The Game of Thrones show has made household names out of a lot of performers, from English stage greats like Charles Dance to European art house thespians, such as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The cast is so big that it even includes the current holder of the title World’s Strongest Man. That would be Icelandic strongman Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, aka Gregor Clegane, aka “The Mountain” from your favorite departed fantasy show. And as of Sunday, as per Deadline, he’s fighting to keep that title.
Bjornsson, who stands at 6’9” and weighs some 441 pounds, is in Florida, defending the title he won last year in a competition held in the Philippines. He talked to The New York Post about his methodology.
“You have to be willing to work 365 days a year and be absolutely obsessed with what you want to achieve and if you’re willing to go that far then you’re able to be the World’s Strongest Man,” Bjornsson told the paper.
He also talked Thrones. “I’m happy I was part of the show. It opened up a lot of other opportunities for me and I’m just grateful for that. I’m doing more acting, but I’m also focusing on strongman. Obviously, my goal is to be back-to-back champion.”
Bjornsson even managed to keep his fitness regiment while doing GoT, despite having to spend a full seven hours in makeup for his climactic tussle with Cregor’s brother, Sandor, in the show’s controversial penultimate episode. That scene gave us our first look at the Mountain’s face post-zombification.
Bjornsson was the third actor to play the Mountain. The role was originally essayed by Conan Stevens, who bequeathed it to Ian Whyte in Season 2. Bjornsson usurped the position starting in Season 4 and carried the ire of The Hound all the way until the end of the show’s run.