Gregor Clegane

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Gregor Clegane
House Clegane.png
House Clegane.png
Komarck Gregor Clegane FFG.jpg
Gregor Clegane Portrait by Michael Komarck©

Alias The Mountain That Rides
The Mountain
The Great Dog
Ser Robert Strong
Title Ser
Knight of Clegane's Keep
Allegiance House Clegane
House Lannister
Born In 265 AC/266 AC
Died In 300 AC
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Appears)
A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)

Played by Conan Stevens ~ Season 1
Ian Whyte ~ Season 2
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson ~ Season 4
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 4

Ser Gregor Clegane is the Knight of Clegane's Keep and is the head of House Clegane, which are landed knights and bannermen to House Lannister. Gregor is a freakishly large man and for this he is often called The Mountain That Rides or simply The Mountain. His soldiers are known as the Mountain's men.

In the TV series Gregor is played by Conan Stevens (season 1), Ian Whyte (season 2), and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (season 4).[1]

Character and Appearance

See also: Images of Gregor Clegane

Gregor Clegane is well known for his size, cruelty, and prowess in battle. Gregor is extremely tall (close to eight feet). He has "massive shoulders and arms thick as the trunk of small trees." [2] Gregor weighs over thirty stone (420 lbs), nearly all of it muscle, making him near inhumanly strong. Gregor's strength allows him to wield a six-foot, two-handed greatsword with just one hand, giving him enormous reach while still wielding a shield. Such is the power of Gregor's strength that he has been known to hack men in half with just a single blow.[3]

In battle he wears the heaviest, thickest plate armor in the Seven Kingdoms. His armor is so heavy that no ordinary man would be able to move, let alone fight effectively while wearing it[3], making him nigh-invincible in combat. Below the plate he wears chainmail and boiled leather. He also wears a plate helm with only a narrow slit for vision, atop of which is a stone fist punching up towards the sky. Gregor carries an extremely thick oaken shield bearing the three black dogs of House Clegane on a yellow field.[3]

Gregor is known for his violence and cruelty. He is a psychopathic murderer and sadistic rapist. Brynden Tully compares him to a "frothing dog". [4] Despite being a dim and brutal man he has excellent warrior instincts.[3] He is very solitary, never leaving his own lands except for wars or tournaments.[2]

According to his squire, Joss Stilwood, Gregor constantly suffers from extreme headaches and consumes vast quantities of milk of the poppy to dull the pain. The cause of these headaches is unknown, perhaps due to some condition of his gigantism, though we know from Merrett Frey that a tourney injury or head blow in battle can be debilitating.[5] This might be an explanation for Gregor's near uncontrollable temper. According to his brother, Sandor Clegane, Gregor once killed one of his own men because the soldier snored too loudly.[6]


Gregor kills Prince Aegon in front of Princess Elia

Gregor's history is dark and filled with blood. As a twelve-year-old, he caused his brother Sandor's facial scars by holding the seven-year-old boy's face to a hot brazier as punishment for playing with a toy he had discarded. Their father spread the story that the injuries were caused by bedding that had caught fire.[7]

Four years later, he was knighted by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.[7] There were rumors that Gregor killed his father, sister, and his first two wives. His keep is said to be a grim place where servants vanish unaccountably and even the dogs are afraid to enter the halls.[2] Gregor has committed rapes and cold blooded murders beyond count but his most infamous deed came from his service to House Lannister during Robert's Rebellion.

Aged 17, he was one of the first Lannister soldiers to enter King's Landing during its sack at the end of the war. He and Ser Amory Lorch scaled Maegor's Holdfast when the Lannister troops reached the Red Keep. Gregor entered the nursery of the infant Prince Aegon, son of Prince Rhaegar, and killed the baby present by dashing the boy's head against a wall. Then he raped and murdered Aegon's mother Princess Elia, supposedly with the boy's blood and brains still on his hands.[2][8][9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Gregor fighting a normal sized man - by Mark Evans ©

Ser Gregor takes part in the Tourney of the Hand. He slays Ser Hugh of the Vale in his second joust when his lance rides up and pierces the new-made knight's throat. According to Sandor Clegane, Gregor noticed the knight's gorget was not fastened properly and Gregor purposely drove his lance there. [7] He defeats Ser Balon Swann, but is finally unhorsed by Ser Loras Tyrell, who rides a mare in heat to the joust, which unnerves Ser Gregor's stallion. Gregor falls into a rage and kills his stallion with one blow of his sword. He then attacks the unprepared Ser Loras, and would have killed him if his brother had not intercepted him. He finally comes to his senses when King Robert orders him to stop.[2] After the tourney, Gregor rides back to his keep. Upon his journey home from the tourney with seven of his men, Gregor broods on his loss. An overflowing river detours the group to a nearby alehouse, where he and his men savagely gang rape the brewer’s thirteen year old daughter. [10]

