Tag Archives: Sean Bean

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean:Eddard “Ned” Stark

Alas today is the final Saturday in a month full of Sean Bean. Sorry ladies.

Click here to read about his work as Odysseus, Boromir, and as Ian Howe.

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHO: Eddark Stark

Bran’s father sat solemnly on his horse, long brown hair stirring in the wind. His closely trimmed beard was shot with white, making him look older than his thirty-five years. He had a grim cast to his grey eyes this day, and he seemed not at all the man who would sit before the fire in the evening and talk softly of the age of heroes and the children of the forest. He had taken off Father’s face, Bran thought and donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell. [A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, Bantam Books, New York, New York]

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

Dust slipcase and title page of George R.r. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

FROM: Game of Thrones

BY: George R. R. Martin

RELEASED: The book was released in 1996. The HBO mini series premiered in 2011

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PROS: Ned Stark is a stand up guy. He loves his family deeply and would do anything for them. He’s a strong leader and has a highly defined set of morals. He is honorable and honest. He is a loyal friend. “Stoic, duty-bound and honorable, Ned Stark embodied the values of the north.” [HBO Game of Thrones viewer’s Guide]

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

Direwolf illustration from the book. Teh Direwolf is the symbol for House Stark.

CONS: He is too much of a stickler for the rules to get along in the political cest pool of Kings Landing. He is cold and unbending to those who don’t know him. He holds a grudge.

QUOTE: “Winter is coming

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Forced with the choice between honor and truth (and death) or saving his daughters and lying (thus condemning himself to a life in the Night Watch) he goes breaks his very moral code for the sake of the girls. Oh, that every one in Kings Landing were as honorable.

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

Direwolf illustration from the HBO miniseries

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Lord Stark is both the strongest and most gullible character in the book. He’s an incredible role model for his family, but sadly, not every one is playing by his rules. So I guess Ned’s least shining moments happen when he assumes that other characters will act as nobly as he has acted toward them. Most notably when he tells Cersie that he knows none of her children are legitimate.

So his most shining moment and least shining moment result in the same thing… when asked what madness lead him to tell the queen that he’d unearthed the truth about Prince Joffrey’s birth, honorable Ned Stark replies “The madness of mercy. That she might save her children.” Oh, Ned, will you never learn?

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

End paper from A Game of Thrones showing a map of the North. The Starks live in Winterfell which is about center on the map.

This may just be Sean Bean’s most noble role to date. And he wears every minute of stress and responsiblity of leadership  on his weathered face. The range of interactions from how he treats his family to how he deals with the small council is a joy to watch. I  have other problems with the production (as usual with HBO there’s too much graphic…well everything) but I have no problem with the honorable Ned Stark… or the man who plays him.

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean: Odysseus

Today is week three of Sean Bean month on Secondary Character Saturday! . Click HERE  to see the blog on Boromir or HERE for the bog on Ian Howe (from National Treasure). Today’s blog owes a special thanks to my rather amusing and sarcastic family. They had a lot of fun “helping” me write all about Odysseus. Enjoy!


Speak to me oh sages, oh great Athena, Keeper of Wisdom, that my words may bring to life the tale of  (Sean Bean as) Odysseus, that hero of old.

WHO:  Odysseus

[Image courtesy Fanpop.com]
[Image courtesy Fanpop.com]

FROM: The Iliad and The Odyssey and the movie TROY

BY The Iliad and The Odyssey were written by Homer,  The Iliad was roughly adapted  for the screen and renamed “Troy” by  David Benioff

WRITTEN / RELEASED:  The epic poems were “written 800 B.C.E” [The Internet Classics ]; The movie came out in 2004.

PROS: Odysseus is …brave, smart, creative, loyal, realistic, cunning, and an eloquent speaker. He’s good with a weapon and never gave up. He (at least as played by Sean Bean) looks fine in a leather skirt. And he had a large book written about him that we got to read in high school.

The Resourceful Odysseus,… was the trusted advisor and chief lieutenant of Kings Menelaus and Agamemnon throughout the course of the war.  He would fight at the forefront of battle, restore order to the camp when necessary, and his speeches strengthened the resolve of the Greek soldiers to continue their struggle against the Trojans.  When Achilles fell in battle, it was Odysseus who fought his way through the hordes of enemy soldiers and retrieved his body.  At the funeral games following Achilles’ burial, Odysseus defeated Ajax the Greater in a wrestling match to win the title “Bravest of the Greeks”. [Bad Ass of the Week]

CONS: He’s stubborn and a bit quick tempered (just ask the suitors). He went over budget on the Trojan “Horse”  and it doesn’t even LOOK real. He gets along a little too well with the “ladies.” He doesn’t eat bacon — when any chef can tell you EVERYTHING is more epic with bacon. He had a large book written about him that we  HAD to read in high school.

Dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for Achilles...
Dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for Achilles’ armour. Attic black-figure oinochoe, ca. 520 BC. Kalos inscription. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MOST SHINING MOMENT: By inventing the Trojan Horse and bravely leading the men inside it he was the game changer in the Trojan War. One does not simple walk into the gates of Troy, you need a plan, and, Odysseus’ plan was both bold and brilliant.

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Getting drunk with Calypso. Doh!

