Stranger (horse)

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Sandor Clegane riding Stranger by M.Luisa Giliberti©

Stranger is the warhorse of Sandor Clegane.

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 handsome black stallion with a mean temper. He is gentle with his master, Sandor Clegane, but aggressive toward others.[1] The horse was named after the Stranger, the death aspect of the Seven-Faced God.[1][2]

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.[3]

A Storm of Swords

Stranger, the blasphemously named warhorse - by Heliotropa ©

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.[4] Lord Beric Dondarrion orders Anguy to kill Sandor's horse if he spots Sandor following them., but the archer and Lem would prefer to use the horse for themselves.[5]

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.[1]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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. At the far end of the stable, away from other animals, a huge black stallion trumpets at the sound of their voices and kicks the at the door of his stall. Brother Narbert reveals that the horse, now called Driftwood, broke Brother Rawney's shinbone and bitten off Brother Gillam's ear when they tried to tame him. The Elder Brother explains the horse was once Sandor Clegane's steed, Stranger.[2]

Quotes about Stranger

Beric; Anguy, on the morrow, take the rear with Beardless Dick. If you see Clegane still sniffing after us, kill his horse.

Anguy: That's a good horse.

Lem: Aye. It's the bloody rider we should be killing. We could use that horse.[5]

- Beric Dondarrion, Anguy, and Lem

He was gentle as an old gelding with his master, but otherwise he had a temper as black as he was. She had never known a horse so quick to bite or kick.[1]

- thoughts of Arya Stark

Hyle: A handsome beast.
Narbert: 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. [2]

Hyle Hunt and Narbert

Driftwood is a beast of burden. The Smith gave men horses to help them in their labors.[2]

- Narbert to Hyle Hunt

You may have seen a big black stallion in our stables. That was his warhorse, Stranger. A blasphemous name. We prefer to call him Driftwood, as he was found beside the river. I fear he has his former master's nature.[2]

- Elder Brother to Brienne of Tarth