For Our Consideration: Hound of love: How Sandor Clegane turned into the surprise heart of Game Of Thrones

“Any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse!” Thus spoke Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, at the beginning of the Battle Of The Blackwater, near the end of Game Of Thrones‘ second season. Not exactly the words of a traditional moral compass. And yet here we are, five seasons later, and the character who once served as personal bodyguard to Joffrey Baratheon has now taken on the unlikely role of emotional centerpiece. Game Of Thrones may have a mission statement of subverting the traditional expectations of fantasy storytelling, but few of its narrative experiments have been as surprising as revealing the younger Clegane sibling as the exemplar of a personal redemption arc that also doubles as arguably the only counterweight to the general transformation of every noble-minded protagonist to the brutal realities of life in the seven kingdoms. A year away from the …

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