Sean Bean Reveals His Favorite On-Screen Death Scene, And It’s Not What You Think

Sean Bean considers Boromir's death in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring his favorite.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

For those of you who have closely followed Sean Bean’s filmography, you know all too well that he’s no stranger to meeting his demise on-screen. In fact, Sean Bean’s characters have met their fate a whopping total of 24 times throughout his career. And though many consider Ned Stark’s death in Game of Thrones to be Bean’s most iconic foray into the afterlife, Bean revealed during an interview with Screen Rant that his personal favorite dance with death was Boromir’s tragic end in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Sean Bean’s reason for thinking so highly of his death in The Fellowship of the Ring is quite sound. In his own words, Bean stated, “Boromir’s was probably the best death I’ve ever done. It was just so heroic and tragic.”

If you need a refresher, we’ll quickly remind you that Sean Bean’s Boromir succumbed to several close-range arrow injuries while continuing to bravely fight off the Uruk-hai. This on-screen death, in particular, is so cherished because it shows viewers Boromir’s true commitment. Though Boromir was briefly corrupted by the allure that the Ring of Power possesses, he ultimately sacrifices himself while defending Merry and Pippin from certain death.

Sean Bean further elaborated that the amount of screen time dedicated to Boromir’s death allowed him to really “milk it.” In other words, the cinematography truly allowed him to portray an on-screen death that was not only epic but quite moving as well. When he finally drops to his knees in defeat, the disappointment in his eyes shows us that his only regret is that he didn’t take out more Orcs in the process.

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Sean Bean getting ready to die in Black Death

By this time in Sean Bean’s career, it’s safe to say that the Goldeneye star was a seasoned pro in executing (pun intended) a memorable on-screen death. Bean’s first on-screen death was in 1986’s Caravaggio, in which his character, Ranuccio, had his throat slit by the film’s titular character. He must have been great at playing the part, considering that he has died in approximately one-third of his on-screen catalog since.

But even when we consider Sean Bean’s intimidating amount of on-screen deaths, he’s nowhere close to the record. Though he has succumbed to mortal injuries in 24 of his roles, it’s worth noting that Danny Trejo has racked up over 40 on-screen deaths throughout his career, and Christopher Lee has met his fate 70 times.

Whether he’s getting crushed by a satellite dish in Goldeneye, decapitated in Game of Thrones, accidentally drowning in Lorna Doone, or getting pulled apart by horses in Black Death, Sean Bean has certainly met his fate in myriad ways throughout his career. And though he seems to have a good sense of humor about getting killed off in such gruesome ways, he has stated, “I’d prefer to stay alive now, if you don’t mind.” And we can’t say that we blame him!

Sean Bean’s most recent effort is Knights of the Zodiac, slated for a US release on May 12, 2023.