Curtain Call: Rory McCann

Sandor Clegane Season 8 801

A hero. A villain. A chicken-craver, potty-mouthed one-line spouter and, finally, Mountain-destroyer. It’s time to say our final farewells to Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane. When we first meet the Hound, all the way back in Season One, it’s easy to dismiss him as just another villain. After all, this scarred, hulking figure is Prince Joffrey’s personal bodyguard and his fearsome dog-head armour and initial actions (remember when he ran down poor Mycah?) do little to endear us to him. But, thanks to Rory McCann’s sensitive, layered portrayal, a tragic, anti-heroic figure begins to emerge.

Our first hints that there might be more to this brutish warrior occur during the tourney, in which Littlefinger relays Sandor’s fearsome past to Sansa. When Sandor intervenes and saves Loras Tyrell from being beaten to death by the Mountain, we realise that unlike his brother, Sandor has a moral code and a sense of chivalry, even if he is, by his own admission, ‘no true knight.’

McCann’s scenes with Sophie Turner across Seasons One and Two are delicately balanced and a joy to watch; when Sandor offers to take his ‘Little Bird’ away from King’s Landing, viewers are left begging that she’ll take him up on his offer. Sandor is a dangerous man, but McCann’s portrayal leaves us in no doubt that he’s got Sansa’s best interests at heart. Sansa declines, The Hound leaves without her, and the dreams of a thousand SanSan shippers go with him.

Art by http://bubug.deviantart.com/

Art by http://bubug.deviantart.com/

It’s in McCann’s scenes with Maisie Williams, however, that the character really took off. McCann, who claimed to feel ‘nervous’ with the character for the first few years, found his feet in this bizarre pairing. Equal parts grumpy captor and reluctant protector, Williams and McCann share great screen chemistry as the disparate parts of Sandor’s personality begin to unravel. He’s by turns compassionate, dishonorable, aggressive, humorous and affectionate, and, when Arya leaves him for dead, even proud of his unlikely ward.

There was much rejoicing when the Hound returned to our screens in Season 6, seemingly a little more mellow thanks to his time with Ian McShane’s Brother Ray. His briefly peaceful stint was not to last however, after a village massacre prompts Sandor to team up with the Brotherhood Without Banners and eventually working for Jon Snow. If someone told you in Season One that the Hound would end up working for the opposite side, you might not think it was very likely, but McCann always let Sandor’s shifts in allegiance feel very natural, keeping the character grounded within himself, always grumpy, always sweary and always quick to his axe.

32. Season 8 Trailer Sandor Clegane Hound Fire

It would have been easy to let Sandor’s fear of fire slip away as a passing reference, but McCann plays it totally straight, as a survivor with such severe PTSD that at times he is completely paralysed by his phobia and unable to act. When he’s turning tail on King’s Landing or is frozen in place in Winterfell, we see the Hound as a man plagued by past fears rather than one dogged by cowardice.

It’s his hatred for his brother Gregor that forms one of the backbones of Sandor’s faceted character. The long-awaited CleganeBowl was just as violently gripping and brutal as many fans had hoped. This wasn’t an elegant joust, but a grappling brawl between two brothers long locked together by hatred. McCann’s crazed laughing towards the end of the fight is pitched perfectly as both he and the viewers realise there is only one way to kill off the resurrected Mountain. Sandor falls to his fiery demise, taking his brother along with him. It was a fitting, if tragic end, to a man whose life had been hounded (pun intended) by flames.

Rory-McCann

McCann’s acting career began with a role as an extra on the film Willow, from which he was fired for laughing too much on set! Since then, he’s appeared in films including Alexander, Solomon Kane and Hot Fuzz, as well as various TV shows, including a Scottish BAFTA winning turn in The Book Group. Of course, in my homeland he’ll always be fondly remembered as the ‘Scott’s Porage Oats Guy’ thanks to this stunning advert.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he was what asked his next destination was. “That’s my f*cking business,” was his response.

The Hound might be gone, but his penchant for snappy, sweary one-liners certainly lives on with the actor who portrayed him.

86 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Incredible portrayal for an incredible character. Every second the Hound was on screen was extremely enjoyable, except, of course, for his death.

      I think the Hound is one of the few characters I like better in the show, and it’s entirely thanks to Rory McCann.

      I hope he goes on to do a lot more great things we’ll be able to enjoy him in.

        Quote  Reply

    2. One of my favourite characters. Loved Rory’s portrayal of him and especially his chemistry with Maisie.

        Quote  Reply

    3. The perfect Hound. That’s all there was to it. They couldn’t have cast him better. Rory is wonderful.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Never a dull moment when Rory was in a scene. There were the occasional times when I wanted an event to hurry and be over. Like the Sons of Harpy, the Bravos skits and training, the early seasons at Castle Black…..

      But if Rory was on, I was paying attention again.

        Quote  Reply

    5. No. I am not ok in letting him go. Not like that.
      He’s been in my personal Pantheon of favourite GOT characters ever since season 1, despite Micah, thanks to Mr. McCann’s special touch.
      I am not ok. Not.At.All.

