A Game of Thrones actor is dead. Neil Fingleton, the UK’s tallest man in recent history, whose height was 7 feet 7 inches, died over the weekend. Neil starred as Mighty The Mag in Game of Thrones. His cause of death is reported as heart failure, according to the Guardian. He was 36-years-old.
An obituary statement about the Game of Thrones actor’s death was posted on a Facebook group page called “Tall Persons Club” on Sunday after news spread of Fingleton’s death.
“Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton, ‘Britain’s Tallest Man,’ passed away on Saturday.” Neil became Britain’s tallest Man in 2007 passing the height of Chris Greener.
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) February 26, 2017
“Neil started off in basketball in the USA before becoming an actor and starring in the X-men [sic] first class and also recently in the Game of Thrones.”
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”
The Game of Thrones actor’s character, real name, Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, died in the fourth season of the adventure-fantasy series starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, and others. As “King of the Giants,” Fingleton fought with The Wildlings in Mance Rayder’s army. Mag died in Battle of Castle Black.
The Game of Thrones actor was a celebrated basketball player before he turned to film. He played for several teams in America, China, Greece, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom, according to the Telegraph.
Fingleton was born in Durham and turned to basketball due to his height. As a teenager, he dwarfed classmates. Basketball was a likely profession, but he soon turned his eye towards acting in the UK.
Here's Peter on location with Neil Fingleton who played the Fisher King… Luckily the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, so Neil will still be able to take a look around. #DoctorWho #DrWho #whovian #fandom #BehindTheScenes #BTS
A post shared by Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) on
During a 2006 interview with the Guinness World Records, the Game of Thrones actor said he comes from a history of tall family members.
“I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember. My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7ft. By the time I was 16, I was 7ft 5in and stopped growing at 18.”
“I am one of three siblings – my sister who is 6’3″ is the eldest at 30, my brother is 6’8″ who is 29 and I am 7’7″ at 26…my mother is 6 foot and my father was also. My great grandfather was 6’8″. I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember.”
Neil Fingleton also starred in X-Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Dr. Who (as The Fisher King alongside Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi). Not only was the Game of Thrones star the tallest man in Britain, but also he was among the top 25 tallest men in the world.
Scores of tributes poured in after news spread of Fingleton’s death.
One superfan of the Game of Thrones franchise, Gary Windle, took to Twitter and posted a picture of him and the actor.
“Rip to the giant that is Neil Fingleton, Mag the Mighty, Game of Thrones, rest in peace mate, gutted.”
Tom Blenkinsop is the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland left a tweet of condolences.
“Really sad news about Neil Fingleton. Played, amongst many things, Mag the Mighty in #GoT. Also a Huge Boro fan!!Only 36!! So, so sad.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Heart failure, sometimes known as congestive heart failure, occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.”
A post shared by Jay Flats ????????????♂️???????????????????????? (@jayflats) on
The condition is chronic (long duration) and often cannot be reversed. Many treatments address the signs and symptoms, but not the underlying cause of the disease. Some healthcare professionals believe heart failure can be prevented and managed with lifestyle changes: diet (low sodium), stress control (meditation, yoga), and weight loss through exercising at least 150 minutes per week.
According to an ABC News report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) said heart disease is a primary killer. Yearly, 616,000 people succumb to the disease. Unlike cancer, heart disease is diagnosed less often in taller people.
Sadly, Neil Fingleton has died. What are your fondest memories of the Game of Thrones actor?
[Featured Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]