As the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones approaches, the question EVERYBODY has been asking is “Is Jon Snow dead”. Actually, they’ve been asking ever since the credits rolled on season 5.
It’s a question no member of the cast has been able avoid, whether they’re one of the ‘big’ names or one of the many supporting cast members.
Playing the towering figure of Gregor Clegane, Icelandic actor and strong man Hafthor Bjornsson is happy to answer questions about the show. Except for THAT one.
“People ask, but I can’t answer that. I really don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know”.
He’s also a little cagey about the fate of his own character. It would appear The Mountain has been ‘re-animated’ after his battle with Oberyn Martell.
We see a hulking character carrying Cersei after her ultimate “Walk of Shame”. In the books he’s known as Ser Robert Strong, but it’s left to the viewer/reader to make assumptions.
“Yeah, I will be there (season six). But I can’t say much. In season six, you’ll just have to wait and see what happens”.
Bjornsson is the third actor to take on The Mountain, replacing Ian Whyte from season 4 and at 205cms tall he’s actually the shortest of the trio.
Nonetheless, it was still a role that was difficult to cast.
“Back in 2013, they heard about me and decided to give me a try because they needed a very big and strong guy, who can move very well.
Usually those type of guys; 400lbs and 6 foot plus, they have bad knees or a bad back. So, it was most difficult for them to find a guy who can move smoothly.
But I played basketball before so that helped. They wanted me to move around with the swords and were impressed. So, I believe my size, my strength and who I am played a big role in why I got the part”.
Having played The Mountain for two seasons, Bjornsson admits he’d like to do more acting, but has to juggle it with his ‘other’ career as a strongman. It sees him competing around the world, including the recent Arnold Classic in Melbourne.
“It’s fantastic being on a show like Game of Thrones. It’s fantastic and I like it a lot. But when you have to train every day and eat eight meals a day and maybe film for six hours a day, it’s tough.
It’s hard to do acting and train and eat all those meals. It takes a lot of time. But it’s fantastic and I love meeting new people and talking to new people”.
Season 6 of Game Of Thrones premieres 11am on Monday April 25th on Showcase. It will air at the same time as the US east coast in a global simulcast spanning 170 countries.