      Geoffery, thanks for the porridge video. I didn’t know that I needed to see that so much. 😊

        Quote  Reply

    6. “What the ****’s a Lommy?”

      EVERY time he was on screen I made sure to listen. Dude was on point and enjoyable. Rory did a fantastic job and seemed genuinely appreciative of the role. He will be missed!

        Quote  Reply

    7. The one and only Rory! From our favourite Scottish Porage Oats Man to our beloved Hound.

      Sandor. Thank you.

      My favourite scene, one of my all time favourites in the of whole GoT, will always and forever be the one in S4, in which the Hound was injured, Arya wants to cauterise the wound (“No fire!”) and he opens up to her about his trauma. Rory pulled it off with such bare emotion, such vulnerability. I tear up every time I rewatch that scene.

      Rory McCann was PERFECT as Sandor “the Hound” Clegane. He had the physique but also the sensitivity to play the role.

      I hear Rory mostly lives on his boat along the west coast of Scotland. Having sailed there, I can’t blame him. It’s one of the gods given most beautiful places in the world. I only hope he makes it to land often enough to act in more roles for our benefit.

      Waiting…three… two… one… for Ten Bears’ “eulogy”! No-one is more of a the Hound fan! 😊

      Oh, and all the chickens.

        Quote  Reply

    8. As a Scotsman I can honestly say that the Hound could only ever have been so naturally portrayed by a Scottish actor: gruff, no nonsense, aggressive and foul-mouthed, but with a soft centre and a strong sense of duty.

      Anyone who thinks otherwise is a c*nt 😋

      Rory, you brought Sandor to life in a way no other actor could.

      RIP the Hound. And Sandor..Thank you 💖

        Quote  Reply

    9. Rory was the reason the hound was one of the most enjoyable characters of the show. With an other actor it could easily be that the hound would only be the grumpy burned face man. Rory gave the hound the soul. The feeling he was more. His story with Arya is one of the best of the whole saga.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Aw, I was dreading this curtain call..

      Rory played Sandor to perfection! His pairing with Arya (and Maisie for that matter) will always be one of the best aspects of the show for me. These two characters played so well off one another. I will never forget the first time I saw the scene in 4×10 where Arya leaves him. It’s so deep and layered, and I remember just not being able to get it out of my head days after I first witnessed it.

      He went out like a boss! One of the more memorable and epic deaths on the show, which makes me both happy and sad at his demise. And I’ll be forever grateful to the character for saving Arya’s soul; for turning her away from a life of darkness and revenge. In the end, she chose life and hope.

      Sandor. Rory. Thank you.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. As someone else said, all of his scenes were interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Pigeon:
      No.
      No no no no no no no.
      No.

      *ahem* Anyway…

      Rory. My reason for being the most excited for Season 1, Episode 1. When I heard he had been cast as Houndie, I may have had a happy attack. I first saw him in The Book Group, absolutely fell in love with this man who played Kenny, and have followed his career ever since. Happy whether isolated on his own for months on his boat, going ham in the pub with Jason Momoa, or jamming with Iain Glen, Richard Dormer, and Kristofer Hivju between takes, he is indeed a rare breed.

      No one else could have been Sandor, and his chemistry with Maisie was my ultimate delight of the entire series. His brief scenes with Beric throughout the seasons always made me smile. I didn’t want Cleganebowl, I figured that had been a past life, however he went out on his own terms, as did my tied-for-first-favourite, Jorah/Iain Glen. I’ll always be grateful for that.

      Thank you Rory, I am certain that Sandor’s screentime was greatly increased due to you being you.

      A toast to all the Hounds I’ve loved before ❤:

        Quote  Reply

    13. Apollo:
      As a Scotsman I can honestly say that the Hound could only ever have been so naturally portrayed by a Scottish actor:gruff, no nonsense, aggressive and foul-mouthed, but with a soft centre and a strong sense of duty.

      Anyone who thinks otherwise is a c*nt 😋

      Rory, you brought Sandor to life in a way no other actor could.

      RIP the Hound.And Sandor..Thank you 💖

      Yes. And as a Scotswoman, I totally appreciated him!

        Quote  Reply

    14. Rory McCann was a surprise to me, I wondered where this actor had been all along.
      Turns out he is quite an independent person , nobodies usual actor.
      He is sort of an un-gruff Sandor!
      I hope to see him in other visual media works.

        Quote  Reply

    15. No one else could have been Sandor, and his chemistry with Maisie was my ultimate delight of the entire series

      This, yes. Didn’t like the character in the books at all, but couldn’t help but love him in the show. I loved when he saved Arya from the red wedding and kept her protected during their journey,, So many great lines (the little lady wants a pony was one of my faves), one of my fav scenes was him burying the farmer and his daughter. But there were so many others , rest in peace, Sandor, and best of luck to Rory in whatever he chooses to do next!

        Quote  Reply

    16. talvikorppi,

      “Waiting…three… two… one… for Ten Bears’ “eulogy”! No-one is more of a the Hound fan! 😊”
      ________

      Oh, I’m just getting warmed up.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Oh, man… where to even begin with Rory. He simply killed it in every sense of the word. Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, was my second-favourite character in the whole show (after Arya). This is due to both the incredible depth (and hilarious lines) the writers gave him, and of course, an unbelievable performance from Rory McCann.

