starkofthenorth asked: Do you think if Joffrey asked Sandor ro hit or punish Sansa that he would have? Or do you think he just would have outright refused? Sorry if you've been asked this before.
I honestly don’t know.
Sandor, and those in the Kingsguard, and knights, and soldiers, are in a really interesting position politically in ASOIAF. They literally have 100% of the physical power in the series. But there are invented social systems of “honor,” societal expectations, feudal loyalties, money, and tradition that works pretty well to keep them from discovering that power and killing all the lords.
That was part of the incredible tension of the second book - that irony that a little petulant child king could use those systems to control people much older and stronger than him, and make them do things they morally might not have wanted to do. The tension was Sandor’s relationship to those systems slowly breaking down (as in that scene, where he calls “enough!”) until he eventually leaves the system entirely by deserting. And his flouting of those systems eventually leads to his becoming a broken man and later ‘dying.’
So I think the answer to the question doesn’t matter as much as the exploration of the question that happened in the books. The point is that killers/knights/soldiers in a feudalistic society are in a very tough situation that has no easy solution. It might have seemed like Sandor Clegane had a clear choice in that situation, but it wasn’t. Going against those systems without a great family name or money is incredibly dangerous. (It’s dangerous anyway)
He obviously did not want to hit her or see her be hit, and that should be answer enough. His desire not to hit her was partly what led him to try to refuse those systems controlling him any more. Had he been forced to hit her, it would have been against his will.