Kristofer Hivju: everything you need to know about the Game of Thrones actor

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Kristofer Hivju does not only play a fierce warrior in the series “Game of Thrones”, the Norwegian actor is also known for his long red hair and lush beard in his private life. His international breakthrough came in the 4th season of the hit series as Tormund Riesentod, followed by further successful productions. You can find out all about Kristofer Hivju’s life and career here.

Kristofer Hivju
Actor, producer and screenwriter

Kristofer Hivju (born 7 December 1978 in Oslo) is a Norwegian actor. His parents Lieselotte Holmene and Erik Hivju are also well-known actors in Norway. Hivju completed his acting training at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Århus, Denmark. He made his US debut in the horror film The Thing (2011). He is married and has two daughters.

Born7 December 1978 in Oslo
Known fromGame of Thrones (2013-2019), Fast & Furios 8 (2017), Beck (since 2016)
AwardsGuldbagge (national Swedish film award) for Best Supporting Actor in the film Force Majeure (2014)
Copyright and legal information: Author: Patrik Nygren for; Material:; Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0,, unchanged.

Private life

Hivju’s family: wife and children

The son of two actors followed in his parents’ footsteps and attended drama school inÅrhus in Denmark. He is related to the French actress, film director and screenwriter Isabelle Nanty, who is his cousin.

Kristofer Hivju has been married to his long-term partner Gry Molvær Hivju since 2015. She works as a journalist. While he enjoys appearing on the red carpet with his wife or showing off with her on Instagram, he keeps their two daughters Silja and Nord out of the public eye. The family lives together in Trondheim, Norway.

The red-haired couple has even been in front of the camera together: they filmed a documentary series about the Viking king Olav Haraldsson for Norwegian television. Kristofer and Gry have also posed together in front of the camera for a magazine shoot.

Hivju’s trademark: The beard

It’s no wonder that Kristofer Hivju takes on roles such as a Viking king, a wildling warrior or a Norwegian rebel: his trademark is not only his long red hair, but above all his bushy red beard. Because this is so characteristic of his roles, it caused quite a stir when pictures of Hivju without a beard appeared on the internet, as the actor is barely recognisable in them.

Film career

Training and career start

Hivju began his career as a theatre actor. He completed his training in 2004 at the branch of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Århus, Denmark. He has performed in plays at Grusomhetens Theatre and Trøndelag Theatre. The actor first appeared in front of the camera in Norwegian series such as Fox Grønland (2001) and Størst av alt (2007). Kristofer Hivju wrote the screenplay for the short films Closework (2005) and Flax (2008).

His international film debut was in the American production The Thing (2011), a mixture of horror and science fiction centred around a team of Norwegian scientists.

The breakthrough in Game of Thrones

Kristofer Hivju’s final breakthrough as an international actor came in 2013 with the role in which most people probably know him: He played the Wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane or Giant Death in the HBO series Game of Thrones. However, he didn’t appear from the very beginning, but made his first appearance as a supporting actor in season 3.

Game of Thrones was already a success at this point and the actor himself was a big fan. From season 4 onwards, Hivju was part of the main cast of the series and was in front of the camera until the series finale in 2019.

Other projects with Kristofer Hivju: Beck, Twin and The Witcher

In 2013, the actor was seen alongside Will Smith and Jaden Smith in After Earth , but only played a small supporting role here. In 2017, he was cast in a supporting role in the international hit Fast & Furious 8 . Since 2016, he has appeared as Steinar Hovland in the series Beck, which is based on the crime novels by Swedish author couple Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. His biggest prize to date, the Swedish film award Guldbagge, was won as a supporting actor in the Swedish film drama Force Majeure (2014).

He landed his first major leading role in the Norwegian series Twin, playing a pair of twins. Further, he played the supporting role of Nivellen, a cursed friend of the protagonist Gerald, in the second season of the successful Netflix fantasy series The Witcher. In 2021, he had a small role in the Norwegian remake of the German-Czech classic Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella.

What is Kristofer Hivju currently doing?

Kristover Hivju continues to make international films. His latest projects were the thriller Cocaine Bear, released in 2023, and the upcoming film Distant, a sci-fi comedy whose release date has been rescheduled various times.

Tip: Kristofer Hivju in the leading role on the Lofoten Islands

We recommend the series Twin, in which Kristofer Hivju finally takes centre stage, to all fans of exciting Nordic noir as well as all Norway fans: here he can be seen in a double cast. He plays an unequal pair of twins, until one of them tragically dies… It’s not just the plot that captivates, but also the unique setting. The series was filmed in the Norwegian Lofoten Islands.

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