The Hound versus the Mountain; Sandor Clegane versus Gregor Clegane. Both were formidable opponents and both came close to death at least once before their final confrontation as part of the much awaited Cleganebowl on HBO's Game of Thrones. Both were Lannister guards who, in the end, abandoned their charges to forget their own paths.
But, before they each decided to go their own ways, they were both pretty decent guards of House Lannister. This leaves the question: Who was the better knight? Who would have been the best to hire if a person really did want to stay safe in the land of Westeros while playing the titular Game of Thrones? Here are 5 reasons why The Hound is better and 5 why The Mountain reigns supreme.
10 THE HOUND: He's Faster
In the very first season of Game of Thrones, King Robert Baratheon holds a tournament to honor his Hand, Ned Stark (despite Ned's insistence that the show is unnecessary). The Hound and the Mountain clash when the Mountain, having lost to Loras Tyrell, beheads his horse in one fell swoop before going after the younger knight in a rage.
The Hound quickly moves down from the stands to protect Loras and while neither he nor the Mountain end their fight right then and there, the Hound showed that he was much faster than the Mountain when he avoided his brother's sword.
9 THE MOUNTAIN: His Brute Strength
The Mountain is, again, shown not the be the speediest fighter when he faces Oberyn Martell in a trial by combat. Despite the fact that Martell dances around the Mountain and brings the giant to his knees, the Mountain triumphs, using his brute strength to crush Oberyn's head after tripping the Dornish prince and bringing him to the floor.
Relying on brute strength rather than flash moves or heady strategies can seem a little underhanded, but that may be perfect when a life depends on it.
8 THE HOUND: He Murders Innocent Children
As a personal guard to Joffrey Baratheon, the Hound murders the butcher's boy in season one just because Joffrey orders it. The butcher's boy, Mycah, did nothing wrong, save teach Arya how to swing a stick. Still, due to Arya insulting Joffrey, the Hound kills the boy when ordered to do so.
There's something to be said for having a guard who is willing to kill children as long as it's commanded. That, and there's very little that a child-murdering person wouldn't do to keep their job.
7 THE MOUNTAIN: He Comes Back After Death
The Mountain basically dies along with Obery Martell after their trial by combat. However, thanks to the Westeros equivalent of mad science, the Mountain rises again to take his place at Cersei's side as her personal bodyguard.
There's a lot to be said for a protector who can return from the grave to serve alongside their master once more. There's little in the world that can take a guard from his post when even death fails to do so.
6 THE HOUND: He Takes On The Mountain
Despite coming back from death, the Mountain does leave Cersei in the end. It is the Hound's return that tears his older brother from his Queen's side. Not only does the Mountain leave Cersei behind to fight his younger brother in Cleganebowl, he does so just as her city is being burned to the ground.
It's one thing for a personal guard to leave, but it's another for them to leave in the exact moment of their employer's need. At least the Hound wasn't sworn to protect anyone at the time; the Mountain just abandoned his duty for a personal grudge.
5 THE MOUNTAIN: He Can't Die
When Cleganebowl finally took place at the end of Game of Thrones season eight, the Hound was unable to take down his brother. If the Mountain had stayed by Cersei's side it's likely he would have been able to protect her from almost any attacker.
In the end, the Hound had to sacrifice his own life to take his brother down with him. The strength of the resurrected Clegane would have been too much for almost anyone else had he stayed at his post.
4 THE MOUNTAIN: He Doesn't Let People Lay a Hand on Cersei
The Mountain takes the lead here as he, while still in Cersei's service, did not let anyone lay a hand on her. The Hound, however, while minding Joffrey, allowed the boy's uncle Tyrion to slap him around more than once.
It's hard to say that the Hound was the better Lannister guard when he allowed allies as well as enemies to get to Joffrey, even if Joffrey was a sniveling idiot who deserved more than a slap. The Hound's job was to protect him from bodily harm and more often than not, he failed to do so.
3 THE MOUNTAIN: He Only Takes Cersei's Orders
The resurrected Mountain takes order from Qyburn and Cersei, and that's it. He is loyal until he meets his brother again. The Hound, on the other hand, is much more fickle in his protection of the young Lannister he is forced to follow.
Loyalty and trust are very important when it comes to being the personal guard of any claimant to the crown, and the Mountain certainly was much more loyal than his younger brother ever was.
2 THE MOUNTAIN: He's A Man of Few Words
The Mountain is the better guard because, even before being resurrected as a super strengthened zombie, he was a man of few words.
The Hound, while not a talker like Tyrion, did use his few words to make a point. As he memorably says during the Battle of the Blackwater: "F*ck the King." That certainly puts him another few points below his brother when it comes to his work as a Lannister guard.
1 THE MOUNTAIN: He Didn't Let Anyone Escape
And here it is clear that the Mountain was most certainly the superior Lannister guard on Game of Thrones. Despite his running off and leaving Cersei to her own devices at the very end, he didn't let anyone get near her in the interim.
Sandor "the Hound" Clegane, on the other hand, not only let Tyrion slap Joffrey, left him in the lurch during a major battle, but was later also defeated by Brienne of Tarth and let his new charge, Arya Stark, escape. Not a great track record for the younger Clegane brother. This round and the whole competition goes to none other than Ser Gregor Clegane, or The Mountain.
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