You know how there are some people you size up on the street and think inwardly that you can probably take them down in a fight? Well I’m this close to certain that no one has ever had that thought while looking at Game of Thrones’ Hafthór Björnsson. The actor’s character, The Mountain, made his biggest mark on the HBO fantasy in the epic brawl against Oberyn “The Viper” Martell, which ended in a brutal eye-gouging and head-splitting. And while I doubt we’ll see the Icelandic behemoth actually pushing his thumbs into anyone eye sockets in real life, he’s definitely known for showing off just how effective his muscle mass is.
Here are four instances (among many) where Hafthór Björnsson has proven himself to be so insanely strong that I’d instantly trust the guy in a fight against real-life White Walkers and dragons. All of his feats of strength have us really wishing he could return to the show in Season 6 and/or beyond for more bone-shattering carnage. But for now, his nonfiction badassery will suffice.
He Can Pull A 17-Ton TruckHafthór Björnsson took to Instagram the other day (presumably smashing his smartphone to pieces with his jackhammer thumbs) to share the video above, in which he can be seen strapped to the front of a 3,400-lb. big rig. This is a cautionary tale for anyone who ever tries to hold Björnsson hostage by tying him to a truck, as this beast of a man just started pulling it along as if it were a slightly petulant dog with an uncalled-for interest in a patch of flowers. Björnsson eschewed his normal weightlifting for this monumental achievement as part of his training for the upcoming Arnold Classic South Africa competition. And according to TMZ Sports, he pulled it around for multiple laps. Just typing this has popped my shoulder out of socket and I possibly have a hernia now.
He Can Walk Around Carrying Two RefrigeratorsWhat’s in your kitchen right now? One refrigerator? Yeah, and what are you lugging around right now? Zero refrigerators? I get that. You know what Hafthór Björnsson was lugging around on the Italian series Lo Show dei Record last year? Two refrigerators. Twice what you have in your kitchen and on your back, and he carried them sixty feet in 19.6 seconds, a record-breaking achievement. I might be able to do something similar with a pair of fridges if they came from a collectible Game of Thrones playset, and that’s assuming the toy appliances are molded from something lighter than aluminum. And even then it would take me forever to walk that far. That’s right, watching The Mountain excel at athleticism makes my entire body atrophy.
He Can Throw A Keg Over 24 Feet In The AirNow, Hafthór Björnsson didn’t hit up a wedding in the country and drunkenly fling a Budweiser barrel on top of a house, but there’s nothing in that video that makes me think it couldn’t happen if fate happened to line things up in such a way. The giant crushed his own record here, tossing the 33-pound keg 24 feet and six inches up and over a high bar, presumably punching a hole in the ozone somewhere. This display of confounding strength has me envisioning a future where Iceland’s government clones Björnsson and starts up a baseball league where they pitch bowling balls and use telephone poles for bats. It’s essentially a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
He’s Been Europe’s Strongest Man For The Past Two YearsHafthór Björnsson has been in Strongest Man competitions and similar events all over the world over the years, never failing to impress, even when he doesn’t come out on top. That hasn’t been the case for the annual Europe’s Strongest Man competish, for which Björnsson took the prize in 2014 and 2015. And watching the video above (while unwittingly allowing my muscles to ache vicariously through his) shows us all just what he had to go through to earn the most recent title, from hauling a car around Flintstones-style to holding up a giant hammer to ripping his shirt open. Okay, that last part wasn’t a challenge, but it sure got the crowd going. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to not do anything that Björnsson does on a daily basis.
Speaking of, head to the next page to see another uncomfortably impressive feat that isn’t so much about brute strength as stomach strength, as Hafthór Björnsson shares with fans just how ridiculous and intense his diet is.