Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who gained fame as “The Mountain” on “Game of Thrones,” broke Eddie Hall’s deadlift world record earlier this month, with a 1,104-pound rep. Now, he intends to break Hall in half.
Both Björnsson and Hall are signed by the combat athletics group CoreSports, so it’s no surprise the two giant men are now set to face off in the boxing ring in September 2021. Hall is an enormous man himself at 6-foot-3, 410 pounds. But Björnsson stands 6-foot-9, 425 pounds.
Seriously, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater said it best:
“I’d be a bloody fool if he didn’t frighten me. He’s freakish big and freakish strong. And quicker than you’d expect for a man that size. … One misstep, and I’m dead.”
“I’ve been working a lot in technique every day,” said Björnsson, a neophyte boxer. “I have to use the time I have because I need it. I want to dominate this fight. I’m going to show people I’m a hard-working guy. When I want something, I get it.”
Björnsson has won the title of Europe’s strongest man five times in the past six years, and has finished in the top three of the World’s Strongest Man competition every year since 2012, winning it in 2018.
In his deadlift performance, which was aired on ESPN, it looks like “Thor” is barely breaking a sweat while breaking the record.
“I’ve been training for more than a decade now for Strongman. All those years have been a lot to prepare for this specific moment. Specifically, I trained for 20 weeks just for this event. I made sure my diet was on point, made sure everything was on point.”
Björnsson says that in addition to his years of physical training, he uses visualization methods to “see the moment in my head.” But the supremely confident strongman admitted to being a bit nervous.
“I was telling myself, ‘I’m gonna do this.’ The day before the lift there was moments of … ‘What if I get injured?’ ‘What if I have a terrible day?’ Of course these thoughts come out, but I relaxed and said, ‘You got this.’”
Björnsson has been in quarantine in Reykjavik, Iceland, with his wife, Kelsey Henson, who is pregnant with his first son, due in October.
“Even though 2020 is going to be a difficult year to remember for a lot of people,” he said, “it’s a blessing for us.”
Björnsson joined “Game of Thrones” in its fourth season, and was the third actor to portray Gregor Clegane on the HBO smash hit.
“I didn’t read the books, but I was indeed a fan of the show. I remember when first people reached out to me. It didn’t feel real to me, when you’re a fan. I’m a big fan of basketball and a big fan of MJ and it would be like him saying, “Hey, I want to meet you.”
“Kind of same thing with Game of Thrones. I had no acting background. I was very happy and I’m super thankful to be part of that journey, it was a great journey.”
“When I first did the audition, they were so impressed with my size and athletic build and the way I was able to move. Usually they’re used to seeing big guys and they are slow. They were impressed with how athletic I was, and how quick a learner I was. After two days of meeting up with their swordmaster, C.C. Smiff, he just told the guys, ‘This is the guy we need.’”
After Björnsson crushed Oberyn Martell’s face in the most gruesome scene in the show’s history in “The Mountain and The Viper,” it was hard to imagine anyone else in that role.