Extreme weather, heavy costumes, and even heavier weapons? It's not easy living in Westeros. To keep up with the show's hectic production schedule, and to make sure their characters look as authentically badass as possible, the cast of Game of Thrones has to make absolutely sure they're in peak physical condition.
Here's how four of those stars keep themselves in fighting shape, with physiques worthy of the Age of Heroes.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Jon Snow might know nothing, but Kit Harrington knows a lot about physical fitness by now. His role on Game of Thrones requires him to often wear a ton of bulky clothing, while also wielding heavy swords and other weapons, all with the grace and dexterity of a trained warrior.
That's no easy job, so to keep in shape, his coach Dalton Wong (via Men's Journal) focuses on exercise motions that are similar to the actual things he'll be doing on set, unlike typical weight training and conditioning routines.
So instead of your usual "isolation exercises" (exercises that target specific muscles, like a bicep curl), Harrington will do ones with a big range of movement, working the largest muscle groups like the back and legs. He also works these routines with enough intensity so that it can double as cardio, saving him time in the gym.
Examples of some of the exercises in his 45-60 minute sessions include deadlifts, lunges, and cable routines that mimic motions like swinging a sword.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
The Kingslayer is not a fan of the treadmill, so he spends most of his gym workout time on lifting (which helps with the look of the character, as he needs to appear lean and battle-ready, despite weighing over 190 lbs).
According to an interview with Men's Fitness, he warms up with, "medicine ball throws, plyometric pushups, and burpees." He'll then move on to various standing and bench press variations for strength training. Finally, he'll end the workout focusing on his core using an exercise ball, to help overcome a chronic back injury.
To keep things fresh and also work on his cardio, Coster-Waldau mixes it up with "fun" routines like, "running through a nearby forest, mountain biking, or cross country skiing."
Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo)
Khal Drogo only survived one season of Game of Thrones, but Jason Momoa absolutely owned that character whenever he was on screen.
Momoa naturally has a very muscular build, but to play someone like Drogo, he needed to pack on way more muscle than he would normally carry. To get the results he needs in a short amount of time, Momoa relies on a system called "Ar 7."
Ar 7 is a high-intensity workout plan that had him doing 2-3 sessions, five days a week. He focused mainly on weight training using low weight, high reps, and very short rest periods.
He also put himself on a very structured diet, eating a boiled chicken breast every two hours (sometimes as many as eight a day), while abstaining from carbs in favor of greens and lean meats. To keep his energy levels up, Momoa used peanut butter.
Once he's done shooting something though, Momoa likes to treat himself right:
"I had a giant bowl of pasta and I swear to Christ it was like I was on heroin."
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (The Mountain)
Let's be real here, no matter how much we workout, 99.9999999% of us will never get anywhere near as massive as the Mountain. That being said, if you're curious as to what goes into keeping a physique like that, it's not just genetics (although I'm sure that helps).
Bjornsson is a big proponent of natural exercise methods, like carrying huge rocks and logs, and pushing weighted sleds, instead of lifting traditional weights (make no mistake though, he can lift, he can deadlift nearly a thousand pounds).
Another big component of his fitness regimen is very careful planning when it comes to his diet and nutrition. He once revealed his typical daily intake on Facebook, and well, let's just say eating that much might kill a smaller man.
He starts each and every morning with a protein supplement and some almonds before doing his cardio. Then he'll have a light breakfast of eight eggs, 200 grams (about .44 pounds) of oats, and a healthy helping of blueberries, strawberries, and avocados.
Just two hours later, he'll down 400 grams of beef and 400 grams of sweet potatoes, along with some spinach and greens. Then more supplements (Bcaa and glutamine), before a lunch of chicken, potatoes, greens, and fruit.
After another two hours pass, he'll make a shake of oats, bananas, cereal, berries, almonds, and peanut butter. Then more supplements, 60 grams of protein, and two more bananas.
Finally, it's dinner time (a huge helping of beef, potatoes, and greens), before a second dinner meal of salmon and sweet potatoes, and a late night snack of six eggs, avocado, almonds, and peanut butter. Oh yeah, and in the middle of the night, he'll have some more protein and raw eggs.
Is anyone else's stomach hurting yet?
Well, I guess when you're a 20-something year-old who weighs over 400 pounds and consistently places in the top three of multiple strength competitions every year, you might eat a bit more than the average guy.