It’s no secret that Sean Bean's characters tend to die. Sean Bean has died on screen so many times that even he claims to have even forgotten some of his own deaths. His characters have been shot, stabbed, trampled, crushed, and hung. If nothing else, the guy sure knows how to make an exit.
Sean Bean has been acting on screen since he was in his mid-twenties. He’s been in over twenty movies and television shows where his character has died. In some ways, it’s expected that his character will meet his demise in whichever movie or show he’s in.
From being James Bond’s nemesis to being King in the North, Sean Bean has portrayed some iconic characters. However, it’s not just the famous shows and movies that he’s known for having died in. It happens to him all the time. And yet, sometimes it's a complete surprise.
Here are Sean Bean’s 15 Most Shocking Deaths.
15 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
While this might be one of Sean Bean’s more valiant deaths, it’s not like it came out of nowhere. For those who read the books, you knew it was coming. Even if you didn’t read the books, though, it wasn’t a complete shock to see Boromir take one for the team. Humans are vulnerable, biased, and hopeful. They can also be somewhat overdramatic. That’s what Boromir’s character represented in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Sean Bean’s portrayal of Boromir was wonderful. He was too human at times, like when he attempted to take the One Ring from Frodo; he was also heroic, dying to protect his companions. Unlike the books, Boromir dies at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring rather than at the beginning of The Two Towers. He meets his end when he faces the Orcs in order to save Merry and Pippin. Boromir is shot by multiple arrows and dies a hobbit-saving hero.
Everyone seems to remember GoldenEye as the first Bond film to star hunky Pierce Brosnan. Some might even argue that it was the best Bond film out of the entire James Bond series. Portraying the M16 officer and friend of James Bond was Sean Bean. His character was named Alec Trevelyan, otherwise known as 006. This one’s confusing, since Alec Trevelyan had supposedly died at Arkhangelsk. It ended up not being what actually happened. He had instead faked his death.
Years after having supposedly died, Bean’s character had set up the Janus Crime Syndicate. Alec Trevelyan was in fact the villain after all. James Bond does his thing and needless to say, Trevelyan dies. Bond wasn’t cool with Trevelyan being a traitor and all, so he drops Trevelyan to his death from many stories high. Just so the audience could see for sure that Trevelyan was dead this time, flaming debris falls on top of Trevelyan, making it impossible for him to survive.
13 Black Death
Here’s a surprise: Sean Bean doesn’t die of the black death. It’s pretty shocking since Black Death is based around the black plague. Sean Bean portrays a character named Ulrich who leads a group of knights to a village that isn’t affected by the black plague. He’s surprised to find a monk named Osmund, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne before he became an Oscar winner.
There’s a woman in the village named Langiva who is bringing people back from the dead. Things kind of get out of hand after Ulrich arrives at the village. The villagers actually take Ulrich and tie his limbs to horses. Ulrich then shows the villagers that he brought the black plague into the village, so they have the horses go off in different directions. Sean Bean’s character dies by being pulled apart from the middle.
Caravaggio was a famous Italian painter from the late 1500’s. Director and screen writer Derek Jarman premiered his film entitled Caravaggio in 1986. It was a historical fiction drama focused on Caravaggio’s romantic life. Caravaggio starred Nigel Terry as Caravaggio, with both Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean as his love interests. Sean Bean portrayed Ranuccio, a street fighter who Caravaggio finds interest in. The only problem is that Ranuccio has a girlfriend named Lena, portrayed by Tilda Swinton.
Both Lena and Ranuccio become intimate with Caravaggio. Lena is found dead and Ranuccio is convicted for her murder. With Caravaggio being the stud that he was, he got Ranuccio out of prison by talking directly to the pope about it. Caravaggio was just that important. Once Ranuccio gets out of prison, he tells Caravaggio that he was the one who killed Lena, so Caravaggio slits Ranuccio’s throat. This was one of Sean Bean’s first roles and his first ever death scene.
11 Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974
Part mini-series, part television movie, there were three super long episodes based off of David Peace’s book series. In Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974, Sean Bean portrays John Dawson. His character is slimy, cruel to women, and absolutely shameless. Andrew Garfield plays a journalist named Eddie Dunford who knows that Dawson is up to no good and decides that he needs to do something about it.