Gregor rapes Layna - by Amok ©

After Tyrion Lannister is kidnapped by Catelyn Stark, Gregor is commanded by Tywin Lannister to raid the Riverlands to draw Eddard Stark out into the field. However Eddard, due to his injured leg, could not go and execute Gregor himself, sending Lord Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr to lead a party and bring Gregor to the king's justice.[11] Gregor and Tywin ambushed this party, Gregor killing Beric for the first time in the ensuing clash.[12] After the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings, he joins with Lord Tywin's host and commands the vanguard and the left flank during the Battle of the Green Fork, leading by intimidation.[13] After the battle, Tywin withdraws to Harrenhal but leaves Gregor and other raiders behind to harry the Riverlands.

The Mountain with The Mountain's men - by Nordheimer ©

A Clash of Kings

Clegane's band sacks Castle Darry, where Ser Gregor kills the eight-year-old Lord Lyman Darry.[4] The Mountain also takes Stone Hedge, putting the castle to the torch, taking its food supplies, and burning the harvest of Jonos Bracken. He then rapes one of Bracken's daughters.[14]

He continues his raiding, causing enormous destruction and killing entire villages with impunity. For a time he unwittingly holds Arya Stark as a captive, and she witnesses many of his atrocities firsthand.[15] His band marches any surviving captives back to Harrenhal where they are forced into servitude to House Lannister. During the War of the Five Kings Cleganes band fights numerous skirmishes with the Brotherhood Without Banners, one such skirmish results in Ser Gregor killing Lord Beric a second time.

During the Battle of the Fords, Gregor Clegane's band joins up with Tywin's host and attacks the crossing at the Stone Mill, which is defended by Ser Edmure Tully's forces. Gregor's force is pushed back, however, and he is forced to retreat.[16]

A Storm of Swords

Ser Gregor Clegane - by Amok ©

Ser Gregor's band joins with Randyll Tarly's army to surround what is left of the retreating Northern army that attacked Duskendale. He chases Roose Bolton's army as they march to the Twins, taking several highborn captives including Wylis Manderly in the Battle of the Ruby Ford. Tywin Lannister then orders Ser Gregor to retake Harrenhal, which is being held by Vargo "The Goat" Hoat, and put the castle to the sword. A cook who had his foot cut off by Hoat opens a postern gate for Clegane. Inside, Gregor's men slaughter the inhabitants and the defenders (bar the cook who opened the gate, the castle smith Ben Blackthumb and a girl named Pia who the Mountain and his men rape repeatedly). The Mountain gives special treatment to Vargo Hoat, forcing him to eat his own cooked limbs ("Roast Goat") and serving him to the captive Northmen as well.

When Prince Oberyn came to King's Landing to claim the seat on the small council on Doran's behalf and obtain justice for the murder of his sister and her children, as was agreed with the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister,[17] the new Hand, Lord Tywin Lannister, meant to forgo that promise. Tywin planned on lying to Oberyn and claim that Amory Lorch (who was dead at the time) was to blame for all three death's. While Lorch was guilty of the murder of Princess Rhaenys he was not responsible for the death's of Elia Martell and Prince Aegon. Tywin intended to keep Gregor far away from King's Landing during Oberyn's stay. [9]

Gregor Clegane fighting Oberyn Martell - by John Picacio ©

Tywin's plan to keep Clegane away was ruined when Tyrion Lannister was put on trial for the murder of King Joffrey and Tyrion's accuser, Cersei Lannister, announced that her champion will be Ser Gregor in the event of a Trail by combat. Cersei named Clegane in order to thwart Tyrion from using Bronn or anyone else to defend him in a trial by combat given Ser Gregor's monstrous reputation. [18] This move, however, leads Princess Elia's brother, Prince Oberyn Martell, on seeing a chance to fulfill his family's long-held desire for vengeance against her murderer, to agree to champion Tyrion in opposition.

