Gregor Clegane, nicknamed "The Mountain That Rides" or simply "The Mountain", is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fireseries of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. In the books, the character is initially introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones. He subsequently appeared in A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords(2000) and in A Dance with Dragons (2011).
A famous knight and retainer to House Lannister, he is well known for his enormous size, prowess in battle, extremely
cruel nature, and uncontrollable temper. He is the older brother of Sandor "The Hound" Clegane; who has hated him ever since Gregor gruesomely scarred Sandor by shoving his face into a brazier when they were children. After being mortally wounded in a duel with Oberyn Martell, he is resuscitated by Qyburn via sinister means and becomes the personal bodyguard of Cersei Lannister under the name Robert Strong.
In the HBO television adaptation, Clegane was originally portrayed by Australian actor Conan Stevens in season one, and by Welsh actor Ian Whyte in season two; Icelandic actor and strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson took over the role from season four onwards.
Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain That Rides, or simply the Mountain, is the older brother of Sandor Clegane and is a vassal to Tywin Lannister. His size and strength make him a fearsome warrior (in the novels he is
nearly 8 feet tall, and weighs over 400 lbs.), and he has earned a reputation for brutality. When they were children, Gregor shoved Sandor's face into a brazier for using his toy, gruesomely scarring him. Over the course of his service to House Lannister, he has committed numerous war crimes, but he is most infamous for the rape and murder of the Targaryen/Martell royal family. Clegane was one of the first Lannister soldiers to enter King's Landing during its sack at the end of Robert Baratheon's rebellion. He raped and murdered Princess Elia, and murdered her children Rhaenys and Aegon, a grudge House Martell still bears at the onset of A Game of Thrones.
Gregor Clegane is not a point of view character in the novels, so his actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people, such as Arya Stark and Cersei Lannister. Gregor is mostly a background character in the novels.
Coat of arms of House Clegane
In A Game of Thrones, Tywin Lannister sends him to raid the Riverlands in retaliation for Catelyn Stark's abduction of Tyrion. Beric Dondarrion is sent to arrest Gregor, but Gregor ambushes and kills him. He and his men continue raiding the Riverlands throughout A Clash of Kings. When Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat, the accuser Cersei Lannister chooses Gregor as her champion. Elia's brother Oberyn Martell volunteers as Tyrion's champion to expose Gregor as a murderer. Oberyn wounds Gregor with a poisoned spear, but the Mountain is ultimately victorious, admitting to murdering Elia and Aegon before crushing Oberyn's skull. Gregor succumbs to the poison and his body is given to Qyburn for experimentation. Following Cersei's walk of atonement, she gains a bodyguard named Ser Robert Strong who is of similar enormous stature as Gregor, and whose body is completely covered in armor.
Tywin Lannister sends him to raid the Riverlands. Beric Dondarrion is sent to arrest Gregor. When war breaks out, Gregor is given command of Tywin's vanguard and left flank and leads his men through intimidation.
He is left to command Harrenhal in Tywin's absence and to find and destroy "The Brotherhood Without Banners", invoking the escape of Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie from Harrenhal.
He later abandons Harrenhal after slaughtering the prisoners and is defeated by Edmure Tully at the Stone Mill, but manages to escape back to the Westerlands. Robb chides his uncle, having planned to draw the Mountain into a trap of his own making to be captured or killed.
Ser Gregor is chosen as Cersei's champion for Tyrion's trial by combat, and fights Oberyn Martell, Tyrion's champion who wants to kill Gregor as revenge for the murder of his sister, Elia Martell. Oberyn inflicts several serious injuries on Clegane with his poisoned spear, but Gregor eventually kills Oberyn by crushing his skull, while admitting that he did rape Elia, killed her children and enjoyed it, before collapsing from his own injuries. It is later revealed that The Mountain has been poisoned with manticore venom, a poison with which Oberyn had laced his weapon, and that he is slowly dying. Cersei enlists ex-maester Qyburn to save him, though Qyburn claims that the procedure will "change" Clegane.
The procedure is seemingly a success as Ser Gregor has become active again, though the procedure has changed his physical appearance and his behavior. Gregor has also sworn a vow of silence and vowed to serve as Cersei's personal bodyguard until all her enemies are destroyed.
Ser Gregor continues to act as Cersei's bodyguard to intimidate all those who may bother or mock her. He also rips the head off of a Faith Militant with his bare hands when they try to take Cersei into their custody. After Cersei destroys the Great Sept of Baelor and retakes power, she has Gregor torture Septa Unella in revenge for torturing her during her time in prison.
Ser Gregor is still with Cersei as a member of the Queensguard. He is confronted by his brother Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in the season finale, where Sandor conveys an ominous message that he (Gregor) already knows who is coming for him and that he has always known.
Ser Gregor's face after going through the procedure Qyburn used to save him after the fight against Oberyn Martell
Ser Gregor is present when Daenerys Targaryen arrives at King's Landing with all her forces, demanding the release of her advisor Missandei and Cersei's surrender. A defiant Cersei has Ser Gregor decapitate Missandei. Ser Gregor is killed in the penultimate episode of the series, in a sword duel with his brother, Sandor. Realizing that he can barely injure Gregor without also dying himself, Sandor tackles his brother off the Red Keep stairwell to both of their deaths in the raging inferno below.