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Sean Bean reflects on his time as Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, the unaired pilot, and more

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It’s been a really long time since we last saw Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark on Game of Thrones. I mean, the very foundation of this epic series began with him. Most of the people (non-book readers) believed that Ned was ultimately going to be the protagonist of the story – all characters, and major plot points revolving until the ninth episode of the Season 1 proved us otherwise.  Yet much like Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark – who’ve been dead for a long time – Ned too had a propelling role in the series. The biggest example being his execution that led to the War of Five Kings that eventually leads us to the current events in the series. But, what does the actor who played the role think?

Well, Sean Bean – the actor who had played the role of Ned recently talked to Entertainment Weekly reflecting on his time on Game of Thrones, his role in the unaired pilot, and more. Let’s dive into it.

Ned Stark – being one of the good characters in the series was an honourable man, a great friend, and a true sibling to his sister Lyanna. I can imagine, how important it was for him to keep the lineage of Jon Snow a secret-  he kept from everyone including his wife Catelyn. He was even ready to trade his honour for it as it could have been torn the Seven Kingdoms apart. The secret could have died with him unless not discovered by Bran and Sam. When asked if “anyone from the show gave him a courtesy call to reveal the truth about Jon Snow’s parents”, Sean revealed:

“Like with everything with Game of Thrones, it was kept very dark and secret. I think that’s the kind of magic and the glory of Game of Thrones… that’s why it’s so stunning and breathtaking when these secrets are revealed.”

Dan Weiss and David Benioff did a fantastic job not only adapting the pages from a book into a TV series but with the casting of the series too! But did they tell Sean about his character in advance?

“Yeah, we met for lunch in Soho, six or seven years ago now, before we started the pilot. We had a really good chat, and I was very thrilled to be asked to play the role. I think it was only myself and Peter cast at the time. I was very thrilled about the whole idea. I didn’t actually know at that time how enormous and massive this series would become. I was just getting my head around the part, as we all were. None of us really could’ve imagined it would be such a big-scale, tantalizing drama. Yeah, that was the beginning of the story for me. And, of course, I knew I wasn’t going to last very long. I accepted that.”

When asked if the showrunners told him about the secret of Jon Snow’s parentage during that meeting, Sean replied:

“Not really. They said that some things happened, there were quite dramatic twists and turns. They let me know what they were within the first [season]. It was enough just keeping up with these intricate and complex storylines, with all the families and different worlds. Any more information would’ve probably been overload. As you can see, the death and how it’s developed, I think there’s only so much you can take at once. They only reveal what they want you to know, and that’s good, I think. That’s what makes it so exciting to find out.”

Ned Stark is one of the characters in the story besides Jon Snow who resonates really well with other characters in the story although his son (nephew-in-disguise) seems a bit too brooding at times. On this, Sean Bean suggests:

 “He’s very honourable, 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. 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. 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.”

The original – unaired pilot episode of Game of Thrones had a lot of Game of Thrones had a lot of differences especially some cast members were replaced like Tamzin Merchant with Emilia Clarke for Daenerys Targaryen. When asked about those differences, Sean revealed:

“I remember a scene with Bran in the old tree and [his parents are] talking to him about life. He was very young at the time when Isaac was playing the part. There are some nice scenes with [Williams as Arya]. I quite enjoyed those scenes because there was a lot of horrible backstabbing going on, and I think those scenes stood out because they were very natural and people could identity with them: a father and his children. I also remember the banquet, which was quite interesting. We shot it in Scotland, and it was a banquet with King Robert. All the families were coming together, there was a real feeling of this horrible tension, which represents what we did afterwards.”

Lastly, talking about his last day of filming and what he remembered about him playing the role for the last time, Sean ended by saying:

“I remember filming that day. The death, that was wonderful because it was so unexpected. I thought it was amazing how they shot it. But I died, and then I had to do some scenes from earlier in the episode, so it wasn’t the end for me. We were in Malta; it was very hot. It was very colourful. Everyone was there, and with things like that, there’s a sort of gallows humour to it. It’s awful what’s happening, and you start giggling and laughing. When the head fell off, there were mistakes. It didn’t quite work out sometimes. It was quite comical. So it breaks the ice a bit.”

What were your thoughts on this interview of Sean Bean and did his character in the story deserve true justice in the series? Tell us in the comments.







