Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

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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 The Mountain, Gregor Clegane
Occupation Strongman, actor, basketball player
Years active 2010–present (strongman)
Height 206 cm (6 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 180–200 kg (400–440 lb)[1][2]
Basketball career
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
Website hafthorbjornsson.com

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈhafθour ˈjuːliʏs ˈpjœsːɔn]; born November 26, 1988) is an Icelandic professional strongman and actor. He is the current World's Strongest Man and is the first person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe's Strongest Man and World's Strongest Man in the same calendar year.[3][4] He plays Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in the HBO series Game of Thrones. He also is a former professional basketball player.

Born in Reykjavík, Hafþór began his basketball career in 2004 with Division I team Breiðablik, moving to FSu in 2005. He transferred to Premier League side KR in 2006 before returning to FSu in 2007. He helped FSu to promotion from Division I to the Premier League but his career was cut short in 2008 due a recurrent ankle injury. He subsequently began his strongman career.

Hafþór won the Strongest Man in Iceland event in 2010, and won Iceland's Strongest Man in 2011. He won Europe's Strongest Man in 2014, a feat he repeated in 2015, 2017, and 2018. He won silver at the 2017 Arnold Strongman Classic, improving to gold in 2018. He competed in his first World's Strongest Man in 2011, placing sixth. He won three bronze and three silver medals in his next six attempts before being crowned champion in 2018.

Basketball career[edit]

Hafþór began his athletic 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, playing as a center. In 2005 he joined FSu Selfoss, also 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.[5] He missed most of the 2006–2007 season after a screw in his ankle shattered and had to be fixed by another surgery.[6]

For the 2007–2008 season, he moved back to play for FSu Selfoss. He averaged 6.7 points per game,[7] helping the team achieve promotion to the Úrvalsdeild,[8] but the troublesome ankle forced him to retire from basketball after the season, at the age of 20.[9][10]

Between 2004 and 2006 Hafþór played 32 games for the Icelandic junior national basketball teams.[11] In 2006 he played 8 games with Iceland's U-18 national team in Division A of the U18 European Championship.[12]

Strongman career[edit]

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson Scottish Stone Put.jpg
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.[13] Hafþór won several strongman contests in Iceland in 2010 including Strongest Man in Iceland,[14] Iceland's Strongest Viking, Westfjords Viking,[15] and five of six events at the OK Badur Strongman Championships.[16]

Hafþór finished in second place at the inaugural Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic in November 2010, behind Brian Shaw.[17] He won the 2011 Strongest Man in Iceland contest on June 4, 2011,[18] and the 2011 Iceland's Strongest Man contest on June 18, 2011.[19] He placed fourth in the Giants Live Poland 2011 event on August 6, 2011.[citation needed]

In January 2015, at the World's Strongest Viking competition held in Norway, Hafþór carried a 10-metre-long (33 ft), 650-kilogram (1,430 lb) log for five steps, thus breaking a 1,000-year-old record set by Orm Storolfsson.[20]

World's Strongest Man[edit]

Hafþór took part in World's Strongest Man after earning a wild card invitation to the 2011 contest.[21] 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[22] to Žydrūnas Savickas and again in the 2016 event to Brian Shaw.[23] In 2017, Hafþór once again was runner up, this time to Eddie Hall.[24] Hafþór won the 2018 World's Strongest Man,[3][4] thus becoming the first Icelander to win the title since Magnús Ver Magnússon in 1996.[25]

Arnold Strongman Classic[edit]

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 468 kg (1,032 lb), which was set at the Arnold Strongman Classic 2017.[26][27]

Acting career[edit]

Hafþór was cast as Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane for the fourth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones in August 2013.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Hafþór was born in Reykjavík.[31] His father, Björn, stands at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in),[16] and his mother, Ragnheiður, is of similarly tall stature.[31] Hafþór's grandfather, Reynir, is 207 cm (6 ft 9 12 in)[16] 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".[31]

In March 2017, Hafþór was diagnosed with Bell's palsy.[32]

Icelandic Mountain Vodka[edit]

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.[33]

Personal records[edit]

  • Squat – 440 kg (970 lb) raw[34]
  • Bench press – 230 kg (507 lb) raw[35]
  • Tire deadlift – 460 kg (1,014 lb) raw with wrist straps[36]
  • Deadlift – 472 kg (1,041 lb) Elephant bar, raw with wrist straps (Arnold Classic 2018, World Record)[37]
  • Log press – 213 kg (470 lb) (Europe's Strongest Man 2018) [38]
  • Log carry – [5 steps] 650 kg (1,433 lb)[39]
  • Keg toss – 7.15 m (23 ft)[40]
  • Keg toss – 8 kegs in 16.35 seconds (World's Strongest Man 2014). Strongman record.[41]



