Game of Thrones: 5 of Sean Bean’s best moments as Ned Stark on HBO series - including his execution speech

Sean Bean’s portrayal of Ned Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones has remained memorable despite his death in season one
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Sean Bean has made Yorkshire proud by taking on a number of lead television and film roles since 1984.

The actor, 63, from Sheffield, is arguably best known for his short-lived role as Ned Stark in the first series of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

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When the hit fantasy series began in 2011, Lord Eddard Stark was the head of the House Stark.

However, royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne was ordered by King Joffrey to behead Ned just nine episodes into the series, after he confessed to treason against the crown.

The murder saw the end of Sean’s role in the Game of Thrones.

Yorkshire actor Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Nick BriggsYorkshire actor Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Nick Briggs
Yorkshire actor Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Nick Briggs

Sean Bean went on to win three awards, Best Actor and Best Television Hero, for his portrayal of the head of the House Stark.

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Let’s take a look at five of Sean Bean’s best moments during his short-lived but well remembered role as Ned Stark.

“It’s called Needle”

Sean Bean attends the "Game Of Thrones" Season 8 Premiere on April 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)Sean Bean attends the "Game Of Thrones" Season 8 Premiere on April 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Sean Bean attends the "Game Of Thrones" Season 8 Premiere on April 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

In this adorable scene in episode one, Ned Stark speaks to his youngest daughter Ayra about sword fighting.

He walks into a room, where Ayra is playing with Needle, and he says: “A little lady shouldn’t play with swords.”

Arya bites back: “I wasn’t playing and I don’t want to be a lady”

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Ned then beckons the 11-year-old to come and sit down, saying: “Come here, what do you want with this?”

She tells him: “It’s called Needle”

He asks: “And who are you hoping to skewer with Needle? Your sister [Sansa]? Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?”

To which Ayra comically responds: “Stick them with the pointy end.”

“You’ve got fat”

Another comical scene in episode one, sees King Robert Baratheon, who is played by fellow Yorkshire-actor Mark Addy, speak to Ned Stark with a serious look on his face.

“You’ve got fat,” he says.

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Everyone stands in silence for a moment, before Ned and King Robert both break out in laughter and embrace in a friendly hug.

“You are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood”

Ned and his bastard son Jon Snow, who is played by Kit Harrington, are both on horseback for this heartwarming scene in episode two, The Kingsroad.

Jon had headed north with his uncle, Benjen Stark, to join the Night’s Watch.

Ned says to Jon: “There’s great honor serving in The Night’s Watch. The Starks have manned the wall for thousands of years. And you are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood.”

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Jon asks: “Is my mother alive? Does she know about me? Where I am? Where I’m going? Does she care?”

Ned responds: “Next time we see each other, we’ll talk about your mother. I promise.”

“Take him alive”

A huge fight scene erupts in episode five when Ned Stark leaves the brothel and runs into Jaime Lannister - played by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Ned says: “If you kill me, your brother [Tyrion] is a dead man.”

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So, Jaime says to his guards: “Take him alive. Kill his men”.

Subsequently, all of the guards that Ned had alongside him are killed and then Ned is stabbed through the leg by one of the Lannister guards.

“I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King”

In a powerful speech, just before he is beheaded in episode nine, Ned Stark says: “I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King. I come before you to confess my treason in the sight of gods and men.

“I betrayed the faith of my King and the trust of my friend Robert. I swore to protect and defend his children, but before his blood was cold, I plotted to murder his son and seize the throne for myself.

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“Let the High Septon and Baelor the Blessed bear witness to what I’ve said. Joffrey Baratheon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne by the grace of all the gods, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm."

In the scene, you can see his daughters Sansa and Arya looking glum. The latter of which is hiding with Needle.

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