During the sixth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” it was revealed that fan-favorite character Sandor “The Hound” Clegane was actually alive. The twist came as a welcome surprise to most fans and the reasons behind it are even more unbelievable.
It turns out that actor Rory McCann was so impressive in the role that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt it necessary to bring him back for the good of the show.
“So much of this comes down to casting,” they told Deadline. “I doubt we would have cared nearly as much for The Hound if anyone but Rory McCann was playing the part. What’s been exciting is seeing the glimmers of humanity behind The Hound’s scarred exterior. And then seeing him shove aside those glimmers, when necessary, and murk motherf—ers that need to be murked.”
Prior to season six, the character had last been seen losing an epic fight to Brienne in season four. Many assumed he died as a result of his injuries, though book readers had an inkling he could turn up again.
The showrunners have carefully crafted Sandor’s character over the years and fans responded immediately to McCann’s precise and measured performance. Similar to his character, McCann is a man of few words, but he did have this to say about his character’s comeback:
“The Hound’s just left there on his own, on the mountains. That might be a bit of a shock because you know all thought he was dead. Then I am sure there will be a few going ‘I knew it, I knew it.’ You know Hound’s quite hard to kill.”
Fans must be thankful that it’s hard to kill The Hound, as many are happy to have the character back in action.
“Game of Thrones” is scheduled to return to HBO for a seventh season in summer 2017.