      Unlike, say, Jaime Lannister, I never really thought the Hound was a bad guy. Yeah, he did some bad things, and Arya’s hatred for him was perfectly justified, but even then, I always sensed another layer to this bitter, intimidating man, and that is all down to Rory. He infused a character who could have come across as just a vicious brute, with some real humanity. And as the series started to peel back the layers to his character, it allowed Rory to flex his acting muscles even more, bringing to life one of the greatest characters of all time.

      I think the first time I really took notice of the Hound was during Littlefinger’s speech to Sansa about his backstory. From that moment on, I really wanted to know more about him, and paid close attention every time he was onscreen. While his role through most of the first season was just him looking intimidating and carrying out Joffrey’s orders, we did get a couple of humanizing moments, with him defending Loras Tyrell from his monstrous brother, and showing sympathy to Sansa after she is forced to look at the head of her father.

      Season 2 brings the complexity of his character to light even more. Yes, he still does the bidding of the Lannisters, and sometimes takes joy in doing so, but his interactions with Sansa bring out his softer side as well, between comforting her after she is beaten by Meryn Trant, saving her from the rapists, and offering to take her with him after the Battle of Blackwater. This season also showcases some of Rory’s finest moments, in my opinion, with his delivery of 2 speeches to Sansa – the “killing is the sweetest thing there is” speech, and the “the world is built by killers speech” – and of course, everything in Blackwater, from yelling “motivational” threats at his men, to of course, the moment when I think everyone started to love the Hound – “fuck the king!”

      Then, of course, there was his relationship with Arya, which we saw blossom over the course of seasons 3 & 4. When they are both captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners (another fantastically delivered speech by Rory, when he calls out the Brotherhood on their hypocrisy), she desperately wants to see him dead. As it becomes clear that she needs him though, she agrees to stay with him (though still planning to kill him eventually), and they begin to develop a grudging respect for each other, as much as they may disagree at times. Their interactions in season 4 are some of my favourite parts of the whole series. The ones that I think showcase Rory’s talents the best are his famous “chicken” speech (some great lines there), him telling Arya about his relationship with his brother, and of course, everything in the season finale. In that moment, he finally embraces his role as Arya’s protector (“Aye, that’s what I’m doing”), and is willing to fight to the death for her. Both Rory and Gwendoline did great in that fight. His “death” scene afterwards was amazing as well. The desperation in Rory’s voice as he tries to, first provoke, then beg Arya to kill him, was heartbreaking.

      I don’t think I’ve ever been happier during this show than I was when the Hound showed back up again in season 6. It had been a season and a half since we had seen him last, and that was way too long. It was interesting to see how he had changed under the teachings of Septon Ray, who had been through very similar experiences to Sandor, having been both a soldier and a murderer, who later found peace with himself, and was now trying to teach Sandor to find his peace (I still think Ian McShane should have gotten a Curtain Call). While Sandor doesn’t fully embrace Ray’s peaceful ways, you can tell Ray’s teachings had a significant effect on him, given that he decides to join the Brotherhood in helping to stop the White Walkers, and especially in the moment where he buries the farmer and his daughter, out of guilt for previously leaving them to die. That is still one of my favourite moments in the whole show. “I’m sorry you’re dead. You deserved better. Both of you.”

      Season 8 could not have wrapped up his arc any more perfectly, IMO. We got to see his relationship with Arya rekindle, if uneasily at first. I loved him reminding her of how he fought for her (which you can see gets through to her), and overcoming his fear of fire to go rescue her during the Battle of Winterfell. But my favourite moment between them this season was in episode 5, when he talks Arya out of her quest for vengeance, so she won’t be ruled by it, reminding her that, unlike him, it’s not too late for her. Rory’s delivery of those lines was so good, as we heard a tenderness from the Hound that we had never heard before, even in his softer moments. I legitimatelt teared up during that scene, and even more so when Arya called him by his name and thanked him, showing that his words got through to her. He did much more than save her life – he saved her soul.

      I always suspected that the Hound would go out taking down his Mountain, and that fire would be involved. That’s more-or-less how it went down. Though Sandor is the better swordsman, it simply does no good against the monster Gregor has become, so he has to overcome his fear one last time, and pull his brother into hell. Rory was simply incredible in his final scene, with his desperation and frustration at his brother’s invincibility, and his final resignation to what he has to do.

      Sandor Clegane is without a doubt one of the greatest characters of all time (not just in GOT), and they couldn’t have picked a more perfect actor to portray him. RIP, Sandor, and thank you so much, Rory. I hope to see you in more in the future.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Pigeon,

      Rory McCann is the main reason S4e7 will always be my favorite episode, and the last ten minutes of S4e1 will always be my favorite scene. (That uninterrupted stretch from “Little Lady wants a pony?” to the Little Lady riding off on her pony… never gets old.)

