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Ser Gregor Clegane, aka Game of Thrones' The Mountain, traded the smoldering ruins of King's Landing for the sunny and relaxing beaches of Bradenton, Florida. The quest: to defend his title of "World's Strongest Man" this past weekend.
Sadly, Icelandic bodybuilder/actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson did not end up maintaining his title, losing out on the top prize to Martins Licis of the U.S. Ironically, Licis' nickname is "The Dragon," which perfectly fits into the narrative of a Westeros native battling for supremacy, only to be beaten by the fire of a winged, lizard-like fantasy creature. Indeed, that's exactly what happened in the show.
The upset was particularly shocking for two reasons: 1) Licis has only competed for the title three times before, and 2) he weighs 50 kg. less than Björnsson, who won the top distinction last year in the Philippines. Perhaps Björnsson's plantar fascia injury on the first day of the competition contributed to his ultimate loss.
Nevertheless, Björnsson still finished the competition as one of the top three finalists, taking home the bronze trophy for third place.
“You have to be willing to work 365 days a year and be absolutely obsessed with what you want to achieve and if you’re willing to go that far then you’re able to be the World’s Strongest Man,” Bjornsson, told the New York Post. “I’m happy I was part of the show. It opened up a lot of other opportunities for me and I’m just grateful for that. I’m doing more acting, but I’m also focusing on strongman. Obviously, my goal is to be back-to-back champion.”
Despite almost being poisoned to death by the spear tip of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), Ser Gregor was brought back to life in the most Frankenstein-ish kind of way by Maester Qyburn (Anton Lesser). That decision would come back to haunt Qyburn in the end, as The Mountain ended up smashing his creator's head like a coconut.
The gargantuan bodyguard of Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) finally met his demise in "The Bells," the penultimate episode of the eighth and final season in which he threw down with his younger brother, Sandor (aka The Hound, played by Rory McCann), as Dany (Emilia Clarke) burned King's Landing to a blackened crisp. This epic battle is commonly referred to as "Clegane Bowl."
(Certain World's Strongest Man details via BarBend)