Gregor Clegane

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Gregor Clegane
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
character
Gregor Clegane-The Mountain-Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.jpg
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Gregor Clegane in the promotional image for the fourth season of Game of Thrones
First appearance
Created by George R. R. Martin
Portrayed by
Information
Aliases
  • The Mountain That Rides
  • The Mountain
  • Tywin Lannister's Mad Dog
  • The Great Dog
  • The Enormity That Rides
  • Robert Strong
Gender Male
Title
  • Ser
  • Knight of Clegane's Keep
Family House Clegane
Relatives Sandor Clegane (brother)
Kingdom The Westerlands

Gregor Clegane, nicknamed "The Mountain That Rides" or simply "The Mountain", is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. In the books, the character is initially introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones. He subsequently appeared in A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000) and in A Dance with Dragons (2011).

An infamous knight and retainer to House Lannister, he is well known for his size, prowess in battle, extremely cruel nature, and uncontrollable temper.[1] He is also the older brother of Sandor "The Hound" Clegane; the two are mortal enemies ever since Gregor gruesomely scarred Sandor by shoving his face into a brazier when they were children. He later becomes the personal bodyguard of Cersei Lannister under the name Robert Strong.

In the HBO television adaptation, Clegane was originally portrayed by Australian actor Conan Stevens in season one, and by Welsh actor Ian Whyte in season two; Icelandic actor and strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson took over the role from season four onwards.[2]

Character description[edit]

Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain That Rides, or simply the Mountain, is the older brother of Sandor Clegane and is a vassal to Tywin Lannister.[3] His size and strength make him a fearsome warrior, and he has earned a reputation for brutality. When they were children, Gregor shoved Sandor's face into a brazier for using his toy, gruesomely scarring him. Over the course of his service to House Lannister, he has committed numerous war crimes, but he is most infamous for the rape and murder of the Targaryen royal family. Clegane was one of the first Lannister soldiers to enter King's Landing during its sack at the end of Robert Baratheon's rebellion. He raped and murdered Princess Elia, and murdered her children Rhaenys and Aegon, a grudge House Martell still bears at the onset of A Game of Thrones.

Overview[edit]

Gregor Clegane is portrayed by Conan Stevens in season one, by Ian Whyte in season two, and by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in seasons four, five, six, and seven.[2][4]

Gregor Clegane is not a point of view character in the novels, so his actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people, such as Cersei Lannister. Gregor is mostly a background character in the novels.[5]

Storylines[edit]

A coat of arms showing three black dogs on a field of yellow.
Coat of arms of House Clegane

In the books[edit]

In A Game of Thrones, Tywin Lannister sends him to raid the Riverlands in retaliation for Catelyn Stark's abduction of Tyrion. Beric Dondarrion is sent to arrest Gregor, but Gregor ambushes and kills him.[6] He and his men continue raiding the Riverlands throughout A Clash of Kings. When Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat, the accuser Cersei Lannister chooses Gregor as her champion. Elia's brother Oberyn Martell is named Tyrion's champion for his own agenda to expose Gregor as a murderer. Oberyn wounds him with a poisoned spear, but the Mountain is ultimately victorious as he admits to murdering Elia and Aegon before crushing Oberyn's skull. Gregor's body is given to Qyburn for experimentation and he is reported to be dead with his head sent to Dorne as a peace offering to Doran Martell in the wake of his brother's death. But following Cersei's walk of atonement, she gains a bodyguard named Ser Robert Strong who is of similar enormous stature as Gregor, and whose body is completely covered in armor.

In the show[edit]

In Season 1, Tywin Lannister sends him to raid the Riverlands. Beric Dondarrion is sent to arrest Gregor. When war breaks out, Gregor is given command of Tywin's vanguard and left flank and leads his men through intimidation.

In Season 2 he is left to command Harrenhal in Tywin's absence and to find and destroy "The Brotherhood Without Banners", invoking the escape of Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie from Harrenhal. He later abandons the castle after slaughtering the prisoners and is defeated by Edmure Tully at the Stone Mill, but manages to escape back to the Westerlands. Robb chides his uncle, having planned to draw the Mountain into a trap of his own making to be captured or killed.

In season 4, Gregor is chosen as Cersei's champion for Tyrion's trial by combat, and fights Oberyn Martell, Tyrion's champion who wants to kill Clegane as revenge for the murder of his sister, Elia Martell Targaryen. Oberyn inflicts several serious injuries on Clegane with his poisoned spear, but Clegane eventually kills Oberyn by crushing his skull, while admitting that he did rape Elia, killed her children and enjoyed it, before collapsing from his own injuries. It is later revealed that Clegane has been poisoned with manticore venom, a poison that Oberyn had laced his weapon with, and that he is slowly dying. Cersei enlists ex-maester Qyburn to save him, though Qyburn claims that the procedure will "change" Clegane. The procedure is seemingly a success, as Gregor has become active again and joins the Kingsguard as a personal knight for Cersei, though the procedure has changed his physical appearance and his behavior.

In season 6, Gregor continues to act as Cersei's bodyguard to intimidate all those who may bother or mock her. After Cersei destroys the Great Sept of Baelor and retakes power, she has Gregor torture Septa Unella in revenge for torturing her during her time in prison.

In season 7, Gregor is still with Cersei as a member of the Queensguard. He is confronted by his brother Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in the season finale, where Sandor conveys an ominous message that he (Gregor) already knows who is coming for him and that he has always known.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b "HBO: Game of Thrones: Bio". HBO. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. ^ Jeffrey, Morgan (September 13, 2011). "'Game of Thrones' adds Fintan McKeown, Ian Whyte to cast". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide". HBO. 
  6. ^ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43: Eddard XI.