The man who played “The Mountain” on “Game of Thrones” says he hopes viewers were happy with the way the series ended, and he’s hoping the show’s loyal fanbase will be as passionate and invested in his new project, as they were with the show.
“I think we did a great job,” says Hafþór Júlíus “Thor” Björnsson, who quickly became a fan favorite during his time on the show (pre-order Season 8 on Blu-ray and DVD here). Björnsson admits he wasn’t given a lot of advance information about the finale, but says he hopes it was “as epic as everyone hoped for,” adding, “I know people loved ‘Cleganebowl,'” a reference to the fan-driven theory that “The Mountain” and his brother, “The Hound,” would eventually face off in a climactic duel, something that — spoiler alert — finally took place during the final season.
Björnsson says he’s grateful to have been cast in “Game of Thrones” and credits show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss for taking a chance on someone with no prior acting experience for the role of the feared warrior. “I am super happy to have been a part of this show,” he says.
Though plans for a “Thrones” prequel have yet to be announced, the Icelandic athlete-turned-actor says fans have already asked if he’s reprising his role, revealing that he’s ready to take part if HBO comes calling. “Being a professional strongman prepares you for a lot of things,” he says, “and although acting is different in many ways, I am prepared for anything.”
For now, Björnsson is focusing on a slightly different role, as one of the new ambassadors for SodaStream, the popular sparkling water maker that lets users make their own carbonated beverages at home. Björnsson teams up with his “Game of Thrones” cast mates, Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Hannah Waddingham (Septa) for a new SodaStream campaign titled, “Say Goodbye,” which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how people bid farewell to things in their life.
They may have just said goodbye to the show, but in the new campaign, the “Game of Thrones” actors join forces to say goodbye to single-use plastic bottles, replacing them with their SodaStream machine. The accompanying commercial finds the three actors struggling with plastic bottles, while a cover version of Sarah Brightman’s “Time To Say Goodbye” plays in the background. The campaign serves to highlight SodaStream’s environmental message, which is something the Reykjavik-born Björnsson says was something that really resonated with him.
“I love how we were able to combine humor with the very important message about preserving Mother Earth,” he says, adding that the message about using less plastic is “a very important one” and one that SodaStream has “kept going for years.” The best part, Björnsson says: “Other companies seem to be catching up now too.”
Nairn, whose character’s shocking demise led to one of the most memorable show moments in season 6, says he was excited to team up with his two cast mates, and work with them on a project that mirrored the “farewell” theme of “Thrones'” final season. “As a fan of SodaStream and an advocate for the environment myself, I always welcome an opportunity to help SodaStream spread their environmental message about single-use plastic,” he says. “This time I got to do it with my two friends, Thor and Hannah, which makes it even better.”
Up next for Nairn, taking his other gig, as a DJ, on the road, as part of his “Rave of Thrones” tour (see tickets and dates here). As for Björnsson, he says he has “several film and TV projects” in development, though his next project is slightly more ambitious: defending his title of “World’s Strongest Man” in Florida this June.
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