Sandor Clegane (the Hound)

Sandor Clegane, also known as the Hound, left House Clegane when his brother came of inheritance and instead fervently started serving the Lannisters.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Sandor Clegane is the younger brother of Ser Gregor Clegane, a landed knight and bannerman of Lord Tywin Lannister. Due to his ferociousness and skill, Queen Cersei Lannister employed him to be the sworn shield of her son Prince Joffrey Baratheon. Due to the enmity between him and his brother Gregor, Sandor never returned to his birth home.

Sandor Clegane Personal Details

  • Name: Sandor Clegane.
  • Allegiances: House Clegane, House Lannister, Kingsguards.
  • Year of Birth: 270 or 271 AC.
  • Year of Death: 300 AC (Speculatively).
  • Culture: Westermen.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven.
  • Aliases: The Hound, Dog, Joffrey’s Dog.
  • Father: Ser Clegane.
  • Eye Color: Grey.
  • Hair Color: Black.

Appearance and Personality

Sandor is a large man with a well-built muscular body. He has long hair, grey eyes, and a large nose. He has thick eyebrows and sharp cheekbones on half of his face. The other half has burn wounds. On the burnt side of his face are skin craters that glister red and are wet to the touch, and there is no ear canal.

Some of his jaw bones are showing due to the massive extent of the burn. Though his eyes are still intact, Sandor only has a lip on half of his face. He brushes his hair to cover the other half. As one of the most feared men in the Seven Kingdoms, he is taller than Robert Baratheon and Brienne of Tarth but is not as tall as Hodor.

Sandor wears a plain slate-black armor with an olive green cloak over it and uses a helm shaped like a snarling dog’s head. He wears different colors and varieties of tunics, including a red woolen tunic with a leather dog’s head emblem and a brown roughspun tunic. Sandor wields a warhammer, a dagger, and a longsword and can also use a battle axe. He rides a stallion called Stranger. 

The Hound is a cruel and cynical man with a never-ending hatred for knighthood. He likes dogs and obeys every order given to him. He dabbles in whoring, and gambling and mocks Tyrion Lannister for his height, an act that amuses Joffrey. Though fierce, Sandor has a fear; fire. He hates and fears fires due to his past but can carry a torch or light a campfire when necessary.

Sandor Clegane Biography

When Sandor was Seven, he played with one of the toys given to his brother as a gift. When Gregor found him, he held Sandor’s face on the coals of a burning brazier. Though he struggled and cried, Sandor was no match for his older brother’s ferociousness, and it took three grown men to pull him away. Though a maester tried healing him, they were no remedies for the destroyed flesh. After Sandor’s altercation with his brother, he left Clegane’s Keep after Gregor inherited it. 

Sandor joined House Lannister as a sworn shield. Cersei Lannister assigned him as the personal guard of her first son Joffrey and the little boy called The Hound Dog. During Robert’s Rebellion, he partook in the Sack of King’s Landing but never took a knight’s vow.

The Hound’s Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Lord Jon Aryyn’s death, Robert travels with his family to Winterfell. Throughout the journey, Sandor Clegane guards Joffrey Baratheon. When Bran suffers a fall from one of the towers in the castle, his direwolf, Summer, howls in the night constantly. When Joffrey complains about the beast, The Hound asks to silence it forever.

With Bran’s condition not encouraging, Lord Eddard Stark takes his daughters, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark, to King’s Landing. While in the Trident, Arya and her friend, Mycah, fight with Joffrey. Nymeria steps in for Arya and injures the young Prince. When a court gets held before Robert, Cersei orders The Hund to find and kill Mycah, and when he does, Arya begins hating him.

On reaching King’s Landing, Robert holds the Hand’s Tourney in honor of Lord Ned Stark. During the event, he unhorses Lord Renly and makes fun of Sansa, calling her Little Bird, for being unable to look at him.

On escorting her to the Red Keep, he narrates how he came by his wounds and threatens to kill her if she reveals his secret. On the final day, Gregor Clegane almost kills Ser Loras Tyrell, but Sandor steps in, and a fight ensues. After Robert orders him and his brother to stop, Loras Tyrell forfeits, and he gets crowned the champion.

When Ned learns the legitimacy of Cersei’s children, he confronts her, and she arranges for her husband to get killed in an accident. When Robert dies, Sandor helps Janos Slynt and Lord Petyr Baelish kill Eddard’s men. He captures Jeyne Poole and puts her in the same room as Sansa.

