This struck me yesterday when I saw a GIF of Sansa with the Hound. Mind you, I don’t ship them, I much prefer Sansa with Jon or Sansa just happy as Queen in the North at Winterfell. But I was thinking that since Beric and his men are headed North, it’s too big of a coincidence with Sansa at Winterfell. These two have to meet up but Sansa is no longer the Little Bird, defenseless and scared. She is home and is a far tougher woman than the one The Hound remembers and he too is a changed man.
Also bear in mind that Gregor, the Mountain, took pleasure in killing, for Sandor, it was always more matter-of-fact. He did it because it was his job but that was it. Unlike his brother, he didn’t revel in it.
We know that he didn’t like Joffrey and wasn’t quite as ruthless as some of the other knights, he didn’t like hurting women and children (this is conjecture on my part) and he did feel protective of Sansa to an extent, though, he also threatened to rape her, so there’s that too. But of late, he seems like someone who wants to get away from all the killing, he wants a quieter life.
Sansa, at Winterfell needs someone who is strong and loyal to her, like the Mountain with Cersie, though not blindly. That is not the relationship I see Sansa cultivating with her advisers and inner circle. She is strong and politically savvy, and she knows the importance of having trustworthy people around her but who are also honest and straightforward with her. The Hound could occupy such a place at Winterfell at Sansa’s side and help her.
Which brings me to the point of this post. The people who have the most painful history on the show are Sansa and Cersie and The Hound and his brother, Sandor and Gregor. Cersie made Sansa’s life hell while she was at King’s Landing while Cersie thinks that Sansa was involved in Joffrey’s murder and Gregor literally burned his brother, almost killing him. Contrast that with Dany who has no dispute with Cersie save for the Iron Throne, there is no great drama in a showdown between these two characters because they share no history.
What if the whole Dany vs Cersie plot is a smokescreen, a red herring and the real fight will indeed be between Sansa and Cersie and it will be a battle of wits with Sandor at Sansa’s side and Gregor at Cersie’s. Sansa has grown up at KL and she knows the court games and she knows Cersie, knows the way she thinks, much like she knew about Ramsay. You mean to tell me that GRRM and D&D won’t capitalise on that? And then there is the advantage that Cersie, on the other hand, doesn’t really know Sansa anymore. The Sansa at Winterfell bears more resemblance to her mother, Catelyn Stark than the girl who was held hostage at KL.
I see Arya play a big role in this plot as well since Cersie has been on her list ever since her father was executed. But it will still be primarily orchestrated by Sansa. That’s a showdown I’d love to see and hope we see it. Sansa needs to be the one to bring down Cersie. Sansa and Arya both.