Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 5.
In one of the more vomit-inducing scenes on Game of Thrones to date, viewers got what many fans have been dying to see: The head-to-head fight between the Clegane brothers, also known as Cleganebowl. The Mountain, a.k.a. Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. now a literally rotting zombie, faced off against his little brother, The Hound, a.k.a. Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. the guy with the burned off face. And it was a knock-down, drag-out fight that saw BOTH brothers perish as the Red Keep collapsed around them. So why was this so important? Why did both brothers die? Why was it the grossest ever? (That last one might just be me.)
First, some context. The Mountain, before he was a giant undead murderer, basically shoved The Hound's face into a fire and burned him terribly over basically nothing (The Hound was playing with one of The Mountain's toys when they were both boys). Ever since, The Hound has hated his brother juuuust a little more than he hates/is petrified by fire. This has been a recurring theme throughout the show, both with The Hound channeling some major PTSD every time he has to get near a blaze and his repeated insistence that he would get vengeance on his brother.
A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
And in the episode, in case you hadn't seen it, really went for it: The two fought like it was the fight of their lives (it totally was). The Mountain took off his helmet and showed off some seriously festering flesh—we'd seen him in season 7 looking a bit more lifelike, but he's been rotting away since then. Now he's all white skin and black eyes (trying not to puke). The Hound stuck a sword in The Mountain; The Mountain shrugged and pulled it out. The Mountain attempted to to the same I'm-going-to-crush-your-eyes-and-then-also-your-face move he'd pulled on Oberyn Martell, then The Hound stuck a knife in his brain. The Mountain looked like he was debating it quietly for a second, then reached up to pull it out. And The Hound ran towards him and pushed them both off the tower to their fiery deaths.
In the "Behind the Episode," creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff explained that they knew The Hound would die by fire—symbolically very ironic, since he hates it so much—and also reiterated that The Hound's hatred of his fire was ever so slightly outweighed by his hatred for his brother. So, in other words, The Hound realized that he would have to burn to death in order to kill his brother. So, he chose the slightly lesser of two evils. I would also argue that, since the brothers also fell from quite a height, that they might have only burned for a short while before hitting the bottom of the Red Keep.
During the episode, The Hound also realized his quest for vengeance would be a one-way trip, as he explained to Arya. He knew on some level this would be the end of him as well. At least based on what I've read, fans were initially hoping that one brother would prevail over the other. But in this case, I think the ending's slightly more poetic this way. Nothing was going to kill the seemingly unkillable Mountain except total destruction. And The Hound was willing to do what it took.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
SUBSCRIBE HERE (opens in new tab)
Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
Prince Andrew Still Receiving Taxpayer-Funded Police Protection
Protecting the Duke of York doesn't come cheap.
By Alicia Lutes
Don't Insult Queen Elizabeth's Corgis
A family member said they "should be shot" and QEII had something to say about it.
By Alicia Lutes
How to Treat Hormonal Acne: A Dermatologist’s Guide
Peace out, PMS pimples.
By Samantha Holender
'Manifest' Season 4: Everything We Know
The once-canceled NBC show is returning for a final chapter (or two) on Netflix.
By Jenny Hollander
Where Is 'Virgin River' Filmed?
The Netflix show is set in California—but filmed in Canada.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Charli XCX Isn't Here to Appease Anyone
The pop star talks authenticity, her new album, and taking care of herself while on tour.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
The 15 Best Shows Featuring the 'Squid Game' Cast
If you can't get enough of Squid Game, try these K-dramas next.
By Quinci LeGardye
The 54 Best K-Dramas You'll Be Completely Hooked On
Wait, how is it already 2 a.m.?
By Quinci LeGardye
The 28 Best Korean Movies on Netflix in 2022
See you guys never.
By Quinci LeGardye
Rose Leslie and Theo James Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Time Traveler's Wife' stars prove their chemistry is one for the ages.
By Marie Claire Editors
The 30 Best Black TV Shows Ever
Clear your schedule. You have some binge-watching to do
By The Editors