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It's a well-known fact at this point that HBO's Game of Thrones has moved beyond the plots George R.R. Martin has published as part of his popular A Song Of Ice And Fire Series. On the series, the fate of one character thought-dead character was uncovered during Season 6 when The Hound was shown to be alive and well. So, why did the series ultimately decide to bring The Hound back? Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff openly admit that it was the actor who plays the character, Rory McCann, who is basically responsible for his own comeback. Here's what they had to say:
So much of this comes down to the casting. 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 motherfuckers that need to be murked.
Game of Thrones has a lot of intriguing, intense and exciting characters, but The Hound in particular is a bit of a fan-favorite. This is partially because The Hound is just such an amusing character. He's the sort of huge and hulking type of man who never takes shit, but also gets in plenty of pithy and amusing comments while not allowing anyone or anything to get in his way. David Benioff and Dan Weiss tell Deadline that they credit this attitude to Rory McCann's performance, which is even more dynamic than the way the character has been written on the page.
There are some book spoilers in this paragraph. The Hound's return, while not wholly unexpected, was still a big deal when it happened during Game of Thrones Season 6. For instance, in the books, the fate of The Hound was uncertain, although rumors do suggest the character may have survived and might be living on the Quiet Isle, leaving his "Hound persona" behind. His famous helmut in the novels had been stolen and was worn by Lem Lemoncloak, leading to other rumors throughout Westeros he may still be around.
On the show, we got a more definitive answer about The Hound. Rory McCann's character returned in Season 6 and was shown working for a peaceful faction. Tragedy struck when some rogue members slaughtered the group Sandor Clegane belonged to, and he chose to return to his violent roots and sought revenge.
I think most fans are pretty happy that the fan-favorite character has returned, and it's pretty exciting that part of the reason for his return came because the showrunners really liked what the actor was doing with his character. We can't wait to see what The Hound will bring to the table when Season 7 premieres. You can find out what we know about the upcoming episodes, here.
Of course, this is far from the only time Game Of Thrones has brought back a character many thought was dead. The same situation happened with Jon Snow, and now, the rumor mill is churning because an actor who played a beloved deceased character was spotted on set. For the whole story that's either a giant spoiler or a completely innocent coincidence, you can click over to the next page...
Jason Momoa, who famously played Khal Drogo, on Game Of Thrones, was recently spotted hanging out with the creators of the show in Ireland, near where the show will begin shooting its upcoming season. The timetable for the show has been pushed back a little bit this year in order to allow for more winter weather conditions during the shoot, but everything is still progressing and should begin quickly. Naturally, the meet-up has led many fans and even many outlets to openly speculate on whether he will return for Season 7.
So, will he?
There aren't a lot of people who know the answer to that question, but the most likely scenario here is that he was probably just hanging out with the creators and will not be returning. It's hard to imagine Game Of Thrones resurrecting another character, and besides, with Dany now leading an entire army, his return could actually muddle her forward progress and even undermine her character a little bit. That being said, it is Game Of Thrones, and it's ludicrous to have complete faith in anything. He appeared in a vision during Season 2, and either that or a dream sequence wouldn't alter the show's overall trajectory.
I guess we'll all have to wait and find out. Until then, here's a list of the new cast members officially being added to the show.