        Quote  Reply

    19. talvikorppi:

      My favourite scene, one of my all time favourites in the of whole GoT, will always and forever be the one in S4, in which the Hound was injured, Arya wants to cauterise the wound (“No fire!”) and he opens up to her about his trauma. Rory pulled it off with such bare emotion, such vulnerability. I tear up every time I rewatch that scene.

      Here. You and I can rewatch it again.

      4×7: Sandor tells Arya about Gregor

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears:
      Pigeon,

      Rory McCann is the main reason S4e7 will always be my favorite episode, and the last ten minutes of S4e1 will always be my favorite scene. (That uninterrupted stretch from “Little Lady wants a pony?” to the Little Lady riding off on her pony… never gets old.)

      I know how much you love that scene – and you know I do too! ❤ The physical and emotional vulnerability from “Don’t fucking touch me” Sandor, to baring his wounds and his story to Arya, was such a rare and beautifully acted moment.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Here’s another one of my favorites, from S3e9 (Sandor, Arya & the Pig Merchant: 0:00 – 1.44). Three indelible moments:

      • (at 1:00 – 1:14)
      Arya tells Sandor she knows a real killer, and “you’d be like a kitten to him; he’d kill you with his little finger.”

      Sandor: “That him?”
      Arya: “No.”

      • (1:25 – 1:44)
      Right after Sandor tells Arya she’s very kind, the farmer regains consciousness – and Arya whacks him on the head, knocking him out again.

      • I love Sandor’s double-take as Arya walks by him. (1:44)

        Quote  Reply

    22. Negative criticisms I have for the show over the past two seasons are often outshone by performances such as McCann’s Clegane. His portrayal was a real high point in a series featuring many acting standouts. Fair winds and following seas Rory McCann.

        Quote  Reply

    23. BigMac,

      (I still think Ian McShane should have gotten a Curtain Call)

      I know he didn’t have good things to say about thr show, but why no curtain call?

        Quote  Reply

    24. No one but Rory could have been as gruff with Arya, sensitive with Sansa, and as crazed with the Mountain. Thank you, Sandor.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Man. Even seeing this coming- this one hurts. Rory’s performances are some of the best. This one really brings the end of the series home for me.
      Thanks, Rory.
      Who now shall dig the graves?

        Quote  Reply

    26. I’m trying hard to think of one scene that Sandor was a focus that either didn’t make me smile or think “that was badass” for one reason or another.

      In my opinion Maisie turned out to be THE most perfect casting for any major character in the show. There may be some challengers for second best, but I can’t leave Rory as Sandor out of that competition. With all of the viewings of his scenes that I’ve had I’d be hard-pressed to not say he’s a favorite either. With those things said I think that’s the main reason why the pairing of Arya & the Hound was so well received and so very enjoyable. I have to thank D&D for putting them together again the way they did, even if it was for such a short amount of time and resulted with Sandor “signing off.”

      Great performance, Rory!!! 👍

        Quote  Reply

    27. This is one of the hardest for me as well, and that’s down to Rory and his consistently brilliant portrayal of Sandor Clegane.

      Rough, impatient with bs and uncannily observant, I actually started looking to his reactions when he came into contact with people. I mean he was always grumpy and enjoyed growling, but there were levels. I could tell he appreciated Tyrion’s Joffrey slap. I got that he wasn’t a Lannister fan, despite serving them. He was uncomfortable with praise and the word knight was definitely a trigger.

      He conveyed all that with expression and tone alone, regardless of what he was saying.
      He was the surprising protector who saved Sansa from pushing Joffrey and getting killed, who covered her with his cloak and thought of her before he left when he could have been captured as a deserter.

      His trip with Arya, however, really cemented him as a favorite for me. Every scene and all his amazing lines. Every time he saved her or understood her and let her be. How he fought for the right to protect her.

      The chemistry that developed between them hasn’t been matched on the show, pairing wise (though Brienne and Jaime on the road and Tyrion and Bronn came very close)
      But then Rory had chemistry with everyone. Thoros. Tormund. Arya. Sansa. Brienne of f-ing Tarth.
      And he had true, genuine character growth. Subtle, but genuine. When he buried that father and daughter. When he learned that Arya was still alive. It was all done flawlessly.

      This last season was very much his, because despite everyone’s issues with other aspects of 8, I think we all agree that Rory won our hearts with his Grumpy Dad courage, his small unexpected smiles, his uncanny read of the room and the unapologetic truths that only Sandor could dole out. He was fully himself right to the end.

      Thank you Rory, for making a guy who insisted he was nothing but a killer so compelling and lovable.

        Quote  Reply

    28. The Hound (and RMC) may be the only character (and cast) that we ALL agree upon: he was perfect.
      A propos, doesn’t he kind of look like Sean Connery?

        Quote  Reply

    29. Pigeon,

      I concur.

      And there went one of my two favorites in both book and show. Rory McCann (a book reader) played him pitch-perfectly, and his chemistry with Maisie Williams was one for the ages. I really, really, really hope book!Hound meets a different end (or my preference, none); I thought going back for the Mountain was terribly regressive. Having said that, I just about lost it after his last exchange with Arya.

