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Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈhafθour ˈjuːliʏs ˈpjœsːɔn]; born November 26, 1988) is an Icelandic professional strongman, actor, and former professional basketball player. He plays Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Björnsson Arnold Classic 2017.jpg
Hafþór in March 2017
Born (1988-11-26) November 26, 1988 (age 29)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Other names Thor
The Mountain
Occupation Strongman, actor, basketball player
Years active 2010–present (strongman)
Height 206 cm (6 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 189–200 kg (417–441 lb)[1][2]


Basketball careerEdit

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Personal information
Listed height 206 cm (6 ft 9 in)
Career information
Playing career 2004–2008
Position Center
Career history
2004–2005 Breiðablik
2005–2006 FSu
2006–2007 KR
2007–2008 FSu

Hafþór began his sports career as a basketball player. At 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in)[2] he started his senior team career with Division I club Breiðablik in 2004. In 2005 he joined FSu Selfoss in the Icelandic Division I. After 10 games it was discovered that he had been playing with a broken bone in his ankle and would require surgery. After recovering from surgery, Hafþór moved to Úrvalsdeild powerhouse KR in 2006.[3] He missed most of the 2006-2007 season after a screw in his ankle shattered and had to be fixed by another surgery.[4]

For the 2007–2008 season, he moved back to play for FSu Selfoss. For the season he averaged 6.7 points on 63.8% shooting,[5] helping the team achieve promotion to the Úrvalsdeild.[6] The troublesome ankle forced him to retire from basketball after the season at the age of 20.[7][8]

Between 2004 and 2006 Hafþór played 32 games for the Icelandic junior national basketball teams.[9] In 2006 he played 8 games with Iceland's U-18 national team in Division A of the U18 European Championship.[10]

Strongman careerEdit

Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson
At the 2015 Caledonian Club Highland Games
Personal information
Occupation Strongman
Height 206 cm (6 ft 9 in)

Hafþór met Icelandic strongman Magnús Ver Magnússon at his gym "Jakaból" in 2008, and Magnús said that Hafþór seemed a good prospect as a strongman.[11] Hafþór won several strongman contests in Iceland in 2010 including Strongest Man in Iceland, Iceland's Strongest Viking, Westfjords Viking,[12] and five of six events at the OK Badur Strongman Championships.[13]

Hafþór finished in second place at the inaugural Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic in November 2010, behind Brian Shaw.[14] He won the 2011 Strongest Man in Iceland contest on June 4, 2011,[15] and the 2011 Iceland's Strongest Man contest on June 18, 2011.[16]

Hafþór came fourth in the Giants Live Poland 2011 event on August 6, 2011.

Hafþór beat a 1,000-year-old record set by Orm Storolfsson at the World's Strongest Viking competition in Norway, where he carried a 10-metre-long (33 ft), 650-kilogram (1,430 lb) log for five steps.[17]

World's Strongest ManEdit

Hafþór took part in World's Strongest Man after earning a wild card invitation to the 2011 contest.[18] He came in sixth overall. Taking part again in ensuing years, he placed third in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He finished runner-up in 2014 event[19] to Žydrūnas Savickas and again in the 2016 event to Brian Shaw.[20] In 2017, Hafþór once again was runner up, this time to Eddie Hall.[21]

Arnold Strongman ClassicEdit

On March 3, 2018, Hafþór made history and broke the Elephant Bar deadlift world record with his successful 472 kg (1,041 lb) third attempt, as well as ranking 1st at the Arnold Strongman Classic 2018. The previous Elephant Bar deadlift world record was held by Jerry Pritchett at 467 kg (1,030 lb), which was set last year at the Arnold Strongman Classic 2017.[22]

Acting careerEdit

Hafþór was cast as Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane for the fourth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones in August 2013.[23] This was his first main acting role, and he is the third person to depict the character after Conan Stevens played the role in season 1 and Ian Whyte in season 2. He became the first actor to portray Clegane in more than one continuous season with his appearances in season 4, season 5, season 6 and season 7.[24] Hafþór was cast for the role of Mongkut in the 2017 film Kickboxer: Retaliation.

Hafþór played the lead role in the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire during their debut season in 2015. He appeared as "King Thor," the leader of a Viking raiding party intent on capturing the city of Amman.[25]

Personal lifeEdit

Hafþór was born in Reykjavík. His father, Björn, is over 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) in height and his mother, Ragnheiður, is of similar stature. Hafþór's grandfather, Reynir, is nearly as tall as Hafþór and "just as broad across the chest". Reynir recalled in 2014 that Hafþór worked on the family farm outside Reykjavík as a child and "was always big, even when he wasn't tall".[26]

In March 2017, Hafþór was diagnosed with Bell's palsy.[27]

Icelandic Mountain VodkaEdit

In 2016, Hafþór co-founded the spirit brand Icelandic Mountain Vodka. The main focus of the company is a seven-time distilled icelandic vodka, as well as having a gin production.[28]

Personal recordsEdit



Year Title Role Notes
2017 Zon 261 (aka "Operation Ragnarok") Big John – Icelandic Viking Squad
2017 Devilish Deeds Psycho Phil Bell Currently in pre-production
2017 Beast Currently in pre-production
2017 Kickboxer: Retaliation Mongkut


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Born Strong Himself – competitor
2012–2017 The World's Strongest Man Himself – competitor
2014–present Game of Thrones Gregor Clegane Recurring role
2015 A League of Their Own Himself Series 9, Episode 7
2016 Heavy Bubbles Himself


  1. ^ a b "Hafþór Björnsson". Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Hafthor Bjornsson". Strongman. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  3. ^ Körfuknattleiksdeild (11 July 2006). "Hafþór Björnsson genginn til liðs við KR" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Drengjaflokkur, Körfuknattleiksdeild (12 November 2006). "Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson leikur ekki meira á þessari leiktíð" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "FSu 2007-2008 statistics" (in Icelandic). Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  6. ^ "FSu í úrvalsdeildina í körfu karla" (in Icelandic). Morgunblaðið. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  7. ^ "About Hafþór". Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  8. ^ Editorial(DV) (11 April 2017). "Hafþór Júlíus: Ofvirki Skagastrákurinn sem breyttist í vöðvafjall" (in Icelandic). DV. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "Landslið unglinga- og drengja". Icelandic Basketball Federation. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  10. ^ "FIBA Europe - Hafthor Bjornsson". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  11. ^ Randall J. Strossen (May 29, 2010). "Magnus Ver Magnusson: Icelandic Strongman Scout". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. 
  13. ^ Randall J. Strossen (August 10, 2010). "Haffþór Júlíusson Björnsson wins Iceland's OK Budar Strongman Contest". IronMind. Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ Randall J. Strossen (November 22, 2010). "Brian Shaw Wins the Inaugural Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic Strongman Contest". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  15. ^ Randall J. Strossen (June 6, 2011). "Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Wins the Strongest Man in Iceland". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  16. ^ Randall J. Strossen (June 19, 2011). "Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Wins Iceland's Strongest Man". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  17. ^ Randall J. Strossen (1 January 2015). "Hafthor Wins World's Strongest Viking, Sets Sights on World's Strongest Man". IronMind. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  18. ^ Randall J. Strossen (August 8, 2011). "Giants Live–Poland: Radzikowski, Jenkins and Baron Make WSM Cut . . . Bjornsson Gets Wild Card". IronMind. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  19. ^ Cindy Boren (May 19, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' villain is second-strongest man in the world". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ Páll Stefánsson (April 1, 2014). "Hafþór Júlíus Runner up in World's Strongest Man Comp". Iceland Review. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  21. ^ BarBend Team (27 May 2017). "Breaking: Eddie Hall Wins 2017 World's Strongest Man in Botswana". BarBend. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  22. ^ "Game of Thrones' 'The Mountain' sets new strongman record". March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018. 
  23. ^ Ours is the Fury (August 30, 2013). "Mountain Recast". Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Mountain in Belfast, and Game of Thrones filming in Split continues despite flooding". Watchers On The Wall. September 13, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ Dan McQuade (April 8, 2015). "Mountain Comes to Philly Ren Faire". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  26. ^ Borden, Sam (1 November 2014). "Icelandic Strongman Does Heavy Lifting on a Second Career as an Actor". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  27. ^ "'The Mountain' Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson has Bell's palsy". April 6, 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  28. ^ Jake Cappuccino (July 17, 2016). "The Mountain's Amazing New Alcohol Is Basically A "Game Of Thrones" Vodka". Elite Daily. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  29. ^ Armen Hammer (Nov 7, 2017). "Hafthor Bjornsson Destroys A 440kg/970lb Squat". Retrieved Feb 17, 2018. 
  30. ^ Jay Hathaway (June 4, 2014). "Watch The Mountain from Game of Thrones Deadlift Almost 1,000 Pounds". Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  31. ^ Jake Boly (3 March 2018). "Hafthor Bjornsson Deadlifts a 472kg Elephant Bar Deadlift World Record". Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  32. ^ Kyle Newport (February 3, 2015). "The Mountain from 'Game of Thrones' Breaks 1,000-Year-Old Weightlifting Record". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  33. ^ BarBend Team (15 August 2016). "Hafthor Bjornsson Breaks His Own Keg Toss World Record in Botswana". Retrieved 23 March 2017. 

External linksEdit