As fans far and wide prepare for the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the series’ literal biggest star, Hafthor Bjornsson, opened up about his role in the final season, being the world’s strongest man and a new strength challenge presented to him by fans.
Bjornsson, known as the physically imposing Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane on “Game of Thrones,” rose to fame after being cast in Season 4. An avid fan of the show himself, Bjornsson spoke with Fox News in a recent phone interview where he teased what little he could about the finale.
“I can tell you this,” he told Fox. “I myself am super-excited to see the season. I’ve never been this excited before. I’m a fan myself and this was the hardest season that I have done ever for ‘Game of Thrones.’ It was the most difficult. Like, physically and mentally for me.”
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old strongman couldn’t go into more detail for fear of spoiling the show. However, hearing that this was the most physically taxing on a man that spends his life breaking physical records can lead fans to some logical conclusions.
As previously reported, Season 8 has teased a major battle, unlike anything the already-mammoth show has presented on screen before. While Bjornsson couldn’t confirm The Mountain’s involvement in that conflict, it’s hard to imagine one of the world’s most ruthless fighters would be sidelined.
In addition, fans have been clamoring for what’s become known as the “Clegane Bowl” for a while now, referencing the bad blood between The Mountain and his on-screen brother Sandor Clegane leading to a climactic throw down.
Despite his physically imposing build, Bjornsson is known to be an endlessly kind and positive individual. However, he plays a particularly mean man on the popular show. Now that the series is coming to a close, he told Fox he’d be open to playing a good guy in the future.
“I’ll definitely try anything, at least once. I did enjoy my time on ‘Game of Thrones’ filming as Gregor Clegane, the Mountain. So, I could definitely see myself being the bad guy again, you know? I had a good time. I enjoyed it. Each time I was on set,” he explained. “I could definitely see myself being the bad guy again, but I’ll definitely try being the good guy again if the opportunity comes.”
As for whether or not he’ll hang up his giant sword in the world of Westeros after the conclusion of “Thrones” in 2019, the actor said he wasn’t so sure. With HBO developing prequel and spinoff projects, Bjornsson isn’t ruling out the possibility of playing The Mountain outside the flagship series.
“Oh yeah, for sure. I’d discuss anything. I’m always open to ideas and if it sounds good then, you know.” he said. “Yeah, I’m a very open guy and I’d do anything as long as it fits into my schedule. Yeah. That’s definitely something I’d do.”
However, fitting things into his schedule is tricky. In addition to playing one of the most interesting characters on TV, Bjornsson won the title of 2018’s World’s Strongest Man and continues to focus his time and attention on keeping that accolade for another year. While he enjoys what acting has done for his life, he’s not ready to talk about retiring from professional strength competitions until at least 2020 - maybe beyond.
“It’s not something that a regular person gets to do, you know?” he said. “It’s definitely something that I enjoy a lot.”
In fact, Bjornsson plans to dominate another area of the professional strength competition world and break new records in the coming year.
“I’ve won all the titles that I can win in the Strongman sport. But I still don’t feel satisfied yet. I want to win the title again. And that’s what my goal is now. I want to compete at least one more year, win the title once again and we’ll see,” he explained. “I’m actually competing in Iceland on the 15th of December, I’m trying out a powerlifting competition for the first time in a long time. That’s kind of a new challenge for myself because I compete in Strongman and powerlifting is a different sport. That’s definitely a challenge for me. People have been talking a lot on social media and on podcasts in the strongman and powerlifting world. People have been talking about me having the chance to break the all-time world record in powerlifting. That would be the first time in history that someone would be the best in Strongman and go into powerlifting and be the best in that sport in the same year. No one has ever done that, so that would be a huge accomplishment or success for myself in my career.”
To help keep him sharp while he trains to achieve these goals, Bjornsson took on a different kind of strength challenge than he’s used to. The star, who previously lent his strength and likeness to products like SodaStream partnered with Krazy Glue, which claims that it can hold up to 1,000 lbs. The man that’s previously pulled airplanes and thrown washing machines, let fans on social media decide what he’d lift to test his might against the glue. In New York City, Bjornsson lifted a 450 lbs ice sculpture in the shape of, of course, a mountain. He then lifted a bench with three fans totaling 638 lbs and 750 lbs of canned food that was then donated to City Harvest after the event.
Things concluded with Krazy Glue holding up Bjornsson himself, proving the company’s assertion that it can indeed hold up against the World’s Strongest Man.
“I”ve been in strength competitions for ten years and I’ve done all kinds of different strength movements in my life. When it comes to lifting things, that’s where I feel most comfortable,” he said.