      I need some Scotch again. I’ve had an extraordinarily long week at work, and I can’t come up with the words for how deeply I felt over the loss of this character.

        Quote  Reply

    30. This is a curtain call I never wanted to read. In the death pools I’ve filled out, there were two characters I thought would die, but I just could not make myself tick the “dead” box for them: Brienne and The Hound. I just love them so much. One scene that always makes me smile is the dragon pit scene where Sandor and Brienne, once literally mortal enemies, bond over their beloved assasin-child. Such a beautiful moment.

      I have cried many , many times watching GoT, but only twice have I sobbed uncontrollably: Hold the Door, and the Hound taking himself and the Mountain to their fiery death. I just could NOT deal with his death.

      Another show I loved Rory McCann in is Monarch of the Glen.

      I think I need to go hang out on the western Scottish coast for a while now…

        Quote  Reply

    31. Wolfish:
      Pigeon,

      I concur.

      And there went one of my two favorites in both book and show. Rory McCann (a book reader) played him pitch-perfectly, and his chemistry with Maisie Williams was one for the ages. I really, really, really hope book!Hound meets a different end (or my preference, none); I thought going back for the Mountain was terribly regressive. Having said that, I just about lost it after his last exchange with Arya.

      I need some Scotch again. I’ve had an extraordinarily long week at work, and I can’t come up with the words for how deeply I felt over the loss of this character.

      I have myself half-convinced that he landed on FrankenGregor just right, bounced off like a trampoline into a conveniently located wagon full of plush down pillows going to market, and after dusting himself off headed back to the woods.

      *pushes bottle across table*

        Quote  Reply

    32. Pigeon: I have myself half-convinced that he landed on FrankenGregor just right, bounced off like a trampoline into a conveniently located wagon full of plush down pillows going to market, and after dusting himself off headed back to the woods.

      *pushes bottle across table*

      “It’s just a flea bite”, he mumbled, as he chugged from his wine skin.

      Then he heard a faint voice from somewhere saying “The Lord of Light still has plans for you, Sandor Clegane. He’s not done with you yet.”
      “F*cl off”, Sandor replied, as he absentmindedly picked up an incinerated chicken carcass and settled in for his mid/afternoon siesta.

        Quote  Reply

    33. After several years, I come out of the lurker’s shadows just to say thank you, Rory, you were one of the very best actors on GoT.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Ten Bears: “It’s just a flea bite”, he mumbled, as he chugged from his wine skin.

      Then he heard a faint voice from somewhere saying “The Lord of Light still has plans for you, Sandor Clegane. He’s not done with you yet.”“F*cl off”, Sandor replied,as he absentmindedly picked up an incinerated chicken carcass and settled in for his mid/afternoon siesta.

      I definitely read that in his (and Beric’s) voice. 😜

      Then for some reason I thought of his other commercial, which is shit quality but it makes me giggle to see him get his Marilyn Monroe on.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Chickens in Westeros may now feel safer…

      Every bit a secondary character in the first season, even book readers like myself might have wondered if The Hound was simply going to be a miserable hard-ass baddie in the show and maybe even disappear totally after his parting with Arya.

      Thanks to yet another inspired casting, Rory brought out the suppressed and latent humanity in Sandor and this mix with world-weary cynicism and inner torment brought the character to life. Scenes with Rory, and especially of course the magical ones with Maisie turned out to be unexpectedly compelling, such a loss at the end of season 4 and a true delight to seem brought back in season 6.

      Having only seen Rory in Hot Fuzz (Yarp!), it was a delightful surprise to see how great and nuanced his acting was and to turn the character into one of the highlights of the entire series. And has anyone ever been able to make coarse and vulgar put-downs so funny on screen before?!

      Probably my favourite line from Sandor, in one of the funniest scenes of the show,, delivered with beautiful incredulity and scorn to an increasingly pissed off Arya was:

      Meryn Trant? The greatest swordsman who ever lived, killed by Meryn fucking Trant?

        Quote  Reply

    36. One of my most favourite characters in the show! I can still remember cheering him on when he reappeared in the series, I was so glad he was back!!

      Perfectly casted for this role and such excellent acting of this multilayered ‘broken’ man. One of the hardest roles to act, and Rory just totally nailed it.And thankfully Sandor had a great conclusion to his arc.
      I’ve enjoyed every single one of his scenes and his journey in the series!

      Thank you, Sandor!
      And thank you Rory!
      I wish him all the very best for the future! <3

        Quote  Reply

    37. BigMac,

      “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier during this show than I was when the Hound showed back up again in season 6.”

      __________
      You weren’t the only one Check out the Burlington Bar crowd’s reaction…

      Return of the Hound S6e7

        Quote  Reply

    38. Enharmony1625:
      I will never forget the first time I saw the scene in 4×10 where Arya leaves him. It’s so deep and layered, and I remember just not being able to get it out of my head days after I first witnessed it.

