So if there's one thing that the Hound loves in this world of Game of Thrones it's killing stuff, as far as I can tell he never gives a second thought as to whom he's fighting or why he's doing it. It is pretty clear that he has no interest in women (except maybe Sansa Stark), so I can't see any reason why he doesn't just go to the Wall. He seems to hate glory and fire, the two things that no one has to worry about in the Night's Watch. So I'm just wondering if maybe there is some obvious reason that I've missed for the Hound not going north.

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    I'd disagree about not having to worry about fire in the Night's Watch. The colder a place is, the more likely you need fire to stay warm. And fire is more prevalent at The Wall than most cold places. For reasons. To avoid fire, he'd want to go south to Dorne or Highgarden. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 20:28
  • @DarrickHerwehe: Not only the use of campfires, but the need to burn every fallen brother. Even if he could stand seeing others burn, he might very much object to his body being burned should he die.
    – Flater
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:14
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    @Flater You're right about the body burning but I don't think he cares what happens to him when he dies. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 7:34
  • @MatthewStevenson: He has no real legacy to leave behind and no loved ones. He's not big on religion and sees life as final (iirc from a conversation with Arya). But his fear of fire transcends rational thought as he completely locked up when he saw the burning soldier in the battle of Blackwater Bay. Meaning he'd maybe not want to even entertain the idea of his body being burnt, simply because he goes off the rails by thinking about it.
    – Flater
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 7:47
  • Night's Watch has a lot of rules, regulations and requirements to live a somewhat monastic existence and to subvert individual wishes for the group, and to be a loyal team-player. Does that sound like the Hound? Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Partly, it's miles away - not something southerners think about. He's far too cynical for solemn vows, and too much of an independent-minded loner to choose to huddle for warmth with hundreds of 'brothers'.

But mostly, it'd be unthinkable due to pride: Except for among the Starks (and a few other mostly-Northern families descended from the First Men, like the Royces and Mormonts), taking the black is associated with failure or disgrace. The only Southerners who go to the wall are sent there, and they're usually criminals, the defeated, or children deemed unworthy by their families (like Sam Tarly).

Sandor may be cynical, but he's proud, and has a complicated relationship with his brother based on loathing and rivalry. He takes pride in being a no-nonsense self-made man who achieved fame/infamy and genuine status off his own back, in contrast to his hated brother Gregor who was gifted a title of Knight and land despite (or, because of) being essentially a monster.

The books also show him taking pride in his family's history. The Cleganes earned their status through being good at dog breeding and handling, and he seems to see himself as similarly down-to-earth, honest and self-made - the most respectable and worthy Clegane, with contempt for all the phony, vain people around him.

It'd be unthinkable for him to take a position where he'd be the lowest of the low. He'd go from being the notorious Hound to just another failed reject, and his hated brother would be the most respected one in the family (and not just in the eyes of fools who think being a knight means something).

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