered more of her body, though her face did not end up as deformed. It’s a hard thing to survive, and I believe she suffered for the rest of her life. Never mind all the other hardships Sandor had to face as well. Not an easy life. Not a fate he deserved. Poor guy.)
Still. There’s another interesting fan theory out there, one I did not invent independently but can certainly buy, that when Cersei has her trial by combat against the Faith of the Seven, Gregor will be her champion and Sandor will be champion for the Faith. I don’t know how badly Book!Sandor wants to kill his brother anymore, but if he does, this would be an excellent way to make the attempt. So, because it’s bloody Martin, if we see him again it may likely be for this purpose. I doubt it’ll end well for Sandor, either.
I will say this for the way TV!Sandor went out: he died a hero. Typically for Sandor, no one will ever know. I would argue Sandor was more of a knight in that act than any actual fucking knight in that fucking kingdom, given what Gregor would have done had he lived. Sandor would mock me for saying it, but it’s true.
Never mind on the final note from yesterday. No one should be surprised. But more potentially good stuff later this month, and possibly more realistic expectations. We’ll see.