Mad Madam Mim Posted March 7, 2015 Share Posted March 7, 2015 Gah! I can't keep up with all of these posts! If he hadn't spoken to Sansa the night before, I'm not convinced both Cleganes would have left the tourney grounds alive. Sansa may have inadvertently saved his life (in the sense of the immediate future, I mean). I don't think his decision to defend Loras and not kill Gregor had so much to do with him being unable to betray the only family member he had left, but that it came directly as a consequence of that conversation and a desire to be better than his brother. Also, while Renly and Jaime both betrayed their brothers, remember that later on, they are betrayed in kind by their brothers (and sister) - Renly by Stannis, resulting in Renly's death and Jaime by Cersei's rejection and Tyrion's lie about Joffrey's death - just as Sandor was betrayed by his brother. By not killing him and also by defeating Renly and Jaime, he distinguishes himself as, maybe not a better person per se, but a stronger-willed man who breaks the mold of "the betrayer getting his comeuppance" that played out with Renly and Jaime. ...OR...These parallels could set up a future settling of the score by Sandor, but only when the time is right and maybe even in keeping with Sansa's prayer for his rage to be gentled. What I am trying to say is that maybe Martin won't provide the crazy violent confrontation so often hoped for by readers, but will still give the much-needed resolution to this conflict in a way we haven't imagined. Anyhow. Also, a couple of other quick things. First, Sandor sees Sansa safely to her door and tells her if she reveals his secret to anyone, "I'll kill you." Before this particular evening, this would have been frightening. Now that Sansa understands him better, she tends to be fearful for him rather than of him so this would qualify as "Sandorspeak". Interestingly, in the next chapter, before the melee, Robert tells Barristan to "Get out before I kill you." Obviously Robert's threat is toothless; he is not going to kill the Barristan Selmy nor can he - he's too fat and drunk. This reinforces the idea that Sandor's threat should be taken with a grain of salt. I get the impression that Gregor and Sandor have mostly managed to avoid each other in their adult lives. Sandor ran away from the keep as soon as Gregor inherited it, and Gregor is described as a recluse who only ever leaves his lands for tourney's or wars. I would therefore imagine that Gregor's presence at the tourney would have deeply unsettled Sandor. Sandor's speech about Gregor was completely unprompted by Sansa, Sandor blurted it out on his own accord suggesting that Gregor is very much at the forefront of his mind. Sandor uses rather ominous language too, "I may need to kill my brother tomorrow", it is like the clash between them is inevitable, Sandor knows it, and is gearing himself up for it. This makes his (lack of) action rather surprising. As mentioned by ornitorrinca, I don't think this is out of brotherly concern and I also wonder the level of influence Sansa has already had on Sandor's behaviour at this early stage of their interactions with regards to his knightly act of protecting Loras. I think the Gregor and Sandor clash is another example of 'Sandorspeak' where Sandor's actions contradict his words. Sandor seems to freely speak about about killing Gregor, and as we discover Sandor has a very good reason to hate his brother yet when presented with an opportunity he maintains a defensive, rather than offensive position. I anticipate there could be a number of factors at play, the primary being that Sandor is not mentally 'ready' to face Gregor. “No one could withstand him, “ the Hound rasped. “That’s truth enough. No one could ever withstand Gregor.” Sandor has mentally placed Gregor as beyond not just the reach of him, but beyond the reach of everyone. To Sandor, defeating Gregor is the unattainable goal, the impossible...but Sandor does manage to withstand him! He stands up to Gregor and more than holds his own in the fight. He is the victim standing up to the playground bully and this is possibly a very significant moment for him. Perhaps it is first babystep in overcoming the impossible ‘aura’ he has placed on Gregor. In addition, The Elder Brother also says that killing Gregor was the “the bread that nourished him, the fuel that kept his fires burning.” Sandor is fuelled by his hate for his brother, Gregor was what shaped the Hound persona and kept the Hound ticking. That creates an enormous amount of mental pressure, and if Sandor does happen to succeed in killing his brother, then what? These are huge psychological obstacles Sandor needs to overcome. Fairness also seems to be an important value to Sandor. Sandor has developed his own moral code which governs his ideas of right and wrong. As Beric will later remark that “Sandor Clegane would kill us all gladly, but not in our sleep.” Sandor is an accomplished and experienced fighter, he would have clocked Gregor’s exposed head yet chose not to exploit this weakness. Sandor wants to win fairly, not by cheap tricks, this is something Gregor and the other phoney knights would do. As contradictory as it may sound, I think Sandor would want to murder his brother ‘honourably’. We should also acknowledge the moral taboo regarding kinslaying in Westeros. It is described as a “sin so terrible it makes me shudder to think of it” however given that Sandor frequently expresses his desire to kill Gregor and “cut his heart out” suggests Sandor is not deterred by the taboo. It is clear from Sandor's story that their relationship is beyond sibling bickering-Sandor truly hates Gregor and I suspect he believes Westeros would be better with Gregor dead and “Ignoble as it was the hope of seeing his brother's blood upon his blade was all this sad and angry creature lived for”, I believe it is likely Sandor would consider it his duty to rid Westeros of Gregor. In the theme of change, I think Sandor is a complex character with deeply in-bedded self-loathing and bitterness. I think it is clear that Sandor has demons he needs to overcome before he is able to 'conquer' the trauma of his past. With that being said, there are many ways to conquer his past with Gregor, and if he truly wants to move forward he would need to think carefully about which way he chooses to do this (ie. killing Gregor would probably do him more damage in the long run). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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