Clegane fights in his usual style - with heavy armor, his thick oaken shield and his greatsword in one hand - but Oberyn outfights him with speed and a poisoned spear. Though most of Oberyn's attacks were deflected by Gregor's plate, Oberyn cleverly attacked the joints in the armor, and eventually wounded Clegane after the Mountain tired from chasing Oberyn. After being poisoned and crippled by numerous wounds, Clegane manages to grab hold of Oberyn and crush him to death. Before killing Oberyn, however, Clegane roars that he killed Elia and Aegon for all to hear.[3]

Despite Gregor's victory, Oberyn achieved his revenge for his murdered sister as he had coated his spear with a deadly poison which resulted in a long, agonizing death by mortification for Ser Gregor.

Tywin Lannister faced huge political ramifications from the results of the trial especially Gregor's confession. Tywin feared Dorne might join Stannis Baratheon, which could prolong the war for years. Tywin planned on having Gregor executed to appease House Martell, but needed it to be seen that the King's Justice was the one who carried out the deed, not poison. Tywin commanded Pycelle to heal Gregor, but Pycelle's efforts proved fruitless. [19]

A Feast for Crows

Gregor's condition continues to deteriorate. The venom turns the blood in Clegane's body black and any leeches that touch him die instantly. His piss is full of pus, and the venom eats a hole the size of a fist in Clegane's side. His screams of agony are so loud they can be heard in the entire Red Keep, and even wake several people up during the night. Qyburn stated upon examining him that it was a wonder the man was still alive to which Cersei Lannister replied...

Gregor is a very large man. Also a very stupid one. Too stupid to know when he should die, it seems. [20]

Insensible and dying, he is brought to the dungeons below the Red Keep (where his screams can no longer be heard) by Qyburn, who is allowed to experiment on him before his impending death. According to Qyburn the poison was manticore venom thickened with sorcery to draw out the Mountain's dying instead of killing instantly.[20]

An enormous skull said to be Gregor's is sent to Sunspear as recompense for the deaths of Elia, Aegon, and Oberyn. Gregor's death was not mourned by anyone. [21] However, Qyburn mentions working on creating an unbeatable champion for Cersei and has her order a suit of plate armor so thick and heavy that the armorer who created it states that no man is strong enough to move and fight in it. This generated speculation among readers if Westeros had truly seen the last of Gregor Clegane.

A Dance with Dragons

Ser Robert Strong by Robert O'Leary

The ostensible skull of Ser Gregor is brought to Sunspear by Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard, and is presented to Prince Doran, Arianne Martell, and the eldest of the Red Viper's eight bastard daughters: (Obara, Tyene and Nymeria Sand).

Obara ponders if the head is really Gregor's. Doran notes that it is certainly large enough to be so and Tyene confirms that if the poison her father used so much as broke the Mountains skin, then Clegane is dead.[22]

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, the death of Arys Oakheart in Dorne leaves a vacancy on the Kingsguard. The imprisoned Queen Cersei requests that the white cloak be brought to Lord Qyburn,[23] who unveils an enormous eight-foot-tall knight encased from head to heel in gleaming white armor.[24]

Other members of the Kingsguard claim that their new brother does not eat, sleep, drink, or even visit the privy. He is never seen without his armor and never removes his helm. He never speaks and it is claimed by Qyburn that he has taken a holy vow of silence until Cersei's innocence is proven and the realm purged of evil. He wears a helm bearing seven plumes in the colours of the Faith and his cloak of office is clasped with icons in the shape of seven-pointed stars.

Though he is introduced as Ser Robert Strong many in the Red Keep have guessed the identity of the silent giant. Given the skull being sent to Dorne, it is unknown what will be revealed if that helmet is ever removed.[25]

See:Robert Strong/Theories.

Quotes by Gregor

A man who sees nothing has no use for his eyes, cut them out and give them to your next outrider. Tell him you hope that four eyes might see better than two ... and if not, the man after him will have six. [26]

- After the Battle of the Camps

Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this. [3]

- to Oberyn Martell just before Gregor killed him.

Quotes about Gregor

No other Knight in the realm inspires such terror in our enemies. [9]

Tywin Lannister

No one could ever withstand Gregor. [7]

Sandor Clegane

A False Knight! Lord Tywin's mad dog.[11]

Marq Piper

That beast's head would make a noble gift for all the people of the realm, I vow. [4]

Brynden Tully

Ellaria Sand: You are going to fight that? Oberyn: I am going to kill that. [3]

Oberyn Martell to Ellaria Sand on Gregor Clegane

He is dying of the venom, but slowly, and in exquisite agony.


If ever a man deserved to die screaming it was Gregor Clegane. [22]

Doran Martell


Founder of
House Clegane
Ser Clegane
3 wives

See also

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Minor houses in A Song of Ice and Fire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Minor houses in A Song of Ice and Fire. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.