Casting News

Mountain Recast

thorInch for inch, Game of Thrones may have the tallest cast on television, especially with the latest addition.

HBO has confirmed to us that Icelandic strongman Hafþór “Thor” Björnsson has joined the cast of Game of Thrones for the show’s fourth season, and will be taking over the role of the Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane.

Though the 6’9″-tall performer doesn’t have any professional acting experience, he has racked up an impressive list of accolades. At only 24 years old, Thor has won the title of “Iceland’s Strongest Man” for the last three years in a row, and placed third in the 2012 “World’s Strongest Man” competition. WiC sources are reporting that Thor was on set in Belfast earlier this August, and that he is currently in Dubrovnik with the rest of the cast, preparing to film scenes for season four.

It is not known at this point whether it will be a speaking part, or if the strongman’s face will be covered by the Mountain’s helm most of the time. This is a point of interest as Thor is twenty years younger than Rory McCann, the actor who plays Gregor’s younger brother, Sandor Clegane.

The role of the Mountain was originated in season 1 by Conan Stevens, and recast with Ian Whyte in season 2. The character did not appear on Game of Thrones during season 3 and many had speculated that the role might be recast a second time.

Ours is the Fury: Thor has a great look for the Mountain, despite being somewhat younger than what we’d expect in the role. The make-up department, facial hair (real or fake), and the helm will help disguise his age. In interviews with Thor, it appears that he speaks English with a strong Icelandic accent, so I’m wondering if he will be dubbed if he has any dialogue in the role. All in all, he’s a very promising addition to the cast!

 

332 Comments

  • What in the what?!

    Well, at least this gives the chance of him being better than Ian Whyte.

    The lack of acting experience makes me a little disappointed.

  • For a fighting Mountain as opposed to a speaking Mountain, I like this guy a lot better than the one they had last season.

  • So… is Bran next to be recast? Or Rickon? No joke, but recastings are the most offensive thing to me when it comes to shows I love. And Game of Thrones is my favorite show, making this slew of recastings truly annoying/offensive/mind boggling. I’m going to have a hard time sitting down to enjoy the show knowing that any of my favorite characters could be recast whenever they need a fresher face. Maybe they’ll need a taller actor for Tyrion or decide to really sex up Olenna next season. I sense the heavy hand of HBO in these maneuvers, and I think they’ll destroy the morale of the cast and the cohesion and greatness of the show.

  • Well, everybody got their wish. Ian Whyte seemed like a nice, thoughtful guy in that recent convention interview, and I’d hoped he would have a chance to prove the naysayers wrong. But this seemed inevitable. Thor looks like he’ll do an awesome job. That scene should be– and deserves to be–BONKERS.

  • I kinda feel like GOT was like hey… Every year we gotta add like 15 people…. What if there isnt 15 new characters? Hell lets just keep recasting people to make up for the rest. Even if its someone we already used…. New role means new casting prerequisite filled!

  • There are linguist teachers to help him with his accent… and I’m sure the make-up department will make him look older… I hope the man has some things to do or say to build up his character before, well… you know what !

  • Kingslayer:
    hahaha casual viewers are going to be so confused. 2 recasts for one character. amazing.

    The most likely result of all of this is that Ian Whyte’s S2 Mountain will be thought of as another character entirely. The vast majority of the casual audience didn’t make the connection between the guy at Harrenhaal and the huge, crazy dude who chopped off the horse’s head in S1 anyways.

    Put this Gregor in armor and he will instantly make the audience recall Conan Stevens. Put this alongside all the Mountain references by third parties (Robb, Hound etc) and it should be relatively seamless. The way the show portrayed the Mountain’s role in S2, lifting out that part of his story doesn’t really impact anything significantly.

    IMO, if the producers had known this was going to be the way things went, they probably should have just called Whyte’s S2 character someone different entirely. As it stands, only the hardcores are going to draw the connection anyways.

  • I was hoping for Robert Maillet, but this guy has the build. Not sure if he comes off as Sandor’s OLDER brother.

  • I also wonder if they’ll make him look taller. Don’t get me wrong, 6’9″ is tall, but there would be a noticeable difference if you put him next to Conan Stevens and Ian Whyte (who are both 7’1″).

  • I’m hopeful that this means a certain fight scene will live up to the book awesomeness. It’s not like the Mountain exactly requires nuanced acting ability

  • Another god damn recast? I hope this doesn’t become a thing :(

    At least he looks a little bit more like S1 Mountain but… he’s also shorter and Pascal isn’t exactly tiny :(

  • Le sigh. The Mountain is a Time Lord.

    I’m glad the Mountain is coming back but I still would have liked to see Conan back in the role. This guy doesn’t look terrible. I remain a fan of the show.

    Now…here’s hoping they dub Ian Whyte’s voice in. His voice just screams “THE MOUNTAIN!” Or rumbles it. Too bad he was so skinny.

  • He’s got a great look though I’m a little worried about the lack of acting experience. He won’t have a lot of lines but…

    He will have “First I killed her squaling kid! Then I raped her! Then I smashed her fucking face in! Like this!” It’s not a lot but it’s the climax to an epic scene at the climax of the season, so it needs a good delivery.

  • he has one line. the rest he should be great at. this is getting me hyped for probably my favorite scene of the book.

  • I echo the concerns over all this re-casting. Tommen was one thing. Daario was a concern. Now a third re-cast. What is going on? So far they’re all fairly minor characters, or at least haven’t had a ton of screen time yet. But if one of the major roles ends up recast, I’m not sure what that will mean.

  • 30 August 2013 — New York, New York
    HBO executives, along with GAME OF THRONES show runners, today announced that Peter Dinklage will be leaving the show and his character will be recast. Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, was not available for comment. It is rumored that Elijah Wood will replace him following today’s announcement that his FX show WILFRED has been cancelled.

  • We might find it fun to identify the Clegane family accent. Glaswegian-Icelandic?

    Seriously, I think he’ll look marvellous as The Mountain. They’ll probably add some height to him with thick soled shoes and his helm. So he’ll be able to growl down at most people

  • Dave Froom:
    So… is Bran next to be recast? Or Rickon? No joke, but recastings are the most offensive thing to me when it comes to shows I love. And Game of Thrones is my favorite show, making this slew of recastings truly annoying/offensive/mind boggling. I’m going to have a hard time sitting down to enjoy the show knowing that any of my favorite characters could be recast whenever they need a fresher face. Maybe they’ll need a taller actor for Tyrion or decide to really sex up Olenna next season. I sense the heavy hand of HBO in these maneuvers, and I think they’ll destroy the morale of the cast and the cohesion and greatness of the show.

    Don’t forget that actors are real people with real life things that happen. First Mountain recast was entirely due to the original actor, scheduling, and personalities. I doubt D&D did it this time just to annoy you or because this Mountain is slightly sexier. ;)

  • Ollie:
    He’s got a great look though I’m a little worried about the lack of acting experience. He won’t have a lot of lines but…

    He will have “First I killed her squaling kid! Then I raped her! Then I smashed her fucking face in! Like this!”It’s not a lot but it’s the climax to an epic scene at the climax of the season, so it needs a good delivery.

    The line is delivered through a helm. It can be easily dubbed or even if the actor says it, there will be a mask on his face so acting skills aren’t necessarily a priority.

  • King Tommen: The most likely result of all of this is that Ian Whyte’s S2 Mountain will be thought of as another character entirely.The vast majority of the casual audience didn’t make the connection between the guy at Harrenhaal and the huge, crazy dude who chopped off the horse’s head in S1 anyways.

    Put this Gregor in armor and he will instantly make the audience recall Conan Stevens.Put this alongside all the Mountain references by third parties (Robb, Hound etc) and it should be relatively seamless.The way the show portrayed the Mountain’s role in S2, lifting out that part of his story doesn’t really impact anything significantly.

    IMO, if the producers had known this was going to be the way things went, they probably should have just called Whyte’s S2 character someone different entirely.As it stands, only the hardcores are going to draw the connection anyways.

    Agree. With this casting, casual viewers will not even remember that there was a tall, skinny guy at Harrenhal.

    His lack of prior acting experience makes me think that he will not be speaking much. And that may not be a big deal. He really only needs to loudly declare that he did kill Elia and Aegon.

    This certainly has been the season for re-casting. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Guess we will know once we see S4 and if these changes are seamlessly integrated into the story.

  • Josh Parker:
    I echo the concerns over all this re-casting. Tommen was one thing. Daario was a concern. Now a third re-cast. What is going on? So far they’re all fairly minor characters, or at least haven’t had a ton of screen time yet. But if one of the major roles ends up recast, I’m not sure what that will mean.

    Have you every worked anywhere where not a single person quit for 4 years? Again, actors are people who have families, other gigs (possibly better paying), illnesses, and all the other things the rest of us deal with. If Peter Dinklage wants to move on at some point, yes they will recast it. It happens. In a show not based on a book they can just kill the character off or do something better than recasting… the source material limits their choices here. (IE Can’t kill off Daenerys just becuase Emilia Clarke lands some huge roll that conflicts and leaves the show after season 5.)

    In short, the longer the show goes on, the more likely this sort of thing happens, and if this show truly goes to season 7+, it WILL happen (probably) to a major character. It’s part of the business.

  • Dave Froom,

    I think that the main characters such as Bran and Tyrion are safe, and I doubt that HBO’s “heavy hand” has anything to do with this. I don’t mind a recast as long as they are minor characters and the actor looks similar. The Mountains recast is fine, because Ian Whyte (although a fine actor and an excellent white walker/ giant) doesn’t really look the part. This guy looks like he can play a pissed off rage monster of insanity perfectly well.
    The one recast that annoys me is Daario Naharis, because I think that it will be very noticeable. Right now I think that they are grabbing as many actors as they can for the long term, because many of the minor characters in the first 3 books (played by extras in the show) become quite major in the 4th and 5th.

  • Andrew,

    It’s not like Ian Whyte is out of a job or anything, he stills gets to play giants, white walkers, and any other humanoid oddity in Westeros.

  • I’m honestly not that worried about his accent, but I do think dubbing is a possibility if the only time the Mountain has dialogue is when his helm is on. But if it’s just a few lines, they could work hard on his accent with a dialogue coach. Either way, not a big deal to me. The physicality is more important and he’s got that covered for sure.

    As for Ian Whyte, from what I can tell, he’s filming two movies this month. Not sure if that’s a factor, or if the recasting decision was made before he booked other work. But he speaks very positively of GOT and I imagine we may see him again in other creature roles on the show.

  • Seven hells! He looks like he could crush a man’s skull between his fingers!

    I approve

    Still, I really liked Ian Whyte he seemed a really nice dude.

  • Ben Watson,

    Of course I haven’t, and GoT has lost actors before, but three all of a sudden in just one season does seem a bit…odd.

    But I’m hardly one of those doom-sayers that predicts the demise of the show just from situations like this.

  • Josh Parker,

    The only recast that was odd is Daario. People have been clamoring for a Mountain recast ever since they saw Ian Whyte. I doubt we’ll see The Mountain without his helmet at all, and his one or two lines will likely be dubbed.

  • Kilgore Tully,

    His voice won’t be used. It’s really easy to use someone else’s voice and dub it into the scene, especially when the actor’s face will be covered by his helmet.

  • Well this is different, but I’m not as concerned about it as I was the Daario Naharis recasting…that was pretty big (even recasting Tommen, unconfirmed so far, can make the rationalization that they hadn’t used him very prominently, and that child actors are often recast and can explain it as that the character had a growth spurt) – recasting Daario was the biggest of these changes.

    Hey why did they recast Conan for Whyte in Season 2? –(checked) ahh, he was cast as the Orc-king Bolg in The Hobbit trilogy.

  • I feel bad for Ian Whyte ! I hope he didnt take all the critics at heart ! He could have done a great job if given the chance to play S4 I’m sure !

    But this guy seems a perfect deal !

    And I really hope Ian Whyte will keep doing WW, Giants and whatever he can !

  • Recasts are inevitable in a show of this scale, we are lucky that the actors playing major roles have been as loyal as they have been thus far

  • Here are the few lines he must deliver:

    ENOUGH!

    SHUT UP!

    Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.

    Shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Adam:
    Jeez, this role is like the Defense Against the Dark Arts position.

    That comment and the one about the Mountain being a Time Lord made my day ! ^^

  • I quite liked the original Mountain, Conan Stevens. Unfortunately, he was doing too much at the time to stay on! Why would you give up a role on Thrones to work on Spartacus and The Hobbit though? Must have offered more in the way of money.

  • Dave Froom,

    To my recollection The Mountain was in two episodes in S1 maybe three in S2 and none in S3. It must be really hard to keep minor actors who have there own schedules to commit too.

  • “doesn’t have any professional acting experience”

    Sigh…………..Jesus Christ almighty all they needed to do was bring back Conan Stevens.

  • Al Swearengen:
    “doesn’t have any professional acting experience”

    Sigh…………..Jesus Christ almighty all they needed to do was bring back Conan Stevens.

    I’ll take no experience over the acting experience of Conan witnessed in Spartacus.

  • One thing: I hope this guy sticks around because of Ser Robert Strong. No dialogue required, but it does require being huge. Also his face will be covered all the time, plus all those experiments probably left him looking like the elephant man or something. So, yeah, please, Thor, stick around for that.

  • Will this out an end to people asking for Conan back? If so, I’m on board. Robert Strong doesn’t speak and wears a helm, there only needs to be one good line from the Mountain and it can be dubbed.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Also not too worried about the accent. Do you have a link to that interview you mentioned? All I can find is clips of him picking up things that were not meant for human portage. And, my god, that right there is a believable Mountain. He looks like he could survive a sledge hammer fight unarmed, and he turns around with the grace of a drunk elephant. Perfect.

  • Squat – 350 kg (772 lbs.) raw
    Bench press – 230 kg (507 lbs.) raw
    Strongman Deadlift – 400 kg (882 lbs.) raw with wrist straps
    Loglift – 192.5 kg (424 lbs.)

    Physicality: check.

  • At this point, the role of the Mountain is a glorified stuntperson, not an actor. The most important aspect of the role going out is that the character looks huge, imposing and someone who would dominate Oberyn physically, which is why I suspect they realized that Whyte wasn’t going to quite fill the bill. Acting experience is not necessary and if you want a guy of that size and physique who can also act, you’re drawing from an almost non-existent pool.

  • GeekFurious:
    30 August 2013 — New York, New York
    HBO executives, along with GAME OF THRONES show runners, today announced that Peter Dinklage will be leaving the show and his character will be recast. Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, was not available for comment. It is rumored that Elijah Wood will replace him following today’s announcement that his FX show WILFRED has been cancelled.

    I know, right? Jeez already.

  • So we got our tall AND muscular guy. I’m not even that exited, though – not yet.

    I sure hope they knock his helmet off before he gives his final linesTrue to the book or not, I think it will do a lot for the drama of the scene to actually see the face of Oberyns killer.

    And I suppose dubbing might be the best way of fixing his lacking acting skills – Hey! Maybe Ian Whyte can do it. His voice is Mountainous enough, if not really his physicality.

    Do we even need a muscular guy like this, though? If he’s gonna be all armoured up anyway – that was the main problem with Ian – they didn’t try to hide up his skinnyness at all, really.

    And I hope to GOD he gets/has gotten a lot of training before his big scene. I don’t care how much he can lift, he needs to be able to move convincingly.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    For sure, especially when most modern film has actors redubbing their own lines for sound quality. Buuut…they’d have to hire a separate voice actor, and with a larynx as large as his must be, he probably has an advantage at sounding big. Besides, in my mind, this has already happened on a GoT set.

  • Now for the big question – how tall is Pedro?

    This new guy sure is tall, but not as tall as Conan Stevens or Ian Whyte.

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger: Will this out an end to people asking for Conan back? If so, I’m on board. Robert Strong doesn’t speak and wears a helm, there only needs to be one good line from the Mountain and it can be dubbed.

    R Strong doesn’t speak because I doubt he has a head!

  • Recasts are inevitable in a show of this scale, we are lucky that the actors playing major roles have been as loyal as they have been thus far. I think he will be a badass mountain. He’s definitely a character that I would sacrifice acting experience for badass appearance.

  • Ian´s character was like a random Lannister soldier except they call him Gregor, so for me this is the real recast.
    And the Mountain doesn´t have much screen time.

  • GeekFurious: I’m not sure if most casuals will even know who The Mountain is.

    Yeah I have to keep reminding my casual viewer friends who he is every time he’s mentioned.
    Them: “Who’s that guy again?”
    Me: “The guy who split open the horse back in season 1”
    Them: “Oh…..right”

  • Salty Dornishman: Here are the few lines he must deliver:ENOUGH!SHUT UP!Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.Shouldn’t be too hard.

    It WILL take some decent acting to pull this off, imho.
    This will be classic if done right, like the Beric vs Hound fight. This fight has got to build properly and escalate into a false positive for RV (and the gathered crowd) and suddenly change in the cursed Mountain’s favor, who will eventually suffer longer. A great director’s challenge but the actors have got to pull the action off.

    I’m comparing it to the comic version (link below), which I thought was very well done.
    http://mccomseycomix.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/the-red-viper-vs-the-mountain-that-rides-a-12-page-comic/

  • I think this will be a Dave Prowse kind of thing. Cast him for the body, dub him with someone else’s voice. Maybe they’ll still have Ian Whyte speak Gregor. He does have a good voice.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap:
    sjwenings,

    Pedro is 6’0-6’1. So the height difference will be about 8 or 9 inches. But this dude has 125+ lbs. on him, easily.

    He’s 440 lbs. Unless Pedro Pascal packed on some serious weight since the last picture we saw, I think we’re talking more like a 225 lbs difference.

  • Dave Froom,

    Okay, they have recast, what? 3 roles? The mountain, Tommen, and Daario. I won’t count Beric because he was in the show for 3 seconds. If I am missing some please let me know. None of the major roles, meaning POV characters, have been recast. So, lets not get crazy here when talking about how bad this recasting has been. Plus, we don’t really know the reasoning for any of it either (other than Conan Stevens left to do the Hobbit).

  • After all these recasting roles
    Can we please forgot the “In Nina We Trust” b.s. ?

  • Even though he isnt quite as tall as Stevens or Whyte, he definitely has the mass needed to pull off The Mountain, and good directing and angles along with editing and CGI can make him look that much taller than other characters on the screen with him, as has been used used in The Hobbit and LOTR. I would guess that is something D&D and the directors will use for his scenes.

  • So this was what that casting call for really tall actors in Iceland was about. Who knew.

    Don’t worry about the accent, they’ll just have Whyte dub him thus connecting all three mountains.

  • Salty Dornishman:
    Here are the few lines he must deliver:

    ENOUGH!

    SHUT UP!

    Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.

    Shouldn’t be too hard.

    Font forget:
    “You talk to much. You make my head hurt”

  • King Tommen,

    I guess I forgot that he has this kind of mass and is 6’9. LOL. Yeah, he may not be 8 feet tall, but he’s 440 fucking pounds! Nobody should be complaining about the size of the Mountain anymore.

  • Throner:
    Recasts are inevitable in a show of this scale, we are lucky that the actors playing major roles have been as loyal as they have been thus far

    Yeah, we’ve been very lucky they all signed six year contracts they can’t get out of.

  • SerCountryFriedSteak:
    After all these re-casts, can we please stop with the: “In Nina We Trust” bs?

    No. What went down with Conan was not her fault. It was most likely the decision of D&D to recast the Mountain with Ian Whyte and then do another recast.

    It was most likely D&D who made the decision to age up Tommen.

    We have no idea why Daario was recast.

    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  • Pedro uploaded a photo on instagran of the Adriatic sea, and he´s waiting Lena and Finn to arrive soon. :)

  • I guess the role of The Mountain has become the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor of Westeros. Or possibly the Spinal Tap drummer.

  • Dave Froom,

    Seriously you sound like they spit in your mother’s mouth. Just relax if you’re getting that bent out of shape over a recasting maybe they aren’t the problem.

    But you do have a point how dare they recast a character we had become so attached to over the course the four whole minutes he was on screen. I was invested damn it!

  • TheBlackFlame:
    Dave Froom,

    Seriously you sound like they spit in your mother’s mouth. Just relax if you’re getting that bent out of shape over a recasting maybe they aren’t the problem.

    But you do have a point how dare they recast a character we had become so attached to over the course the four whole minutes he was on screen. I was invested damn it!

    THIS SHOW IS DEAD!!!!! Wait, who did they recast again?

  • Well, I guess there is no definitive Mountain, but 3 different takes on the role! I don’t really mind, to be honest.

    I did love Ian Whyte’s voice, though, so I think it would be awesome if he dubbed the dialogue.

  • To be honest… I don’t really care about The Mountain. I didn’t even noticed the first recasting so… And I don’t even remember the face of the actor from s2, so this won’t change anything for me and won’t make me love the show less or more.

  • So many recastings!
    This guy looks better than Ian Whyte but not as good as Conan Stevens. He was the perfect Mountain.

  • Every character is about 6 to 10 years older than they are in the books. Which I am fine with. This Mountain, if I’m not mistaken, is the only actor much younger than the character he’s playing.

  • the only recast thats messed up is Dario. Hes the only one whos had any kind of meaningfull screentime the only one who would really be recognizable. As for the mountain. I think he will look the part. And i doubt he has the helm on during the fight. Usually in television they have the actors take the helm off.

  • Poor Conan Stevens. Who knew the producers wouldn’t like him improvising dialogue and bitching about how a fight was choreographed and edited?

  • Tyrion Pimpslap: Poor Conan Stevens. Who knew the producers wouldn’t like him improvising dialogue and bitching about how a fight was choreographed and edited?

    Improvising dialogue is a rumor. Many recast I hear about have the same “improvising” rumors. I doubt it’s true

  • Josh Parker,

    Actually he’s a headless zombie so they never actually have to take off the helmet and he has no lines so it could be literally anyone who meets the size requirements.

  • This guy will be perfect as the Mountain, also I hope Ian Whyte sticks around to play any other creatures we have on the show that migth fit his size.

  • Al Swearengen,

    Who knew a stunt man who said one word of dialogue would be treated as though he was the Daniel Day Lewis of giant actors? He is to giant “actors” what Dinklage is to dwarf actors. He is the Peter Dinklage of giants. Somebody give this man an Emmy! SWORD!!!

  • M:
    For a fighting Mountain as opposed to a speaking Mountain, I like this guy a lot better than the one they had last season.

    This. He has the looks, surely, but he needs to be dubbed by another actor. I would also prefer they keep his helmet on as much as possible to hide his too-young face, and pump it full of dirt, makeup and facial hair when it isn’t so the age difference won’t be visible. In terms of his physique, he has it more than his two predecessors. Let’s hope he can act/stunt well enough!

  • Holly Shit!!!

    Now that’s a fucking MOUNTAIN!!!

    This is awesome, the duel scene will definitely work now…

    With that muscle bound guy it’ll be awesome. All D&D have to do is make him wear some kind of platform-like boot and use some clever camera angles to make him look even taller.

    I’m so satisfied with this casting and I hope the rest of you are as well. This guy looks every inch an amazing warrior, one that can be The Mountain… Just platform boots and clever cinematography to make him look even bigger and THE DUEL will be the most badass medieval duel ever filmed on TV…

    I was so scared season 2 mountain would be here in season 4 and that would make this event laughable IMO.

    Glad D&D being the dungeon masters that they were, looked at this with some thought and figured out they need a big buff dude to pull this off… Not a tall NBA center.

  • Oh I like this recast….. for all of you saying he might not be able to act… I’ve seen him in some of the worlds strongest man competitions, he doesn’t need to act, intimidating as $&@$!

  • Al Swearengen,

    I was wondering if this announcement pleased you since you constantly bitch on season 2’s Mountain.

    Also, let go of Conan, we don’t know exactly what went down between him and the rest of the cast/crew and nothing he says or they say will ever give us the right perspective on what happened and whether or not Conan deserved to be set aside. Was he a good Mountain, hell yes- but he’s never coming back. This guy looks very Mountain-y to me, much more than Whyte and even contending Conan with the only negative being his age (which can easily be hidden with the right amount of armor and make up). His voice will be dubbed, I’m sure, which actually gives me hopes that we may never see him without his helmet.

  • Wow what a noncontroversy. The television industry employs a system of greasy politics like any finely tuned engine. This shit happens all the time. I’ve seen many great critical analysis on this site, good and bad and argued well. This recasting bitching diminishes the opinion of many commenters for me come broadcast time. Not a big deal to anyone of course, but I overestimated the logic of several people thus far with this hysteria.

    Would you prefer them to not improve the series? Would you prefer them not to film the duel?

  • azad injejikian:
    I was hoping for Robert Maillet, but this guy has the build. Not sure if he comes off as Sandor’s OLDER brother.

    Robert would have been killer. I think this dude will be great though, he’s got the build, and with the right makeup he’ll look mean as hell.

  • I’m so so very happy they changed the second Mountain, that actor was so wrong for the role, he would have looked so odd in the duel scene we are all waiting for.

    It’s a pity they cannot have Conan Stevens back but this one seems definitely better than the second Gregor.

  • Turncloak:
    All this because Conan decided to play a nameless Orc in the Hobbit. …sigh

    He has a name. Just no apparent screen time so far. Although some speculate that he was killed by Dwalin in the opening orc vs dwarf battle since his armor and size matches the character he is playing. Which means…. he left GoT to play a dead orc.

  • Carne,

    Nah. Just like poking fun at the people who worship at the feet of a guy who was in one scene and said literally one word.

  • Jentario:
    Al Swearengen,

    I was wondering if this announcement pleased you since you constantly bitch on season 2′s Mountain.

    Also, let go of Conan, we don’t know exactly what went down between him and the rest of the cast/crew and nothing he says or they say will ever give us the right perspective on what happened and whether or not Conan deserved to be set aside. Was he a good Mountain, hell yes- but he’s never coming back. This guy looks very Mountain-y to me, much more than Whyte and even contending Conan with the only negative being his age (which can easily be hidden with the right amount of armor and make up). His voice will be dubbed, I’m sure, which actually gives me hopes that we may never see him without his helmet.

    Hey, some of us do/did like Conan. You didn’t like that, fine you are entitled to your opinion. And to those who say this is a minor role/insignificant part, wut? Seriously? Besides the Red Wedding, this “event” coming up with him was a pivotal moment in the series. It does need to be well done.

  • Jentario,

    You forget the duel is ruined already because the series did not cast Oded Fehr as Oberyn Martell. They actually decided not to read his mind and cast the person who several fanboys wanted for role. The audacity!

  • Oh god, don’t worry about his acting skills or voice. He’s the freaking Mountain!

    D&D will have him in full armor and helm and if needed can easily dub his voice if required. And we all know he will eventually become Sir Robert Strong and again always be in full armor and helm.

    All that matters is we have a big muscular man that can fill the visual role superbly (like Conan did) as the mountain. GoT has always been a very visual show so this I’d very important.

    And like I said the platform-boots and camera angles can make this dude look HUGE!

    This is awesome news! Everyone looking forward to the duel should be jumping with joy…

  • Rygar:
    Jen@HouseStark,

    If you have any tissues left, then please pass some to AL.;)

    Miss ya kiddo

    Not enough tissues left in the world after the Red Wedding, sweetie. I miss you too, you poop head. :hugs:

  • Jen@HouseStark,

    Where in my post did I imply I didn’t like Conan? I actually really liked him as the Mountain, but shit happens and now he’ll never be the Mountain. This guy will do.

  • Quit being so dramatic, it happens. A Tv show is a huge logistical nightmare and sometimes these things happen. It’s not the end of the world.

    Dave Froom:
    So… is Bran next to be recast? Or Rickon? No joke, but recastings are the most offensive thing to me when it comes to shows I love. And Game of Thrones is my favorite show, making this slew of recastings truly annoying/offensive/mind boggling. I’m going to have a hard time sitting down to enjoy the show knowing that any of my favorite characters could be recast whenever they need a fresher face. Maybe they’ll need a taller actor for Tyrion or decide to really sex up Olenna next season. I sense the heavy hand of HBO in these maneuvers, and I think they’ll destroy the morale of the cast and the cohesion and greatness of the show.

  • GOOD LORD PEOPLE! THE BITCHING AND MOANING! MAKE IT STOP!

    For more than two years, we’ve had a massive amount of bitching about Ian Whyte, who seems like a gracious guy who happens to be a man built as a basketball player, making him perfect to handle the roles of White Walkers, Giants and other such an sundry folk, and I hope he continues to be the Jack of All Trades even though he didn’t really work well as The Mountain.

    Now, we finally get what we wanted – a re-casting! And to quote the movie Major League (and similar to the Magnar of Thenn), “LOOK AT THIS FUCKING GUY.” I mean, look at him. He screams “The Mountain,” and instantly my expectations for the big scene we’re all waiting for have risen about 4000 percent. Conan Stevens is NOT, NOT NOT coming back. Done. Over. Finished! This guy looks huge, will need to deliver one line, and otherwise look like a goddamned beast. That’s all he needs to do, and grow a dark beard (or dye his hair). Period. It’s a great choice, and I’m glad it’s going this way.

    In terms of re-casting in general: Folks, this is an enormous production, but a production that does not stay active constantly (like the Lord of the Rings trilogies, where you go to New Zealand knowing it’s a two-year commitment), nor is it a TV series that shoots 24 episodes, nor is it a series of films spaced 3-4 years apart. There are a ton of characters. People get sick, die, get other commitments, fight with producers, et cetera, et cetera. Kids get older and don’t look the way you want anymore. Extras who weren’t really intended to have a part are re-cast – and right now, with the Spinal Tap drummer effect on The Mountain (admittedly, that’s a hilarious line), we have a Mountain whose physicality can be one we can get behind, and not just bitch about.

    Honestly, other than Daario (and really, I could care less), we haven’t seen any re-castings that really, truly hurt the show. Not one of the changes has been with an inferior person in the part, other than Whyte – who, again, is great for White Walkers – and now that’s been rectified anyway.

    If Dinklage were to leave? Yes, that’d be awful and hard to recover from. Same, though to a slightly lesser extent, with Lena, Maisie, Emelia, and about 14-15 others who really make this show what it is, like Jerome Flynn, or Rory McCann, or Carice van Houten or John Bradley.

    Jeebus. We’ve been waiting for this for two years. And everyone is still complaining.

  • Arthur,

    Your other posts were filled with spoilers. Use the spoiler tags please, there may be Unsullied lurking here. Other than that, yeah! I am dying to see Pascal as Oberyn.

  • I was going to say something flip like, “not tall enough” but after wading through all that sniping I’m going to just put in my two cents to say the producers and casting directors have really come through again and again for the production in terms of finding talented actors. I think it says good things that they haven’t been too easily satisfied and have been willing to make changes in pursuit of a better result, and anyone who has hard feelings about that and isn’t part of the cut actor’s family should remember they are sitting in the peanut gallery.

  • Jentario,

    Sorry, was on my iPhone and got very excited…

    I was so dreading the season 2 Mountain was going to do the duel. This recasting of The Mountain is very exciting to me. Just looking at that guy, I know he will look awesome in some badass plate mail holding a huge two-handed sword.

    Like D&D, I too played AD&D (with online gaming everyone kind of shifted to computers rather then pencil and paper and dice rolling). But anyway, when I read the duel in Storm of Swords, it just transported me back to my younger years playing AD&D. Because at the end of every AD&D playing session, we would always have our characters duel.

    Wow, little off topic there, but yeah this casting news is awesome. It is another step in the right direction. This scene has to be one of the best fight scenes ever, because in all the fantasy books I read this is the best duel ever.

    Everyone should be very happy with this news. Thor looks huge and he will be able to pull off The Mountain’s look visually. That’s the most important part. Season 2 Mountain just didn’t pull it off for a lot f people and I dreaded seeing him in season 4.

  • Jacarb,

    It was on youtube a couple days ago, I don’t have the link handy. It did take me a while to find an interview- mostly it’s clips of him picking things up and grunting. The interview was from 2012,and was within the first pages of results under either Hafthor Bjornsson or Thor Bjornsson so it shouldn’t be too impossible to find if you go looking.

  • GreatJon of Slumber,
    Joshua Atreides,
    Ok,
    1st- we have the casting
    2nd- we have the casting naysayers & debaters (calm)
    3rd- we have the recasting
    4th- we have the recasting naysayers & debaters (not so calm)
    5th- we have the re-recasting
    6th- we have the re-recasting naysayers & debaters (heated)
    7th- we have the sky-is-falling doomsayers (dread)
    8th- we have the naysayer & debater haters (gag)
    9th- we have the keep-calm-everything-is-ok soothsayers (yawn)
    10th- we have the anxious master debaters (fingers-crossed)
    11th- we have the excited viewers (S4 yay!)
    12th- we have the reviewers (yay or nay)
    13th- we have the I-told-you-so yappers (obnoxious)
    14th- we have the water-cooler debaters (Hmmmm)
    ….
    nth- we have the recasting…

    Where’s BC when you need him?

  • boze,

    The white knights on this site are so funny, they see 1 person bitching and that means “controversy” THEN THEY bitch about the people bitching lmao.

    There may be 4-5 people complaining about the recasting at most.

  • Rygar,

    Haters gonna’ hate, potatoes gonna’ potate. It’s just the ways of life :(

    EDIT: I think this is relevant to every comment in this thread :/

  • I was honestly ok with Whyte doing the fight, but if this Thor guy is D&D’s choice I am on board!

    This is another role that re-casting does not bother me in the least as most people will hardly notice and I will not care. XD

  • Another recast.
    Another. Recast.
    Of the character who already was recasted.
    I’m just going to throw my cat out of a window, that’s how pissed off i am. Its ok, he already survived it twice, after the first mountain recast and the fist of first men.

  • And here I was, being afraid they were going to CGI the Mountain Brienne style this season.

    Ha!

    He really looks like a mountain :)

  • Here’s the audio book reading of THE DUEL

    If you haven’t read Storm of Swords do not click the link.

    If you have and want to “relive” THE DUEL, like I have at least 50 times by listening go right ahead..

    You’ll be reminded The Mountain has many lines during this, all basically one liners…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JU53dfWE8w

  • Kyrenna,

    What do you mean “Brienne style”? There was no CGI involved with Brienne except for the bear pit of cause. – Or do I sense ironie here?

  • GeekFurious,
    Im not sure most of casuals will remember what Winterfell is in season 5. Lets rename it to Starkfort. Yes, you may not like this decision now, but in the retrospective it will get better. Because nothing shouts “AMAZING SHOW” louder than constant main roles recasts and actor reusages.

  • he is huge and very strong! he is the mountain! now get to fight training!

    I just wnat to see a picture of Pedro!

    people get over the recasts, man!

  • Arriba,

    because a: they didnt want him back
    b: he didnt want to come back

    simple really

    you all wanted a MOuntain of a man and now you HAVE one and you are still whining!

  • boze,

    Alright, they are definitely going to have to dub him. Not only dies he speak with a heavy accent, he also stutters. No way this man can be trained for a speaking role on the show :-D

  • Arriba,

    He said he was open to coming back. Clearly they were open to recasting the role, since they did so but they didn’t invite Stevens back; therefore we can only assume they did not want to have him back. Their reasons will, I assume, remain private.

  • Loki,

    Tommen and Gregor aren’t main roles right now (Tommen only becomes main in Book 4/S5). Daario I’ll concede, that annoyed me too. So that is 1 big recasting, out of a ridiculously huge cast.

    They reused 1 actor. So no it is not “constant actor reusages”. That actor can easily come across as different to his 1st extremely minor role. Deadwood did this thing bigger and they did it twice, but it worked.

    Actors are people ya know. They have a lot of shit going on. But don’t stop the hyperbole on my count

  • I generally dislike recasts, but am quite happy with the new Daario (loved Huisman in Treme) and fully support the new Mountain. Too bad Conan decided not to continue to play the roll, as the best was yet to come for his character. Thor looks much more like The Mountain than Conan’s replacement.

  • Garlan the Gallant,

    Listen man,

    Actors are people and real life issues sometimes prevent them from working.

    We all should be thankful and continue to wish all the GoT cast and crew long life and good health.

    I would be crushed and devastated if another Andy Whitfield type circumstance came into play. And with the cast and crew of GoT appearing to be so tight with each other that would also devistate the show.

    So be thankful there is hardly any turnover involved in this series and be more thankful that all the turnover that has occurred didn’t happen because of an actors health or death being the reason.

    We all miss Andy…

  • Jeez they’re re-casting everybody

    At least this is one I can fully get behind, especially since he’s gonna mostly be armored anyway.

  • Loki: Im not sure most of casuals will remember what Winterfell is in season 5. Lets rename it to Starkfort.

    The casuals are still wondering whether Khal Drogo actually “came back to life” or was a magical hallucination in Season 2.

    But I’m liking Starkfort much more than I should.

  • The character will certainly be build up through the season for the duel, so I think that, even if Thor has never act professionaly before, he’ll pull him of and will have to play decently in the (imo) two or three scenes that must be given to the character before the epic moment.

  • Arriba,

    Obviously Conan left on bad terms and burnt his bridge back to GoT. I imagine the quick season 2 recast of The Mountain was because Conan put the show in a bind so in a bandaid fix they had Ian step into the role as The Mountain because D&D had no choice.

    D&D have eyes and read the books and ill bet they were just as dissatisfied with the physical appearance of the season 2 Mountain as a lot of us were. Nothing against Ian but he just didn’t visually look like The Mountain.

    So Conan put HBO in that spot and rightfully so, they are unforgiving…

    That’s just my take on the matter, just a guess as to what happened.

  • Ours is the Fury: Arriba,

    He said he was open to coming back. Clearly they were open to recasting the role, since they did so but they didn’t invite Stevens back; therefore we can only assume they did not want to have him back. Their reasons will, I assume, remain private.

    I’m waiting for the ESPN 30 for 30 scoop on what Conan Stevens did to piss D&D off

  • Arthur: Arriba, Obviously Conan left on bad terms and burnt his bridge back to GoT. I imagine the quick season 2 recast of The Mountain was because Conan put the show in a bind so in a bandaid fix they had Ian step into the role as The Mountain because D&D had no choice.D&D have eyes and read the books and ill bet they were just as dissatisfied with the physical appearance of the season 2 Mountain as a lot of us were. Nothing against Ian but he just didn’t visually look like The Mountain.So Conan put HBO in that spot and rightfully so, they are unforgiving…That’s just my take on the matter, just a guess as to what happened.

    Frankly, as someone who disliked the S2 Mountain, I agree with some others who questioned why the Mountain was even in S2. For what he did at Harrenhal could have easily been done more ominously through better camera angles, armor and fear displayed by others in his presence. He is a character who oozes mortal anxiety in others and blood (innocent or not) should always be shed wherever he is. He is angry, unstable and insane. To see and hear him take part in a conversation/meeting in S2 was not right (imho).

    I speculate that the casting of the S2 mountain was an eye-for-an-eye knee-jerk reaction to Conan’s departure rather than making the effort to re-write the scenes.

    As always, 20-20 hindsight.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap: Turncloak,

    But it’s funny. And so is the whining about him being fired. The tears taste so sweet.

    The funniest rumor I’ve heard is that Conan Stevens thought the Mountain was a covert Genious and was trying playing him as such

  • Garlan the Gallant,

    I know you were.

    I was agreeing with your post also I just meant to add more to it with my post…

    People complaining about recasting obviously weren’t put into a state of depression as I was when I heard about Andy.

    People need to put things in perspective. The huge cast vs the low turnover rate of GoT has been pretty amazing if you ask me.

  • Is anyone else worried that this guy might be too massive in relation to his height? I know he’s a big guy (and seems slimmer in the picture posted here), but after doing some YouTube video searching, he definitely has that powerlifter/strongman build with a bit of a man-child face (assuming from youth/body fat). Anyone who follows that world knows that those guys aren’t bodybuilders and care much more about strength/power/performance than physique/body proportion.

    I am hoping he has cut some of the weight from the YouTube videos because he might otherwise just come off as being some huge fat guy in a suit of armor. I’m hopeful that the makeup people can work their magic because of the age thing—as others have pointed out. I would also think they wouldn’t cast him if he wasn’t somewhat athletic, but you’re always concerned when guys carry that much mass.

    I guess I would have felt more comfortable with a huge guy with some kind of professional wrestling background. At the very least, you can get a feel about how good of a mover/performer the guy is. Anyhow, it’s going to be really odd going from the taller, thinner Ian Whyte to a shorter, bulkier strongman.

  • Hiring people with no acting experience? Really? This I better not turn out like sparatacus!

  • Grendam,

    I wouldn’t worry about that. I can almost guarantee in the shots they will use to emphasize his height he will be wearing some kind of platform boots and they will also use camera angles to make him look much taller in comparison to people around him.

    D&D can even go as far as using a little CGI post production (like they do with the Dire Wolves) to make him even appear bigger in some shots.

    I too did a youtube search and this guy is massive. He is going to look like a tank in plate mail. Will be awesome!

  • Easteros bunny:
    Hiring people with no acting experience? Really? This I better not turn out like sparatacus!

    Yes, you know what they should have done? Scoured the Shakespeare companies for the perfect actor to insert into 1 scene that requires a massive stunt fight which primarily hinges on the physical dimension of the two characters involved.

    Huge fail. Drama degree and 2 years history working on a soap opera should have been a prerequisite.

    Sometimes I feel myself getting dumber just scrolling through some of these comments.

  • “All in all, he’s a very promising addition to the cast!”

    Yes… a guy with zero acting experience, much younger than the role he is playing, and will possibly need dubbing to hide his accent sounds like a great casting. lol, If they are just looking for a big guy to fill armor but not speak or really show his face I guess he is a good casting.

    Haha anyway, I’d still say its an improvement I guess, the second season guy was too skinny. But at this point it is getting ridiculous, what are they planning to have a totally new actor that looks very little like the previous one every season? Conan Stevens was the best and shoulda been kept (not that I know why he was let go in the first place).

  • Arthur,

    I hope you’re right. I just have to trust they know what they’re doing.

    For anyone who is curious, I thought I would, for example, post one of the YouTube clips from Europe’s Strongest Man 2012. I know it’s a year later, but I would be a lot more concerned if we get this guy rather than the one in the picture.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM5jSB677Iw

    0:05 – 0:07 (by the Icelandic flag)
    0:34 – 0:36
    1:00 – 1:03
    1:10 – 1:14
    1:19 – 1:22 (sitting in the background)

  • As someone who had not read the books when I saw series 2 [am reading them albeit slowly now] I was not so dim I did not know who Ian Whyte was playing [the fact Tywin called him Clegane kind of helped]. The series 4 Mountain does have the big and beefy factor. As there have now been 3 recasts in very rapid succession I hope there won’t be any more.

  • Loki: I’m just going to throw my cat out of a window, that’s how pissed off i am. Its ok, he already survived it twice, after the first mountain recast and the fist of first men.

    Lol, that had me laughing much more than it should have. Poor cat, let’s hope there’s not more than 6 recasts in total :-)

    I do applaud this recast though, as Mountain#2 just wasn’t physically impressive enough. And if needed, a voice-over by Ian Whyte (or a pro voice artist) shouldn’t be too much of a problem for a character like the Mountain. Welcome back Ser Gregor!

  • Patchy Face,

    I think so, he’s got the dark almond eyes, salt and pepper beard and the complexion down! I’ll be happy if he is Plumm :)

    “There are old sellswords and bold sellswords but there are no old, bold Sellswords.”

  • Samson: Conan Stevens was the best and shoulda been kept (not that I know why he was let go in the first place).

    If we ever got a candid assessment from the PTB, I suspect they would agree. CS’s physical size, his fighting skills, his film experience, his age vis a vis Rory McCann’s, his native English speech—he is not easy to replace. If he originally proved to lack commitment to the production, for whatever reason, then I can understand Nina G./D&D might worry that he’d again leave for a better opportunity if it presented itself, requiring yet another recast. I always felt the Mountain and the Hound would be the most challenging casting, and we should be grateful that Rory was coaxed out of retirement for the role of his career.

    I predict that this time next year we’ll be bemoaning this new gentleman’s performance.

  • King Tommen: The most likely result of all of this is that Ian Whyte’s S2 Mountain will be thought of as another character entirely. The vast majority of the casual audience didn’t make the connection between the guy at Harrenhaal and the huge, crazy dude who chopped off the horse’s head in S1 anyways.

    Exactly!

  • King Tommen,

    Exactly!

    And I speculate this is because Conan Stevens fucked D&D over and left for The Hobbit/Spartacus leaving them no time to recast The Mountain and making D&D have to throw Ian in as the season 2 Mountain thus ruining The Mountains storyline.

    This has to be why HBO/D&D refuse to hire Conan back for season 4. He totally screwed over The Mountains storyline.

    But I agree, the causal viewer will remember only the season 1 Mountain that cut a horses head off, they will have no idea The Mountain was even in season 2 unless they are ultra smart and really pay attention to details.

    So as long as they keep season 4 Mountain and beyound in full plate and helm, the vast majority of the viewers will not be affected. The only people that will even know are people like us…

  • I’m not ashamed to say it…. I absolutely hated Ian Whyte as Gregor. Gregor is supposed to be the biggest, baddest, craziest, most terrifying beastmanpig on that planet … not Shawn Bradley.

  • Samson:
    “All in all, he’s a very promising addition to the cast!”

    Yes… a guy with zero acting experience, much younger than the role he is playing, and will possibly need dubbing to hide his accent sounds like a great casting.lol

    How many internationally loved epics have you cast? I forget.

  • My prediction: they will keep him in his helm to mask the age, then use dubbing to keep the voice roughly consistent with how Gregor has sounded in the past.

  • Well congrats to the new actor! Give him a chance… Ian White was too big and strong.. I , for one, welcome the inclusion of a new buff actor, we will need him, specially after the head buisness… are u so blind that u see the complications of house lannister

  • I thought people wanted The Mountain recast, and now it has happened, and people are complaining.

    This recast is fine. The Tommen recast is fine too. The only concerning one is Daario, but the world will keep turning. As others have said, the cast of this show is massive, even considering the number of characters killed off per season. This is bound to happen just given the sheer number of actors/actresses on the show.

  • The problem with Ian Whyte is that he looks completely normal. He’s tall and that’s it, but he doesn’t have a presence about him. When he’s sitting down, he doesn’t stand out. The Mountain needs to be someone like The Kurgan in Highlander.

  • No! First I killed her whailing yelp. Then I killed her. Then I raped her. Then I bashed her fucking head in! Like this! one of the best moments lol

  • I’m not sure what to make of this but he needs to pull the fight scene off with Oberyn. If he can do that then it won’t be much of a problem. The mountain has to confess to Oberyn’s accusations and admit he did rape and kill Elia and her children, but as he will be wearing armor they can dub that. After this fight, all he does in scream in the red keep.. and after that become the Silent giant Robert Strong.

  • The Mountain is fast becoming a role as frequently recast as The Doctor! I approve! This guy’s bio makes him perfect. We needed a true Mountain for the duel with Oberyn, and they got him! Ah Ian Whyte, thank you for you presence, but you shall forever be known as ” The Mountain That Tries.”

  • Wow the guy looks like a beast, and I mean that as a compliment…LOL!!! He’s got the physical part down, no doubt. I mean I would not like to piss this guy off…he really looks threatenning in earnest, which was not the case, with all due apologies to Mr. Whyte, in the Season 2 portrayal of The Mountain. I do hope as others have said that Mr. Whyte will continue to remain involved with GoT since he is our go to guy playing the Others and the giants and whatever other creatures will be revealed in the future.

    As for the height, that is not a big deal, Conan Stevens was 7 ‘1 and “Thor” is 6’9, that is only a two inch difference which will hardly be noticeable on screen. Its not like they cast someone who is 5’2 as Gregor. Once they get him into costume, make up and all the rest he’ll undoubtedly look the part.

    Tom Hardy is not that tall, and they managed to make him look so physically imposing and towering in “The Dark Knight Rises”, and he was wearing platform shoes throughout the filming of the movie. In our case that won’t even be an issue.

    The whole deal with his accent won’t be an big problem either. They have dialect coaches on their sets and all he has to do is just learn how to pronounce his lines with whatever accent Gregor will have, its not like he is going to recite a Shakesperean soliloqui! Either that or he’ll be dubbed. After all they did it for Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” movies

    As for the age difference, I also doubt that that will be an issue, remember we don’t know what he will ultimately look like until we see some production pictures and eventually see him in his scenes. We can’t judge his potential look on the show based on the picture above.

    For me I can’t help it, but Conan Stevens remains the embodiment of what Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain That Rides, aka “The Mad Dog”, looks like when I picture him in my minds eye…

    Other than that I wish Mr. Bjornsson all the best and welcome to the cast and the show! Looking forward to seeing him in action! I sincerely hope he is here to stay and that he’ll be our Mountain henceforth, since Conan Stevens is clearly not going to return to GoT.

    Let’s wait and see…

  • very happy with this! He certainly seems to have the physique required and anyone with the surname ‘Bjornsson’ is always gonna be a good idea for casting the mountain with lol.
    Like these three recastings, if there were three roles in the show i’d recast it would be those three, but hope they stop here past this it would be too much plus cant think of anyone else who needs replacing

  • I still cannot get over how perfect Conan Stevens was for the role and the fact that they lost him.

  • But overall the only recast that really bothers me is Daario. Hafthor has the build for the Mountain, and can easily be made taller with the aid of thicksoled shoes and camera tricks. His voice can be dubbed due to his helmet.

    Tommen I think had it coming. The first kid could pull the occassional line but now he will actually have a role.

    Daario however was portrayed well by Ed Skrein, and was also well established. Having another guy just sweep in will confuse the shit out of audiences and thus lessen the show.

  • An afterthought – as there has been a news story some little while back that unfortunately Wilko Johnson is too ill to play Ser Ilyne Payne in S4, will they not need to recast that part as if they follow the books he interacts albeit in a small way with Jaime . I suppose somebody with a similar physique and as intimidating as Wilko would do; can’t think of such an actor off the top of my head.
    Recently Mr Johnson was on British TV talking about his work with Dr Feelgood (the band) – seemed so strange to hear him talking in a broad Estuary English accent; and he seemed pleasant and not at all sinister.

  • OldeCrone,
    My personal theory is that they will have Bronn take over the role that Ilyn plays in the books, as it would give Bronn something to do onscreen and give him interactions with characters he wouldn’t otherwise interact with. But then that would depend on whether his absence from the centre of attention in book 4 is necessary to set something up or not. Alternatively, Bronn could take the role of one of the Kettleblacks, but I don’t think that is as likely. Either way, I think that the role of Ilyn will be retired from the show out of respect for Wilko, and his role in the story taken by another character.

  • Holly shit!!! You gotta see this guy on YouTube…he is fucking awesome! LOL!!! We will be more than all right with him as the Mountain…if he’s half as pissed off as he is in those videos…man we’ll be in for quite a show!

  • Thank the seven GODS! This such great news. Season 2 Mountain was so unbelievable as he’s described in the book. Season 1 Mountain, Conan Stevens, was so spot on it’s too bad he couldn’t carry on with the role. I love this recasting, this new guy looks very promising, especially for what’s to come in S4! Can’t wait!!

  • People, it’s not a two inch difference, it’s a four inch difference. There are 12 inches in a foot, not 10.

    Wow, many, many people need to go back to elementary school to relearn some basic math I think.

    Math aside, I’m fine with this – the Mountain doesn’t have many speaking lines anyway and good camera angles will make up for the “two” (read: four) inch difference.

  • Macharius,

    Yeah the Daario recast is going to suck and be confusing to the casually viewer. That being said, if a viewing audience can handle the main character of Spartacus being recast then I think everything will be fine with Daario being recast. It’s just that unlike the other recasts, people will definitely notice the actor has changed…

  • Loool I cannot believe that after thousands of admonitory posts by Ours Is the Fury telling us to stop complaining about The Mountain, that they already had The Mountain (Ian Whyte) and that it was not going to be recast they went and recast him…this is too funny :-D

  • loco73: As for the height, that is not a big deal, Conan Stevens was 7 ’1 and “Thor” is 6’9, that is only a two inch difference which will hardly be noticeable on screen.

    Thats a 4 inch difference. He’d look very noticably shorter next to our previous Mountains.

    So let’s hope they give him some platform shoes. Probably no more than an inch, though, so that he’ll keep his balance well enough. Every inch counts, though. Thats what she said.

  • Pau Soriano,

    Everyone, well almost everyone, could tell that the season 2 Mountain was just a bandaid fix that was made because there was a lack of time and a schedule that had to be kept and Ian was available on quick notice.

    I think it is also apparent now that this season 2 Mountain dilemma was caused by Conan Stevens abruptly leaving without ample notice giving to D&D to replace him or change The Mountains storyline a bit.

    Why else would HBO/D&D go out of their way to avoid recasting Conan Stevens once again as The Mountain.

    Also everyone, well almost everyone, who was looking forward to the epic season 4 event knew The Mountain needed to be recast in order to get the proper visuals of what we all are so looking forward to seeing.

    And now, knowing D&D saw the same problem with Ian just not having that intimidating and overbearingly ridiculous huge physical presence, I am totally confident D&D will deliver to us something we will watch on youtube 100s of times…

  • Arthur:
    Pau Soriano,

    Everyone, well almost everyone, could tell that the season 2 Mountain was just a bandaid fix that was made because there was a lack of time and a schedule that had to be kept and Ian was available on quick notice.

    I think it is also apparent now that this season 2 Mountain dilemma was caused by Conan Stevens abruptly leaving without ample notice giving to D&D to replace him or change The Mountains storyline a bit.

    Why else would HBO/D&D go out of their way to avoid recasting Conan Stevens once again as The Mountain.

    Also everyone, well almost everyone, who was looking forward to the epic season 4 event knew The Mountain needed to be recast in order to get the proper visuals of what we all are so looking forward to seeing.

    And now, knowing D&D saw the same problem with Ian just not having that intimidating and overbearingly ridiculous huge physical presence, I am totally confident D&D will deliver to us something we will watch on youtube 100s of times…

    I agree…but that has nothing to do with my comment :P

    boze: Haha. ;)

    Here’s an interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlDnYlBFa6o

    Steroids make you stutter XD

  • Pau Soriano,

    People were constantly demanding that they bring back Conan Stevens and it was patently obvious that that was not going to happen, given his speaking out about it since he was let go. And indeed, Conan Stevens was not asked back even when the show had the opportunity to invite him back. Commenters told you and others to stop complaining because they felt it was annoying and pointless- Conan was not coming back and it was repetitive. And now the show has brought on Thor, who seems to have potential. So the question is, will people finally stop complaining about Conan being gone? :)

  • Al Swearengen,

    I don’t think any acting skill is necessary when the plan is to have him in full plate mail and helm. He was hired for his physical stature, acting had absolutely nothing to do with The Mountains recast…

  • Al Swearengen,

    Potential based on his immense height and musculature, and his ability to look intimidating based on photos and videos. His having been a basketball player also suggests athletic skill, so he’s not just strong. There’s potential. Potential is not the same thing as proof. Video of him acting would be proof. So we’ll just have to wait and see. It’ll be interesting to see if any photos leak from Croatia filming.

    Oh, and a lot of people complained about the Brienne & Jaime “crying like a woman” remark, actually. Not so much here at WiC, but across the internet. Just for point of comparison.

  • Al Swearengen,

    Yeah, that’s true. The Mountain requires a lot of range, and Conan proved he had what it takes with the way he delivered his word. “SWORD!!!” Honestly, there are two requirements for the Mountain, he must be gargantuan(6’9/440 lbs. = check) and he must be able to swing a sword wildly. It is Pascal/Oberyn that will be doing most of the work in the duel.

  • I approve! The Mountain stopped his dieting!

    Now if we can only get Grey Worm not to look like the wind is about to blow him away…

  • Tyrion Pimpslap: Al Swearengen, Yeah, that’s true. The Mountain requires a lot of range, and Conan proved he had what it takes with the way he delivered his word. “SWORD!!!” Honestly, there are two requirements for the Mountain, he must be gargantuan(6’9/440 lbs. = check) and he must be able to swing a sword wildly. It is Pascal/Oberyn that will be doing most of the work in the duel.

    and the choreographer/director…the wild sword swinging by the Mountain (“ENOUGH!” “SHUT UP!”) and the dancing, thrusting and taunting by the RV, with shots of the crowd/Tyrion reacting to every step…building up tension…spear snapping, sword lifting, knee grabbing….Ahhhh!… until the final “..Like this!” Ugghhh! God I can’t wait…(I just read that chapter again…)

  • boze: Haha. ;)

    Here’s an interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlDnYlBFa6o

    His English isn’t very good by Icelandic standards, but I guess they can dub him. Accent is less noticeable if you only say a couple of words anyway.

    As said before, the fight will probably include stunt doubles (Whyte may even still be the Mountain in some perspective shots) and maybe a little CGI, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Arthur,

    As soon as I saw this story on the front page, my first thought was “Well Arthur is going to be happy!” haha.

    Yeah, this guy looks like a beast. Should make for some really great content this season.

  • Thor understands English well so he can easily learn to speak his lines. As for doing the appropriate accent, as many have said (including me), they can dub it or he can learn it.

  • Andrew,

    This casting news really made my day for sure. I was so worried we would see season 2 Mountain and that would visually ruin the big scene for me.

    I was and still am very excited they found this HUGE dude to be The Mountain.

  • Aegon the Conqueror:
    I approve! The Mountain stopped his dieting!

    Now if we can only get Grey Worm not to look like the wind is about to blow him away…

    Of course you’re happy, you’re Aegon I (:
    Spoken like someone whom shares the ” blood of the dragon ” as with other
    Targaryeons .

  • sean:
    I’m not ashamed to say it…. I absolutely hated Ian Whyte as Gregor. Gregor is supposed to be the biggest, baddest, craziest, most terrifying beastmanpig on that planet … not Shawn Bradley.

    Thus reminding me of a Dallas Mavs game where Bradley decided to lay it in and got stuffed, prompting Keith Olbermann to react: “Shawn! You’re 7’6″! Dunk the ball!!”

  • Mike:
    Dave Froom,

    Except that casual viweers dont’/won’t even remember who The Mountain is, especially after a season of absence. It’ll be fine.

    A friend of mine and I were talking about it and he was like “I don’t think anyone will realize they changed him since they haven’t seen him since that one scene in season 1.”

    And he’s a non-book reader but a pretty big fan of the show.

  • GeekFurious,

    So you’re basically saying someone who is an avid TV fan doesn’t even realize The Mountain was in season 2…

    Yeah Conan really f*cked The Mountain’s storyline by making D&D have to bandaid fix season 2 Mountain… No wonder they refuse to take Conan back.

    On the bright side, season 2 Mountain was so Unmountain-like, even an avid TV fan didn’t notice who it was and thus season 4 Mountain in full plate and helm will pickup right where season 1 Mountain left off…

  • I’m LOVING this recast!

    Seriously, just google some images of this guy. He is SCARY! This will make for an amazing duel! Can’t wait!

  • GeekFurious,

    Before I read the books and researched the show, I must confess it took me till the 8th episode of season 2 to realize the guy was the Mountain, and that’s when it was stated outright: “Arya, you will stay with the Mountain.” Says Tywin. So it’s pretty bad.

