Game Of Thrones Season 8: 7 Ups And 3 Downs From 'The Bells'

Ups...

7. Cleganebowl

Game of Thrones Cleganebowl
HBO

Whether talking books or show, Cleganebowl has long been one of the biggest fan theories going: the idea of a climactic clash between the Hound and the Mountain has been bubbling for years, and this episode finally lets it happen.

That itself isn't necessarily a good thing. There's a means of doing Cleganebowl, especially at this late stage of the game, where it feels like ticking a box of what fans ostensibly want to see. You could argue that's what they do here, but the way they do it just so happens to be extremely effective. It isn't simply 'two big brothers who hate each other fight, isn't that cool, lol', but instead completely ties into the Hound's arc, and his link to Arya as well.

It's that moment the Hound shares with Arya that is crucial to Cleganebowl's success, really. Him not wanting her to be like him, so full of hate and desperate for revenge, adds a layer of poignancy to the proceedings, especially when she calls him Sandor. It helps, too, that the fight itself is one of the most violent, vicious, and ugly we've seen, reminiscent of both the Hound vs Brienne and the Mountain vs the Viper. Gorgeously shot, and with some top work from Rory McCann, it ends as it had to: in fire.

Contributor
Contributor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.