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chrisdaw

Cleganebowl, why and how

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Lots of Cleganebowl threads pop up but few with much detail and many pin it to the Cersei trial. This has prompted me to make this thread. Here's how I believe it will go down and the reasoning.

The why of it will be Cersei's accusation that Sansa murdered Joffrey in the wash up after the Dance when the two go at it for the throne.

It will be a trial by seven, the evidence will be stacked against Sansa and Robert Strong will seem near invincible (having crushed Theodan in Cersei's trial), but she'll have the depth advantage over Cersei who has filled the KG with muppets, and so Sansa will opt for a trial by seven and put her faith in a multitude of heroes to easily overcome the rest of the KG and defeat Strong together.

First up Sandor, fitting perfectly in with his character arc. He who once lived to kill his brother, was denied the mercy of death to end his torment, underwent a religious rebirth and will come out the other side a new knight, only to find his brother has now been turned into a demon, stranded in limbo and in need of the mercy of death.

The obvious.

There were shadows all around them. One shadow was as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.

Straight forward, Sandor and Jaime around Sansa and Arya, Strong behind them. Sandor and Jaime around the girls, a position of protection, Strong looming over them all, adversarial language towards all of them.

Sandor is the parallel for Ser Galladon.

"Every place has its local heroes. Where I come from, the singers sing of Ser Galladon of Morne, the Perfect Knight."

"Ser Gallawho of What?" He snorted. "Never heard o' him. Why was he so bloody perfect?"

"Ser Galladon was a champion of such valor that the Maiden herself lost her heart to him. She gave him an enchanted sword as a token of her love. The Just Maid, it was called. No common sword could check her, nor any shield withstand her kiss. Ser Galladon bore the Just Maid proudly, but only thrice did he unsheathe her. He would not use the Maid against a mortal man, for she was so potent as to make any fight unfair."

Ser Galladon of Morne, so loved by the Maiden that she lost her heart to him and she gave to him an enchanted sword. No prizes for guessing who the maiden is in this parallel.

Now as to the sword. Hanging around in Sansa's general vicinity and bearing a Valyrian blade is the resident paedophile Lyn Corbray, who is not likely to survive Sansa's stay in the Vale. The sword is named "Lady Forlorn", conveniently conveying a yearning for Sansa's fallen protector, the direwolf Lady, and so fittingly named to be used by a new protector. It bears a heart shaped ruby at the pommel, symbolic of the Sansa's and Sandor's romantic relationship and in keeping with the parallel of the maid having lost her heart to Ser Galladon.

Lady Forlorn has a fabled history, having been wielded at the Battle of the Seven stars by Robar II Royce who killed Torgold Tollett with it. Torgold was a giant of a man who it was said felt no pain. A Battle of the Seven stars, similar to a trial by seven, a giant who doesn't feel pain, similar to Robert Strong.

Conveniently included is the fact that Galldon wouldn't use the sword against a mortal man, likewise Sandor won't be using it against a mortal man.

But if all that wasn't too convenient, there's this gem.

That only made him laugh louder. "Ser Clarence Crabb would have wiped his hairy arse with your Perfect Knight, m'lady. If they'd ever have met, there'd be one more bloody head sitting on the shelf at the Whispers, you ask me. 'I should have used the magic sword,' it'd be saying to all the other heads. 'I should have used the bloody sword.'"

Brienne could not help but smile. "Perhaps," she allowed, "but Ser Galladon was no fool. Against a foe of eight feet tall mounted on an aurochs, he might well have unsheathed the Just Maid. He used her to slay a dragon, they say."

I doubt 8 foot Strong will be mounted on an aurochs, more likely GRRM just wanted to get mounted and riding in there for association with the mountain that rides.

Jaime will take part as one of Sansa's champions, as per Bran's vision. Jaime swore an oath to Catelyn, and he's all about keeping oaths now and scraping up what honour he can where the opportunity allows.

I have made kings and unmade them. Sansa Stark is my last chance for honor.

Jaime parallels both Aemon the Dragonknight and Criston Cole, which I won't go into as they are their own large topics, but both have foreshadowing for this trial. Arthur Dayne also, but in a more direct 'Jaime wishes he was him' manner. Aemon defended the wife of his brother in a trial by combat. Defending Sansa will pit Jaime against Cersei, which follows his current trajectory and parallels Cole and Rhaenyra.

Much is made of the KG having been divided during the first Dance.

Ser Criston Cole. Criston the Kingmaker had set brother against sister and divided the Kingsguard against itself

That division will come to pass again during this trial, not a particularly even division but a division none the less brought about by Jaime and paralleling Cole.

