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Cleganebowl is a fan theory surrounding a hypothetical event in the future plot of George RR Martin’s epic fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire which posits that Sandor Clegane (otherwise known as The Hound) and his own brother, Gregor Clegane (otherwise known as The Mountain), would be pitted against each other in Cersei Lannister’s trial-by-combat, with the former representing the Faith, one of the two major religions in the Seven Kingdoms, and the latter fighting on behalf of the accused queen.
George RR Martin published A Game of Thrones, the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which the HBO show Game of Thrones is based on, on August 6th, 1996. The first documented mention of the Cleganebowl theory online comes from an archived 4chan thread started by an anonymous user on March 20th, 2013.
Note: this section contains spoilers
In George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows, the fourth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series that is also expected to be featured in the fifth season of Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister gets arrested and imprisoned for plotting a series of murders. Upon facing the court, Cersei elects for trial by combat. The theory speculates that Sandor Clegane will survive his fall and return as the The Faith’s champion in the duel against Gregor, who had previously fought on behalf of Cersei during Tyrion Lannister’s trial by combat.
On June 21st, 2013, YouTuber Benny2kk8 uploaded a video titled “Enter the Bowl,” which uses pictures to describe the Cleganebowl theory. Within a year the video had gained over 92,000 views.
The theory has been included in many Game of Thrones fan theory roundups. The theory was included in a fan roundup published on April 20th, 2014, by The Daily Dot titled “The ultimate guide to ‘Game of Thrones’ conspiracy theories.”
On June 11th, 2014, the subreddit r/cleganebowl/ was created. In less than a month the subreddit gained over 300 readers. On June 18th, 2014, YouTuber Shane Ysais uploaded a video titled “CLEGANEBOWL,” which alleges that the theory is fact. In less than a month the video had gained over 2,000 views.