If you haven't heard by now, there is a huge fan theory surrounding Game of Thrones that actually isn't about Jon Snow or his parentage. Go figure, right? The evidence-supported and heavily hinted at theory of the Cleganebowl is about brothers Sandor and Gregor Clegane. Or, as they're better known, The Hound and The Mountain, respectively. So, what is the Cleganebowl on Game of Thrones, exactly?
Remember a simpler time on Game of Thrones, when Cersei and Jaime were sneaking around and not having sex next to their illegitimate son's dead body, and there was more than one Stark living in Winterfell? OK, so maybe that time was way back in Season 1, but still. It was a time before we had people coming back to life and faith militants wreaking havoc everywhere. It was also a time before The Hound was missing and The Mountain was brought back as a zombified Franken-Mountain. But, who would have known how important the two warriors would end up being?
In order to really understand what the Cleganebowl is, and what it means for the main players of Game of Thrones, it's important to understand who and what is involved.
Sandor & Gregor Clegane
Sandor Clegane (The Hound) and his older brother Gregor (The Mountain) grew up as fighters, though Gregor was always the bigger and stronger one. The Hound's famed facial scars came from The Mountain actually shoving his face into a fire at the age of seven, which kind of gives you an idea of how ruthless The Mountain was even as a kid. If you recall, we saw the two go head-to-head as adults just once before, when, way back in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, The Hound saved Ser Loras during a jousting tournament with The Mountain. What ensued was a quick but intense sword fight between the two, during which The Mountain actually made The Hound look like a good guy.
How The Hound Died
In the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones, Brienne and The Hound had it out, basically fighting for Arya — and Brienne ended up besting him, leaving him to die. As he lay on the side of a mountain, bleeding and near death, he basically begged Arya to finish him off, but being that he was a name on her list, she left him there. But, as the theory of the Cleganebowl goes, Septon Meribald saves The Hound and brings him back as himself, Sandor Clegane, to live as a monk for The Faith. This makes it possible for The Hound part of Sandor to be dead.
Who Is Sandor Now?
If the Cleganebowl is going to happen soon in Game of Thrones, then Sandor Clegane has most likely been chilling with the Faith Militant, training and working to be their champion when he is needed. While he hasn't even been seen since his supposed death in the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones, it's safe to say that Sandor Clegane is not gone. In most cases, we have to see their actual death on screen to be legit (Stannis not withstanding, mind you), so with his death not visually confirmed, we have to assume that he has been picked up by the Faith and is no longer The Hound.
The whole theory of the Cleganebowl rests solely on Cersei's demand to have a trial-by-combat to determine her fate. As we've seen with Tyrion's trial by combat in both The Vale and then again in King's Landing with Oberyn Martell fighting Gregor Clegane, if your champion wins, then you live. And if they die, then you lose as well. So by that logic, as Cersei has already named The Mountain as her champion, should he win, she will walk free. This means that he will fight against the champion for the Faith, and the belief is that the champion for the Faith will be Sandor Clegane.
The next episode in Season 6 of Game of Thrones is titled "The Broken Man", so does this refer to the reintroduction of Sandor Clegane, no longer The Hound but as a watchdog of sorts for the Faith? We also have yet to see Cersei's trial get underway, so that whole mess can be dealt with since we're more than halfway through the season and we're still dealing with this nonsense. So, if the Cleganebowl theory is true, now is the time to get things underway and meet Sandor Clegane again as a new (albeit possibly broken) man.