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‘Game of Thrones’ star and ‘Britain’s tallest man’ Neil Fingleton dies aged 36

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Emily Badiozzaman
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The actor who played Mag the Mighty on Game of Thrones, Neil Fingleton, has died of heart failure aged just 36.

Fingleton stood at 7ft 7in (2.3 metres) making him the tallest man in Britain, a title that was confirmed in 2007.

Born in Durham, Fingleton was touching 7ft by the time he was 11 and didn’t stop growing until he was 18. Making the most of his height when he was younger, Fingleton became a professional basketball player over in the US in the NBA developmental league, but injury forced him into an early retirement. 

Turning to acting, Fingleton was never self-conscious about his height: “I have never been self-conscious about my height. I am more conscious of going bald so that should tell you. I never let my height play a negative part in my life.

"There are tens of millions of people in this country, and I'm the tallest, which is a very special thing.

"So why not use it to my advantage and be recognised, not just for being tall but for being a talented actor."

He played the king of giants in Game of Thrones, playing a notable role in the episode where the Wildlings storm Castle Black. In the battle Mag manages to breach one of the gates with just his pure strength before charging towards six members of the Night’s Watch, resulting in all their deaths. It’s a sacrifice in combat that is recognised by both the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch in the aftermath. 

Fingleton also appeared in X-Men: First Class (where he played a bodyguard), Jupiter Ascending, and 47 Ronin, as well as in Doctor Who as Fisher King in a 2015 episode.

Fingleton's acting agency, Oh So Small, said, "He was a great actor, always professional and a down to earth kind of guy and it was a pleasure to have worked with him. We know he will be sorely missed by all who knew him."