Ian Whyte (born 17 September 1971 in Bangor, Wales, UK) is a British actor, stuntman and professional basketball player. After showing promise at school, Whyte studied and played the game in the United States, at Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, and at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. He returned to the UK in 1994 and attracted the eye of the England coach. He played 80 times for England across nine years, also playing club games in Belgium, France, Portugal and Greece before ending his career at the Newcastle Eagles. He is 2.16m (7 ft 1") in height.
In 2003 Whyte began a new career as an actor and stunt player when he was cast as a Predator in the movie Alien vs. Predator, a role he later reprised in the sequel. He then doubled for actress Frances de la Tour in the role of the giant Madame Maxine in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He has gone on to play roles in Dragonball Evolution, Solomon Kane and Clash of the Titans. In Ridley Scott's film Prometheus he plays the important role of the "Last Engineer".
In Game of Thrones Whyte initially played the role of the White Walker in the first episode of the series. He returned in this role for the second season but also took over the role of Ser Gregor Clegane for the second season when Conan Stevens was unable to reprise the role due to a scheduling clash.
When asked about being recast into the role starting in Season 2, he said:
- "It's always difficult to step into another actor's shoes, you know, but it's just one of those things, they asked me to do it, and I said, yeah sure."
Interviewed at Wales Comic-Con 2013, Whyte described playing Gregor Clegane:
- "Gregor Clegane is, without a doubt, one of the worst characters ever committed to literature, let alone film or television. Playing a villain, you can always let go, completely, forget about reality, and just got with it. But Gregor Clegane is one of these characters which requires, you know, a real emotionless performance, because this is a man who lacks any kind of humanity or emotion on any conceivable level. But yeah, he's a difficult character to play, but he is enjoyable."
Whyte said that a big problem is that it is hard to connect to Gregor when playing him, because fundamentally, Gregor is a killer, rapist, and child murderer, and Whyte doesn't have any relevant experience in these things.
Whyte explained that he intentionally tried to remove as much emotion from the performance as possible, and director David Nutter encouraged this as well. Arguably, the one emotion that Gregor displays in the books is unprovoked rage, but they decided that it would be more effective to play Gregor as practically emotionless, the idea being that no man possessing anything close to a human emotion could be as callously cruel as Gregor Clegane, or commit acts of such wanton brutality (in contrast with Conan Stevens's brief turn as Gregor in Season 1, in which he played him as an enraged, screaming brute).  The role of Gregor Clegane was later taken over by Icelandic strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in Season 4.
While no longer playing Gregor after Season 2, Whyte continued to work on Game of Thrones. He portrayed a giant in the wildling army known on-set as "Dongo the Doomed" in Seasons 3 and 4 (the grey-haired giant who uses a massive bow to shoot huge arrows at the top of the Wall).
|Season one credits|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season two credits|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season three credits|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Season four credits|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season five credits|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|