If you think you’ve got it tough, imagine you died every time you completed a job. Welcome to Sean Bean’s world.
He was beheaded in Game of Thrones and shot with arrows in Lord of the Rings, and let’s not forget about when he was torn to pieces by horses in Black Death.
But all that dying has taken its toll on Bean, who has died 21 bloody deaths in an incredible 23-year career as an actor.
Now, the 60-year-old has decided it’s time for a change, so he’s refusing to play roles in which his character dies. Fair play.
As per The Sun, he said:
I’ve turned down stuff. I’ve said, ‘They know my character’s going to die because I’m in it!’
I just had to cut that out and start surviving, otherwise it was all a bit predictable.
I did do one job and they said, ‘We’re going to kill you’, and I was like, ‘Oh no!’ and then they said, ‘Well, can we injure you badly?’ and I was like, ‘OK, so long as I stay alive this time’.
I’ve played a lot of baddies, they were great but they weren’t very fulfilling — and I always died.
Sean was more than comfortable with playing characters who ended up dead and buried, until he was handed the iconic role of Ned Stark in Game of Thrones.
Ned was killed in the penultimate episode of the first series, which was made up of 10 episodes in 2011.
Now, of course, we know the huge hit Game of Thrones evolved into, transforming the likes of Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner into mega stars, while Sean watched at home.
I’d read the Game Of Thrones books and they said to me, ‘You do die in this, but it’s near the end of the series’. And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, fair enough’.
So, they made it very clear at the time I was going to die, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to get stuck in one of these series that lasts seven years’.
But I wish I’d have got stuck now. But it was very clear what George RR Martin wanted to happen to Ned — and it did.
His character’s death sparked social media campaign Don’t Kill Sean Bean in 2014 after fans were sick of seeing him end up six feet under.
Fortunately, Sean was able to breath a sign of relief when he was offered the role of Douglas Bennett in BBC 1 war drama World On Fire.
Let’s have a little wander down memory lane and recall Bean’s many, many bloody deaths throughout his impressive career.
In 1986, he had his throat cut in Carvaggio, before being stabbed with a bayonet in 1989’s War Requiem. The next year, during The Field, Bean was forced off a cliff by stampeding cattle and drowned in a river on Lorna Doone the very same year.
In 1991, he was impaled by a sabre in Clarrisa and then impaled again by an anchor in Patriot Games in 1992. In 1994 he was stabbed to death while sleeping in Scarlett before being flung from a satellite dish by James Bond in 1995’s GoldenEye.
Three years later, in 1998, he was shot with a pistol in Airborne, before being shot in the head in Essex Boys in 2000.
Of course, he was shot with arrows in 2001’s Lord of the Rings, as well as being buried alive in Don’t Say A Word in the same year.
In 2002, Sean was shot in the face in Equilibrium, before being hung with chains in Henry VIII in 2003.
Bean then found himself choked by a scaffolding chain in The Island in 2005, before being gunned down in The Hitcher and shot in the chest in Outlaw, both in 2007.
In 2009, he was shot yet again in Red Riding, before being torn to pieces by horses in Black Death.
The next year, Bean’s character was shot in the head while fighting in a car in CA$H, before his Game of Thrones death in 2011.
That’s a tough couple of decades.
Still, he’ll always be the best at saying ‘bastard’:
Long live Sean Bean.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.