Things end up getting out of hand. Dawson somewhat insinuates that he did some pretty horrible things, including murder some innocent girls. That was the last straw for Dunford, who shoots Dawson. The death scene itself is nothing special, but the circumstances were different to say the least. John Dawson had the police in his back pocket, making him seem untouchable. His death proved that he was still mortal.
Clarissa is a mini-series from the early 1990’s. It’s about a young woman in the mid 1700’s who inherits a lot of money. Instead of keeping her new-found fortune, she gives it away to her family. Sean Bean portrays her love interest, Lovelace. Clarissa decides to follow Lovelace instead of being forced into another marriage like her family wants.
The thing is, Lovelace isn’t a good guy. He puts Clarissa up with some prostitutes, ruins her reputation, and then rapes her. Having been through enough, Clarissa leaves him and then starves herself to death. The villain had won, except Sean Bean’s characters don’t always live. Lovelace starts to feel the consequences of his actions when his family goes against him. Later on, a friend of Lovelace’s stabs him with a sword because that’s just what the guy deserved.
In a future world where feelings are no longer allowed, Equilibrium showed what would happen if humans were forced into suppressing their morality. Christian Bale portrayed John Preston, a law enforcement officer whose job is to destroy anything that represents art and feelings. Sean Bean portrayed Partridge, the law enforcement partner to John Preston. Their job is to go around and take away things from people that might lead to them having feelings.
Sean Bean doesn’t actually make it that far into this movie because he unfortunately likes poetry and that’s just not allowed in a world where feelings are illegal. When John Preston notices Partridge keep a book of poetry that was taken from someone, rather than have it destroyed, John Preston kills him. Yet again, Sean Bean dies due to a bullet from a gun.
8 Don’t Say a Word
Sean Bean is the leader of a gang in the psychological thriller, Don’t Say a Word. The gang steals a multimillion-dollar gem, but they end up double-crossing Sean Bean’s character, Patrick Koster. He goes to jail for ten years and is then released. The movie also stars Michael Douglas as child psychiatrist Dr. Nathan R. Conrad and Brittany Murphy as Elisabeth Burrows, a patient in a state sanatorium.
Patrick Koster steals Dr. Nathan R. Conrad’s daughter because he needs Elisabeth to remember a multi-digit number for him. It’s a complex, round-about way of doing things. Turns out, Elisabeth’s dad was part of the gang that Patrick Koster was in. Her dad was one of the members who double-crossed Patrick. After a lot of chaos, Patrick Koster ends up dying by trying to find the multimillion-dollar gem in an excavation machine. Dr. Nathan R. Conrad turns on the machine resulting in Patrick Koster being buried alive.
Ca$h premiered in 2010. Chris Hemsworth and Victoria Profeta portray a couple named Sam and Leslie who find some cash inside of a suitcase. Sean Bean’s character, Pyke Kubic, had a twin brother who had thrown the suitcase from his car window during a chase. Obviously, Pyke goes to find the money because the suitcase contained half a million dollars in it. That’s not something to just forget about.
By the time Pyke finds the couple, they have already spent some of the money. In order to get all of his brother’s money back, Pyke forces the couple to rob stores. They then decide to rob a bank, but Pyke is unfortunately shot by Leslie during the event. The car they were using is sent to a junkyard where a bribed worker agrees to destroy both the car and Pyke’s body. The funny thing is that Bean also portrays Pyke’s twin brother, Reese, who is still alive by the movie’s end. So, Sean Bean dies, but also stays alive in this one.
Scarlett was the sequel to the novel Gone with the Wind... even though it was written decades later by a different author. The sequel became a mini-series that revolved around Scarlett right after Gone with the Wind ended. Scarlett was portrayed by Joanne Whalley. Sean Bean was Lord Richard Fenton, a man in Ireland who finds interest in Scarlett. In the novel, Lord Fenton is subdued and less intense. In the mini-series however, he’s much more of a villain.
