Hafthor Bjornsson of Iceland competes at the Truck Pull event during the World's Strongest Man competition at Serenity Marina on August 23, 2013 in Hainan Island, China.
Game of Thrones fans on Sunday night were re-introduced to a gigantic mass of man whom the good people of Westoros refer to simply as "the Mountain." The Mountain is huge, impossibly strong and has a major aptitude for dispensing ultra-violence upon lesser men. He'll soon put that to use as Cersei Lannister's champion in the trial-by-combat of her brother, Tyrion.
But if you already knew all this, here's what you probably didn't know: The new actor who plays the Mountain is almost as fearsome in real life. He's 25 years old, stands 6'9", weighs more than 400 pounds, bends steel bars for fun and was thisclose to being named 2014 World's Strongest Man, finishing second in the wince-inducing competition.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson — a.k.a. simply Hafthor Bjornsson on the strongman circuit — hails from Iceland. He's the third actor to take a turn playing the Mountain, who it looks like will take a bigger role than ever this season. If this Reddit AMA from March is any indication, Bjornsson is a really nice guy — but his superhuman strength is scary indeed.
The photo atop this post shows him pulling a truck at the 2013 World's Strongest Man competition. Here he is performing another insane feat of strength in that same tourney.
In this video, Bjornsson uses his neck to bend four cast iron bars in the span of just 30 seconds — while painted green and dressed as the Incredible Hulk, no less.
In this one, he throws a freaking washing machine 15 feet like it's nothing.
Here he is doing more crazy strongman things.
But wait — there's more! Bjornsson is far from the only over-sized, over-strong man from Iceland, an island nation of just 320,000 people. The country is a strongman powerhouse despite being relatively tiny. Earlier this year, Vice traveled to the great white north find out more about these "Giants of Iceland," and Bjornsson features strongly.
Jon Snow and the soon-to-be-under-siege Night's Watch might want to consider a recruiting trip to Iceland. Meanwhile, here's the Mountain and Cersei — er, we mean Bjornsson and actress Lena Headey — on the Game of Thrones set, taken from Bjornsson's excellent Instagram page:
Tags: Game of Thrones