25 Sean Bean Deaths, Ranked By Sadness
We all know Sean Bean dies in almost every movie he's ever made. From well-deserved villain deaths to heroic self-sacrifice, we rank his death scenes by how much they made us cry. ALL THE SPOILERS.
In this short-lived series, Sean Bean's spy character is blown up in a car bomb, to the devastation of his wife (Ashley Judd). Years later, she finds out he's still very much alive! It's a Sean Bean first!
'Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974' (2009)
Ambitious reporter Eddie (Andrew Garfield)'s investigation into the torture, rape and deaths of several school girls leads him to well-connected real estate developer John Dawson (Sean Bean). Knowing Dawson will never see jail time, a frustrated Eddie shoots him to death, then stoically faces his own certain demise.
'The Hitcher' (2007)
When the sadistic title character (Bean) finally gets blown away by Sophia Bush, we have to cheer, not cry.
'Patriot Games' (1992)
IRA terrorist Sean Miller targets Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) and his family after his brother is killed in a botched assassination attempt. He takes obsession to such extremes, he even kills his compatriots so he can get to Ryan. But this is a Jack Ryan movie, so he gets the better of the villain in a climactic boat chase.
In this ill-advised sequel to "Gone With the Wind," Bean plays Lord Fenton, one of Scarlett O'Hara (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer)'s suitors. Who also happens to be a rapist: He assaults both her and a maid. The maid stabs him to death and Scarlett goes on trial for the murder. No tears were shed for this character.
'Lorna Doone' (1990)
Murderous Carver Doone is just one of the many literary cads Bean played: He wants to marry heroine Lorna for her money. When she rejects him, he shoots her as she prepares to marry the man she really loves. Poetic justice prevails: He drowns, and she lives. (A bit of "Game of Thrones" trivia: Carver was played by Aidan Gillen, aka Littlefinger, in a 2000 TV production.)
As the rakish Richard Lovelace (one of the most notorious villains in classic literature), Bean tries to seduce the impoverished title character (Saskia Wickham). After he rapes her at a brothel, she starves herself to death. He is then killed in a sword fight by their mutual friend Jack Belford (Sean Pertwee). After suffering the fatal blow, Lovelace says, Well done, Jack. You have avenged her well.” His dying words: “Clarissa, let this redeem my sins.”
A pre-"Thor" Chris Hemsworth comes across a bag of cash that belongs to a vicious gangster (Bean, of course.) Long story short, Bean ends up crushed in a car compactor.
'The Island' (2005)
When you play an evil doctor in a sci-fi thriller, you've got to go out in a spectacular fashion. Especially when it's a Michael Bay film. Bean's Dr. Merrick is shot through the neck with a grappling hook and hung by a cable. So he's really most sincerely dead.
'Death Race 2'
Another direct-to-DVD film: Bean plays a crime boss who is shot and has a dramatic swan dive death.
'Don't Say a Word' (2001)
We're not exactly sad when Bean's kidnapper character perishes in a graveyard cave-in. But if you saw this film when it came out (so soon after 9/11) it was a chilling moment.
'The Field' (1990)
Getting stampeded over a cliff by your own father is a helluva way to go. But then again, Bean's character was a donkey-killing jerk so his death, while shocking, is kind of karmic. Also, poor cows!
'Essex Boys' (2000)
More proof that crime does not pay: Bean's character is shot to death during a drug deal gone wrong.
After forming a group of outlaws who advocate vigilante justice, it's no surprise that Bean's character (a disillusioned Iraq vet) is gunned down in a shootout with the cops.
Is there anything sadder than being offed by Steve Guttenberg and his team? Or taking a role as the villain in this sad "Mission: Impossible" knockoff in the first place?
While Alec Trevelyan is a bad, bad man, he was once M16 and a good friend of Bond's. And the way he dies — not only falling to his death, but being crushed and then exploded … is such ridiculous overkill that we feel a smattering of sympathy.
'Black Death' (2011)
In this grim movie set in the Middle Ages at the height of the Plague, Bean's crusading knight Ulrich is merciless to the godless villagers who seem immune to the disease. But his death is so grisly (torn apart by four horses!) that we are still shuddering.
'Far North' (2007)
In this little-seen movie that went straight to DVD, Bean is Yoki, an AWOL Soviet soldier saved from perishing in the Arctic by Saiva (Michelle Yeoh) and her stepdaughter Anja (Michelle Krusiec). He and Anja fall in love, but a jealous Saiva killes Anja, then skins her face and puts it over her own, tricking Yoki into having sex with her. Once he realizes the deception, he is horrified and runs off, naked, into the tundra. We don't see him die, but that is one hell of a note to go out on.
'War Requiem' (1990)
Derek Jarman's dialogue-free, operatic elegy on the futility of war is set to Benjamin Britten's requiem of the same name. In a quiet moment in WWI, Bean plays a German soldier who comes across a British enemy playing the piano. He throws a snowball at the Brit, who, sensing a truce, approaches him with a smile. But it's a ruse: He stabs the other man and is then bayoneted to death by fellow Brit. But his role doesn't end there. In a stylized afterlife, he makes amends to the man he killed, laying a bouquet of red poppies at his feet.
Of course Bean died in his very first film! In Derek Jarman's anachonistic biopic, he plays the handsome Ranuccio, who becomes a model, lover and romantic rival for painter Caravaggio (Nigel Terry). When Caravaggio's love Lena (Tilda Swinton, also making her film debut) is killed, Ranuccio is blamed. The painter gets him pardoned, then confesses to the murder before slashing Raunccio's throat! It's a shocking scene that set the stage for his many film deaths to come.
'The Frankenstein Chronicles' (2015)
An inspector of the trail of a ghoulish scientist, Bean's quest comes to an end when he's framed for a murder, then hung.
'Henry VIII' (2003)
Bean gets a gruesome traitor's death (hung by chains) in this Shakespearean adaptation. He plays Robert Aske, who is tricked by the King (Ray Winstone) into committing treason. Betrayal and public execution? Just another day at the office for this actor.
In this action movie take on dystopias like "Brave New World" and "Fahrenheit 451," Bean and Christian Bale, are Clerics tasked with executing “Sense Offenders” who dare to seek out forbidden art or music. When Bale discovers Bean reading a confiscated book of poetry instead of turning it in, he has no choice but to kill his treasonous partner. Bean, quoting Yeats, holds up the book so he won't see the fatal shot coming.
'Game of Thrones' (2011)
In one of the most shocking deaths in TV history (if you hadn't read the books, that is), noble Ned Stark is betrayed and beheaded in front of his daughters. Although we're devastated, at least his death comes quickly. It was a harsh but effective way of letting viewers know that anyone could (and would) be killed at any time on this series, even the star of the show.
'LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring' (2001)
After a moment of madness in which he tries to take the Ring from Frodo, Boromir redeems himself in the most heartbreaking death scene of Bean's career. Wildly outnumbered by Orcs, he fights valiantly against overwhelming odds. As each Orc arrow sinks into his chest, he seems defeated, yet still valiantly fights on. Aragorn and Legolas arrive too late to save him. With his dying words, Boromir declares to Aragorn. “Forgive me. I have failed you all. I would have followed you, my brother. My captain. My king.” Aragorn kisses him on the forehead, then sheds a few manly tears, which only makes us sob harder.