Season 7 of Game of Thrones has been packed with fan service moments, whether it's subtle (R + L = J confirmed via story-time!) or not-so-subtle (Davos' gag about Gendry "still rowing")—but it seems the showrunners have saved one of the biggest fan nods for the finale.
Dubbed "Cleganebowl" by hardcore Game of Thrones geeks, this theory posits that, in order for The Hound's narrative arc to conclude satisfyingly, he must fight his brother The Mountain.
Cleganebowl's been put off a couple of times, of course. Once because it looked like The Mountain had died–he was brought back as a zombie—and again when it looked like The Hound had died. He was brought back as a fire wight).
But, if our eyes aren't deceiving us, The Hound might finally get revenge for having half of his face burnt off, while punishing his brother for his numerous other wrongdoings in the process. And it might happen next week.
The season 7 finale trailer depicts all of our heroes arriving at what looks like a dragon pit to show Cersei the Wight they've brought back from their winter holiday.
The setup is very trial by combat, a big fave of Cersei's, with the central platform the perfect size for a two-man scrap. It'd make sense for Cersei to demand it, especially as she's surrounded by Unsullied and Dothraki–which means she has pretty much no chance of winning a proper battle.
If a trial by combat proposition is accepted, then Cersei will almost certainly choose The Mountain, her undead giant soldier protector, as her champion.
But how does that confirm Cleganebowl? We don't even see The Hound in the trailer!
Well, he's conspicuous by his absence–especially as everyone else seems to be there (Jorah, Podrick and even Brienne can be seen)–and GoT trailers are notorious for leaving out key characters to preserve major surprises.
But, most importantly, we've previously seen what very much looks like the Hound in a very similar setting, raising his sword to attack, in an earlier trailer.
If Cleganebowl does actually happen, expect a massive reaction in the fan community, where the clash has been discussed and theorized for years.
While we wait, enjoy this fan trailer which imagines that bout. It's both (very) violent and (pretty) funny.
Game of Thrones airs its season 7 finale Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.