Sean Bean's Top 7 Most Harrowing On-Screen Deaths

Sean Bean is a prolific actor who has an impressive resume. However, is numerous characters all seem to meet the same fate; they usually don't survive the film. Not only that, but, when they die, the deaths are harrowing to the point of satire. This isn't a list of all the deaths that Sean Bean has faced, just the most shockingly bloody. The beheading that so memorably ended Season 2 of Game of Thrones is nothing compared to this. Spoiler alert for those not aware of how often and horribly Sean Bean dies in his roles.

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7 The Field (1990)

Considering the simple plot and lush country setting, this is a really dark and sophisticated film. Those who aren't interested in Sean Bean as an actor or aren't familiar with most Irish movies probably haven't heard of it. It's not exactly a blockbuster. The Field was filmed in Ireland and follows the drama of the McCabe family and a land ownership issue. The plot has tragic consequences and is very Shakespearean in the sense that a few small mistakes lead to tragic endings. Sean Bean plays the McCabe's son, Tadgh. Tadgh dies an impressive death when he is trampled by a herd of sheep and pushed off a cliff in the film's last scene.

6 Patriot Games (1992)

Sean Bean takes on a support role and has to work in the shadow of Harrison Ford, so it's easy to forget that he was in this movie at all. As usual, his performance is solid, his character is relatable even though he's bad, and he dies a vicious and painful death. Patriot Games is very much a product of its time. In the early 1990s, Tom Clancy novels were popular movie fodder, and there was still an Irish Republican Army. Sean Bean plays Sean Miller, the unhinged IRA militant intent on assaulting members of the British royal family. He's stopped permanently when hero Jack Ryan lures him away from his quarry on a boat, beats him with an anchor and impales him on the bowsprit. Ouch.

RELATED: Ranking All The (Very) Different Jack Ryan Movies

5 Goldeneye (1995)

Bean's character actually dies twice in this movie. The first death is pretty boring, but the second death is nothing short of spectacular, so it balances out. It's not just satisfying because Bean plays such a convincing bad guy in this film but because it seems to combine everything possible to the point of comedy. Several bruises, maybe a gunshot wound (or two) isn't enough. Bond has to drop his former friend off a giant satellite dish. When falling a few hundred feet doesn't do the trick, part of the dish—which of course has exploded and is little more than a ball of flame and metal bars at this point—falls on him and finishes him off.

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4 Fellowship of the Ring (2001)


This could be Bean's most memorable role along with one of his most brutal death scenes. The Fellowship of the Ring was an incredible commercial success and started a whole trend of movie franchises and epic, expensive productions. One of the forgotten reasons for this was an amazing cast. Sean Bean brought the much-loved Boromir to life so beautifully it tore the audience apart when he died. Anyone who already read the book already knew that but it was still heartbreaking. It's pretty much common knowledge, but just to clarify, Boromir dies trying to redeem himself after trying to force Frodo to give him the One Ring. He realizes he can't save the Ringbearer and instead dies trying to save two other hobbits, Merry and Pippin. Watching him valiantly fight after taking one arrow after another is excruciating. Several are sticking out of his chest before he dies in Aragorn's arms.

RELATED: Ranked: Every Major Death in Lord of the Rings

3 Henry VIII (2003)

Granted, this death happened on a television series, but it's so hideous it still deserves a spot on the list. This two-part miniseries is half documentary, half drama and depicts the life and times of a certain notorious Tudor monarch. It's obvious that, if the setting is medieval England, then some crazy torture and death is likely to be part of the plot. Sean Bean portrays a real historical person in this movie, Robert Aske. He led a rebellion called the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, and Henry VIII made sure to make an example of him. As in the miniseries, Aske was hung by chains outside of Keep at York, which is similar to crucifixion in the sense that the victim eventually dies of exposure, suffocation or thirst.

2 The Island (2005)


A big-budget film directed by Michael Bay and starring some big-name actors that for some reason didn't make a very profound impact. The storyline is compelling enough; it's about a dystopian future and a scientist that hides a terrible secret. A few people have to die horrible deaths before this movie is over, and we know who at least one of them is. Sean Bean's character, Bernard Merrick, is one of the evil scientists driving the plot. It's always satisfying to see a villain die in an awful, poetic-justice kind of way. Dr. Merrick underestimates one of his test subjects and ends up strangled, suspended by the neck from a scaffolding chain.

1 Black Death (2010)

Here we are in medieval England again. And everyone knows what that means—someone is going to die, and it's going to be exceptionally ugly. If there's a movie about it with Sean Bean, audiences should know who that someone is going to be. To be fair, this movie is aptly named, and there's more than bubonic plague putting people in the dirt. Sean Bean has a supporting role in this movie, but that doesn't make this death any less affecting. This is another story where nothing ends well for anyone, but it's the worst for his character Sir Ulrich. In a movie where people get burned at a stake, are drugged and hanged, stabbed or disemboweled, Ulrich is tied to two draft horses and torn apart. The actual term for this was "drawn and quartered," and it was actually a thing in England once... please don't look it up.

NEXT: Sean Bean Joins BBC One's World War II Drama

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