Remember Hafthor Bjornsson? That giant, terrifying human being who plays Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane on HBO’s Game of Thrones?
If you’re not up to date on Bjornsson’s story, he’s just a humble Icelandic strongman competitor who happened to find his niche in showbiz as an evil dread knight.
He’s massive. The Mountain is massive. It’s your typical, 6’9”-Nordic-giant-finds-dream-role story.
When he’s not splitting skulls like ripe papaya on the Game of Thrones set, the towering lifter continues to compete in strongman competitions around the world.
Bjornsson’s biggest accomplishment to date came earlier this month at Europe’s Strongest Man competition. The man nicknamed “The Icelander” won four of six strength competitions. He also ripped his shirt off and earned himself a new nickname, “The King of Stones,” which I believe we can all agree is sufficiently spectacular.
UpRoxx’s Danger Guerrero spotted video of the shirt-sundering madness that occurred after Bjornsson won the event’s stone-lifting challenge (skip to the 2:40 mark for shirt-ripping action).
After putting the sixth and final stone in place, Bjornsson tore his shirt like cheesecloth and proceeded to give one the best and briefest interviews in modern sport.
Here is a transcription of that interview:
Reporter: So you’re King of the Stones and you proved why today, completing all six stones…the only person to do that. Tell us how different that challenge is to conventional, classic [lifting].
Bjornsson: [Brain doubles over, struggling to free itself from the fog of adrenaline]
It’s all…um…all strength…I am the future…OF STRENGTH! AND THE KING OF STONES!
That is how you conduct an interview: short, sweet and none of the canned modesty most athletes keep on tap for media interviews.
Bjornsson’s reaction boiled down to raw, long-cut emotion. I’m no scientist, and I can only imagine the chemical cocktail your brain releases when you scream “I am the future of strength.” Bottle that and you'd spend the rest of your life deciding which yacht to buy next.
The best part of all this is how Bjornsson commemorated becoming the strongest, baddest man in Europe. He put on a pink shirt and took his daughter on a road trip.
See? He may be the future of strength, but The Mountain is also the cutting edge of big, pink teddy bears.
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