We wanted it to happen. We expected it to happen. But that didn't make The Hound's return to Game of Thrones during Sunday night's episode "The Broken Man" any less exciting. That's right, my friends. The Hound is alive and well, and currently either working for or serving alongside Season 6 guest star Ian McShane. Of course, the actor had already somewhat hinted that this joyous return would occur when he confided in the BBC that his character "brings back a much-loved character everybody thinks is dead."
But given that the series has already graced us with multiple returns and reunions (Jon Snow, Sansa, etc.) I was somewhat suspicious that we'd be granted so much happy news. (And yes, I do consider Sandor Clegane's return a very good thing.) Normally we're used to Game of Thrones taking lives away rather than giving them back, so this makes for a nice change of pace. But judging by his demeanor and wood-chopping ways, this may not be the same Hound we've come to know these past six seasons. Is he a changed man? Will McShane's character give him a higher purpose to serve? Does this mean we won't get the Cleganebowl we were hoping for?
All of this remains to be seen, but if the episode title "The Broken Man" is supposed to be in reference to him, then it really leaves us to wonder... is he the one who's broken, or the one who's about to do the breaking? And hey, since the writers seems to be on a role with bringing so many beloved characters back, then maybe Lady Stoneheart isn't completely out of the question after all. Just saying!
Image: Helen Sloan/HBO