game of thrones meme [6/9] moments
↳ sandor clegane being 500% done
So I didn’t have time to throw in a couple comments before I reblogged this for the first time, but now that I do …
Ya know what kills me about the way Rory plays this scene, other than the way his voice cracks when he says, “The Blackwater’s on fire”? It’s right after Joff orders him to go back out. It’s that moment when he hangs his head, right before the slow little head shake he gives. You can almost read his mind. There’s a little part of Sandor, even as fed-up and done with this shit as he is, that hesitates to defy the orders of his king, the boy he’s sworn to protect and obey. And that matters to him, it means something deep down in his core because he is, at his essence, steadfast and loyal - a Hound, yes, but also a Clegane. And honoring his House and not besmirching it means something to him. It’s not a part of his persona as the Hound, it’s real and it’s his grandfather’s legacy, something he takes pride in - a fact GRRM points out with the story Sandor tells Sansa at the end of the Serpentine Staircase scene. He understands the implications of defying Joffrey, but at the same time he just can’t do it anymore. Not after everything he’s seen and done and the way Sansa is being abused and the fire and the frustration and the bone-deep weariness of being surrounded day after day by liars and manipulators and frauds and knowing how close he’s come to turning into the very thing he hates.
And then there’s the little shake of his head and you know his mind is made up. You can call his desertion an act of cowardice, but it’s not. It’s an act of courage. And Sandor’s conviction is only strengthened by Tyrion’s reminder of his position, his location, and the reality of the kind of king he serves. It’s a horribly abused little boy housed in the body of a man, and with a man’s wisdom and courage, finally facing his abuser and saying, “No. No more. It stops here. It stops now.” Of course Sandor’s language is a bit more colorful, but the meaning is the same. It’s not just the fire, it never was. If you don’t believe me, go back and read the chapters covering the battle in ACOK. Sandor rides his horse onto a burning ship to do his king’s bidding. He leads three sorties out into that fiery battlefield. He does what a soldier is supposed to do. But even a man who’s fought a hundred battles can break in his hundred and first, yes?
I think this scene and how I view it is why I was stoked when the Chaos promo came out last year and featured Sandor turning away from the scenario Baelish was describing. The only motherfucker in the bunch to turn his back on all of it and go his own way.
It’s makes me sad when I think about what comes next in the book, when he goes to Sansa’s chamber and waits for her, because I don’t think he’s rational enough or sound enough of mind to put together all the pieces that led him to desert. The underlying issues that he’s been facing and that’ve been festering just below the surface are lost to him in those moments. He can’t voice all of that so he falls back on where it all began: with the fire that disfigured him. Even when he’s wandering the Riverlands with Arya, he can’t quite see past the fire of the battlefield to all the rest of it. He tries to give voice to it but never really succeeds. And until he does, he’ll won’t ever completely heal from his psychological wounds. I can only hope he and Elder Brother are having a lot of much-needed conversation while he’s chilling and digging graves.
tl:dr: Sandor is a very complicated dude and worthy of our respect, even if he can be a total douche bag most of the time.