The Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere was full of some pretty great scenes, but one in particular stood out – not for being the most action-packed, but for the way it explored the growth of one of our fave characters: the Hound.
The Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners approach an abandoned cottage. Beric suggests seeking shelter there, but the Hound is very reluctant to go in.
You might not remember, but we've seen this cottage before. Back in Season 4, Episode 3, the Hound and Arya were offered refuge in it by a man and his daughter.
The man offered the Hound a job, but the Hound knocked him out and stole all his silver instead. It's what prompted Arya to call him "the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms", but the Hound DGAF, because the man and his daughter would be "dead come winter" anyway.
It's quite a contrast to how the Hound acts when he encounters the cottage again in the Season 7 premiere. The father and daughter are clearly preying on his mind as he approaches...
And when he sees that they are dead, he's clearly upset (even if he claims it doesn't matter").
He not only buries the father and daughter, he also attempts to say the prayer he heard them recite back in Season 4 – which he'd been very impatient with at the time.
The moment where the Hound digs the graves is also a nice hat tip to the gravedigger theory popular with book fans. Before the Hound returned on the show, many predicted he was still alive, and was an unnamed gravedigger whom Brienne encounters at a monastery.
But grave-digging isn't the only big moment for the Hound in this episode. On top of absolutely dragging Thoros...
...he also has quite a spiritual moment with fire.
The fact that the Hound mentions a mountain is enough to trigger some HYPE about Cleganebowl, but the more important part here (sorry) is that he's clearly talking about Eastwatch-by-the-Sea – the castle on the Wall where Jon Snow sent Tormund earlier in the episode.
Which sets the scene nicely for the shots we saw in the trailer of the Hound and Beric with Tormund and Jon, fighting wights north of the Wall.
There's a good chance they're going to meet up at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Although I do hope the Hound and co. stopped off at Winterfell first – there are so many reunions that need to happen.
Either way, with all the talk of the purpose Beric and his Brotherhood serve, the show is clearly building up to an epic confrontation with the Night King's army.