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All Hafthór Julius Björnsson had to do to get the part as the Mountain was become one of the strongest men on earth.
When casting directors are looking for a guy who can believably crush a man’s skull with his bare hands, there are only so many places they can look—the strongman world being one of those few places. It was there that they found Hafthór Julius Björnsson, a world-renowned strongman with staggering totals and the brutal look of a man who could do all the necessary skull-crushing—which, of course, he did in an infamously gory fight scene for Season 4.
Filming the scene, choreographed by legendary sword master C.C. Smiff (of Gladiator fame), was no less brutal than the battle’s graphic outcome.
Björnsson fought his way through “retake after retake” while wielding a 5½-foot blade and wearing heavy armor in the heat of a Croatian summer. Smiff likened Björnsson’s experience to “fighting in a wok.”
“I put myself under a lot of pressure to get it right,” Björnsson says. “I was concerned I wouldn’t get it 100%, but once we were actually doing it, all the preparation and training came together. I love the end result.”
Poisoned but not dead, the Mountain will return in Game of Thrones Season 5, premiering this spring.
Weight 400 lbs
Squat 793 lbs
Deadlift 925 lbs
Log Lift 424 lbs
Bench Press 507 lbs