Foreshadowing points to Jaime focussing on the other KG members rather than Strong, five of them to be precise (making up Cersei's party will likely be 5 KG +Strong, who is a KG but also a special case, and an additional outer seventh).

"I learned from Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who could have slain all five of you with his left hand while he was taking a piss with the right."

The boy wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, left hand gone, five KG.

The Knight of Flowers had been so mad with grief for Renly that he had cut down two of his own Sworn Brothers, but it had never occurred to Jaime to do the same with the five who had failed Joffrey. He was my son, my secret son ... What am I, if I do no lift the hand I have left to avenge mine own blood and seed? He ought to kill Ser Boros at least, just to be rid of him.

Five again. During his weirwood dream the 5 slain legendary KG members (+ Rhaegar) attack him and Brienne. All nice and consistent.

Brienne will obviously take part, she has the sword for it.

"You'll be defending Ned Stark's daughter with Ned Stark's own steel," Jaime had promised.

Aptly named.

It was a sword fit for a hero. When she was small, her nurse had filled her ears with tales of valor, regaling her with the noble exploits of Ser Galladon of Morne, Florian the Fool, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and other champions. Each man bore a famous sword, and surely Oathkeeper belonged in their company, even if she herself did not.

Galladon parallels Sandor, Aemon Jaime, and in the trial she will fight in their company.

Brienne's fight with the remnants of the Brave Companions offers the sharpest foreshadowing for the trial.

Beneath the patter of the rain and Dog's barking, she could hear the faint clink of swords and mail from beneath their cloaks. She counted them as they came. Two, four, six, seven. Some of them were wounded, judging from the way they rode. The last man was massive and hulking, as big as two of the others. His horse was blown and bloody, staggering beneath his weight, All the riders had their hoods up against the lashing rain, save him alone. His face was broad and hairless, maggot white, his round cheeks covered with weeping sores.

Brienne sucked in her breath and drew Oathkeeper.

The description of Biter's appearance provides clear foreshadowing for the mountain that rides and his undead form, convenient dogs are barking in the background.

Seven, Brienne thought again, despairing.

She could not fight seven, not alone, even if one or two were wounded.

Seven, their number is harped on, thankfully in the trial she will not have to fight the seven alone.

Pod will fight for Sansa. He may have a thing for her, but pointedly he and Illyn are the parallel for the Fossoways at Ashford. The good cousin and the bad cousin on either side of the trial. He'll have to be knighted for it as Raymun was.

Bronn will also fight for Sansa. Not a lot to go on here, his prior enmity with Boros, and an as yet unrealised character arc. He chose not to fight the Mountain for his friend once, second time around the odds won't be so bad and he'll have realised that Tyrion actually is his friend, and he'll risk his life and fight for Tyrion's wife. Growth.

The other two champions for Sansa I'm unsure of, Barristan could have flip flopped back into contention by now, as he did forebodingly also threaten to kill five KG. Hyle, Timett, Shagga, Harwin, Blackfish, Lothar, Bonifer, Bronze Yohn, Gendry, Garlan, the Greatjon and even perhaps Arya with a stolen face are some possibilities.

Cersei's champions will be Strong, the surviving KG and Illyn (as per the Fossoways foreshadowing). What it will take to get Illyn on board will be interesting, perhaps Jaime was just too soon with his accusation regarding Cersei and Illyn. Those of the KG who don't survive I guess will be filled in by someone, haven't really given this much thought. Loras made a point that he believes Sansa poisoned Joff, and Marge drank from the same chalice, so he has his motivation.

There seems a particular attention to Ungregor's face/head in the foreshadowing. The description in Bran's vision brings to mind Dunk's trial. Maekar felled his brother with a blow to the head, of course uknown until Baelor's helm was removed and his head basically fell apart. So to speculate, Sandor will fell his brother with a blow to the head or he'll knock off his helm or some such occurrence.

Galladon's sword was magic, and besides providing Sandor with a Valyrian sword our maid Sansa may provide a trick as to how to use it to defeat Ungregor, information taken out of Qyburn's back pocket or off his corpse. Fire would be fitting, Sandor having to overcome his fear of fire to rescue the innocent maiden and save his brother as a true knight would. So wildfire for the sword, or another way of magicking up his sword is my bet.

And so it goes, Sansa's champions defeat Ser Robert Strong who is unmasked, revealing the darkness and thick black blood beneath. Cersei is shown to be in cahoots with necromancers and the undead, accordingly her casting down begins. And Sansa emerges as a champion of Faith and piety, having shown total faith in the gods to judge her truly when she elected a trial by combat, despite Robert Strong appearing near invincible.

