The Subtle Game of Thrones Season 4 Callback Hiding in 'The Bells'

Rory McCann stars as The Hound in Game of Thrones
Rory McCann stars as The Hound in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

Warning: Spoilers for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones ahead.

While not all fans were thrilled with the events that took place in "The Bells," the latest episode of Game of Thrones, it’s safe to say that Cleganebowl was a hit with pretty much everyone. The fan-named battle between brothers Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, and Gregor Clegane, known as The Mountain, was first predicted back in 2013 and most assumed that it would end in one of the brother's deaths. As The Hound was riding off to King’s Landing for some “unfinished business” earlier in the season, fans knew that the highly anticipated fight was bound to happen ... but it probably didn’t end exactly as they had hoped.

Once The Hound was able to get into King’s Landing and convince his travel buddy Arya Stark to go home, he went straight for The Mountain, who was at Cersei Lannister and Qyburn’s side. After the former maester was tossed and killed, and the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms managed to flee the scene to avoid the confrontation, Cleganebowl began. And it quickly became evident there was no way The Hound could win this one, at least not without killing himself in the process.

Although The Hound was able to repeatedly stab his brother, The Mountain’s zombie-like status proved he wouldn’t be defeated that easily. And one of his familiar moves had us nervous, since we thought it would take out Sandor.

In a callback to the season 4 episode “The Mountain and the Viper,” where Gregor kills Oberyn Martell, The Verge points out how The Hound attempts to finish what the prince started by stabbing his brother, which is met with The Mountain almost killing him with the same eye-gouging move he performed on Oberyn. We’re sure fans could never forget the sight of the Red Viper’s head exploding at the hands of Gregor—and apparently neither did The Mountain.

But the most symbolic part of the whole showdown was the way it ended, as The Hound chose to tackle his brother off the staircase, going along with him as they plummeted off the castle and into the flames together.

As fans will remember, the feud between the pair all started when they were kids, after The Mountain shoved The Hound into a fire, resulting in the severe burns on his face he wore for the rest of his life. Sandor had been afraid of fire ever since, but faced it when it meant the fight would finally be over.

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
NBC

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One


Round Two


Round Three


The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.

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