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
2018 Keith Lemon: Coming to America Himself Series 1, Episode 6


  1. ^ a b "Hafþór Björnsson". theworldsstrongestman.com. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Hafthor Bjornsson". www.strongman.org. Strongman. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b BarBend Team. "Breaking News: Hafthor Bjornsson Wins 2018 World's Strongest Man in Manila". BarBend. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Tom Sunderland. "'The Mountain' Hafthor Bjornsson Crowned 2018 World's Strongest Man". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  5. ^ Körfuknattleiksdeild (11 July 2006). "Hafþór Björnsson genginn til liðs við KR" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  6. ^ Drengjaflokkur, Körfuknattleiksdeild (12 November 2006). "Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson leikur ekki meira á þessari leiktíð" (in Icelandic). Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  7. ^ "FSu 2007-2008 statistics" (in Icelandic). Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  8. ^ "FSu í úrvalsdeildina í körfu karla" (in Icelandic). Morgunblaðið. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "About Hafþór". hafthorbjornsson.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  10. ^ Editorial(DV) (11 April 2017). "Hafþór Júlíus: Ofvirki Skagastrákurinn sem breyttist í vöðvafjall" (in Icelandic). DV. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  11. ^ "Landslið unglinga- og drengja". Icelandic Basketball Federation. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  12. ^ "FIBA Europe - Hafthor Bjornsson". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  13. ^ Randall J. Strossen (May 29, 2010). "Magnus Ver Magnusson: Icelandic Strongman Scout". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  14. ^ "Hafþór Júlíus sterkasti maður á Íslandi". Vefsíðan Grindavíkurbæjar (in Icelandic). June 8, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson". vodvafikn.net. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. 
  16. ^ a b c Randall J. Strossen (August 10, 2010). "Haffþór [sic] Júlíusson Björnsson wins Iceland's OK Budar Strongman Contest". IronMind. Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ Randall J. Strossen (November 22, 2010). "Brian Shaw Wins the Inaugural Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic Strongman Contest". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  18. ^ Randall J. Strossen (June 6, 2011). "Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Wins the Strongest Man in Iceland". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  19. ^ Randall J. Strossen (June 19, 2011). "Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Wins Iceland's Strongest Man". IronMind. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  20. ^ Randall J. Strossen (1 January 2015). "Hafthor Wins World's Strongest Viking, Sets Sights on World's Strongest Man". IronMind. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Cindy Boren (May 19, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' villain is second-strongest man in the world". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ Páll Stefánsson (April 1, 2014). "Hafþór Júlíus Runner up in World's Strongest Man Comp". Iceland Review. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  24. ^ BarBend Team (27 May 2017). "Breaking: Eddie Hall Wins 2017 World's Strongest Man in Botswana". BarBend. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  25. ^ Mather, Victor (May 7, 2018). "The Mountain from Game of Thrones Wins World's Strongest Man Title". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ "Game of Thrones' 'The Mountain' sets new strongman record". Canoe.com. March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018. 
  27. ^ "2018 Arnold Strongman Classic - Rogue Elephant Bar Deadlift - Full Live Stream Event 4". Youtube. Rogue Fitness. March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2018. 
  28. ^ Ours is the Fury (August 30, 2013). "Mountain Recast". WinterIsComing.net. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  29. ^ "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. 
  30. ^ Dan McQuade (April 8, 2015). "Mountain Comes to Philly Ren Faire". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  31. ^ a b c 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. 
  32. ^ "'The Mountain' Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson has Bell's palsy". theconversation.com. April 6, 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  33. ^ Jake Cappuccino (July 17, 2016). "The Mountain's Amazing New Alcohol Is Basically A "Game Of Thrones" Vodka". Elite Daily. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  34. ^ Armen Hammer (Nov 7, 2017). "Hafthor Bjornsson Destroys A 440kg/970lb Squat". Floelite.com. Retrieved Feb 17, 2018. 
  35. ^ "Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson Bio". Rogue Fitness. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  36. ^ Jay Hathaway (June 4, 2014). "Watch The Mountain from Game of Thrones Deadlift Almost 1,000 Pounds". Gawker.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  37. ^ Jake Boly (3 March 2018). "Hafthor Bjornsson Deadlifts a 472kg Elephant Bar Deadlift World Record". BarBend.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  38. ^ "Europe's Strongest Man 2018 - Log Lift 213kg - Thor". YouTube. Europe's Strongest Man. April 7, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018. 
  39. ^ Kyle Newport (February 3, 2015). "The Mountain from 'Game of Thrones' Breaks 1,000-Year-Old Weightlifting Record". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  40. ^ BarBend Team (August 15, 2016). "Hafthor Bjornsson Breaks His Own Keg Toss World Record in Botswana". BarBend.com. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  41. ^ "World's Strongest Man 2014". Strongman.org. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2018. 

External links[edit]