Why Did They Change Gregor Clegane’s Actor in Game of Thrones?

Why Did They Change Gregor Clegane’s Actor in Game Of Thrones?

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It is common in the film industry today to recast a certain character after the filming and the production has already started. It’s a way of keeping the project going after certain actors step away from it or are unable to continue filming. One of the more extreme examples of this practice is the character of Gregor Clegane, who was played by three different actors over the course of three seasons. Since all actors did a good job one of the most common questions regarding the topic is why did the actor change so often?

The first actor, Conan Stevens, left due to a scheduling issue with another project and the second actor Ian Whyte, left once the producers found a suitable replacement. The last actor, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, held onto the role until the end of the series.

If you want to learn more about these talented actors and their careers outside Game of Thrones make sure to read this article all the way through.

Who played Gregor Clegane? 

Why Did They Change Gregor Clegane’s Actor in Game Of Thrones?

Since life and the film industry are extremely unpredictable it is common for actors to be recast throughout various stages of filming a show or a franchise. 

There are many examples of these kinds of changes, even in the most popular of the works in the field and the reason can essentially be anything.

Two examples of this kind of recasting are Michael Gambon replacing Richard Harris as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise and Mark Ruffalo stepping in for Edward Norton as the Hulk in the MCU.

As such it is only natural that the Game of Thrones series, whit such a long duration of filming and production went through a few recast characters.

There are quite a few roles that were played by different actors, most notably the Three-eyed Raven, Daario Naharis, Tommen, and Myrcella Baratheon, and the Night King himself.

However, there is one character that stands out since he was played by three separate actors. That is the character of Cerci’s’ personal bodyguard and one of the contenders in the Cleganbolw, Gregor Clegane, or how he is most commonly referred to as the Mountain.

He is the only character in the series which was played by three separate characters. The producer originally chose Australian actor Conan Stevens to bring the Mountain to life but he was later on replaced by Ian Whyte. The most memorable actor and the one whose appearance fans always associate with the Mountain is Icelandian giant Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.

Who played Gregor Clegane in Season 1?  

Conan Stevens played the Mountain in the first season of Game of Thrones and the producers seemed to be happy with his performance. However, he left the show after the first season due to scheduling overlaps.

Aside from his role in Game of Thrones he is known for similar acting roles. He is sought out by the producers due to his extreme heights which work best for such roles.

Some of his memorable works include playing Man-Thing in the Marvel movie about the character and Bolg in the Hobbit trilogy before he was added in via CGI effects. He remained on the project and played a Keeper of the Dungeons in the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five armies.

Who played Gregor Clegane in Season 2? 

Why Did They Change Gregor Clegane’s Actor in Game Of Thrones?

During season two, the Mountain was played by Ian Whyte. He took over the role after Conan Stevens’ sudden departure from the show. He started his career as a basketball player for the Newcastle Eagles as well as England’s national team.

After that, he became active in the film indur+stry where he played the characters that required the physical trait of being tall. He featured in many popular franchises such as Star Wars and Alien vs, Predator.

Another less-known appearance was in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where his body was merged with Frances de la Tour’s face to bring to life the character of the headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Olympe Maxime.

Another thing fans most likely don’t know is that the Mountain is not Whyte’s only role in the Game of Thrones series. He also plays one of the White Walkers in the very first episode of the show.

Besides that, he also played Dongo the Doomed, Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, and some other giants throughout the series. The actor claimed he like all of his roles in the Game of Thrones, however, he did say it was quite hard playing the Mountain for the sheer amount of violence he is written with. 

Who played Gregor Clegane in other seasons? 

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is the third actor that took on the role of the Mountain in the Game of Thrones series. He had the longest run with the role and was playing it during the character’s most memorable seasons, which is why the fans usually only remember him.

Although he is the shortest out of the three actors he is the strongest one and the biggest in appearance. He was playing the Mountain during some of his most memorable scenes such as his fight with Oberyn Martell, during Tyrion’s trial by combat when he crushes his skull with his bare hands, and during the final showdown with his brother the Hound, during Cleganbowl in the final season.

Although he is best known as an actor these days, thanks to his role in Game of Thrones he didn’t have any other bigger roles, but he had a prominent basketball and strongman career with numerous awards in both fields.

Why did they change Gregor Clegane’s actor?

Why Did They Change Gregor Clegane’s Actor in Game Of Thrones?

Since there were so many changes fans naturally wondered why did the actor change so many times. Neither of the two actors confirmed why they left the series, however, we can conclude from the information given in the interviews after the show finished filming.

Conan Stevens was originally cast and the producers seemed to be set on having him play the character in the rest of the series. However, after the first season wrapped up filming it was announced that he would not be returning to reprise his role.

To many fans, this came as a surprise since they felt Stevens did a good job bringing the character to life. However, it soon became clear why the actor left.

Stevens had a scheduling conflict since he was also cat to play Bolg in Peter Jackson’s new Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, the Hobbit. The two filming times overlapped and he chose the Hobbit over his role in the Game of Thrones.

It is quite understandable why he did so since the Game of Throne has not been established as a great series yet and hasn’t quite reached the level of popularity it has today. In addition to this, the Mountain’s role in the first season was quite small in comparison to the role Stevens was set to have in the Hobbit trilogy.

Ian Whyte seemed like the right replacement and many fans enjoyed his approach to the character however after the season aired and the new one started filming the producers declared they were looking for a new actor to embody the Mountain.

It was later explained that Ian Whyte, was more of a place holder for a different actor than a recast. He was a temporary solution since the producers were not able to get the man they had an eye out for a while. 

That main finally joined the show during the filming of season three, when the producers were finally able to get Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson to join the cast of the Game of Thrones.

He remained the part of the cast until the show concluded the filming of the final season. After season three he got more screen time which is why the fans remember him the most when talking about the character.

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