Sean Bean reveals what Ned Stark was thinking before his iconic ‘Game Of Thrones’ death

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2 min read
Sean Bean in Game Of Thrones (Credit: HBO)
Sean Bean in Game Of Thrones (Credit: HBO)

Sean Bean has been reflecting on his iconic death in Game Of Thrones, revealing exactly what Ned Stark was thinking just before he was decapitated.

For those of you who can’t quite remember, it was Joffrey Baratheon who ordered the death of Stark in the ninth episode of the first season of Game Of Thrones, entitled Baelor.

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Bean told Entertainment Weekly that the young King’s decision to suddenly change his mind about exiling Ned brought a mixture of “horror and disbelief,” before Stark then resigned himself to his fate, while also contending with the fact that this would be the last time he’d see “his daughter,” Arya, too.

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Bean said he was “trying to think of all four [things],” during filming. “It wasn't just, 'Oh God, I'm getting my head chopped off.' Those mix of feelings is what made it what it was, I suppose.”

Bean then took this opportunity to open up about shooting the actual sequence, revealing that it actually took “a whole day or so to film it.” One of the biggest challenges on this day was trying to “keep focused on the fact” that his character was about to die, and to resist the urge to mess around.

Cast member Sean Bean answers a question, as co-star Emilia Clarke watches, at the HBO panel for the television series "Game of Thrones" during the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Cast member Sean Bean answers a question, as co-star Emilia Clarke watches, at the HBO panel for the television series "Game of Thrones" during the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 7, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

"I was very hot at the time, so that probably helped. And everybody else's reactions were fantastic — Cersei and the kids. It was very moving with a lot of pathos in that scene. Then I put my head in the block and I was finished for the day."

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Bean has just returned to the small screen with Apple TV+’s animated film Wolfwalkers, which is the third installment to director Tomm Moore’s Irish Folklore Trilogy, following on from 2009’s The Secret Of Kelly and 2014’s Song Of The Sea.