Sean Bean (Ned Stark) joined the rest of the cast for a Game of Thrones special


Game of Thrones is the biggest show on the planet, and when the final episodes drop next year, you can bet they won’t drop alone. We can expect more like The Game Revealed, the behind-the-scenes documentary series HBO put together for season 7. And according to Sean Bean (Ned Stark), Conan O’Brien already shot a massive cast reunion show in Belfast about a month back. “It was the last episode, so we all got together. It was good!” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “[I]t was for season eight, the last one. So they decided to get all the characters together for a bit for this big show in Belfast and he kind of hosted the evening.”

Conan O’Brien has interviewed the cast and crew en masse before, like in this clip from 2016, when they were talking about season 6. (You can see more from this interview here.)

These are always fun, but a season 8 special won’t just be good for a laugh; we expect it get emotional, especially if Sean Bean is coming back. About a week ago, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) told Vulture she “burst into tears” when Bean returned to the set for a “behind the scenes thing.” This could be what she was talking about. “I wasn’t expecting that!”

Bean also talked about Ned more generally, contemplating why his memory has lasted so long. “He’s mentioned a lot,” Bean said. “He still seems to have a presence on the show.”

"Well, I think there are very few good people in Game of Thrones. He was a principled man, he was fair. He was a family man and he was also a warrior. He was well-respected by his family and the people he looked over. He applied that to his life in general, to his family, to everything he did. He came to realize being fair and being moral … you’re not going to survive by doing that.But he didn’t change. That’s what I admired about him. He stuck to his guns. He meant it. He meant his fairness and his good qualities. But I think once he went down south, he didn’t really have much of a chance because, to them, backstabbing and treachery was a way of life. He was too honest, really."

Too honest, indeed. That’s not a problem Bean has on the set of Rai Fiction’s Medici: Lorenzo the Magnificent, a follow-up to Medici: Masters of Florence. There, he plays Jacopo de’ Pazzi the head of a Florentine banking family intent on bringing down the famous Medicis in Renaissance-era Florence. “Playing Ned Stark was good because he had a bit of a rough edge to him as well,” Bean said. “He was a good man, but he was strong, a hard guy. And Jacopo is a hard guy, but he’s the opposite of Ned Stark. He’s treacherous. He seems to take pleasure in causing anguish to members of his own family, not to mention the people that he governs. But it’s always satisfying to play a meaty, juicy bad guy.”

So it sounds like Bean is going from going from playing Ned Stark to playing a Littlefinger-type. Oh, the irony.


House Sigil Rocks Glass Set from Game of Thrones
House Sigil Rocks Glass Set from Game of Thrones /

House Sigil Rocks Glass Set from Game of Thrones

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For a lot of people, I suspect Bean will always be Ned Stark. Is there any chance he’d reprise the role any of HBO’s planned Game of Thrones prequel series? “I don’t know how we can be,” Bean said. “I don’t know how anyone can be, since they’re going backwards, I’d be younger. Now, we all look a little bit older.”

"How many years do they go back? Were we even in existence? It depends how far they go back. I’m always a bit reluctant to go back to shows under a different format or guise. But you never know with something like this, it just depends on the time frames.I think if the quality was maintained. You know, the kind of thought behind it, if it didn’t look as though it was an add-on just to capitalize on earlier success."

Bean is right to be skeptical. So far, HBO has officially announced that it’s moving forward with only one prequel show, and that show is set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, so the chances of anyone from the cast showing up are slim to nil.

So, barring something unexpected, the only place you’ll be able to see Ned Stark (as played by Sean Bean) is in the first season of Game of Thrones. Bean seems fine with that. “It’s something I was really proud of, a really top-notch job,” he said. “It’s either that or Boromir [from Lord of the Rings]. It used to be Boromir, but now it’s Stark. (laughs).”

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