How The Mountain From ‘Game of Thrones’ Looked Before He Got Jacked

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

Hafthor Bjornsson is best known for his role on Game of Thrones as Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, a warrior of dimensions so considerable (spoiler!), he can crush an overly confident opponent's skull in his bare hands.



Before that, Bjornsson gained recognition as a strongman, winning the last two Europe's Strongest Man competitions and finishing as high as second in World's Strongest Man.

Early in 2015, the 6'9", 400-pound man broke a 1,000-year-old record by carrying a 32-foot, 1,433-pound log five steps.

But if it weren't for a leg injury at age 20 in 2008, Bjornsson might not have ever become a strongman or a recurring character on one of the most popular television shows of all time.

Before that, the man who would become The Mountain was a professional basketball player in his native Iceland, and he looked nothing like the mass of muscle we know today.

Soon after his basketball career ended due to injury, he met legendary Icelandic strongman Magnus Ver Magnusson—a four-time World's Strongest Man winner—who encouraged Bjornsson to follow in his footsteps.

He's been expanding ever since.