Game of Thrones fans already know what Ser Gregor Clegane looked like when he was alive the first time (though the character was recast a couple of times), before being revived to serve as the zombified mega-bodyguard to now-Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). The post-resurrection face of “The Mountain,” however, has become something of a mystery to the Game of Thrones faithful since he returned from the dead at the end of season 5.
In the season 6 finale, The Mountain did unmask himself before exacting a horrible punishment upon Septa Unella a.k.a. “the Shame Nun” (Hannah Waddingham) in a brutal revenge scene (which was originally supposed to be so much worse), but only his victim got to really see what horrors undeath had done to his face because the cameras pulled away in time to spare viewers the full sight of him. It turns out that this was pretty merciful cinematography work, because now we know what Septa Unella saw.
Actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson has taken it upon him to share the disturbing goods with a behind-the-scenes look at what lurks beneath his brass helmet, and let’s just say the deadened eyes and obviously putrefying skin tones which are visible through his gear betrayed nothing of the havoc that’s been wreaked on this guy’s face. In his second stab at life, Gregor Clegane could easily slip into the crowd of any given episode of The Walking Dead and out-gross a lot of the walkers. At least he’s definitely gotten his comeuppance for what he did to his brother Sandor Clegane’s face when they were kids, so the family showdown dubbed “CleganeBowl” by fans, if it ever happens, is going to be quite a frightening sight.
Behind the scenes... pic.twitter.com/TrbkM5FjDB— Hafþór J Björnsson (@ThorBjornsson_) July 15, 2016
Man alive (or not, as the case may be). The makeup routine to create this multi-layered mess must take hours, so it’s no wonder that the showrunners decided to keep it on most of the time. And given that Cersei’s reputation is already dogged by rumors of incest, it’s probably for the best that her bodyguard (who goes by the pseudonym Ser Robert Strong) keep the horrible truth of his identity a secret.
Björnsson, who is also a professional strongman competitor in Iceland, is the third actor to portray Ser Gregor – the first was Australian actor Conan Stevens, who appeared in two episodes of the first season, while the second was Ian Whyte, who took over in the second season but was recast as Dongo the Giant and then Wun Wun. Björnsson has portrayed the character since season 4.
Game of Thrones is expected to return to HBO for season 7 in 2017.