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During Game of Thrones when the Hound catches his traveling companion, Arya Stark, 'water dancing', he makes a comment about Meryn Trant’s skills (or lack of) as a swordsman but was he correct?

Arya Stark: He was killed.

Sandor Clegane: Who by?

Arya Stark: Meryn Trant. That's why Ser Meryn--

Sandor Clegane: Meryn Trant? The greatest swordsman who ever lived killed by Meryn f***ing Trant?

Arya Stark: He was outnumbered.

Sandor Clegane: Any boy whore with a sword could beat three Meryn Trants. >

With there being very few men who could challenge or beat Sandor Clegane was he being honest about Trant’s abilities or was he deliberately being derogatory towards a not-very-nice person?

  • 4
    It might be helpful to include the exact quote of what he says, e.g. for people who can't watch videos with sound at work. – Rand al'Thor May 27 '19 at 14:00
  • Have added the line the question was influenced by. I will try and add more soon. – Seamusthedog May 27 '19 at 14:06
  • "You are slow, for a knight", Syrio Forel – Kepotx May 27 '19 at 14:21
7

Supposedly Meryn Trant killed Syrio Forel, even if he had the numbers on his side. We don't know the outcome of the fight (neither in the books or the series) but at least Trant survived it unscratched and Forel remains missing ever since. There is no doubt that Forel was a skilled fighter, so at some extent Trant must be too.

Trant also won at least one fight in the tourney at the beginning of the books (and series), before losing to Ser Loras who made it all the way to the finals. In the books, Sandor participates in the same tourney and wins.

So most likely Clegane is just being being derogatory, possibly with his own skill in mind, as none had beaten him before Brienne did later.

6

Ser Meryn Trant wasn't actually known as a good fighter. Sandor Clegane isn't the only one with this opinion: Bronn says about him that he is a "grub in fancy armor who's better at beating little girls than fighting men" (S03E01).

Watching the Meryn Trant's fight with Forel, Trant probably won the fight and did look superior over Forel, breaking his wooden sword. However, he had a huge advantage over Forel, wearing heavy armor and having a real sword compared to wooden one Forel had. Let alone their size difference. So it was rather easy for Meryn Trant to break Forel's wooden sword and finish him, not requiring a lot of real fighting skill. As noted by @C.Koca, this is also Hounds assessment - in S04E05, when Arya was training water dancing, Hounds joins her and shows her the importance of armour (she wasn't able to pierce it with Needle), and he tells her:

Your friend's dead and Meryn Trant's not 'cause Trant had armour and a big fucking sword.

  • 2
    I seem to remember Hound mentioning importance of armour and how water dancing can't be a match against a slower but well armoured fighter. The book and the series got infused too much so this might be in the books or in the series. – user65648 Oct 9 '20 at 6:37
  • 2
    @C.Koca thank you! Yes, you probably mean the conversation in S04E05 in the beautiful mountain setting, when Arya was training the water dancing and Hounds joins her :) I've added it to the answer :-) – TMS Oct 9 '20 at 9:22

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