Two characters from "Game of Thrones" season four made a dark return in the season seven premiere.
Warning: Minor spoilers for those who have not yet watched the season seven premiere of "Game of Thrones."
If you watched the premiere of "Game of Thrones" season seven on Sunday, you might have missed the sad reemergence of two minor characters from season four: a farmer and his daughter.
The first indication of this plot point came in a clip during the "Game of Thrones" recap before the episode. The clip was from season four, episode three ("Breaker of Chains"), when Sandor "The Hound" Clegane and Arya Stark cross paths with a farmer and his daughter in the Riverlands while making their way to the Vale.
The farmer invites Stark and Clegane to spend the night in his home so they can avoid the impending rain. While the farmer is feeding them, he offers Clegane some silver in exchange for his help on his farm. Clegane instead steals the farmer's silver the next morning, justifying his theft by insisting that the farmer and his daughter would be dead by winter.
In Sunday's episode, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros suggest that the Brotherhood Without Banners — which Clegane joined in season six — spend the night in a house that happens to be the one Clegane robbed. Clegane, it appears, remembers the house and tries to dissuade Dondarrion and the rest of the Brotherhood from heading there. Clegane insists that "these people don't want us here," but the others say there doesn't seem to be anyone there, as there is no chimney smoke or livestock.
They enter the house to find the skeleton of a man and a young child — as you may have guessed, the farmer and his daughter from season four. It appears the two were on the verge of starvation and that the farmer took both of their lives instead of enduring a long and painful death. Just as Clegane predicted, both the father and his daughter died come winter.
After the Brotherhood retires for the evening, Thoros wakes up to the sound of Clegane digging graves for the farmer and his daughter, and Clegane admits to knowing them, although not too well.
As Clegane finishes burying them, he looks down at their graves and says: "I'm sorry you're dead. You deserved better, both of you."
While the reemergence of the farmer and his daughter is surely not an indication of either of those characters returning — rising from the dead is reserved for characters like Jon Snow — Clegane mourning their loss could be a nod to a shift in his cold and curmudgeonly demeanor.
HBO airs new episodes of "Game of Thrones" every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
For more insight into the episode and Clegane's change in character, check out "Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 1: Inside the Episode":