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Interview

The Wheel of Time showrunner asked for advice from Game of Thrones showrunners

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Game of Thrones showrunners' new Netflix show ‘The Chair' lands premiere date

Game of Thrones was an epic fantasy, there’s no doubt about it. There’s yet to be another show that has come close to the quality and popularity that George R. R. Martin’s creation achieved, but the future is looking bright and we have several contenders. One of them is Amazon’s The Wheel of Time, which is itself an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s 14-book series. The showrunner, Rafe Judkins, is aware of the comparison being made with Game of Thrones, but he’s looking hopeful.

The Wheel of Time showrunner talks about comparison with Game of Thrones

In a recent GQ story, Judkins revealed that he sought advice for creating an epic fantasy series that did the books justice, stood on its own as an attractive new big-budget series for average audiences, and carved its own unique niche in a crowded fantasy entertainment space.

“Just do what you’re going to do, the Game of Thrones duo advised him, per the outlet. “You know what this is. You have to believe in it. These kinds of things have to have an extraordinary clarity of vision to work.”

The pressure on The Wheel of Time is immense, especially because of its comparison with Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones proved to be a huge success, a worldwide phenomenon that broke all records, and one of the best TV adaptations of a novel series.

But after a highly controversial final season, do you think Judkins did the right thing by turning to D & D for advice? Talk to us in the comments below!







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Interview

Richard Madden was sad about not sharing enough screen-time with Game of Thrones co-star Kit Harington in Marvel’s Eternals

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Richard Madden was sad about not sharing enough screen-time with Game of Thrones co-star Kit Harington in Marvel’s Eternals

Game of Thrones stars are a close knit bunch. Many of them are close friends in real life, like former on-screen brothers Richard Madden and Kit Harington, who played Robb Stark and Jon Snow respectively on the show. Hence it must come as no surprise that the two cherish any opportunity they get to work together. In this case, it was Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest phase 4 film Eternals.

Though Madden was thrilled to be a part of the project, and getting to work with Kit once again, he was sad about not sharing much screen-time with him. He told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview:

Richard Madden was sad about not sharing enough screen-time with Game of Thrones co-star Kit Harington in Marvel’s Eternals

Just great. I mean, I’ve been friends with Kit for many, many years, and sadly we don’t get to do a lot in the film together. But I get to have one moment with him where we say hello, and it’s nice to be on set with someone you know and trust and have known for a long time. On set, it was kind of like hanging out with your friends, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, right, we’ve got to do acting now? Okay.’”

When Madden was asked why Eternals and his character of Ikaris appealed to him, the actor said:

For me, it was the fascination of when you’ve got a character that’s thousands and thousands of years old, what is it about them that makes them want to keep living? What is it about the world around them that they find joy in?”

Are you excited about Marvel’s Eternals? Talk to us in the comments below!







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Interview

House of The Dragon co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik explains how his job has changed since his Game of Thrones days

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Miguel Sapochnik

Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon is a hot topic over all the social media platforms, as periodic leaks cause waves of reactions and excitement amongst curious fans. The teaser trailer received a largely positive response from the audience, and fans are expecting a lot from the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel. The series’ co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, who has also worked on the original show, explains how his job has changed since his Game of Thrones days.

During a Hollywood Reporter interview about his upcoming postapocalyptic Apple movie Finch, he said, “It’s a lot of work,” Sapochnik said. “It’s a pretty interesting shift. I’m producing other directors and getting involved in a lot of the minutiae. Directing feels really simple by comparison. I feel vaguely elated on my directing days because I don’t have to think about anything other than directing. I’ve also learned, as I learned on Finch, that it’s becoming more and more important to me as I’m getting older to work with people I like.”

House of The Dragon: Filming period in Caceres extended as an important crew member tests positive for COVID-19 on the last day of schedule

“The journey is the destination and if you can’t enjoy the journey, then the destination has so much less meaning. I’ve got a group of filmmakers on House of the Dragon I have a lot of fun working with. I’ve never had that level of repeat business of working with the same people again and again. The way I work with [GoT veterans] Fabian Wagner, my DP, and Tim Porter, my editor, we have fun and make jokes and we never used to have that. I can’t tell you how important that is. Because there’s not a lot of funny stuff going on in the world of Thrones, so it’s quite nice to spend time with people you enjoy spending time with.”

Are you excited about House of The Dragon? Talk to us in the comments below!







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