Game of Thrones' Sean Bean turns down roles where he dies now

Justin Harp, Abby Robinson
Photo credit: HBO

From Digital Spy

Former Game of Thrones star Sean Bean knows his on-screen deaths are a bit of a phenomenon.

There are YouTube clip reels devoted solely to his death scenes, he's been asked to pick a favourite character death before, and he's even recently revealed what happened to Ned Stark's severed head.

Sean is back on telly playing an army veteran with PTSD in the BBC's World on Fire where his character presumably lives – since he told Digital Spy and others that he's "turned stuff down" where he'd be killed off.

Photo credit: Ben Blackall - BBC

His latest thriller takes place in Europe during the first year of World War II, where stories of innocent people from all over the world intermingle as the Nazis tighten their grip over the continent.

"I found it rather more interesting to play someone who is fractured and slightly broken by his experiences and trying to put on a front for his children and try and hold the family together," Bean explained.

"He's playing a character upon a character with many underlying conflicting moods and feelings about how he should be as a father and how he views the world. He's a quieter man.

"He's broken and he's just trying to hold on. It's very poignant and very fulfilling to play someone that's not a hero, big and strong, but a man who's hanging on and is afraid. Playing someone who's not necessarily a hero or a villain, but someone who has been affected by war, which is a story in itself.

Photo credit: BBC/Mammoth Screen

"And finding out the physical and psychological damage that caused and how that manifests itself in his body language and habits."

This experience of finding deeper layers in World on Fire is something Bean admits he missed with leaving Game of Thrones after just one season.

Photo credit: HBO

"They told me straight away [that I was going to die]," he recalled. "They'd cast me and Peter Dinklage at the time, but they made it very clear, and I was alright with that. Sometimes you think I don't want to get stuck in one of these series for seven years.

"But I wish, I had to be honest [laughs]. I guess you can't change the story, the writing. It was very clear what George RR Martin wanted to happen to Ned Stark, and it did."

World on Fire premieres on BBC One on Sunday, September 29 at 9pm.

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