WHY SEAN BEAN IS SO GOOD IN THE ROLE: In the movie TROY the focus and camera stay sharply on a buffed and bulging muscles of Brad Pitt and the dark eyes of Eric Bana. Our boy Sean Bean just barely makes secondary character status. But when he IS on screen he steals the scene. He’s the one person on the shores of Turkey who seems in touch with reality. And in a movie that strives for epic status he gives a very human performance. He’s open with his emotions. You can see every bit of angst on his face. With Pitt there  is a blankness akin to blandness (that led me, at least,  to boredom.) Maybe that was an acting choice on Pitt’s part — play the demi god with an air of detachment — but for me? I’d rather watch more of Odysseus’s story.

To read the Iliad on line click HERE.

To read the Odyssey on line click HERE.

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean: Ian Howe


Today we celebrate the second saturday in the merry month of May, AKA Sean Bean month. Click HERE  to see last week’s blog on Boromir

[Image courtesy: Wikipedia]

Bean as Ian Howe [Image courtesy: Wikipedia]

WHO: Ian Howe

FROM: National Treasure

BY:  Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley


PROS: Ian has nearly unlimited resources, and he’s smart.  He can be charming. He’s crafty. Oh, and he looks great in a white parka.

[Image courtesy: Ponderings]

[Nick Cage and Sean Bean look at map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Image courtesy: Ponderings]

CONS: Cunning, ruthless, greedy, driven, sociopath.

QUOTE: “You know the key to running a convincing bluff? Every once in a while you have to be holding all the cards”

MOST SHINING MOMENT:Well, he is a villain, so it is tough to find a “shining moment” for Ian Howe. I’d like to think he feels remorse when his side kick Shaw dies. But…hmmm… not so much.

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Kidnapping the heroes and stranding them beneath Old North Church in Boston (essential burying them alive).

WHY SEAN BEAN IS SO GOOD IN THE ROLE: For the record if I’m every going to go on a treasure hunt with a sociopath I’d really prefer it be with Sean Bean. Sure he’ll step over your dead cold body to get what he wants, but he probably wont kill you if he doesn’t have to.

Bean straddles  the line between being charming and being creepy all through this movie. And he’s a ton of fun to watch. You never root for him, but it sure is fun to root against him.

I like how the movie takes a history field trip and turns it on its ear. Even though the whole thing is fiction it is fun to think that some one might have left all those clues and that they (the clues) are still out there waiting to be discovered.

(Thanks to my buddy Tom B. for contributing tho his blog.)

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Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean; Boromir

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a bit will recall that March featured Secondary Characters played by the wonderful Alan Rickman. This month I thought I’d focus on another terrific secondary character (mostly) player, Sean Bean.



Sean Bean as Boromir in Peter Jackson's live-a...
Sean Bean as Boromir in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHO: Boromir; Son of the Steward of Gonor, Captain of the White Tower

FROM: The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring is...
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring is by a Christian author, and contains Christian themes, Matthew T. Dickerson, Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings, Brazos Press, 2003, though its wide popularity means that many would not consider it a specifically Christian novel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BY: J.R.R. Tolkien

PUBLISHED: July 29, 1954

PROS: Boromir is honorable, noble, strong, brave, couragous , a natural leader, loyal to Gondor and a great big brother.

CONS: His single minded desire to protect his homeland blinds him to the dangers of the Ring. He questions Gandalf’s leadership of the Fellowship and Frodo‘s ability to carry out the task of destroying the Ring. He is stubborn, proud, arrogant. He’s afraid of the Elves of Lothlorien and things start to sour in his relationship with the Fellowship after they’ve passed through the forest.

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Fights to the death in an attempt to keep Merry and Pippin safe from the Orcs.

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: His attempt to take the RING from Frodo. His motive — to take the Ring to protect Gondor — may have been noble, but it is misguided. And he breaks the trust and the bond of friendship of the Fellowship when he tries to take the Ring from Frodo. At first he tries to cajole the hobbit into turning the Ring over, but when that doesn’t work he attempts to seize it physically. Frodo has to put the Ring on to escape (he disappears, but it also alerts the Orcs to his location.) Boromir recovers his senses, but the hobbit knows he can’t trust him anymore. Frodo must go forward on the quest alone. (Until, of course, his faithful servant/friend Sam tags along too.)

WHY SEAN BEAN IS SO GOOD IN THE ROLE: Despite the fact that Boromir dies a third of the way through The Lord of the Rings Trilogy he is still one of the most interesting characters. He’s a leader of men, but Tolkien hasn’t seemed to decide if MAN is really a redeemable species. If the battle for Middle Earth was between Hobbits / Elves  and  Orcs … things would be so much neater. The battles would be black and white. You’d know who to cheer for. But Tolkien throws in Dwarves and Men — greed, pride,  doubt, all kinds of deadly sins — and suddenly the lines are not so pristine. When Peter Jackson made is epic 2001 (yes it was 12 years ago!!!) movie of the book he couldn’t have picked a better actor to play Boromir.  Sean Bean has a look of tired conflict written all over his face. He’s not a  man to be messed with. He’s a soldier who has been fighting for decades to keep his country safe, and he will do anything to further that goal.

But Bean’s performance is multi layered too. He’s gentle, playful, and protective of  the hobbits as they take their long journey.

But there’s heart ache there too…

The perfect flawed hero. And a  truly human performance.


What other Sean Bean roles do you think we should discuss? Drop me a line and let me know.

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