Is ‘Game of Thrones’ Bringing Back a Fan Favorite?

Game of Thrones, Rory McCann, HBO
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(Potential spoiler warning for both the Game of Thrones TV show and the Song of Ice and Fire book series)

In August, it was announced that Deadwood actor Ian McShane had been cast in an unknown role for season six of Game of Thrones. In a recent interview with with Pop Goes the News, McShane revealed, “I am responsible for bringing somebody back that you think you’re never going to see again. I’ll leave it at that.” So who could McShane be referring to? Well there are several possibilities, but it’s highly likely that he’s talking about the Hound, Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann).

It’s been widely speculated that McShane would fulfill a casting call for “A man in his 40s or 50s. A gruff ex-soldier who found religion. Now a no-nonsense rural priest who ministers to the poor of the countryside. He’s salt-of-the-earth man who has weathered many battles.” Book readers will note that this sounds suspiciously like a cross between Septon Meribald and the Elder Brother, two characters that Brienne of Tarth encounters in A Feast for Crows.

The last time we saw Sandor Clegane, Arya Stark had left him for dead in season four, but a popular Game of Thrones fan theory, known as the Gravedigger theory, argues that Sandor is still alive. In A Feast for Crows, the Elder Brother tells Brienne that “The Hound is dead” and that Sandor Clegane is “at rest.” It’s believed that the Elder Brother is speaking metaphorically and that Sandor is in fact living a peaceful existence as a local gravedigger.

McShane’s quote combined with the fact that McCann was spotted near the Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland has left fans speculating about the Hound’s fate, but the Gravedigger theory is actually one of the oldest theories in Game of Thrones fandom. In fact, as early as 2003 readers have been arguing that The Hound was still alive citing George R.R. Martin’s tendency to write fake “off-page” deaths and over the years, this theory has risen in popularity thanks to “Cleganebowl” and all the new evidence that was released in A Feast for Crows. So what do you think? Is the Hound still alive? Or will McShane bring back another character?

Watch Is The Hound Really Dead?