      Me too! That is probably my top favourite scene in all of the ASOIAF books and I remember I couldn’t wait to see how they’d portaited it in the show. Then I saw the episode and the scene was just PERFECT, thanks to the script of course but mostly to Maisie and Rory, they were absolutely amazing in bringing to life the characters’ conflict and subtle emotions of that moment.

      McCann’s rendition of The Hound has been definitely one of the best character’s rendition in the show and I think we will all miss him very much. Hope we’ll get to see him in some new role soon 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    39. Outstanding performance by Rory. Everything that could be said has been said already. I truly hope that as a result of his appearance on the show, we will see far more of him onscreen. An actor who really deserves every success!
      Still gutted he won’t be at Ayra’s side at the finale but it was never going to be for the Hound. Thank you Sandor 👏🥂

        Quote  Reply

    40. Clob:

      In my opinion Maisie turned out to be THE most perfect casting for any major character in the show.There may be some challengers for second best, but I can’t leave Rory as Sandor out of that competition.With all of the viewings of his scenes that I’ve had I’d be hard-pressed to not say he’s a favorite either.With those things said I think that’s the main reason why the pairing of Arya & the Hound was so well received and so very enjoyable.I have to thank D&D for putting them together again the way they did, even if it was for such a short amount of time and resulted with Sandor “signing off.”

      Great performance, Rory!!! 👍

      Yes! Nina Gold pulled off some amazing casting, but Maisie was probably the top, and her pairing with Rory was just plain brilliant., I could just watch all of their scenes together and not need to watch the rest of the series ,.

        Quote  Reply

    41. There is nothing that I can say that hasn’t already been said so eloquently.
      Rory is truly a treasure and I’ll miss him in the finale. Rory and Maisie were magic together in all of their scenes.

      Sleep peacefully Hound. 😢

        Quote  Reply

    42. talvikorppi,

      Seriously, what impresses me about Rory McCann is that 99 out of 100 people wouid cash in on their popularity by starring in summer fluff movies and cheesy TV commercials. Yet, Rory McCann seems content to sail his boat to the middle of nowhere and just hang out.

      Still, for the rest of his life, whenever he’s out in public, there’s always going to be some fan who comes up to him (mimicking Polliver’s voice) and exclaims: “I know you! You’re The Hound!”

      … just to evoke a Sandorian reaction like “F*ck off.”

        Quote  Reply

    43. Thank you Lady Geoffrey for this send off. And thank you Rory for a wonderful portrayal of Sandor Clegane. May you YARP and eat chickens forever!

        Quote  Reply

    44. ash: Yes! Nina Gold pulled off some amazing casting, but Maisie was probably the top, and her pairing with Rory was just plain brilliant.,I could just watch all of their scenes together and not need to watch the rest of the series ,.

      That’s kind of what I plan to do. Make my own edited version of the 73 episodes to excise every scene in which Rory or Maisie doesn’t appear.

      When I try to get “nonbelievers” to watch GoT, I invariably ask them to watch one of the S1 Arya scenes – usually showing up Bran in archery. spoon-flinging dessert at Sansa, or getting Needle from Jon.

        Quote  Reply

    45. ash,

      Honestly, I thought Ian McShane just “phoned it in” and didn’t have respect for his role, the show, or the fans. I know many will disagree

      You know who was more deserving of a Curtain Call?

      Captured Wight. Poor fella got punched, bagged, bound, gagged, kicked, punched, impaled, insulted, and finally, bisected by The Hound.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      That one line kept my hope of Syrio being alive going for years lol

      Pigeon: I have myself half-convinced that he landed on FrankenGregor just right, bounced off like a trampoline into a conveniently located wagon full of plush down pillows going to market, and after dusting himself off headed back to the woods.

      *pushes bottle across table*

      I was actually imagining something similar after the episode. He could still see out of one eye before that fall, so he gets a patch like Beric’s,and walks away, because Mel secretly gave him a bonus Lord of Light life when they were in that room together during the Long Night.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Nooooo!

      Uhg, this one was hard to take. I just want to give him a big hug for everything he’s done on the show. Loved Rory’s Hound so much I named my black lab after the character about 5 & 1/2 years ago. So I get to call out “Sandor!! Leave the little birds alone!” quite often.

      I’m going to miss Rory! He deserves a much needed vacation after Cleganebowl.

        Quote  Reply

    48. The Hound is my favourite supporting/minor cast member in the show so this one stings. As a wise cracking bad ass Rory played him perfectly!

        Quote  Reply

    49. Ten Bears:
      Ten Bears,

      Here’s the full 9+ minute scene from S4e1. Enjoy.

      S4e1 “Two Chickens”
      (full 9:54 version; difficult to find

      See, I don’t enjoy that scene.

      Sure enough, Rory McCann’s and Maisie William’s acting is top notch. The coreography of the fight was great, the one-liners were great… But… are we supposed to think little lady wants a pony, little lady gets a pony, nevermind killing several people to get it is a good thing?

      It’s the framing of this scene.

      Humorous (What the fuck is a lommy?) and the heart-warming end, the little lady got her pony and her captor/protector got some chicken.

      In between they just killed a bunch of people.

