After 13 months of waiting, Game of Thrones is finally back. Casual viewers like myself probably missed a lot of important details during the first watch (there was just so much going on!). Luckily for you, we’re here to help you break it all down.
One particular moment that might have seemed like a lot of nothing was actually incredibly significant. It involved the development of a character who started off as a villain we all loved to hate.
During the season 7 premiere, we get to catch up with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, who is still traveling north with the Brotherhood Without Banners. When we last saw them, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros had convinced The Hound to join them so they could fight a “great evil” in the north.
(Spoiler warnings ahead for the first episode of season 7):
The group seeks shelter at a farm that we’ve seen before (but most of us don’t remember). Right away, The Hound recognizes it and becomes visibly uncomfortable
This is actually a place we saw in season 4, episode three. During this episode, The Hound and Arya come across the same farm. There, they ask a father and his daughter for shelter.
It’s ringing bells now, isn’t it? The farmer was a good, pious man who believed the Gods would punish Walder Frey for betraying the Starks. He also offered The Hound some silver in exchange for some farm work.
The Hound agreed to the terms, but the next morning he beat the farmer and stole his silver. This was meant to be a teachable moment for Arya; The Hound knew the farmer and his daughter would be dead once the winter came.
And as we see during the season 7 premiere, he was right. Before he has his worst suspicions confirmed, The Hound is already haunted by what he did as soon as they come upon the farm. He tries to convince the Brotherhood to skip it and keep going.
Inside the house, they find the bodies of the farmer and his daughter, who took their own lives to avoid starving to death. The Hound claims “it doesn’t matter” but later that night he digs a grave and buries them.
And if that wasn’t enough indication that Sandor’s morality is taking a turn, he also tries to recite the prayer the farmer said back in season 4 (you know, the one The Hound didn’t have the patience for).
Confronting what he did—and seeing those visions of the White Walkers pushing through the Wall—could be the motivation the Hound needs to become a less amoral and faithless character. But there’s something else you should look forward to other than The Hound eventually becoming a soldier against the undead.
In his vision of the fire, The Hound describes seeing “a mountain,” which could be a nod towards Cleganebowl. In case you don’t know what that’s about, it’s the long-awaited duel between Sandor and his brother Gregor (aka, “the Mountain” currently protecting Cersei Lannister)
Realistically, this mountain is most likely Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the place where Jon sends Tormund and his men during the same episode.
This would explain the scenes in the season 7 trailer where Jon and Tormund can be seen fighting alongside Beric and The Hound against an army of wights.
Now that you know all this, we hope you’re as hyped about this upcoming battle as we are!