With King Joffrey on the Iron Throne, Lord Tywin becomes the new Hand of the King. When Ser Barristan Selmy, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, gets dismissed from his post, The Hound laughs at him. Joffrey makes his Dog one of the members of the Kingsguard even though he is not a knight. 

When the King orders Sansa to get beaten by Ser Meryn Trant, The Hound helps her by cleaning her bloodied lip. Meanwhile, after Tyrion gets arrested by Catelyn Stark in the Inn at the Crossroads, he is taken to the Eyrie to meet Lysa Arryn. He gets tried for attempting to kill Bran. After a successful trial by combat, he regions his father’s troops and gets sent to be the acting Hand of the King. With Ned dead, his son, Sansa’s elder brother, Robb Stark, becomes the King in the North.

A Clash of Kings

After Joffrey’s name day tourney, Sansa runs into a drunk Sandor who admires her beauty but calls her a foolish little girl. He protects her from Ser Boros Blount and warns her about trusting anyone. After the Battle of Oxcross, The Hound learns the King is angry at Robb’s raiding in the Westerlands. When Joffrey orders his guards to strip Sansa, Tyrion stops them.

Due to the hardship caused by the War of the Five Kings, the people riot, and Sansa almost gets taken, but Sandor comes to her rescue. He fights during the Battle of the Blackwater but deserts upon seeing wildfire. Before deserting, he tries to take Sansa with him but eventually leaves King’s Landing.

A Storm of Swords

After leaving King’s Landing, Sandor gets captured by the Mad Huntsman, who takes him to Stoney Sept, where he gets taken into custody by the Brotherhood without Banners. The Brotherhood tries Sandor for his atrocities, and Arya accuses him of killing her friend.

The Hound fights Lord Beric Dondarrion, the leader of the Brotherhood, in a trial by combat in Hollow Hill. When he wins and kills Beric, Thoros of Myr, a priest of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, brings Beric back to life.

Sandor gets stripped of his possessions, and when he tries to steal them back, he sees Arya and kidnaps her. He decides to ransom her to her brother, Robb, but on getting to the Twins, he and Arya witness the Red Wedding firsthand.

With Robb and Catelyn dead, Sandor heads to the Eyrei to ransom Arya to her aunt, Lysa Arryn. However, with the High Road to the Eyrei closed, he takes her to her great uncle, Ser Brynden Tully. On the way, he fights some of Gregor’s men and gets gravely wounded. Arya abandons him despite his pleas for her to offer him the gift of mercy.

A Feast for Crows

Rumors start spreading that the Hound is leading a bunch of outlaws on a banditry spree near the Trident; this leads to confusion as to whether he is a member of the Brotherhood without Banners.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Rory McCann portrayed Sandor Clegane. He appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and starred in 38 episodes. Sandor got into a heated battle with Brienne of Tarth. It leaves him battered and bruised, and when Arya finds him, she abandons him to die.

The Hound gets rescued by Septon Ray and gets nursed back to health. He encounters three men from the Brotherhood without Banners led by Lem Lemoncloak, and after they murder a village, he kills them all. He later joins Daenerys Targaryen and fights his brother to the death when the dragon mother destroys King’s Landing.

Sandor Clegane: The Monster with A Heart

Though Sandor was a vile man who enjoyed killing, A Song of Ice and Fire showed he had compassion at the core of his heart. Unlike his brother, who was a maniac, Sandor had empathy and felt emotional toward the weak; this made him defend Sansa when no one else did.


Is Sandor Clegane stronger than Jaime Lannister?

In terms of sheer strength, Sandor Clegane is stronger than Jaime Lannister. However, Jaime is far more skilled at fighting than Sandor Clegane and would best him in a duel.

Why did Sandor never become a knight?

Sandor Clegane never became a knight because he hated everything about knighthood. He hated how hypocritical knights were and how everyone thought they were some big deal. Also, likely, he never became a knight because he hated his brother, Gregor, who was a knight.

How does Sandor Clegane die in Game of Thrones?

When Daenerys Targaryen attacks King’s Landing, Sandor Clegane travels to Red Keep and fights his brother Gregor. The Red Keep gets destroyed, and Sandor throws himself at his brother.

Is Sandor Clegane dead in the books?

Though Arya Stark leaves him by the roadside to die, Sandor’s fate is unknown. Some facts have speculated that he likely survived his wounds. However, his death remains a mystery.

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