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Who doesn't like themselves some Cleganebowl hype? But a problem for me is that Sandor is kinda semi-dead. Maybe Loras somehow has to repay the "owe you my life Ser" thing this way? Except he is also kinda semi-dead. GRRM really has to stop with that crap.


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http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/236dsl/cleganebowl_my_alternate_theory_plus_a_few_other/

Reminds me of this. Except your version is a lot less optimistic and therefore more likely to happen.

I would love to see a Clegane Bowl, but as I have said before, the way I deal with most theories is I think about what I'd like to happen and assume the opposite. I think that Sandor's story is done, that the gravedigger is at peace and just an Easter egg of sorts. . . but if there's a Clegane Bowl that has more likelihood than the others, it's yours. I like this much better than the simple idea that it'll be Cersei's trial. Not enough poetry in that, but defending Sansa? There's plenty of poetry there.

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One thing these Clegane bowl threads never bring up is that it has already happened at the Hands tourney in KL. Sandor fought defensively and pulled his swings from Gregors unprotected head. Given he had the chance to kill Gredor and passed why do we presume Sandor would jump at he opportunity in the future?


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Nice job piecing together some of the foreshadowing Chrisdaw. I'm totally on-board with a lot of what you posted.

I definitely see Sansa being the younger more beautiful queen to cast Cesei down. The confrontation has been set up since AGoT, same as Sandor and Gregor. And we are definitely going to see trial by seven in the main series. When it happens, Sandor, Jaime, and Brienne will be nailed-on. I like the parallel you draw between the Paynes and the Fossoways, so I can buy Pod being in there too with Ser IIlyn on the opposite team.

Such an epic trial is going to require some of the most epic steel in Westeros. You make a good case for the introduction of Lady Forlorn. If Oathkeeper is going to be there then so should Widow's Wail, maybe in the hands of Jaime? Just for kicks, some other contenders might be... Heartsbane, Randyll Tarly's two-handed great sword which would be a great fit for Robert Strong. Blackfyre, recently returned to Westerosi shores and soon to be marching on King's Landing perhaps? If Arya's involved then Dark Sister might be apt, but I can't see how that would come to be at this stage, for a number of obvious reasons. Brightroar, not likely unless Tyrion recovers it on his travels. Dawn, again unlikely and more probable to feature in the war against the Others. Longclaw, the trial might tie up a lot of strands but I don't think Jon will be one of them.

But if we do get Cleganebowl trial by seven, featuring multiple POV characters, then whose point of view will we get? An interested onlooker like Cersei or Sansa? A combatant like Jaime or Brienne? Or will the trial stretch across more than one chapter like the Battle of the Blackwater?

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what about lancel? he might have a thing for Sansa:


http://www.tearsofblood.org/#!sansas-effect-on-lancel-lannister/ceyq




btw, Lancel knows Cersei is guilty, yet she will win her own trial.. Lancel being so religuos won´t understand why Cersei could win her trial..


he will suspect something is wrong with Ser Robert Strong...


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It will not see any judgment against seven in seven libros.se much emphasis on the idea in the forums but it will not happen in the series and so goes on precuela.Eso if the dog against Robert Strong if I see more .

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what about lancel?

Nah Lancel is going a different way, Lancel is to Jaime as Baelor was to Aemon, Lancel will preside over the trial.

Such an epic trial is going to require some of the most epic steel in Westeros.

Problem with Brightroar is it's a greatsword, it's too big for Tyrion and takes two hands to wield, ruling Jaime out, unless he grows another hand at some stage, while at the same time they're the only two characters for which Brightroar ending with would be satisfying. Widows Wail and Dark Sister seem plausible although Arya would have to be the front runner on Dark Sister.

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So why don't you just eat your broth like a good girl and wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight to come rescue you, sweetling. I'm sure it won't be very long now.

If we can find the modern day Symeon I think we very likely would have found another of Sansa's champions. Symeon Star-Eyes is grouped with the Dragonknight more than once in the text. Much is made of Symeon having seen the two hell hounds fight, which might just link to the proposed trial in this topic or the Clegane's bash up at the Hand's tourney. This could suggest Loras, I have him fighting for Cersei, but maybe he's on the good side, perhaps his injuries from Dragonstone result in a lost eye or two which he makes up for with some gems. Symeon does seem rather connected to the North though, the only Northern fighter down South who could make the trial I think is Harwin, he was also present at the Hand's tourney to see the hellhounds fight. Let's see if either pick up an eye injury in TWOW.

