DogLover Posted March 13, 2015 Share Posted March 13, 2015 SANDOR IV: ANALYSIS Violence finally erupts between Stark and Lannister after escalating tensions between the two great houses reaches a peak, and the newly appointed Hand of the King finds himself troubled by both Clegane brothers—one on the offensive in the Riverlands, and the other a dangerous presence at King’s Landing. Their participation in the violence against Tully and Stark bookends this section, as Sandor IV begins with the account of Gregor’s atrocities in the Riverlands and ends with the slaughtering of the Stark household in King’s Landing. In the midst of this, Sandor occupies a place in the thoughts of Ned’s daughters, as the younger proclaims Sandor should be beheaded for the killing of Mycah, and the elder comes to his defense. And a possible act of disobedience by the younger Clegane hints to a shift from Lannister to Stark. While Sandor’s participation in the slaughter of Ned’s men may have yet again earned the animosity of readers, the comparison between him and the brother he loathes, as well as how the Lannisters employ both, offers a greater understanding of Sandor’s character. Tywin, a shrewd, calculating man, knows exactly how to extract the most out of his resources, so it’s no accident that Gregor acts as vicious aggressor while Sandor is employed as the ferocious protector. In a section where Sandor appears on-page in only one of the outlined chapters, developing a better understanding of who Sandor is lies within his relationship with his brother, and just how the Lannisters use both. Sandor’s hatred and cynicism toward the institution of knighthood and his own brother becomes even more understandable after a few surviving villagers bear witness to the wanton violence Gregor and his men unleash on the Riverland commoners. Indiscriminate of age, gender, and method of violence used, the hypocrisy of knighthood, an institution that romanticizes and glamorizes violence, is openly displayed right on the heels of Sandor’s own testimony to Sansa wherein he recounts his own victimization at Gregor’s hands. In addition to tarnishing the ideals of knighthood by deceitfully disguising themselves as marauding brigands, the toying of the apprentice boy also underscores that they’re not just strictly following orders, but derive pleasure from inflicting pain and terror. They rode down my ‘prentice boy,” said the squat man with a smith’s muscles and a bandage around his head. He had put on his finest clothes to come to court, but his breeches were patched, his cloak travel-stained and dusty. “Chased him back and forth across the fields on their horses, poking at him with their lances like it was a game, them laughing and the boy stumbling and screaming till the big one pierced him clean through.” This strongly contrasts with Sandor’s style of killing, wherein he quickly and efficiently delivers the fewest amount of blows. And regardless of his “I’m the butcher and they’re the meat” proclamations, there is no textual evidence to suggest Sandor finds enjoyment from watching others suffer, especially considering the theme that is significant to his arc—that of mercy. What we can discern from his feelings toward his brother is that he goes well out of his way to be nothing like Gregor, from emphatically eschewing knighthood and demonstrating that he does follow an honorable code, already exhibited when defending Loras from Gregor’s murderous rage. Sandor would certainly have had to prove himself a fearsome and efficient warrior, as well as loyal, to earn him the rank of Sworn Shield, but Tywin would never entrust his daughter and grandson to a savage rapist and killer. Despite his brooding, angry temperament, Sandor thus far has only displayed discipline and tremendous restraint, especially in contrast to Gregor’s explosive temper. Tyrion’s comment, “the man does have a temper” when at Winterfell, and Sandor’s training in the yard both there and at King’s Landing, as well as his performance in the tourney, implies that Sandor channels all of his rage and pain into the practice yard, tourney matches, and battlefield, rather than allowing it to bubble up to the surface only to explode into random acts of violence, such as Gregor punching Pia in the face and smashing out all of her teeth simply because she spoke in his presence. Sandor’s hatred for his brother and his desire to kill him is clearly well known since both Robert and Littlefinger comment on it. “A fuck you, Ned,” the king said hoarsely. “I killed the bastard, didn’t I?” A lock of matted black hair fell across his eyes as he glared up at Ned. “Ought to do the same for you. Can’t leave a man to hunt in peace. Ser Robar found me. Gregor’s head. Ugly thought. Never told the Hound. Let Cersei surprise him.” “Ah, but Gregor was his to loathe, not yours to kill. Once Dondarrion lops the summit off our Mountain, the Clegane lands and incomes will pass to Sandor, but I wouldn’t hold my water waiting for his thanks, not that one.” While Sandor may appear outwardly angry that he just might be deprived at killing his own brother, which may have something to do with the early practice session beneath Ned’s window (though, would it be unusual for the Hound to be practicing early, as we already know he’s an early riser and practices hard?), however, he already passed up the perfect opportunity to kill Gregor. As brashcandy stated in her analysis, Sandor is using this “desire” as a coping mechanism. There’s also future evidence that indicates that Sandor actually harbors a much deeper desire, a desire that moves to the forefront of his consciousness as his relationship with Sansa evolves: to have lands and family of his own. Sandor’s attack against Ned’s own soldiers casts him in the role of villain as the Starks have been built up as the protagonists and the Lannisters as antagonists, especially ramped up when readers realize the extent of the Lannisters’ avarice and viciousness. However, Ned’s men drew first steel and Sandor’s primary duty was to protect the king and the queen regent. Yet, it is possible he disobeyed direct orders. Considering that neither Vayon Poole nor Septa Mordane were spared in the bloodshed, it stands to reason that a sadistic Joffrey, or even a vicious Cersei, ordered every member of the Stark household killed with the exception of Ned, Sansa, and Arya. Yet, Jeyne Poole was spared, which angered Cersei upon finding out Jeyne had been rooming with Sansa. “Everyone has been very sweet and pleasant, Your Grace, thank you ever so much for asking,” Sansa said politely. “Only, well, no one will talk to us or tell us what’s happened…” “Us?” Cersei seemed puzzled. “We put the steward’s girl in with her,” Ser Boros said. “We did not know what else to do with her.” The queen frowned. “Next time you will ask,” she said, her voice sharp. “The gods only know what sort of tales she’s been filling Sansa’s head with.” There are only two people who would have motivation to keep Jeyne alive: Sandor and Littlefinger. Sandor for the sake of Sansa, and Littlefinger for the sake of his own machinations. Since we know Sandor commands his own men and led the attack against Ned’s own soldiers, and, according to Jeyne, he was the one who broke down her door; it stands to reason that Sandor ordered that Jeyne be taken to Sansa’s quarters.* It’s this act of disobedience that implies Sandor is shifting his loyalty from Lannister to Stark, and, more specifically, from Cersei to Sansa. In addition, Sansa’s defense of the Hound after Arya declares she wants someone to cut off his head suggests that she continues to hold favorable feelings for him. *For more on this, please see Milady of York’s essay here . Edit: Correction to the Petyr Baelish quote. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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