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Why Sean Bean Sees Game Of Thrones' Ned Stark As Different From His Other Roles

English actor Sean Bean is an iconic professional with an equally iconic career that kicked off in the early 1980s. Throughout his nearly four-decade-long career, Bean has played a plethora of different characters with unique characteristics. However, one thing usually connects most of them: They end up dead. Indeed, many of the actor's characters have met their fate on screen. Bean's characters' have been shot, stabbed, impaled, and hanged, among many other gruesome demises.

One of Bean's most iconic deaths, as well as one of his most emotional, is when Eddard "Ned" Stark is decapitated during Episode 9, Season 1 in "Game of Thrones." While Bean had some disturbing fun with his character's severed head, the situation was much more serious for fans. Although he was only in the show for one season, Ned Stark was a character whose weight and memory was kept alive long after his passing. It was also his execution that showed viewers anyone could be tragically ousted from the show's story — even the main characters.

To Bean, although Ned met a similar fate to many of his other characters, he considers the Stark patriarch to be different. Here's what sets Ned Stark apart from the other characters Bean has portrayed over his career.

Good guys finish last

One undeniable aspect that fans came to associate with Ned was that the Lord of Winterfell was an honorable man through and through. He was just and firm when he had to be, but he also knew mercy and compassion in a world where both were rare. Although, it was probably that same unyielding honor – or his "loyalty," as Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) puts it – that got him killed in the end.

It's along these lines that Bean distinguishes Ned from his previous characters. In a 2019 interview with Vulture, the actor was asked whether the head of the Starks was a new kind of character for him at the time, and Bean confirmed that it was.

The actor said: "I've played characters before that were 'decent' people, but not genuinely good, you know? There was always a bit of a [dark] side to the characters I played. Like Boromir in 'The Lord of the Rings.' He was a good man, he meant well, but he had this weakness which cost him his life. They're interesting characters, but Ned was just out-and-out a good man."

The fact that Ned was such an uncompromisingly just human being was what made his untimely death one of the most devastating in "Game of Thrones." Although he was only an active part of the "Game of Thrones" for a mere nine episodes, Ned Stark made a lasting impression in the series, fans, and on Sean Bean.