Sean Bean solves the mystery of Ned’s final words, makes his pick for who wins the Iron Throne

Caption

It remains one of the most iconic scenes from ‘Game of Thrones’: the shocking death of Ned Stark.

It was the moment that shook Game of Thrones viewers to the core: the Season 1 beheading of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), one of the show’s most important characters (and before Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and others became household names, arguably its biggest star). It set the precedent that no one was safe in the dangerous world of Westeros.

One of the most memorable aspects of the iconic scene is watching Ned’s lips move in the seconds before Ice takes his head — and the frustration of not knowing exactly what he said has driven fans crazy for years and given rise to numerous theories. Finally, however, in a new interview, Bean spilled the beans (ugh, sorry) on Ned’s final words!

There are two prevailing theories for Ned’s last words — that he said either “I kept my promise,” in reference to his promise to his sister Lyanna to protect her son (Jon Snow), or “Valar Morghulis,” the High Valyrian expression for “All men must die,” which fueled a conspiracy theory that the Ned on the executioner’s block was in fact a Faceless Man of Braavos, and that the real Ned is still alive and somewhere in Westeros (admittedly, this is a much less likely explanation). According to Bean in a recent interview with The Huffington Post, however, it’s much simpler than that: he was simply a doomed man praying for the last time.

“It appears that way, doesn’t it?” Bean said. “I couldn’t be too specific, because I don’t know if religion [like that] was around in those days, whatever they were. I just thought, ‘What would you do if this were really gonna happen?’ You probably would pray. You probably would murmur some words and you’d keep it quiet. You’d keep it to yourself.”

There we have it: only a humble prayer. Sorry to burst the bubble, everyone.

Elsewhere on the internet, Bean sat down for an interview on the YouTube series BUILD, where we learned that Ned himself is woefully behind on watching Thrones — although that didn’t stop him from making his choice for who will win the Iron Throne.

“I got [my] head chopped off in the ninth episode, so I stopped watching it then,” he says. “I catch up on it now and again, but I really should get the box set.”

“So who do you think should sit on the Iron Throne, then?” asks the host. “Who’s still alive?” Bean replies.

Eventually, Bean chooses Jon Snow, and also mentions that during Season 1 filming, it was never explained to him that Jon wasn’t his actual son — which means Bean was never told of Jon’s true parentage. “They didn’t tell me, so I treated him like a son,” he says, although that didn’t stop “everyone from asking me” after his tenure on Thrones had ended. Maybe the questions have stopped for Bean since the end of Season 6.

 

32 responses

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    1. There will no be Iron Throne at the end ..So either Jon or Danny cant be king/queen at the end..They might live and have a child[pretty sure]..but i dont think anyone will rule at the end..The Iron Throne destroyed many lives in GOT and everyone who had end seat there..has die [with one or another brutal way]..So Jon or Danny or both will destroy that fucking ugly and cursed iron chair ..and will choose to live as simple peoples than king/queen.

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    2. It would have been nice to have a Branvision scene with Ned/Sean in the final season but I doubt that will happen. I’d say he’s probably too messed up to even have a Frankenstein’s monster type of cameo as well. 😉

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    3. Pigeon:
      Sigh……Beanie.

      Yes, and he says HBO has not asked him back, which saddens me. They owe him a lot for kicking off the biggest show on cable TV. BTW, if you ever get a chance, see his episode from Accused or his 2017 short series, Broken. They’re British series, so you may have to hunt them down in the States. Someone told me his Accused episode was on YouTube. We all think of him as a tough guy, but in the first he plays a secret transvestite and in the other a dedicated Catholic priest in a poor area. Both portrayals are brilliant.

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    4. The funny bit comes at the end of the interview, when Bean compares the obsessive fan theorizing to ‘Who shot J. R.?’ Gotta wonder how many GoT watchers are old enough to have any clue who J. R. was.

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    5. “who do you think should sit on the Iron Throne, then?” asks the host. “Who’s still alive?” Bean replies.

      Eventually, Bean chooses Jon Snow…”
      —————-

      ❌ Wrong choice Eddard.
      The correct answer: Arya. 👸🏻✅

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    6. Stark Raven’ Rad: Yes, and he says HBO has not asked him back, which saddens me. They owe him a lot for kicking off the biggest show on cable TV. BTW, if you ever get a chance, see his episode from Accused or his 2017 short series, Broken. They’re British series, so you may have to hunt them down in the States. Someone told me his Accused episode was on YouTube. We all think of him as a tough guy, but in the first he plays a secret transvestite and in the other adedicated Catholic priest in a poor area.Both portrayals are brilliant.

      Don’t forget Lady Chatterley’s lover and Sharpe 😉

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    7. Sean Bean hasn’t really watched the show since his character was killed off… but supports his show son for the throne… It’s kinda lovely.

      I find it really interesting that while working on the show, Sean Bean wasn’t told anything about Jon’s parentage. Maybe it helped him to act as Jon’s father – but Sean Bean should’ve wondered about the writing of a couple of scenes. “You might not have my name but you have my blood,” and, of course, infamously “We’ll talk when I get back.” It’s interesting that two other mentor figures to Jon, uncle Benjen and Old Bear Mormont, also promise to talk after they get back – and neither of them get back. It’s almost like a curse. It’s almost like a plot contrievance pattern, haha!

      I’m not saying uncle Benjen or Old Bear Mormont knew about Jon’s parentage, I don’t think they did, but repeating Ned’s words about talking about something apparently important keeps the idea, the mystery, fresh in the watchers’ minds.

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    8. Firannion: The funny bit comes at the end of the interview, when Bean compares the obsessive fan theorizing to ‘Who shot J. R.?’ Gotta wonder how many GoT watchers are old enough to have any clue who J. R. was.

      Isn’t the shooting of J.R. one of those things that transcend time and space ? It is a bit like Bobby being in the shower, it is just part of us all. Wherever and whoever we are. It does not even matter whether we were actually born when it happened. Such is the power of Larry Hagman and his massive hats.

      Hodors Bastard: I can’t get the ‘Dallas‘ theme song out of my head and there is much obnoxious humming. Thanks, Mr. Bean!

      You should count yourself lucky. I now have the French version of the Dallas theme tune and, believe me, it is worse. Far, far worse.

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    9. rosiegamgee: Don’t forget Lady Chatterley’s lover and Sharpe 😉

      He was the only reason (although i love Eddie Redmayne as well) that I watched that terrible movie a few years ago about…*Googles it*…Jupiter Ascending. Truly the only parts worth watching, although the costuming on Mila Kunis and Redmayne was beautiful.

      Look, I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I actually cried when Boromir died. Gahhhhhh.

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    10. Stark Raven’ Rad: Yes, and he says HBO has not asked him back, which saddens me. They owe him a lot for kicking off the biggest show on cable TV. BTW, if you ever get a chance, see his episode from Accused or his 2017 short series, Broken. They’re British series, so you may have to hunt them down in the States. Someone told me his Accused episode was on YouTube. We all think of him as a tough guy, but in the first he plays a secret transvestite and in the other adedicated Catholic priest in a poor area.Both portrayals are brilliant.

      I have seen both (tracked them down in Canada somehow) and you are right, they are wonderful and unique roles that he wore very well!

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    11. ACME:
      Such is the power of Larry Hagman and his massive hats.

      That cracked me up! 😂 I am one of those who was too young for Dallas, but I still get the reference AND the (American) theme song stuck in my head on occasion.

      Although, as a Canadian kid, ‘The Littlest Hobo” theme is still up there in the list of songs I will always remember at any random time.

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    12. Pigeon: I am one of those who was too young for Dallas, but I still get the reference AND the (American) theme song stuck in my head on occasion.

      Ha ha ! Same here. I was born some 6 years after J.R. was shot by… (Help me Google, you’re my only hope)… Permed Lady Number 17 (no idea who that character is so I am not even going to pretend) and there simply is no hiding from it. It is a cultural milestone for us all. J.R. is the abusive Texan father we chose, whether we like it or not.

      Although, as a Canadian kid, ‘The Littlest Hobo” theme is still up there in the list of songs I will always remember at any random time.

      There’s a voice that keeps on calling you, isn’t there ? 😛

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    13. ACME:
      Permed Lady Number 17

      Bahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! 😂

      ACME:
      There’s a voice that keeps on calling you, isn’t there ? 😛

      Down the road – it’s where I’ll always be! ❤

      Oh how I loved that dog.

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    14. While I watched some Dallas it wasn’t really for my demographic at the time. My shows were Dukes of Hazzard, CHiPs, The Incredible Hulk, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., etc. You know, the cool guys with cool toys/cars type of shows. 😛

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    15. Firannion,

      Alas, I was a child at the time 🙂 I remember how frustrated I felt because I had to wait until the next season for the mystery to be revealed.

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    16. I await the next article. I can’t bear to see that image of poor Ned about to get decapitated – knowing that little Arya is pressed against Yoren’s chest with that anguished look. I just can’t…

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    17. Bean said in an interview a few years back that (paraphrasing here) ‘Jon Snow obviously isn’t my son’ so I think he was aware of the truth on some level even if nobody actually told it to him.

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    18. ACME: Isn’t the shooting of J.R. one of those things that transcend time and space ? It is a bit like Bobby being in the shower, it is just part of us all. Wherever and whoever we are. It does not even matter whether we were actually born when it happened. Such is the power of Larry Hagman and his massive hats.

      You should count yourself lucky. I now have the French version of the Dallas theme tune and, believe me, it is worse. Far, far worse.

      Truth be told, the ‘80s were one of the decades during which I did not watch TV, period. So I remain blissfully ignorant of the Dallas theme song and have no clue what befell Bobby in the shower. There was no escaping the company of people obsessed with the identity of J. R.’s shooter, however.

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    19. Rob:
      Bean said in an interview a few years back that (paraphrasing here) ‘Jon Snow obviously isn’t my son’ so I think he was aware of the truth on some level even if nobody actually told it to him.

      This was exactly which jumped to the front of my mind when I read this article, didn’t he also say at the time that he still follows thrones?

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    20. Firannion: Truth be told, the ‘80s were one of the decades during which I did not watch TV, period.So I remain blissfully ignorant of the Dallas theme song and have no clue what befell Bobby in the shower. There was no escaping the company of people obsessed with the identity of J. R.’s shooter, however.

      I shan’t spoil as important a revelation as this but Bobby’s bathroom-related endeavour was earth-shattering to many 😛
      As for your ignorance of the Dallas theme tune, I can only say this : you are blessed by the Gods. So very, very blessed…

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    21. Such a cool guy!
      I can’t remember where I saw this, but one of the funniest comments I ever read about why Sean Bean dies in everything was: “it’s the universe trying to course-correct itself because his name should rhyme, but it doesn’t.”

      Haha. 🙂

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    22. I remember Dallas but second hand – I was way too busy with grad school to watch much tv and was more interested in the likes of Hill Street Blues and St Elsewhere. But it was impossible not to get references to it because it was talked about everywhere.

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    23. Ten Bears:
      talvikorppi,

      Good observation!
      “We’ll talk when I get back” = kiss of death. 💋☠️

      We’ll have watch out for this quote in season 8. If anyone says it to Jon then it might be their final episode.

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