“It was very moving with a lot of pathos in this scene.”
A big pop culture event is just around the corner: this year marks a decade since HBOs game of Thrones The groundbreaking fantasy series premiered in April 2011. It became a cornerstone of HBO programming during its eight year run on the cable network, and arguably one of the last pieces of ubiquitous pop culture in recent times. Much has been said and written about Game of Thrones, especially in the aftermath of the 2019 series’ divisive finale, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard all about the show.
Indeed Game of Thrones alum Sean Bean recently offered fresh insights into a key scene for his character Ned Stark while speaking with Entertainment Weekly. The scene in question is Ned’s execution scene in one of the final episodes of season one, “Baelor”. The discussion about the scene started when Bean was promoting his new animated film. Wolf Wanderer. Bean first touched the thought process he was trying to convey as Ned when the scene spins, and instead of going into exile, he is sentenced to execution.
“It was horror and disbelief – that Joffrey changed his mind [about exiling Ned] – and then resignation and [realizing that he was] I will see his daughter for the last time, Arya. I tried to think of all four [things]. It wasn’t just, “Oh god, my head is getting chopped off.” That mix of feelings must have made it what it was. ”
Image via HBO
Bean also shared what it was like to film that scene. As far as Bean can remember filming, shooting sounds both intense and exhausting. As he said Entertainment Weekly
“It took about a full day to film it and all you have to do is focus on being close to your death without fooling around. I was very hot at the time so that probably helped. And the reactions everyone else was 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 was done for the day. ”
Bean didn’t touch any of the most interesting moments in the execution scene, however: what Ned whispers before his head is cut off. Luckily we have an episode director Alan Taylor‘s report of that moment recorded in James Hibberd‘s book Fire Can’t Kill a Dragon. Taylor shared: “[Bean] asked someone what an appropriate prayer would be for someone of his faith. People tried to guess what he said, but it’s something private that Sean created based on it. ”
All seasons of Game of Thrones are now available to stream on HBO Max. For more information, check out the first preview of Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon and learn what to expect in January for HBO Max.
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About the author
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Allie Gemmill is the weekend content editor at Collider. You can find previous bylines at Bustle, Teen Vogue, Inverse, ScreenRant, SheKnows, VICE and Atom Tickets. When they’re not talking about movies they love at Collider, Allie is usually the umpteenth time seeing Uncut Gems because of the need to keep her brand.
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