Warning: Minor spoiler alerts for those who have not yet watched the season seven premiere of Game of Thrones.
If you watched the “Game of Thrones” season seven premiere Sunday, you might have missed the sad reemergence of two minor characters from season four: a farmer and his daughter.
The first indication of this plot point came in a clip during the pre-episode “Game of Thrones” recap. The clip was from season four, episode three (“Breaker of Chains”), when the Hound (Sandor Clegane) and Arya cross paths with a farmer and his daughter in the Riverlands while making their way to the Vale.
The farmer invites Arya and Clegane to spend the night in his home so that they can avoid the impending rainfall. While Clegane and Arya are being fed by the farmer, the farmer offers Clegane some silver in exchange for his help lifting a hand on his farm. Clegane instead decides to steal the farmer’s silver the following morning despite the farmer’s graciousness as a host, justifying his theft by insisting that the farmer and his daughter will be “dead by winter.”
In Sunday’s episode, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros suggest that the Brotherhood Without Banners — which Clegane became a part of back in season six — spend the night in a house that happens to be the one Clegane robbed back in season four. Clegane, it appears, remembers the house from the last time he was there, and tries to dissuade Dondarrion and the rest of the Brotherhood from heading to the house. Clegane insists that, “These people don’t want us here.” Dondarrion and the rest of the Brotherhood, however, say that there doesn’t seem to be anyone there, as there is no chimney smoke or livestock.
They enter the house to find the skeleton of a man and a young child, who as you may have guessed are the farmer and his daughter from season four. It appears that the two were on the verge of starvation, and that the farmer took both of their lives instead of enduring a long and painful death from starvation. Just as Clegane had predicted, both the father and his daughter died come winter.
After the Brotherhood retires for the evening, Thoros wakes up to the sound of Clegane digging graves for the farmer and his daughter, and Clegane admits to knowing them, although not too well.
As Clegane finishes burying them, he looks down at their graves and says, “I’m sorry you’re dead, you deserved better, both of you.”
While the reemergence of the farmer and his daughter is surely not an indication of either of those characters returning (rising from the dead is reserved for characters like Jon Snow), Clegane mourning the loss of the pair could be a nod to a shift in his once cold and curmudgeon-like demeanour.
HBO airs new episodes of “Game of Thrones” every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
For more insight into the episode and Clegane’s change in character check out the “Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 1: Inside the Episode” below: