Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (the Mountain) debuts a new look “after 14 hours of filming in Belfast”


As we approach the end of Game of Thrones, we’ve been reporting on who is and who isn’t finished filming their scenes. Someone who’s definitely not done: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who’s played Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane since season 4, when he took over for Ian Whyte…who took over for Conan Stevens. Lotta turnover with this part, but Björnsson’s the guy who’s made it his own.

Anyway, Björnsson recently uploaded a picture to his Instagram that leaves no doubt what he’s up to. “Quick session after 14 hours of filming in Belfast!” he writes. “How do you guys like my new look?

The “new look” he’s referring to is his lack of beard. “You look like Varys,” notes one commenter.” A bit, if Varys were jacked to hell and back.

If we may, let’s speculate for a minute about the facial hair change. While Björnsson prefers a beard, the Mountain is clean-shaven, as we saw when he took off his helmet right before getting acquainted with Septa Unella in the season 6 finale. We didn’t see his face at all during season 7, and indeed, Björnsson kept his beard while shooting his scenes for those episodes. If the beard is gone now, it could mean that we’re going to see the Mountain’s face again in season 8.

That makes sense to me. This is the Mountain’s last hurrah, and if he’s going to go out, I’m all for him getting a little face time first. Also, a lack of beard makes it easier for the crew to attach prosthetics to his face. As an abomination brought back from the edge of death by the mad maester Qyburn, he’ll need them. It’s all coming together. Yadda yadda yadda #Cleganebowl.

In other Björnsson news, he’s been drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters. And no, I am not kidding. “Thor Björnsson, who is 6-9, this year became the first person in the world to capture the World’s Strongest Man, Europe’s Strongest Man and the Arnold Strongman Classic in the same year,” reads the press release. “Prior to his strongman and acting careers, he played professional basketball in Iceland’s Division I and also spent two years with Iceland’s junior national team, ultimately leaving the sport at age 20 due to a recurring ankle injury.”

Björnsson joins a draft class that also includes Lou Dunbar II, the son of legendary Globetrotters showman and current coach Sweet Lou Dunbar; 2018 College Slam Dunk Champion Joseph Kilgore; point guard Lili Thompson of NCAA women’s national champion Notre Dame; and Manchester United and French national soccer team midfielder Paul Pogba.

For those unaware, the Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition team more about fun and showmanship than actual basketball, which explains why they’re drafting actors and soccer players into their ranks.

With Björnsson on board, will the Globetrotters finally be able to defeat the Washington Generals? No, because they always do that.

Next: Season 8 filming: Fog rolls into a battered King’s Landing

To stay up to date on everything Game of Thrones, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Watch Game of Thrones for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels