When you've got a nickname like The Mountain, you've certainly got quite a lot to live up to. Just ask Gregor Clegane, aka The Hound's brother (you remember, The Hound got to bond with Arya Stark last season and is petrified of fire). Well, it seems that The Mountain on HBO's show Game of Thrones is the Westeros version of The Hulk: He's been re-cast three times now, and with The Mountain playing quite a pivotal role in season 4, let's hope they've got it right this time.
Fans got to geek out a bit over the weekend when the newly cast Mountain, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, revealed himself in full costume on Instagram. It will most likely be the only time you'll ever see The Mountain so smiley. But he still looks badass nonetheless.
So what can we expect to see from The Mountain in season 4? THERE ARE MAJOR (book) SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you've read A Storm of Swords, there is most likely one scene you're just chomping at the bit to see come to life on TV. But for some background: Gregor is very, very tall (close to eight feet) (hence his nickname), and he's so strong that he could cut you in half with just one blow.
Since he's seemingly invincible, it's given him the freedom to become one of the most violent, cruel, and frightening characters in the series, and that's saying a lot. If you recall, he beheaded his horse back in season 1. In A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, he kills and rapes and sacks villages with impunity.
In the third book, which we will hopefully see this spring, Tyrion Lannister is on trial for King Joffrey's murder (yes, a lot is going to happen this season). Prince Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper, comes to visit King's Landing to take a seat on the small council and get some justice for the murder of his sister, Elia, and her two children, who were killed by The Mountain and Amory Lorch (he is already dead). So, when Cersei Lannister announces during Tyrion's trial by combat that Gregor will be her champion, Oberyn volunteers for Tyrion.
The ensuing battle will most likely be one of the most bloody, exciting conflicts ever seen on Game of Thrones. The Mountain is huge and solid and strong, but Oberyn is nimble and fast and is able to attack the joints in Gregor's armor. All the while, Oberyn is chanting, "Elia of Dorne you raped her, you killed her. You murdered her children" to taunt Gregor. Slowly and steadily he revolves around The Mountain, jabbing at him, looking for any weakness. Suddenly, though, just when it seems that Oberyn has him beat, Gregor is able to grab on to Oberyn and crush him to death, but not before confessing that he killed Elia and her son in front of the blood-thirsty crowd. Tyrion then proceeds to vomit up his breakfast. Poor Tyrion.
It's not until later we find out that the spear Oberyn used was coated in poison. Gregor endures agonizing pain for the rest of his days, screaming so loudly that he keeps everyone awake. He is brought below to the Red Keep where he is experimented upon -- and it's a little tough to say if this is the last we've seen of him.
Anyway, we'll see how closely HBO sticks to the book's version of events, but surely we won't be disappointed. Let's hope Björnsson is up for what is definitely going to be a formidable, physical task in playing The Mountain.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in season 4 of Game of Thrones?
Image via thorbjornsson/Instagram