Stranger (horse)

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Sandor riding stranger by M.Luisa Giliberti©
Stranger, the blasphemously named warhorse - by Heliotropa ©

Stranger is Sandor Clegane's warhorse. The brothers at Quiet Isle rename him Driftwood.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Stranger

Stranger is a heavy courser almost as large as a destrier but much faster.[1] He is a big handsome black stallion with a mean temper. He is quick to kick and bite. However he is as gentle as an old gelding with Sandor.[1] He was apparently named after the Stranger, the death aspect of the Seven-Faced God. Sandor may have given him that name.

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Dismounting just prior to the riot of King's Landing, Sandor Clegane is left afoot when Stranger gallops away with the royal party. When Tyrion Lannister sends Sandor and Bronn to contain the fire in Flea Bottom, Sandor only goes so he can find his horse.[2]

A Storm of Swords

After fleeing because of the wildfire in the Battle of the Blackwater, Sandor escapes King's Landing on Stranger.

After he is captured by the brotherhood without banners, Sandor wins his trial by combat in the hollow hill and is freed. The brotherhood are wary of being followed by him. Beric Dondarrion orders Anguy to take the rearguard with Beardless Dick on the morrow and if he sees Clegane still following them, to kill his horse. Anguy protests as he thinks Stranger is a good horse. Lem agrees and says that it is the rider they should kill and they could use the horse. [3]

After capturing Arya Stark, Sandor rides him trough the riverlands. Shortly after being kidnapped, thinking she can ride off before he can catch her, Arya tries to steal Stranger when Sandor is relieving himself against a tree. Instead Stranger almost bites her face off.

Just before the Red Wedding, Sandor and Arya attempt to enter the Twins on a wagon disguised as peasants. One of the squires riding near the wagon almost winds up in the mud when Stranger, who is tethered to the wagon, bites at the squire’s own mount. Once the battle begins Clegane cuts Stranger loose with a single slash of his sword and leaps onto his back. Later the Hound rides down Arya on Stranger, catching her as she runs towards the Twins' open gates.

After escaping the Twins Arya acquires a horse to ride which she calls Craven. Although she is a good enough horse, Arya resents her for running away from the fighting at the Twins and thinks that Stranger would have remained to fight. When Arya abandons Sandor she saddles up Craven and rides her but leaves Stranger with the dying Hound. [4]

A Feast for Crows

Driftwood on the Quiet Isle - by Pojypojy ©

As Brienne of Tarth and her companions arrive on the Quiet Isle they make their way to a whitewashed stable. Way down at the far end of the stable, well away from the other animals, a huge black stallion trumpets at the sound of their voices and kicks the at the door of his stall. Ser Hyle Hunt gives the horse an admiring look as he is handing his horse’s reins to Brother Gillam and remarks that he is a handsome beast. Brother Narbert sighs and replies that,

The Seven send us blessings, and the Seven send us trials. Handsome he may be, but Driftwood was surely whelped in hell. When we sought to harness him to a plow he kicked Brother Rawney and broke his shinbone in two places. We had hoped gelding might improve the beast’s ill temper, but …[5]

He then asks Brother Gillam to show them his injury. Underneath his cowl he has a bloodstained bandage where he should have had an ear, as Driftwood bit it off.

Later, after Brienne’s confession to Elder Brother, he tells her of the fate of Sandor Clegane adding that the big black stallion that is in their stables was the Hound’s warhorse, Stranger. He adds that it is a blasphemous name, saying that the brothers prefer to call him Driftwood, as he was found beside the river. Elder Brother tells Brienne that he fears the horse has his former master’s nature.[5]

Quotes about Stranger

That’s a good horse.[3]

A handsome beast.[5]
Hyle Hunt

References and Notes

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