In which I STILL argue against Cleganebowl

Great news, Throners! We have two new episode titles, and one of them almost certainly refers to something AWESOME happening in the Riverlands Reunion!

I covered the episode titles here, and said a few words about what THAT one means.

For those who can’t be bothered to follow that link: the title of Ep6 is “Blood of My Blood,” the reaction to which is mostly “eh, okay,” and the title of Ep7 is “The Broken Man,” the reaction to which is basically “HOLY FUCKING SHIT” all over Twitter.

For my Unsullied peeps, the significance of “The Broken Man” is, we are fairly sure, relevant to the Hound’s return. We are expecting to get a very powerful, nuanced monologue from Ian McShane’s character, and we are assuming the events will be streamlined so that the Hound is present.

We’re all excited about this.

Meanwhile, I see all this Get Hype for Cleganebowl talk on Twitter, and…I’m still not feeling it? Not entirely sure to what extent the hype is even serious.

If we’re getting the Broken Men monologue in Ep7, that’s not evidence in support of Cleganebowl. It’s not even slightly, circumstantially supportive. The older arguments against Cleganebowl happening anywhere, ever, still apply, and this episode title is another argument against, not in favor.

If the Broken Men speech is adapted faithfully to the screen, and if it takes place anywhere near Sandor Clegane, the relevance to him will be that he doesn’t need any more of that in his life. The point of the monologue is that war is an atrocity that turns normal men into monsters. The Elder Brother’s explanation (in the books) to Brienne of Sandor Clegane’s supposed death was that all that killing and violence didn’t do anything good for him. He’s had more than enough of that shit, and now he wants peace.

If Sandor were to shlep his tall cynical ass back to the capital and get into another fight with his brother, that would basically defeat the purpose of his recovery with the Elder Brother, and it would make a mockery of the Broken Men monologue.

I am expecting Brienne and Podrick to be astonished to see Sandor Clegane living a life of nonviolence. I want him to surprise them even further by asking after the Stark girls, and to shock them most of all by telling Bri to keep on taking good care of Sansa, and if she sees Arya again, tell her “only cunts name their swords.”

That would be so much more satisfying than some jackass grudge-match with a giant zombie in gold armor.