Game of Thrones Season 8 Already Resolves a Fan-Favorite Rivalry

Game of Thrones Season 8

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones' Season 8 premiere, "Winterfell," more or less elaborates on where all the major players are on the chessboard as the HBO drama begins its final episodes. As the North adjusts to Daenerys Targaryen as Queen, some key faces from the army she and Jon Snow brought with them make their presence felt.

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As everyone reconnects, one fan-favorite rivalry is addressed and, thankfully, there's something resembling closure: Maisie Williams' Arya Stark and Rory McCann's Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, bury the hatchet.

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They have quite a storied history together. The Hound was a Lannister lackey who quickly realized King's Landing was going to hell under their rule. He fled when Stannis Baratheon attacked, and ended up meeting Arya, who started making her kill list after she escaped following her father's execution.

The girl became Sandor's hostage, but each time he tried to ransom her off, a new tragedy befell them. First, he couldn't sell her off at what became known as the Red Wedding, in which her brother Robb and mother were murdered. By the time the Hound came to ransom her to her aunt Lysa Arryn, she too was dead. That left Sandor and Arya trying to figure out a plan that would benefit them both. Along the way, he tried to toughen her up, becoming a sadistic mentor while gloating how he killed people she loved. Despite that, Arya learned a lot from him, even crossing his name off her list. But when Brienne and Pod met them, Arya used the ensuing brawl as a distraction to escape. Before she did, however, she left Sandor (who had fallen off a cliff during his fight with Brienne) for dead, and robbed him in the process.

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Their paths diverged, with Arya becoming an assassin under the Faceless Men, while the Hound found his way, with the Brotherhood without Banners, to Jon Snow's growing legion. The Hound helped Jon & Co. against the Night King, risking his own life so they could bring a White Walker to King's Landing to demonstrate to Cersei the threat facing the Seven Kingdoms. With the Hound now believing in Jon and Dany, he finds himself back at Winterfell, with his days as the Lannisters' thug long behind him. It's tere he meets Arya, who cut, slashed and murdered her way back home. As expected, their dynamic is as dark and humorous as ever.

When the Hound goes to Gendry the blacksmith for a custom ax made of Dragonglass, he immediately senses Arya is different. "You left me to die," he tells. "First, I robbed you," she retorts dryly, leaving Gendry uncomfortable. The Hound approaches her, but as he towers above the girl, she remains unfazed. They don't say much but, as they lock eyes, Sandor appears proud to see Arya has managed to survive.

"You're a cold little bitch, aren't you? I guess that's why you're still alive," he says with a smile before walking off. Arya watches him pensively, before turning her attention to Gendry for a weapon of her own, hinting she's moved past any hatred for her former captor. That said, it's a fitting end to their feud, filled with their signature dynamic, and revealing both parties have matured and understand that petty squabbles won't help win the war ahead.

Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. It stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.

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