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Robert Strong / Ungregor is not going to be an easy kill for any of the KG or any former KG. Unless they know of his weakness (fire) or beheading ( I think they need heads to function at all - explains why Qyburnzies wanted the dwarf head ).



Undead do not tire, do not fear, do not flinch, do not stop unless you wield power to stop them.



My guess is that Strong / Ungregor will be single handily responsible for slaughtering a lot of people until he falls. Sandor doesn't stand any chance at all because 1) he won't overpower Ungregor and two, he's deathly afraid of fire.


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I firmly believe this will happen. A rehabilitated Sandor will pick up his sword one last time in defense of the Faith. As soon as the call is put forth that the Faith is looking for a champion against "Robert Strong", he will be urged to participate by the Elder Brother, who knows who Sandor was before he "died". Cue the actual redemption for Sandor. That said, it is wholly possible that, true to form, GRRM will make it a pyrrhic victory. That Sandor dies, though with a smile, after dispatching "Robert".

@Helikzhan: Where do you get that his weakness is fire or beheading? Or that he does not tire, fear, flinch, nor stop? Have you been in Qyburn's lab? Having a theory is something completely different from just assuming he functions like any ol' zombie. I like the idea of Qyburn not being able to control "Robert", it has to be said, but come on. Just applying a zombie template to "Robert"? Give GRRM some more credit than that.

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Who doesn't like themselves some Cleganebowl hype? But a problem for me is that Sandor is kinda semi-dead. Maybe Loras somehow has to repay the "owe you my life Ser" thing this way? Except he is also kinda semi-dead. GRRM really has to stop with that crap.

That debt was paid when he let sandor win the tourney and therefore gave him 40,000 gold dragons (winners prize) :p

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I think the brothers will clash at some stage but I don't think it will be Cersei's trial. I think Robert Strong will defeat the Faith champion (possibly Lancel who knows Cersei is guilty and believes the Seven will give him strength to win). The Faith will then seek a new champion and rumours of The Mountain will bring Sandor out of retirement.


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You know, I just now noticed that in Bran's "three shadows" vision, the armored shadow made of stone (presumed to be Gregor Glegane) is described as having black blood. Black blood is generally used to describe House Hoare. Others have argued that Craster's "black blood" descriptor could tie him back to House Hoare (presumably via Lord Commander Hoare) but I wonder if anyone has considered the Cleganes as possible descendants. Interesting connotations, if so.


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I doubt we will see Cleganbowl. The gravedigger has finally found peace. Sandor Clegane is no more. And the legacy of the Hound has passed to another man.


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If Cleganebowl comes to pass, it could complete a good character arc for the Hound.

Imagine if he simply hated his way through life, then killed his brother. Then what? Fall on his sword? He'd have nothing left to live for after that, since he only lived to kill The Mountain, which would make for an uninteresting story wouldn't it?

Or, if after finding his peace, he's drawn out to fight unGregor. Not for revenge, hatred or anything like that, but because he's the only one who can protect the faith when unGregor goes on the rampage.

Only one man bested Gregor Clegane in single combat and The Viper studied him for years first. Who else in the seven kingdoms would know how he fights as well as that, besides Sandor?

If they fight, they will both go down, But Sandor dies in peace, having finally revenged himself, but more importantly, he regained the humanity that Gregor drove out of him in the first place.

Any thoughts?

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One thing these Clegane bowl threads never bring up is that it has already happened at the Hands tourney in KL. Sandor fought defensively and pulled his swings from Gregors unprotected head. Given he had the chance to kill Gredor and passed why do we presume Sandor would jump at he opportunity in the future?

The more important point here is that Sandor, while being the lesser evil, has come to the aid of those under attack by Gregor. Most likely because Sandor remembers what it was like being at his brother's mercy. He didn't owe the Knight of Flowers any due. I'm certain he probably didn't even take a liking to him. He did it because he saw his brother bullying someone smaller than him and it incensed him.

Given the opportunity to defend another against his brother's malevolence I would like to think Sandor would come out of retirement. Only this time it isn't Gregor he's fighting. It's the terminator. When that fact is revealed, Sandor will have no issues cutting the zombie's head from his shoulders.

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Great work OP.  I especially like the bit with Lady Forlorn.  LF and Sansa won't need Lyn's services for too much longer.

 

For everyone wondering about Sandor healing the Elder Brother is supposed to have amazing healing powers. I am looking forward to Cleganebowl.

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