Sean Bean: memes will be “my unintended legacy”

The Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings star talks all those countless character deaths – and how they've found a new life online

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Sean Bean is an award-winning actor with decades of iconic roles under his belt but, thanks to the internet, to some he’s best known as the man of many deaths. From GoldenEye and Game of Thrones to Henry VIII and Lord of the Rings, he’s forever breathing his last (or having his head unceremoniously lopped off) on screen. 

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“I have died quite a few times to be fair,” the star says in this week’s Radio Times, admitting to having watched montages of his characters’ deaths on YouTube. 

“I’ve seen that reel of clips – it sounds a bit macabre, but I watched that back, and I’d forgotten some of the scenes I’d died in.”

It might happen an unprecedented amount, but he doesn’t “take it to heart” each time he is killed off. Plus, nowadays, characters with limited life spans can live on for all eternity online.

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“For some reason, the parts I play, like Boromir or Ned Stark, have a life online long afterwards. I keep seeing, what do you call them – memes? ‘One does not simply ask for a drink’ instead of ‘One does not simply walk into Mordor’ – that sort of thing,” he says, adding: “They’ll probably be my unintended legacy.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine on sale Tuesday 3rd November in shops and from Apple Newsstand