The battle of Sers Sandor and Gregor Clegane, AKA Clegane Bowl, was one of the most anticipated moments of Game of Thrones season 8 for fans. It turns out Rory McCann, who plays Sandor “The Hound” Clegane has been itching to get to the battle too. “I’ve been thinking about it for years, honestly,” he tells Making Game of Thrones. He’d been thinking about it so much, he’d brought an actual trumpet to the table read.
*Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 below*
“I remember bringing a big trumpet and keeping it underneath the table; I told [writer] Bryan Cogman, who usually does all the narration in between the dialogue with great passion, to take a pause when Gregor and Sandor meet for the final showdown,” he said. “I brought the trumpet out and blew it with the whole cast in the room. I don’t think they knew what was going on but it was me pretending that Clegane Bowl is on.”
The fact that no video of this moment has been shared with the public is almost as upsetting as Cersei dying because of some dodgy masonry.
Of course fighting the Mountain (played by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who weighs in at over 400lb and is the current World’s Strongest Man) is no laughing matter, but McCann decided not to worry too much about his cardio in the run up to the big scene.
“I started to work out, and then I thought, ‘What is the point of putting on any muscle at all when you are fighting the officially strongest man in the world?’ It’s going to make no difference at all,” he explained.
“The fight was brutal. The set had been built for that one purpose alone, for Clegane Bowl, and took months of building: It was absolutely incredible. But when we heard it was all going to be on stairs – it’s the last thing big men want to do, go up and down on a set of stairs – that was quite worrying. There was worry of twisting our ankles or hurting ourselves. But it was an amazing experience.”
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He even reveals that Björnsson is actually a “gentle soul” and had to be asked to strangle and eye gouge his victim harder. “He’s absolutely a big gentle man and aware of his strength, thank God.”
And while he won’t miss the make-up or the heavy armor, he knows Sers Sandor “The Hound” Clegane was a role to be remembered.
“I can see myself when we started, I’ve got no gray in my beard, and now I do and I’m hobbling around like an old man. But happy memories. I’ll heal soon. It’s never going to be as good as Game of Thrones, it can’t be, but boy were we lucky.”
Is it just me, or is McCann a serious contender for the “Thrones actor you’d most like to go to the pub with” award?
The final episode of Game of Thrones airs on Sunday on HBO and Sky Atlantic. Here are the biggest questions we have after watching Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5.
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