[Spoilers for A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords]
That’s interesting - I’ve always felt the same way about his honesty. I always thought it was a bit ironic for his catchphrase to be “a dog will die for you, but never lie to you,” when he lies to himself and other people quite often…
But I suppose that goes with what I’ve always said about him. He’s not the loyal, honest, bloodthirsty, merciless, Hound… he’s just a human being, crushed under the weight of a truly shitty feudal system.
Whatever he says things like “I might be a killer, but at least I’m honest” or “I might be a monster, but at least I didn’t hit Sansa” or “I might have done terrible things, but I saved your life” or “I might have failed before, but I could keep you safe…” etc etc
…he’s just equivocating to stay alive and sane, really. It must be nearly impossible to live with the memories of things he’s done. He created an entire persona to help him live with it. The tragedy of this character is the lengths he has to go to convince himself it’s okay when he has to adopt the morality of Westeros’ shitty feudal system, when that system demands him to be a monster. The tragedy of this character is later, how lost he is when he no longer has a place in that same feudal system that made him a monster to begin with… He’s left a monster, wandering, with nothing to show for it, and attacked for his former loyalty to that feudal system (by Beric Dondarrion et al.).
I don’t think blind feudal loyalty is very valuable from a modern perspective - even Davos “Loyalty” Seaworth wasn’t loyal to Stannis when it came to Edric Storm… And any value judgments about feudal loyalty should be made only after reading Septon Meribald’s speech about Broken Men.
I think when left to his own devices, Sandor does show a more admirable kind of loyalty than the blind feudal loyalty he showed the Lannisters - he doesn’t leave Arya behind even when she loses value to him. Wolfdog packmates 4 lyfe.