  • Jentario,

    What about “Garden of Bones” when the Mountain chooses his victims for torture and we see this tall mofo walking towards the pen and Arya turns around and says “the Mountain”? Leading to a terrible experience for Hot Pie as he pisses himself when this seemingly disembodied hand chooses its next victim.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Pau Soriano,

    People were constantly demanding that they bring back Conan Stevens and it was patently obvious that that was not going to happen, given his speaking out about it since he was let go. And indeed, Conan Stevens was not asked back even when the show had the opportunity to invite him back. Commenters told you and others to stop complaining because they felt it was annoying and pointless- Conan was not coming back and it was repetitive. And now the show has brought on Thor, who seems to have potential. So the question is, will people finally stop complaining about Conan being gone? :)

    You’re confusing me with someone else, I never asked for Conan to be back because that was not going to happen (D&D even suggested in an interview they didn’t like him anyway)

    Me and some others did advocate for a re-casting of Ian Whyte though, wich is a total different thing, and you told us to shut up because that was not going to happen….guess what, it just did ;)

  • Salty Dornishman:
    Here are the few lines he must deliver:

    ENOUGH!

    SHUT UP!

    Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.

    Shouldn’t be too hard.

    And all that is through a Helm. They might have gotten this guy for the silent Robert Strong.

  • Jentario:
    GeekFurious,

    Before I read the books and researched the show, I must confess it took me till the 8th episode of season 2 to realize the guy was the Mountain, and that’s when it was stated outright: “Arya, you will stay with the Mountain.” Says Tywin. So it’s pretty bad.

    Yeah. I read the books immediately after season 2 and had to go back to catch the change.

  • Jentario: GeekFurious, Before I read the books and researched the show, I must confess it took me till the 8th episode of season 2 to realize the guy was the Mountain, and that’s when it was stated outright: “Arya, you will stay with the Mountain.” Says Tywin. So it’s pretty bad.

    Yeah…the only real GoT depiction of the post-S1 Mountain was the carnage witnessed in S3, Ep1 when Robb and his men ride into Harrenhal. Bodies and blood everywhere…no need for the actual character to be seen, that is the work of the real Mountain. Too bad they aren’t showing what he and his men are doing to the countryside.

    And Edmure let him escape….ahhhh!

  • Well…

    One thing is for sure at this point…

    D&D have all the puzzle pieces that are needed to give us an awesome scene.

    My last concern would be who D&D has or brought in to do the choreography. You can have the best and most awesome people, wardrobes and environment to film this scene but, as a rule, it can only be as good as the choreography/stunt work.

    Does anyone in WiC know who the choreography will be done by? I would like to know if this info is out there…

  • Since he has something like literally three lines in the coming season, I think they can safely dub it or have him practice them a lot to get them right, especially if he has his great helm on.

  • Would have preferred the original actor but will give this guy a chance, as has been said in previous comments it isn’t like the role requires any serious acting ability, only that he be big, ferocious and able to summon a rage expression. Though I myself would have chosen Nathan Jones as a replacement. Just as big, with at least SOME acting experience under his belt & no attitude problem in evidence, Just sayin’ ;)

  • King Tommen: http://instagram.com/p/duzLVLALkC/#

    Geebuz – in those photos he’s amazingly similar to Conan!

    I’ll be honest, I kind of wanted to see what Whyte did, in case he pulled off something amazing in suitably bulked-up armour (I mean, he’s an experienced stuntman and WAS the predator) and silence the haters, but…

    …it is pretty cool to have a Gregor from the scene (which I didn’t know existed) of monstrously huge retro circus-style strongmen. Gregor fits the strongman (and/or Olympic weightlifter) look more than if they got a chiseled bodybuilder.

  • So this picture pretty much confirms we’ll see him without his helmet… I’m glad of it ! I really hope they give the Mountain two or three scenes to build up the character before THE scene.

  • Arkash,

    To paraphrase Monty Python, that picture’s dynamite! Yay.

    Also, my brother, who just finished reading A Clash of Kings, had no idea the Mountain had appeared in the 2nd season as well.

  • Slight spoiler maybe, if they stick to the book he will have lines, though only one or two. Aside from maybe “shut up” I can only remembering him saying one thing, but it would be a real shame if they left it out because it’s an important line. NOW BIG SPOILERS, SERIOUSLY STOP READING IF YOU CARE ABOUT SPOILERS FROM SEASON FOUR, LIKE SERIOUSLY, STOP RIGHT NOW, IT’S OFFICIALLY YOUR OWN FAULT IF YOU KEEP READING A i WON’T BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. ENJOY: He fights Rhaegar’s brother in law and if you remember (I think they covered this in the show) Gregor killed Rheagar’s wife and smashed their son’s head against the wall so Oberyn (the guy he fights, Rheagar’s brother in law brother to Elia Martell) is understandably pissed and fights the mountain. Oberyns keep repeating “Elia of Dorne you raped her, you killed her. You murdered her children.” and he tries to get Gregor to admit to it, if I remember correctly Gregor tells him to shut up a few times because he’s getting annoyed that Oberyns beating him, he finally has Gregor on the ground and a spear through him and he says it again “Elia of Dorne you raped her, you killed her. You murdered her children.” and then Gregor grabs Oberyn, pulls him down on top of himself and admits to everything, and then he says “Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.” and then he smashes Oberyn’s face in with his mailed fist, killing him. It’s one of the most intense part of the series.

  • Rygar: Doesn’t work using mobile girlfriend

    It does, you just have to type it yourself ;)

    If you can’t do even that, don’t post

    PS: Plus I doubt Alex posted that Wall of Text from a phone…

  • Pau: It does, you just have to type it yourself ;)

    If you can’t do even that, don’t post

    PS: Plus I doubt Alex posted that Wall of Text from a phone…

    The spoiler FUNCTION sweetheart does not work using mobile.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Rygar,

    Type in brackets manually if you want to add spoilers from a phone. I do it all the time.

    < b > spoilery info< / b >

    you just type that without spaces between b’s and brackets.If you can’t do it, then don’t post a huge section of incredibly detailed spoilers. Switch off the mobile site if you can’t figure it out using the mobile version.

    When have I spoiled, mate? Just pointing out the inefficiencies of the site.

  • Rygar,

    You said the function doesn’t work- I’m just pointing out you can add and use spoiler coding using the site on a phone, in case anyone here doesn’t know how.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Rygar,

    You said the function doesn’t work- I’m just pointing out you can add and use spoiler coding using the site on a phone, in case anyone here doesn’t know how.

    My dearest, you said that I should not post spoilers. I would never.

  • I wouldn’t say that the fact he is a strong man precludes him from acting. Earlier this year they showed a Swedish thriller on BBC4 based on the Mysterioso books by Arne Dahl. One of the detectives was played by a former strong man (Magnus Samuelson) and bearing in mind that I was watching in a language I don’t understand with English subtitles he seemed to “nail it” well, so here’s hoping “Thor” makes the transition as well.

  • Despite the fact that he isn’t the same actor as the one in the first season, I still find him better than Ian Whyte in terms of looks. He does look more like a mountain than that tree, so I do approve~

  • John-Michael,

    Exactly! I’m a big Strong Man fan and Thor really caught my eye last year in the finals. He’s big, but quick and dexterous. With a beard and aging make-up (it’s so easy to age actors with make-up), plus the helm…I doubt you’ll notice his age.

    As far as dialogue, his English isn’t that good…you can tell he’s grasping for words, translating in his head. Once he learns his lines and is coached on accent, I think he’ll do just fine. OR they can dub him with Ian Whyte.

    And for any other Strong Man fans, I’m still holding out for Derek Boyer as Strong Belwas!

  • GeekFurious,

    haha the number is zero. Don’t feel bad about not remembering that though, I can understand why you would be confused but all of my epics were only nationally loved, sadly they never really gained a following outside the States.

    I was just commenting that I thought it was a funny thing to say, there was nothing to indicate to me that it was a particularly great recasting based on what the op itself said.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap: Poor Conan Stevens. Who knew the producers wouldn’t like him improvising dialogue and bitching about how a fight was choreographed and edited?

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’m not sure it was so much the improvising as finding that he couldn’t act. Which is bizarre to me. Conan has the physical stuff down. He has a terrific voice. But he just can’t deliver lines without it sounding like he’s delivering lines. I think he’s going to have to get a really good dialog coach if he wants to be a successful actor.

  • I think most people here dont realise the sheer size of this man, at 400 lbs he has a sixpack and sometimes go up to 440 lbs.

  • Has anyone considered that this is for the flashback to the sack of King’s Landing? That would answer the age questions.