When we last got together, we had discussed the first actor who played The Mountain. After the first season of Game of Thrones was completed and as Season 2 approached, the casting for the “Mountain” became an issue as the actor who played the role (Conan Stevens) in Season 1 was working on other projects and was unavailable. Fortunately, they found a stopgap solution for Season 2 right on their set, as the “Mountain” saga continues (sounds like a soap opera intro):

Eneba Many GEOs

In Season 2, Ser Gregor is left to command Harrenhal in Tywin’s absence and to find and destroy “The Brotherhood Without Banners.” This is done in typical “Mountain” cruelty as he tasks his men to torture (something involving a bucket, a rat, and a torch which seems rather ghastly) and kill in their efforts to learn the “Brotherhood’s” whereabouts. The Mountain personally selects who would be questioned. He later abandons the castle (but not until after slaughtering the prisoners) where he is defeated by Edmure Tully at the Stone Mill. In spite of this, he manages to escape back to the Westerlands. King Robb later chides Edmure for not having asked permission for his attack and for ruining Robb’s plans to draw the Mountain into a trap of his own where he would be captured or killed.

“I wanted to draw the Mountain into the west, into our country where we could surround him and kill him. I wanted him to chase us, which he would have done because he is a mad dog without a strategic thought in his head. I could have that head on a spike by now. Instead, I have a mill.”

The “Mountain” here is portrayed by the 7ft actor Ian Whyte. As predicted by Conan Stevens, his appearances in this season were limited to just a few scenes. Like his predecessor, the aforementioned Mr. Stevens, Whyte only appeared as “The Mountain” in the one season. This time it wasn’t logistics as much as they were looking for a more imposing actor to resemble Clegane from the Game of Thrones books. In addition, there were upcoming episodes in the works that would require a major battle scene. They wanted someone who would look the part and be able to pull off the fight scenes. Don’t feel bad too for Whyte, though. He also was used to play a “White Walker” in Season One and later portrayed a Giant in the Wildling army known as “Dongo the Doomed” in Season 3. After that, he returned again in Seasons 5 and 6 to portray giant Wun_Weg_Wun_Dar_Wun. Whyte has also played a Predator in Aliens vs. Predator and in Aliens vs. Predator Requiem. Apparently there is no end of work in Hollywood for a 7ft man.

In an interview during the 2013 Wales Comic-Con Whyte discussed his brief turn as the Mountain:
“It’s always difficult to step into the shoes of another actor, you know, but it’s just one of those things. They just asked me to do it, and I said yeah, sure.”
“Gregor Clegane is, without a doubt, one of the worst characters ever committed to literature, let alone film or television. Playing a villain, you can always let go, completely, forget about reality, and just go with it. But Gregor Clegane is one of these characters which requires, you know, a real emotionless performance, because  this is a man who lacks any kind of humanity or emotion on any conceivable level. But yeah, he’s a difficult character to play, but he is enjoyable.”
Fans weren’t onboard with Mountain 2.0. It was mainly because of his lack of girth. Of course, compared to Conan’s version, most men would pale in comparison. Fans started to refer to him as the “The Tree Who Rides.” The character took a season 3 hiatus (probably to give time for the 7’ 1” Mountain to shrink down to 6’ 9” and gain about 150 plus pounds). Next up, the Mountain is rebooted as a 400 lb behemoth.  If you have any thoughts on Mountain 2.0, or any of the Game of Thrones series review, let us know at GVNation.
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