Game of Thrones star Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (The Mountain) has a lot on his plate. He recently set a new record for weightlifting, he’s got a boxing match coming next year against fellow strongman and nemesis Eddie Hall, and he’s shopping around an idea for a reality show where he goes head to head with “elite” athletes to perform feats of strength. The title? Beat the Mountain.
Wait, should the show be called Climb the Mountain instead? I guess that could get confusing. Moving on…
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Björnsson said the show “is totally original and Spoke Studios has been great to work with. This will be a show unlike anything else that the whole family will be able to watch together and enjoy. I can’t divulge all the details about the show but I can promise you — people will love it!”
Björnsson’s not worried about competing against these elite athletes because getting into shape for his boxing match with Eddie Hall will have him ready. “As many know I’m preparing for the heaviest boxing match in history. That requires a lot of cardio, agility, and explosive strength training. When I’ll be in top shape for that, on top of my strength, I think it would be more or less impossible for people to Beat The Mountain.”
If you thought being the world’s strongest man — as well as playing the biggest character on the biggest show in the world — makes Björnsson a target for people trying to prove their mettle, you’d be wrong. Björnsson says that “almost never” happens. “I think most people realize that strongman is a very specific sport and it’s not enough just to be strong. The same can be said about arm wrestling as we have people that specialize only in arm wrestling and nothing else.”
You can’t assume a world champion in one sport could easily become a world champion in a completely different sport. I have tried arm wrestling, of course; my dad is one of the best arm wrestlers I know. But it’s not something I give all my power to, unless it were an event in a strongman competition, mostly to avoid injury as doing things you’re not used to full-blast is often what causes injuries.
Still, Thor (that’s his nickname) does enjoy fans asking him to recreate some of The Mountain’s most memorable scenes when he attends fan conventions. “But after Game of Thrones, I have a lot of people who want to interact with me during Comic-Cons or similar events, to be in a photo with me while I lift them up like Queen Cersei — pretend to be crushing their skull like in the Mountain vs. the Viper scene or something like that.”
And while all this is going on, Thor may still come out of nowhere with another weightlifting record. “Becoming the best version of myself drives me, but being first appeals to me and I think my career shows that,” he said. “Deadlifting more than half a ton is something that’s been thought of as impossible — until now.”
You’ll be able to see Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson take on Eddie Hall in the “heaviest boxing match of all time” in September of 2021. As for Beat the Mountain, he’s taking offers. HBO, you wanna go a bit outside your wheelhouse?