The Last Thing Game of Thrones‘ Ned Stark Said Before He *Spoiler*, Probably Isn’t What You Think It Was

***Spoilers:  Spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 1 follow. Spoilers***

No, seriously — better safe than … having a random person on the interwebs cuss you out for spoiling a plot point from 2011, am I right?

Nobody can ever forget when Sean Bean’s Eddard “Ned” Stark literally lost his head. Personally, this is the shot that destroyed me.

For non-book readers, Ned’s death was the moment viewers

a)  first realized what a sick fork George R. R. Martin is, and

b) that the HBO series showrunners, Benioff and Weiss, were likewise not messing around, and

c) learned to despise young Jack Gleeson’s Joffrey Baratheon.

In the seconds before Ned gets his head lopped off, he whispers something to himself …

(no, that’s not it) and for years now, I think most people believed he said “Valar Morghulis” (All men must die).

But in a new interview with Huffpost, Sean Bean dispelled that notion, and finally revealed what his character was saying, and it’s not “All men must die” — nor is it an important reveal about Jon Snow, aka ***SPOILERS for SEAON 7*** Aegon Targaryen. ***END SPOILERS***

Rather, Bean’s revelation is word-wise, less specific, though it makes perfect sense. Ned was:

… just saying a prayer.

I couldn’t be too specific, because I don’t know if religion [like that] was around in those days, whatever they were. I just thought, ‘What would you do if this were really gonna happen?’ You probably would pray. You probably would murmur some words and you’d keep it quiet. You’d keep it to yourself.

It’s quite subtle in that many people wouldn’t pick it up. It was an interesting thing to do for me at that point. There’s not much you can do really, you’ve got your head on a block. That’s about the only thing you can do is murmur.”

True, that. Now, can we please move on from this thoroughly traumatizing moment, and never speak of it again?

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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