      Aren’t we supposed to pause a bit here, step away from our adoration, and actually LOOK. Look at what just happened. THINK about it. Instead of going all super-Arya rah rah rah, the Hound rah rah rah.

      Sure enough, as soon as Polliver identified the Hound and Arya as enemies, there was only one way it could go. Little lady even got her toy (Needle) back.

      But are we actually supposed to glorify this?

      I’m sorry, Ten Bears, but this is where we profoundly disagree.

      We agree that the scene where Arya treats Sandor’s wound and he opens up to her is one of the best scenes in the whole series. Rory absolutely knocked it out of the park.

      Rory. Thank you.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Beautiful Curtain Call, Geoffrey!
      Ditto on all the wonderful comments above.
      My favorite scene was Arya dressing the Hound’s wound, but I enjoyed them all.
      Thank you Rory! RIP Sandor!

        Quote  Reply

    51. Aryamad,

      Sandor is Alexander in Hungarian. An old friend of mine, that was her dad’s name. I’ve often wondered how much teasing he gets these days. 😂

        Quote  Reply

    52. As much as I’m keen for more Dunk and Egg, I think Sandor and Arya would be even more entertaining. Since both of them “matured” significantly since S4, who wouldn’t want a few episodes dedicated to their trek from WF to KL? Alas, it will never be.

      Even though I believe the Hound and Arya would have split well before entering KL, I thought their final conversation was satisfying.

      Anyway, the show couldn’t have picked a better Hound. McCann ruled the role! An excellent entertaining character never to be forgotten.

        Quote  Reply

    53. talvikorppi,

      And yet, thirty years from now, people will still be talking about that line: “I understand that if any more words come pouring out your c*nt mouth, I’m going to have to eat every f*cking chicken in this room.”

      🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ten Bears,

      All of Sandor and Arya scenes were great, but the fight in the inn for me was the best. So many memorable quotes… “Think I´ll take two chickens” 🙂

      I hoped Sandor would come out of CleganeBowl alive, but sadly that was not to be.

      RIP Sandor Clegane (aka The Hound), but kudos to Rory McCann who brought the character to life. HBO couldn´t have made a better choice.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Jayne:
      Pigeon,

      I just had to let you know that Jorah and the Hound were my 2 favorite characters as well!

      Aww. Kindred spirits!!! 😊

      Rory’s audition video will always stand out for scaring the crap out of the casting peeps (and me the first time I watched it).

        Quote  Reply

    56. Pigeon:
      No.
      No no no no no no no.
      No.

      Even if it wasn’t meant this way, all I can picture is Michael Scott yelling about Toby being back.

      Rory is a legend. My 2nd favorite character. I never cared much about Cleganebowl and I kinda wish his and Arya’s last scene had gone more like this:

      “Sandor, come with me. Your brother’s been dead for years but you’re still here. With me. Let’s just get out of this shit city in one piece and get on a boat to… anywhere else. I can show you the free cities. You can still have a life…”

      “What life? Traveling around with the little Lady of Winterfell and having every man, woman and child stare at me like I’m a monster no matter where I go? My life is over girl. As soon as I attend to this family business.”

      Arya, very softly “I can be your family.”

      Ok yes it’s overly fan-servicey but in a good way 😛

        Quote  Reply

    57. Pigeon,

      I still can’t write my farewell to Houndie, as you so appropriately nicknamed him. I could recognize my own reaction in your long line of “no”s. I couldn’t even think of it, as if it hadn’t happened. You see, I didn’t even admit the possibility of Houndie not surviving the final episode of GOT. He had been brought back from death by Septon Ray, hadn’t he?
      Thank you so much for posting the clip from The Book Club, which I couldn’t find entirely online or otherwise. It’s a pleasure to watch it.
      Edit: And now I see there’s another post from you, Rory’s audition. Another treat!

        Quote  Reply

    58. Every Hound scene was brilliant. I’ve got many favourite characters but he’s the top. His death brought the first tears I’ve shed watching GoT all these years.

        Quote  Reply

    59. talvikorppi: See, I don’t enjoy that scene.

      It’s the framing of this scene.

      Humorous (What the fuck is a lommy?) and the heart-warming end, the little lady got her pony and her captor/protector got some chicken.

      In between they just killed a bunch of people.

      well, this bunch of people had some qualities beside killing a Lommy and stealing a Needle. they were Gregor Clegane’s men, and they totally behaved like that. they were sadists, murderers and rapists. child rapists, to be precise. “one of our chicken for one of yours”… what a dumb way to ask The Hound for trouble!
      Arya didn’t just get a pony. she got an upgrade from a 100% captive to a 50% companion, and by Sandor’s logic she deserved this with intervening in the fight. the scene at the inn started both: Arya’s path down the killing road as well as Sandor opening up more and more.

      hell, will i miss Sandor Clegane!

        Quote  Reply

    60. talvikorppi,

      Those people really deserved to be killed. They killed and raped innocent people just for fun. I’m glad Arya and Sandor ended that.

