Sean Bean has opened up about filming his famous death scene at the end of Game of Thrones season one.
The actor’s character Ned Stark arguably set a precedent for the HBO series when he was unexpectedly executed by Joffrey in the penultimate episode Baelor, proving that no character was safe.
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Recalling what was going through his head during the scene, Bean told Entertainment Weekly: “It was horror and disbelief — that Joffrey changed his mind [about exiling Ned] — and then resignation and [realizing that he was] seeing his daughter for the last time, Arya.
“I was trying to think of all four [things]. 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.
“It took like a whole day or so to film it and you so you have to just keep focused on the fact that you’re about to meet your death without messing around,” he added.
“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.”
Game of Thrones came to an end in 2020 after eight seasons, though HBO is set to return to the world of George RR Martin with new spin-off House of the Dragon in 2022.
The series will star Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen respectively, while Paddy Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys has also teased more potential Thrones spin-offs, comparing it to the Star Wars and Marvel franchises.
“Those are fantastic properties that are decades and decades old,” he said. “I don’t know that it would get that big, but certainly it is a great resource that we have and an amazing world.
“So I don’t think it’s just going to be the one [show] for the rest of its life.”