Lord Fenton forces a young servant girl named Mary to have intercourse with him. Wanting revenge, Mary stabs him, resulting in Lord Fenton’s death. Things don’t turn out well for Mary afterwards, but things go bad for Scarlett too. Scarlett is convicted of Lord Fenton’s murder, and it all simply spirals out of control from there. Once again, Sean Bean plays the pretentious guy who thinks he can get away with anything.
5 Patriot Games
Patriot Games is a film from 1992 that starred Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, and of course, Sean Bean. Harrison Ford portrayed Jack Ryan, a retired CIA analyst. It’s another thriller spy film that results in another Sean Bean death scene. This time, his death comes at the end.
The scene begins with a speed boat chase. Sean Bean’s character, Sean Miller, jumps aboard Jack Ryan’s speed boat. The two fight it out while the boat is still going full speed. Jack Ryan shoves Sean Miller onto a boat anchor which goes right into Miller’s back. They milk this part for a few seconds while Jack Ryan watches Sean Miller struggle to breathe. After a minute, Ryan jumps off the boat and then the boat explodes. There’s no way Sean Miller could have survived that.
4 The Island
The Island had a great premise, but the execution of it fell flat. Sean Bean is almost forgettable as scientist Dr. Bernard Merrick who is responsible for creating all of the clones. Scarlett Johansson stars as the clone Jordan Two Delta. She’s the clone of a super model who was in a car accident. Ewan McGregor is also in the film and stars as the clone Lincoln Six Echo. He’s the clone of some rich guy.
Dr. Merrick realizes he has made a grave mistake somewhere along the way. Some of the clones recognize what’s going on and question the environment that they are in, which is an actual defect. Dr. Merrick decides to destroy the clones who question their surroundings, but Lincoln Six Echo puts up a fight. Dr. Merrick gets hanged by a chain and dies. Jordan Two Delta and Lincoln Six Echo move on and sail away to happiness.
3 Far North
Taking a break from the thrillers, Sean Bean starred in the indie film Far North. The movie is just downright depressing. It could be argued that Bean doesn’t necessarily die in this film, there just seems to be no chance of him surviving due to what happens. So, while there’s no true death scene, there’s a shocking sequence of events that led to his presumed death.
Sean Bean portrays the character Loki who is stranded in a frozen tundra. He’s rescued by two women, one of which he gets very close to. Loki is on the run from soldiers who want him dead. By the end of the movie, one of the women, Saiva, is jealous of the love Loki is giving out to the other woman, Anja. Saiva kills Anja, cuts off her face, and wears it like a mask. Saiva uses this disguise to have sex with Loki. Once Loki realizes what’s going on, he flees into the frozen tundra with no clothes on. He’s presumed dead for two reasons. One, no way could he survive while naked in that area. Two, Saiva is cursed and everyone she loves ends up dead.
2 The Field
Nothing bad can happen to a farmer and his family, right? Unfortunately, Sean Bean was cast as a farmer’s son, Tadgh McCabe and of course, something goes wrong. The Field is a movie about what happens when depressed farmers are put under a lot of stress. Tadgh McCabe is the son of Bull McCabe, a farmer who ends up going completely mad.
After one of his sons commits suicide, Bull’s wife stops speaking to him. Many years later, the land Bull has cultivated is up for auction. The stress gets to Bull and he goes crazy. Bull lets his cows loose and herds them towards a cliff. Tadgh McCabe gets in the way and is stampeded by the cows. He’s shoved off of the cliff when the cows don’t stop. It’s the most random death scene of Bean’s. The scene came out of nowhere.
1 Game of Thrones
If you have been living under a rock for the past six years, then you might not have realized that Game of Thrones has given viewers some of the most insane deaths in television history. Sean Bean portrayed Eddard Stark, King in the North. Audiences assumed that he was the main character, so of course he couldn’t die. Unfortunately, no one truly understood at the time how much of a horrible little pest Joffrey Baratheon really was.
The product of incest, Joffrey was completely insane. When Eddard is on trial, he confesses to treason only to save his daughter, Sansa. Joffrey, mad with power, decides to behead Eddard Stark instead of sending him to the Wall to live out the rest of his life. It was shocking to viewers, but the death began a revolution. Eddard Stark’s beheading was the biggest indicator that Game of Thrones wasn’t a series that cared about mercy.
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