      Hated to see this title, don’t won’t to let go of him!
      Love Rory McCann! No-one could have played Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane better than he did. So nice to see him changing from the brute who killed Mycah to someone who really cared for the 2 Stark sisters. It wasn’t mentioned in the show, but Sandor and Gregor Clegane had a younger sister who died tragically, we don’t know what happened but probably Gregor Clegane killed her. I think that’s why Sandor cared so much for the Stark sisters. And Rory did a wonderful job portraying him.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Pigeon,

      WOW! I had never seen this before! I knew he was good, but he just took his audition and knocked it over the park with one hand behind his back

        Quote  Reply

    62. I’m trying very hard to remember whether there was a time when I hated the Hound, but I can’t, as I was too busy hating the Lannisters, mainly the young sadistic king to be abandoned and cursed at Blackwater. I really enjoyed that curse.
      I could see glimpses of his humanity towards Sansa and his sense of justice at the tournament, but the father-daughter, master-apprentice relationship with Arya made me loved him. Even when he robbed the farmer and his little girl I couldn’t be angry with the Hound, I felt his tormented soul, who sometimes couldn’t distinguish right from wrong or rather couldn’t give goodness a chance.
      But Septon Ray gave the Hound a chance and, like many other fans, I was happy to see the Hound back. He may have feared fire, but he had light inside. He recognized his crimes, burying the bodies of the poor, innocent people he had let to die – he really become the Gravedigger! He joined the fight against cold and darkness and he saved Arya from her own darkness. Symbolically, he had always known where the heart was.
      Rory is a brilliant actor, who conveyed the complex personality of his character and managed to infuse humour in somber or terrifying situations. He has become a favourite actor for me, as the Hound is one of my favourite characters in GOT.
      Good luck, Rory! I’ll be looking for your films.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Laura Kiernan: Even if it wasn’t meant this way, all I can picture is Michael Scott yelling about Toby being back.

      That’s pretty accurate, lol. Of course now when I see ‘Toby’, I think of the wight polar bear. LOL.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Shy Lady Dragon:
      Pigeon,

      I still can’t write my farewell to Houndie, as you so appropriately nicknamed him. I could recognize my own reaction in your long line of “no”s. I couldn’t even think of it, as if it hadn’t happened. You see, I didn’t even admit the possibility of Houndie not surviving the final episode of GOT. He had been brought back from death by Septon Ray, hadn’t he?
      Thank you so much for posting the clip from The Book Club, which I couldn’t find entirely online or otherwise. It’s a pleasure to watch it.
      Edit: And now I see there’s another post from you, Rory’s audition. Another treat!

      It was such a good little show, and I swear I could only find it through bits and pieces that I could find on YouTube, augh!

        Quote  Reply

    65. Rory McCann deserves a standing ovation.

      Certain roles are unquestionably more difficult to cast than others. In an epic sweeping fantasy series like Game of Thrones, you have scheming lords and ladies, cunning interlopers and cutthroats, knights both noble and hypocritical, and a parade of downtrodden outcasts who are overlooked by the powerful, but might wind up being the most significant characters of all. Filling all of those roles is a tremendous challenge, but Nina Gold and her team managed to find the best person for the job in nearly every case by combing through what was surely a significant pool of qualified and talented candidates.

      But Sandor Clegane, more commonly known as “The Hound”, is one of George R.R. Martin’s truly singular creations. He was a legendary fighter, renowned for his efficiency and his brutality, so the actor had to be large enough and athletic enough to convincingly handle more than half a dozen intensely demanding fight sequences. He was also deeply wounded by a past trauma that crippled him both physically and emotionally, so the actor had to be able to embody the character’s haunted demeanor punctuated by his savage and cutting outbursts at those who foolishly refused or were unable to recognize the cruelty of the world. But he was also capable of a kind of gruff compassion and wisdom, so the actor had to be able to handle the character’s quieter interactions as well, particularly with the young Stark girls who he was attempting to shepherd through their own traumatic experiences. That’s the kind of character that any actor would dream of getting the opportunity to play, but actually bringing that character to life is an insanely difficult task. The more that I think about it, the more I can only envision one actor ever managing to convincingly embody all of the facets of this character with such convincing and lived-in certainty. That person was Rory McCann, and wouldn’t you know it, they found him!

      I wrote those words as part of an extremely lengthy tribute to Rory McCann at the end of Season 4 (in the comments for his initial Curtain Call on the old website, back when we didn’t know whether or not he would eventually return to the show). Needless to say, I stand by every word. It was a true joy to have him resume his role on Game of Thrones for these past three seasons. From his brief but meaningful time with Brother Ray to his travels with the Brotherhood Without Banners (loved his dynamic with Richard Dormer’s Beric), to the closure he received with both Stark sisters to his iconic and long-awaited final match against his brother, Rory brought the all of the depth, care, and trademark dark humor to every scene that he was involved in. On the long list of Game of Thrones’ greatest accomplishments, the character of Sandor Clegane and Rory McCann’s portrayal of him ranks very high indeed. He will be missed.

      One last time, for old time’s sake … “Fuck the King.”

        Quote  Reply

    66. Rory McCann is the Hound, and always will be. You know, except the bad experience with fire, I hope.

      The man deserves some chicken.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *