With the tip of Game of Thrones in sight, one of many present’s authentic stars is reflecting on his character’s influence almost eight years after the HBO epic’s first surprising dying.
Sean Bean’s Ned Stark was a tonesetter in some ways again when Game of Thrones first premiered on HBO. He was the primary chief and hero that the viewers may observe and root for, the first grownup point-of-view character for a lot of the primary season, and infamously, the primary main character to be killed off. The penultimate episode of Season 1, “Baelor,” was a warning shot to all Game of Thrones viewers.
From the second Ned Stark’s head left his physique, we knew: No one on this present is protected, irrespective of how well-regarded the actor is or how important to the story we predict the character could be. In the six seasons and counting which have come since, we have seen all method of executions, bloody weddings, deaths in battle, and horrific duels, and so they all stem from that first jaw-dropping beheading.
Bean hasn’t been part of Game of Thrones for a few years now, however as he advised Entertainment Weekly in a brand new interview about his time on the present, he knew that entering into. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss made it fairly clear to him that Ned Stark’s place within the sequence was a quick one, and he was joyful to chart the character’s arc, set a tone, and lend his gravitas to the sequence for one season. Since then, he is been in a position to watch the present develop in scope and recognition from afar, and he is seen Ned’s legacy carried on by the surviving Stark youngsters.
So, what does Ned Stark imply for Game of Thrones at this time? Here’s how Bean explains it:
“He’s very honorable, he’s very honest, he’s a man of integrity, and he does the dirty work, as he does at the beginning when he chops off the guy’s head. But he’s a man who’s very fair-minded, and he’ll stick to his principles through thick and thin, regardless of who he’s up against,” Bean mentioned. “With him going to King’s Landing and getting involved with such backstabbers, it’s something he wasn’t used to, and certainly not at that level.”
He went on to say he loved Ned’s arc of making an attempt to face in opposition to all that political in-fighting, and although he did not succeed, he instilled that perspective in his youngsters who’re nonetheless carrying the present at this time.
“I think it was quite tragic to see him chipped away by these people until he was really struggling, and he was in very deep. Throughout, he maintained his honor and his integrity, and I think that’s something viewers really took to their hearts,” he mentioned. “He’s one of many only a few good males. He was the primary good man in Game of Thrones, and he stayed that approach to the bitter finish. His little children have taken these values for themselves, and it’s a a lot richer present due to that — due to him.”
One of the issues many Game of Thrones followers will level to when discussing why they love the sequence is its lack of ethical absolutes. It’s not a fantasy sequence that traffics in shining heroes and darkish lords with a transparent compass for what’s proper and what’s unsuitable. There are heroes and villains, sure, however even the ostensibly good characters should compromise their very own ethical codes generally for the sake of survival or victory. It’s a present filled with grey areas, and that is a part of the attraction.
Ned Stark, although, was a person who resisted grey areas at any time when potential. He valued honesty, loyalty, and a code of honor that he’d been making an attempt to protect for a lot of his life, together with a promise he made to his dying sister to maintain Jon’s parentage secret for his personal security (which Bean says he was by no means advised about), although he risked his personal marriage to do it.
Ned’s refusal to bend his code performed a big function in what ultimately bought him killed, however his important goodness has resonated, and it held notably sway in Season 7, when the Stark youngsters reunited and even Sansa and Arya have been reciting his outdated mantra: “The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”
What’s left of Ned Stark’s legacy will probably be put to the take a look at once more when Game of Thrones returns April 14 on HBO. Will his values prevail?