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Game of Thrones royalty 'The Mountain' flexes his famous muscles in Fort McMurray

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, better known as ‘The Mountain,’ is in the oilsands capital for Saturday’s Strongman Competition and Classic Car Show.

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson will take part in Fort McMurray's Strongman Competition

Hafþór Björnsson poses for the camera before he practises the five-car pull for Saturday’s Strongman Competition and Classic Car Show in Fort McMurray. (David Thurton/CBC)

Game of Thrones star Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, better known on the series as "The Mountain," says he eats constantly.

And so, when he stopped by Chez Max's, Fort McMurray's local Jamaican restaurant, on Friday, the Icelandic star and two other strongmen demolished a crowded table of food.

That included 20 beef tenderloins, a half-dozen fried eggs, three bowls of Jamaican rice and peas, a side of jerk chicken, oxtail stew and curry goat.

"It went straight to my muscles," Björnsson said, tensing his biceps. "I eat every two hours."

Björnsson and his fellow strongmen friends, Marshall Ennis and Magnús Ver Magnússon, took an hour-long break from their busy Fort McMurray tour.

From left to right: Hafþór Björnsson, Magnús Ver Magnússon and Jeff Peddle, co-owner of Chez Max. (David Thurton/CBC)

The three are in the oilsands capital for Saturday's Strongman Competition and Classic Car Show. Teams will register for strength challenges hosted by the Fort McMurray Strongman Association.

Björnsson will appear as a celebrity guest and Ver Magnússon will referee the event. The money raised will go to the Fort McMurray Food Bank Association.

When star-struck restaurant customers politely interrupted and asked for a picture, the Icelandic television star obliged with a smile, dwarfing his fans in an embrace of muscle.

Four-time strongman champion Magnús Ver Magnússon and Hafþór Björnsson chat during a practice session in Fort McMurray on Friday. (David Thurton/CBC)

When he left the restaurant, he took six take-out containers of the restaurant's ready-to-go meals. Co-owner Jeff Peddle laughed and said Björnsson told him the food would only last him till 2 p.m.

From strongman to actor

Björnsson said fans most often recognize him from a Game of Thrones battle with the Red Viper, Pedro Pascal. "The Mountain" comes from behind and wins with a gory finish where he crushes the head of his opponent like a watermelon.

"It's the scene that everyone talks about as the best fight scene in a TV series of all-time," Björnsson said.

Actor and strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson talks about his role on the television series Game of Thrones ahead of the Fort McMurrray Strongman Competition 0:57

The 28-year-old said the scene took weeks of work with a specialist sword teacher in Belfast before shooting in Croatia.

As the latest season of Game of Thrones wraps up, Björnsson said he hopes his acting career continues to take off.

"It wasn't a goal for me to be popular or famous. It just kind of just happened to me," Björnsson said. "I love it. Probably an equal amount as Strongman."

Game of Thrones star Hafþór Björnsson, better known as “The Mountain.” (HBO)

Follow David Thurton, CBC's Fort McMurray correspondent, on FacebookTwitter or contact him via email.

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