Sean Bean has been killed on screen over twenty times throughout his career. I don’t want to ruin anything for you but if you’re watching a Sean Bean film, chances are that his character won’t make it to the end. Despite a large amount of films to choose from, here are my three favourite Sean Bean death scenes. Obviously, spoilers follow this although the films have been out a fair few years so is this still classed as spoilers? Who knows. anyway, you’ve been warned nonetheless.
Equilibrium is set in a dystopian future after a Third World War has devastated the Earth. All emotion and artistic expression has been banned and Grammaton Clerics are hired to burn any remains of poems, literature, art etc. and punish anybody seen taking advantage of the arts. Sean Bean plays one of these Grammaton Clerics who turns against the totalitarian state and, instead of burning a book of poems, decides to keep them. Because of this, his law abiding partner (played by a really good emotionless Christian Bale) track him down and executes him. It’s not the most action packed death scene but in terms of the defiance he represents and the change in Bale’s character that it triggers it is a poignant one.
Black Death (2010)
I only watched this yesterday and it was the film that inspired this post. Black Death is set in medieval England and follows the story of a young monk (played by the wonderful Eddie Redmayne) who accompanies a group of soldiers, led by Ulric (Sean Bean), to a remote marshland untouched by the bubonic plague to track down a necromancer. When they arrive at the necromancer’s village everything goes tits up basically and Ulric’s men land themselves in a lot of trouble and a couple of them die. Soon after, Ulric (already poisoned by the black death) is tied to two horses and literally pulled apart; it makes for pretty painful watching but someone with Bean’s experience at dying on screen portrays this excellently. Unfortunately, the death scene isn’t on the available in good quality so here’s the trailer, but I fully encourage you to check out the film when you can.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
This is without a doubt, one of the greatest death scenes in movie history and for me, the best part of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. Throughout Fellowship the audience are asked to question Boromir and you never really know what side he is on and who’s interests he has at heart, especially since he tries to take the ring from Frodo. But at the end of the film Boromir has a true hero’s death and goes down fighting to protect Merry and Pippin. He is shot a couple of times by Lurtz but this doesn’t stop him and he continues to fight through the pain using every last breath he has in his body. This is what makes Boromir one of the best characters from the trilogy and this scene alone makes Sean Bean’s performance one of stand out shows in an ensemble cast.