If you think Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane on Game of Thrones is full of just about as much bluster and brag as the winds of winter, he’s the real deal.
Actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is also a pro strongman. While he may not be able to prove his strength by lifting dragons (at least in this universe), io9 found out he just shattered the world deadlift record at this weekend’s Arnold Strongman Competition by hefting 1,041 pounds like it was nothing more than a direwolf puppy.
Outside of his Mountain persona, Björnsson prefers beating records to beating people up. The three-time second place finisher in the World’s Strongest Man competition and three-peat Europe’s Strongest Man also holds the record for the 20-meter fridge carry and has numerous other awards to his name. The only thing he was missing from the man who can cover twenty meters with a fridge in each hand faster than anyone else wasn’t the Iron Throne, which he could probably lift with one hand, but the deadlift record.
Weightlifting can be a brutal sport. Just in case you don’t notice the expressions on the competitors’ faces, Russia’s Mikhail Shivlyakov actually broke out in a nosebleed from the punishing strain. He could have been an extra in a horror movie.
So could Björnsson (theoretically) lift one of Daenerys’ dragons over his head? The winged reptiles that hatched small enough to perch on the Mother of Dragons’ shoulders exploded to the size of a 747. That might be lofty even for the Mountain, but any human being able to pick up a thousand-plus pounds and make it look that easy could probably crush a lot of things. Now you can see how impaling a guy on a sword and waving him around in the air was no problem.
The Mountain might not be safe from Arya on the show, but in real life, he probably wouldn’t notice if she was sitting on one side of that barbell. What’s a few more pounds when you’re already holding up half of Westeros?