Credit: HBO

Class 5 Spoiler Warning!

The following interview includes a major plot point from Episode 9 of Game of Thrones…

Below, the Game of Thrones star chats with EW about this week’s twist that since hitting East Coast viewers an hour ago has had Twitter exploding with surprised comments (and outrage).

Credit: HBO

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What did you think of Ned’s story?

SEAN BEAN: I thought it was a very courageous move for a television company. I know HBO has a track record of bold moves, but I thought this is pretty incredible if they can pull this off. I love the character, that he’s a principled man who tries to hold things together. This is a journey that he makes where ultimately his loyalty causes his downfall. But I just thought it was a wonderful piece of work.

Did knowing Ned’s fate change how you played him?

I knew I had to get quite a lot in before I got my head chopped off. I think you just play what’s on the page — he’s a good man trying to do his best in the middle of this corruption, he’s a fish out of water, he’s used to being up north in Winterfell where people are pretty straight and pragmatic, and he comes down to a place where people are playing games and backstabbing.

Was there any reluctance to play a doomed fantasy character after having created such an iconic one in Lord of the Rings?

Not really. His death was as much a surprise to me as anyone. In Lord of the Rings that death scene worked out quite well and Peter Jackson shot it beautifully, so it was quite heroic, and that also applies to the Ned Stark scene. It’s shocking and sad for his young daughter in the crowd.

What would you say to fans who are upset by the episode?

Ah, sorry about that! Tell them to blame George R.R. Martin.

Sean Bean will next be seen in ABC’s midseason drama/thriller Missing along with Ashley Judd.


Episode Recaps

Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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