“The Mountain” can lay claim to being the strongest man in Westeros and on Earth.
Hafthor Bjornsson, who played the monstrous villain Gregor Clegane on “Game of Thrones” for five seasons, set a world record by deadlifting 1,104 pounds (501 kilograms) on Saturday. The previous record was 1,102 pounds set by Britain’s Eddie Hall in 2016. The feat was aired on ESPN.
Bjornsson, 31, born in Iceland, has earned the title of Europe’s Strongest Man five times and won the World’s Strongest Man title in 2018 before coming in third in 2019. Observers marveled that the 6-foot-9, 425-pound Bjornsson made the feat look easy.
Bjornsson was the third and most memorable actor to play “The Mountain” on the wildly popular HBO show. In “Game of Thrones” first season, Conan Stevens played the role, with his most biggest scene being a confrontation with Gregor’s brother, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, played by Rory McCann, during a tournament celebrating the Hand of the King. In season 2, Ian Whyte took over the role as Tywin Lannister’s strongman, appearing at war council at Harrenhal.
Bjornsson, cast in season 4, was responsible for one of the most gruesome deaths in the show’s bloody history. Clegane battles Prince Oberyn Martell, the champion of Tyrion Lannister in a trial by combat for the murder of King Joffrey Baratheon. The much faster and agile Martell, played by Pedro Pascal, quickly gets the upper hand and appears to incapacitate “The Mountain,” but much like a Bond villain, Martell’s arrogance is his undoing. The Prince of Dorne wants Clegane to confess to killing and raping his sister Elia Martell and murdering her children during Robert’s Rebellion. This gives “The Mountain” time to recover and he does confess to the heinous crimes before brutally killing Martell by crushing his eyeballs into his skull.
Clegane is mortally wounded in the battle from Martell’s poisoned spear, but he is restored to a zombielike undead state by Qyburn and remains Queen Cersei’s personal guard until “Cleganebowl” in season 8, when he is killed in a fiery death while battling his brother, with the Red Keep crashing down as Daenerys Targaryen burned down Kings Landing. That bit of fan service was one of the most anticipated and satisfying moments in what was otherwise a disappointing last season for “Game of Thrones.”